Philip Fogarty is a composer, performer and sound artist. He has toured his work with live ensembles in various configurations both in Ireland and abroad. His output ranges from his roots in Irish traditional to rock, electronica, contemporary and multimedia formats, having featured in installations, soundtrack and theatre. Recent projects include I Claim Sanctuary, an interactive sound installation due to be staged later this year in conjunction with Paper Boat, an opera presented by Music for Galway in association with Irish National Opera.
He began in the Irish scene as a session musician and vocalist before embarking as a solo artist with his own ensemble. In the nineties and early 2000s he played nationwide and toured in Europe and the United States, appearing in billings alongside The Frames and the Cowboy Junkies in the wake of the release of 1999's critically-acclaimed Endangered Breed, and also participated in media hookups destined for the U.S. cable networks and footage for transmission on Dutch television.
Further touring followed Songs for Animals (2001), Short Stories (2003) and Lambs (2003), as well as tours in tandem with the digital releases of his recordings from 2006 onwards. Though Philip had hitherto been known for large soundscapes and high-end production, these performances focused on a more intimate approach in smaller venues, with a shift away from heavy sequencing towards a sparser, more organic style.
More recent years have seen Philip engaged in various side-projects, from instrument conception to multimedia installations to straight funded research (see Other Projects page). Recent mainstream projects, meanwhile, have been the staging of audience participation piece Three Dream Echo, first performed as the flagship event for Galway Culture Night 2020, and I Claim Sanctuary, an interactive sound installation in conjunction with Paper Boat, an opera presented by Music for Galway and Galway 2020 in association with Irish National Opera. He continues to work on the development of further live projects. He lectures occasionally in NUI Galway and has studied under the auspices of renowned sean-nós singer Lillis Ó Laoire.
Irish critics have praised Philip Fogarty as a truly innovative but still quintessentially Irish artist, his output featuring many undercurrents from his varied musical background. His live work has fused together many disparate elements in tandem with his distinctive vocals, from classical and traditional violins to vocoded microphone percussion, from bodhran to synth work and delay feedback effects, along with other conventional instruments such as bass, piano, guitar and drums, running the gamut from walls of noise to the sparsest of soundscapes, as counterpoint to a unique vocal and songwriting style.