The piece I most want to hear again is Perkin’s.
— Michael Dervan, The Irish Times
This is a piece I want to hear again and again.
— Declan Townsend, The Irish Examiner

Website Image - Sam Perkin Photo Black and White (Color Eyes).jpg

Sam Perkin is a composer of new orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral music. He completed an Artist Diploma in Composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, France, after previously being awarded a BMus and Masters in Composition from CIT Cork School of Music, Ireland.

‘Waves’ for Solo Percussionist and String Orchestra, commissioned by The Irish Chamber Orchestra, is an attempted self-cure for tinnitus and received three standing ovations for its world première tour. 'Waves' is the fruit of a bountiful collaboration between The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the composer over the last few years, supported by The Arts Council of Ireland. He has recently completed a large-scale work entitled 'Grey Area' for Ensemble and Street Skateboarding Film, for Crash Ensemble, for performance at Engage Arts Festival. His mammoth work for Solo Violin, 'Language', was commissioned by West Cork Chamber Music Festival for American violin specialist Miranda Cuckson. His latest commission is for La Côte Flûte Festival, Switzerland, a new work entitled 'Twitter' for Flute Choir and Smartphones.

He won the prestigious Prix Salabert for Composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon in 2016, and he was awarded The Next Generation Bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland in 2017.

Sam was composer-in-residence and The 20th Festival of Youth Orchestras in Dublin, and at ConCorda Chamber Music Course for Strings. He will be undertaking a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre as part of his Next Generation Award, and with Crash Ensemble in 2018/19. As part of his residency with Crash Ensemble he will compose five pieces inspired by his love of linguistics, including a piece for cellist Kate Ellis based on the Cork Accent. He has collaborated with festivals such as New Ross Piano Festival, Gregynog Festival - Wales, Ortús Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

In his 'Violin Concerto' a moment of audience humming creates an aura like none other for the final cadenza, and his recent work 'Pause' blends the sounds of a slowed-down Irish fiddle with String Orchestra. In 2016 'Brother' for Solo Marimba and Voices in 6 Languages had its première at Festival La Ferme du Vinatier and Festival Les Nuits Sonores, Lyon, France.


Waves (2016-18)

Instrumentation: Solo Percussionist and String Orchestra

Duration: 18 min

Commissioned byThe Irish Chamber Orchestra

SoloistAlex Petcu

ConductorGábor Takács-Nagy

Programme Note: Tinnitus is the hearing of sound when no sound is present.  As a composer, hearing these phantom sounds, which started a year ago for me, can be frustrating. They can make composing, conversing, and sleeping quite difficult. Some people find that white noise, rainfall or ocean waves can help to mask these sound mirages. The ocean wave sounds worked for me, and I listened to them a lot. Over 365 days, while I had them flowing through my mind, I took these sounds from nature, that I cherish so much, and composed a work that is entirely made up of these beautiful patterns, in essence, 365 variations on a wave gesture. The ebb and flow in the music comes from the true rhythm of nature, and in the way it mysteriously varies itself. I attempted to harness these natural forces to create a work in which we can be in awe of nature’s secrets, but also a work that, who knows, can maybe cure tinnitus.  Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland