Conor Logo

Composer/Producer/Multi-instrumentalist

Conor Mulroy composes music by looking for new ways of interpreting styles, genres, and concepts – organizing his ideas into pieces electronically realized through a recording process or composing works for performance. Over the last ten years he has produced 15 records, looking for new ways of organizing his ideas by exploring different lenses to see the writing process through. He writes for various ensembles, ranging from solo guitar pieces to large scale works for orchestra. As a performer and improviser he plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo. In 2022 he completed a doctorate in music composition.

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/Teaching

I have a doctorate in music composition from the University of Northern Colorado where I studied with Paul Elwood and Ludek Drizhal. While working on a master’s degree in music composition I studied with Dan Sonenberg and Jonathan Middleton. I’ve studied composition with Beth Denisch and Adam Larrabee, and I have taken lessons from Jamie Masefield, the late John McGann, and the late Ernie Stires. I studied classical guitar with Silvio dos Santos.

I like to explore different ways of approaching creativity through composition. From the mentors I have learned from – studying composition and instruments – I’ve found different ways to explore, access, and realize my ideas.  Recognizing, understanding, and being able to explain the different ways I’ve learned to approach writing has been an important part of this process. 

My dissertation – The Ballybriar Heist: An original composition and the incorporation of folk music and tintinnabuli influences – is a 38 minute five-movement work for symphony orchestra.  It includes an analysis of the piece.  The research portion examines the different ways composers collected, transcribed, recorded, and incorporated folk music into their writing throughout the mid-19th and 20th centuries.  It also examines traditional Irish music and its performance practice, and tintinnabuli – a compositional technique developed by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, including analysis of his tintinnabuli pieces.

Picture of Teaching or playing?


/Latest Release

From the spring of 2019 to the summer of 2021, I composed 3 1/2 hours of music for the Obscured Constellations Project. I collected material from live recording sessions and created compositions by arranging the material into different versions of the same piece, lasting different lengths of time, ranging from one minute to one hour. I would like to thank all the engineers and musicians who contributed to this project, including Scott Vercoe, Jason Phelps, Josh “Slopey” Hurd, Arlene Siagian, Greg “Squidwerks” Heimbecker, Aaron Youngberg, Tristan Clarridge, Simon Chrisman, Andy Reiner, Courtney Hartman, Pete Meehan, and Todd Swingle.

Obscured Constellations

  1. Fourteen Red Suns
  2. Blue Desert Sands, Part I
  3. Blue Desert Sands, Part II
  4. The Orange Grasshopper Part I
  5. The Orange Grasshopper, Part II
  6. Obscured Constellations Phase II
  7. Obscured Constellations Phase III
  8. Obscured Constellations Phase IV
  9. The Blue Desert Sands Stretched
  10. The Orange Grasshopper Stretched

Obscured Constellations (2022) (Ambient)

Obscured Constellations Phase II (2022) (Ambient)

Obscured Constellations Phase IV (2022) (Ambient)

Obscured Constellations Phase V (2022) (Ambient)



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/Discography

Clocktower-Album2

2021 Ambient

  1. The Silent Groves Passing by the Stream
  2. A Distant Orchard
  3. Three Pounds of Flax
  4. The Stone Bridge Flowing Over the Water
  5. Surrounded by Mountains Are We Here
  6. The Stoic Mockingbird

Clocktower-Album1

2020 Ambient

  1. Shadows Slowly Moving Over the Stone Steps
  2. The Moon’s Reflection Under the Water

 

Loaf Cover Art

2020 Improvised/Funk

  1. Pump Yo Nickels
  2. Smell the Loaf
  3. The Improvisationalists
  4. Don’t Drink and Dub
  5. The Dough Also Rises

 

conor mulroy

2019 Acoustic

  1. The Inishmere Set
  2. Sawmill’s Bluff Part I
  3. Sawmill’s Bluff Part II
  4. Sawmill’s Bluff Part III
  5. Thacher’s Island Part I
  6. Thacher’s Island Part II
  7. Thacher’s Island Part III
  8. Temple Basin
  9. Mystic River Suite Part I
  10. Mystic River Suite Part II
  11. Mystic River Suite Part III
  12. Mystic River Suite Part IV
  13. Mystic River Suite Part V
  14. Too Hard for to Fly

