1. How and when did you get interested in composing?
At College in 1985 and at the Ennis IMRO Composition Summer School.
2. Is composing your 'day job' or do you do something else as well?
It is my 'day job'.
3. Where do you mostly get your ideas?
4. What are you working on at the moment?
A piece for the English group, Lontano, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass and piano. It is fast and lively.
5. Describe your typical working day.
Roughly, two and three hour sessions but deadlines change this pattern.
6. What is it like hearing a new piece played for the first time?
7. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The first performance of NEVER...NEVER...NEVER by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. A bunch of friends were there and we had a blast after the concert.
8. What has been the lowlight of your career so far?
Not meeting Beethoven.
9. What is your greatest ambition?
To meet Beethoven.
10. Which musician in history do you most admire and why?
Miles Davis -- beautiful tone and phrasing, ever inventing. Above all, some of his music transports me to that other place.
11. Which present-day musician do you most admire and why?
Daniel O'Donnell -- he tickles my teacup.
12. Which period of history would you most like to have lived in and why?
The future because I'd still be around.
13. What is the best thing about being a composer?
Being able to work at something you enjoy.
14. What is the worst thing about being a composer?
15. If you weren't a composer, what other career might you have chosen?
16. What is your concept of heaven?
17. What is your concept of hell?
Stuck in a lift with a flatulent sumo wrestler.
18. What is your favourite food?
Beans on toast.
19. If someone gave you three months off with unlimited travel and living expenses, what would you do?
20. If you could have one thing in the world that would really help you as a composer, what would it be?
A better pencil.