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Daren Banarsë

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Daren Banarsë
Other namesTroy Banarzi & Daren Banarse
Alma materTrinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Daren Banarsë (aka Troy Banarzi) [1] (born 12 April 1972) is a British-born composer and performer of Irish and Indian descent. He is considered “an experimental music maker with a more art-orientated approach”, [2] creating music with a "folk influence and a fairy-tale quality".[3]

He is a former lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London, [4] and has collaborated with, amongst others, the Rambert Dance Company, sound artist Scanner, [5][6] and composer Kuljit Bhamra.[7] He is also a production music composer, and recording pianist for “De Wolfe Music”, with numerous high-profile television credits including Newsnight, Dispatches, Top Gear, Horizon, [1] The Apprentice, and Coast (BBC One).[8]

Composition[change | change source]

After training as a pianist at Trinity College of Music, Banarsë taught himself how to compose, and joined DeWolfe Music and the composer rosta of Inter Angel. He has composed music for several television productions, adverts [9] and theatre productions. [10]

In the early 2000s he began collaborating with experimental artists, writing music for Jonathan Allen’s “performance art” act Tommy Angel [11] at the Hayward Gallery (on the occasion of Eyes, Lies and Illusions), Tate Britain, [12] and the ZOO Art Fair. [1]

In 2006, he created the audio/visual "performance art" piece, Euphonika, [13][14] which explored people's contraversial relationships with dolls and statues. It was scored for string quartet, harp, tuba, Hammond organ, toy piano, melodica, and live electronics, and incorporating video interviews and film animation. Euphonika was subsequently broadcast on Resonance FM and BBC Radio 3. [15]

Requiem for the Missing (2009) [16][17] was a performance art piece for the East Wing Collection at the Courtauld Institute of Art. [18] It premiered in the courtyard of Somerset House on Friday February 13, with a choir of hooded monks (Trinity College of Music Chamber Choir). It makes use of the following texts: Psalm 88, The 9 Cemetery Contemplations, Pie Jesu, In Paradisum, and 'A Woman Unknown', a 17th century report of a woman found dead in the Thames [19]

Séance (2009),[20] was a collaboration with sound artist, Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud). A multi-channel surround sound installation first performed at Somerset House alongside Requiem for the Missing. It combines audio recordings of an historic séance with a contemporary police missing report and recordings of the Thames.

A collaboration with choreographer Patricia Okenwa and the Rambert Dance Company led to a new work, Mammon. It was premiered on 22 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre as part of the Rambert’s “Season of New Choreography” series. [21][1] The music was scored for string quintet, piano, Hammond organ and drumkit.

After this, Banarsë began to experiment with musical instrument making, creating the Magic Organ (2009), [22] a music/light sculpture exhibited at the East Wing Collection, Courtauld Institute of Art,[23] made from salvaged musical instruments and organ pipes.

Development of the Melodica[change | change source]

Frustrated with the expressive limitations of the piano, and wanting “to play something that works well with the human body”, [24] Banarsë began exploring the potential of the musical instrument, the melodica, in 2010. After several years of practice he set out to over come the “shrill and inconsistent” tone of the instrument by making his own instruments. He embraced 3D printing technology, combining wood from salvaged pianos to achieve a “high crisp tone similar to that of an accordion” [25]

He founded the The Melodica World Forum in 2013, and created the first 3D printed melodica in 2015.[4] He currently makes melodica tutorials and performance demonstrations on the YouTube platform.[26]

Irish Traditional Music[change | change source]

Banarsë is a regular player on London's Irish folk music scene, [27] where he organises concerts and plays Irish music on melodica. [28] In 2017, he competed at the Feadh Cheoil, an international festival and competition in Ennis, Ireland, winning the All Ireland Silver Medal in the 'Miscellaneous' category.[29] [30]

In 2017, Banarsë collaborated with a team of researchers at Kingston University and Queen Mary University of London, to explore the potential of artificial intelligence in creating original Irish music. [31] [32] [33] He reported in Vice magazine that there are “no worries about my job (as composer) being replaced in the near future” [34]

In 2018, as part of the project, he produced a recorded album at Visconti Studio, which included both artificially generated tunes and traditional tunes. It was sent out on white label to specialist music critics in Europe and the USA, under the guise of an album of traditional tunes. [35] [36] The reviews the album received were positive, with one reviewer writing, “[A] fine collection of beautifully-played tunes it is. While it includes some well-known titles such as ‘Lord Mayo’, ‘The Blackbird’ and ‘Toss The Feathers (II)’ … the unnamed jigs, reels and airs here thoroughly deserve their inclusion”. [37]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Troy Banarzi". www.dewolfemusic.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2021-06-02. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  2. "Notion" (PDF). web.archive.org. 2011-07-07. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  3. Inglis, Sam (2008). "Playback". Sound on Sound (March 2008).
  4. 4.0 4.1 "curve.coventry.ac.uk/" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-01-08. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  5. Nightjam website, Artangel: "REMIXES BY GUEST ARTISTS". Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  6. "Scanner". Scannerdot.com. 2009-04-27. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  7. "De Wolfe". www.dewolfemusic.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2021-06-02. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  8. "Coast". BBC. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  9. "100 Years of De Wolfe Music" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  10. "Singh Tangos - Flyer | SADAA". sadaa.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  11. Searle, Adrian (2008). "IT's a kind of magic". The Guardian. 2006 (January).
  12. "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] UK Government Web Archive – The National Archives". Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. 2008-09-10. Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  13. Berry, Sarah (2008). "Troy Banarzi" (PDF). Forum. 42 (6). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  14. "Troy Banarzi". 5 January 2010. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  15. "BBC Radio 3 - Late Junction, 27/08/2008". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  16. Potts, Rachel (2008). "The Missing, Troy Banarzi proposes a contemporary London Requiem" (PDF). Garageland: Supernatural (6). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  17. "Troy Banarzi". 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  18. "The Courtauld News" (PDF). web.archive.org. 2010-02-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  19. "East Wing VIII mark a year of live art with night of flamboyant artists | Culture24". www.culture24.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  20. "Concerts: Troy Banarzi's creepy requiem, The Missing Musolife.com". 14 July 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  21. "Hydrargyrum". Rambert. Archived from the original on 2021-06-02. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  22. "It's going to be unusual as usual as East Wing VIII takes over Somerset House for Museums at Night | Culture24". www.culture24.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  23. "EastWingMuseumsatNightProgramme" (PDF). 20 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  24. Review, East End (2015-05-25). "Musician creates the first ever 3D-printed melodica". East End Review. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  25. "You Won't Believe this Beautiful Melodica Is 3D Printed | Make:". Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  26. "MelodicaWorld - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  27. Brown, Mike. "An A.I. in London is Writing Its Own Music and It Sounds Heavenly". Inverse. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  28. "www.returntocamden.org" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-06-02. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  29. Shaw, Alex (2017-08-29). "Upton Park melodica man takes silver in folk festival". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  30. "sportlomo-userupload.s3.amazonaws.com" (PDF).
  31. "Folk music composed by a computer!? | Inside Out Festival". www.insideoutfestival.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  32. "eprints.kingston.ac.uk" (PDF).
  33. Ben Dickson (2017-12-23). "AI Has Been Creating Music and the Results Are...Weird". PCMag UK. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  34. "Real Musicians Evaluate Music Made by Artificial Intelligence". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  35. "kth.diva-portal.org" (PDF).
  36. Thompson, Clive. "What will happen when machines write songs just as well as your favorite musician?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  37. "Deep learner generated Irish folk music". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-05-26.

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