1. How and when did you get interested in composing?
I seem to have been born with the urge to compose.
2. Is composing your 'day job' or do you do something else as well?
Now it's the day job.
3. Where do you mostly get your ideas?
When I go looking for them they often show up.
4. What are you working on at the moment?
A set of variations for orchestra on a three-note motif.
5. Describe your typical working day.
Usually mornings with touching up later in the day.
6. What is it like hearing a new piece played for the first time?
It gets more predictable with fewer surprises.
7. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It's always the last successful performance -- e.g., my Ninth Symphony played by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Nick McGegan last September.
8. What has been the lowlight of your career so far?
Rather not say.
9. What is your greatest ambition?
To win the Lotto so that I can get my orchestral music commercially recorded. It seems to be the only way unless one is prepared to wait a few hundred years -- that is one disc every ten years or so.
10. Which musician in history do you most admire and why?
Hugh numbers of composers really -- but Beethoven and Sibelius fascinate and inspire me.
11. Which present-day musician do you most admire and why?
Nicholas McGegan and the Irish Chamber Orchestra because they did a fantastic job on my new symphony.
12. Which period of history would you most like to have lived in and why?
The first thirty years or so of the Anno Domini years, because I may have met the Messiah.
13. What is the best thing about being a composer?
Satisfaction at a job well done, if it has turned out that way.
14. What is the worst thing about being a composer?
In the Irish context, struggling with the fact that a lot of people think by definition you cannot exist, when you know by pinching yourself that you really do.
15. If you weren't a composer, what other career might you have chosen?
President of the World Bank.
16. What is your concept of heaven?
Meeting people you have lost on Earth.
17. What is your concept of hell?
Meeting people you have tried to avoid on Earth.
18. What is your favourite food?
I've narrowed a long list down to cod steak baked and then grilled with a sweet chili coating on top.
19. If someone gave you three months off with unlimited travel and living expenses, what would you do?
Go to the nearest recording company and have them produce the CD's of my music I want released.
20. If you could have one thing in the world that would really help you as a composer, what would it be?
Commercial recordings of my music so that people can hear it. It's tantalising because I get lots of positive reaction from abroad in reviews and over the Internet, to the few discs that have been issued.