Release Date: 2017 Genre: Singer/Songwriter

2016 Singer/Songwriter

  1. So Long Kayley
  2. My Sentence Sent Me off to Sea
  3. Time Left Behind
  4. Medieval Suite, Pt. 1
  5. Cat’s Song
  6. I Won’t Know the Difference Anyhow
  7. Medieval Suite, Pt. 2
  8. A Postcard from Finnegans Lane
  9. All the People Lost and Gone
  10. Medieval Suite, Pt.3

conor-mulroy-the-stranded-aviator

2016 Acoustic

  1. The Stranded Aviator Movement 1
  2. The Stranded Aviator Movement 2
  3. The Stranded Aviator Movement 3
  4. Old Speck
  5. Weighted Up
  6. Broken River

conor-mulroy-the-last-circus

2015 Singer/Songwriter

  1. Old Country Road
  2. In Winter’s Wind
  3. The Distant Tower
  4. Brown’s Island
  5. Norwegian Eyes
  6. End of the Line
  7. Struttin’ to Some Granola
  8. The Last Circus Act

conor-mulroy-foxfire

2011 Acoustic

  1. 5 Tone Reel
  2. Tenant’s Harbor
  3. Taylor’s Ridge
  4. Foxfire Movement 1, Pt. 1
  5. Foxfire Movement 1, Pt. 2
  6. Foxfire Movement 1, Pt. 3
  7. Foxfire Movement 1, Pt. 4
  8. Foxfire Movement 1, Pt. 5
  9. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 1
  10. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 2
  11. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 3
  12. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 4
  13. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 5
  14. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 6
  15. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 7
  16. Foxfire Movement 2, Pt. 8

conor-mulroy-the-unwinding-path

2011 Singer/Songwriter

  1. The Forgotten Race
  2. Back, But At What Cost
  3. Back Into Grey
  4. The Troubled Gates
  5. The Undwinding Path
  6. Through the Sea
  7. The Unseen View
  8. Skies of Green
  9. Song Based On William Carpenter Painting
  10. Weighted Up
  11. The Sand Beneath the Wind
  12. Blackburn’s Tale
  13. The Forgotten Reace (Demo)
  14. Through the Sea (Demo)

conor-mulroy-the-glass-ocean

2010 Metal

  1. Prelude to the Glass Ocean
  2. Metal Thirst I
  3. Metal Thirst II
  4. Metal Thirst III
  5. Metal Thirst IV
  6. Metal Thirst V
  7. Metal Thirst VI
  8. Metal Thirst VII
  9. Metal Thirst VIII
  10. Metal Thirst IX
  11. Metal Thirst X
  12. The Glass Ocean

conor-mulroy-1

2009 Acoustic

  1. Salinger Movement 1
  2. Salinger Movement 2
  3. Salinger Movement 3
  4. Sleeping Indian Part 1
  5. Sleeping Indian Part 2
  6. The Conductor’s Dispatch


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/Works and Scores

MLogo
Salinger (2009)…………………………………………………………………………..24′ – 30′
for mandolin, fiddle, steel-string guitar, and double bass (© Melmac Records)
The Sleeping Indian Part I (2009)…………………………………………………….…..….6′
for nylon-string guitar, fiddle, steel-string guitar, and double bass (© Melmac Records)
The Sleeping Indian part II (2009)………………………………………………..…..……14′
for nylon-string guitar (© Melmac Records)
The Absent Silence (2010)………………………………………………………..….……..14′
for electric guitar and effects
The Glass Ocean (2010)……………………………………………………………….……56′
for 10 electric guitars, 3 steel-string guitars, 3 nylon-string guitars, electric bass,
drum set, vibraphone, and percussion (© Melmac Records)
The Fringe Suite (premiered Feb. 8, 2011 at Corthell Hall, Gorham, Maine)…………40′- 60′
for soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, electric guitar, electric mandolin,
piano, double bass, and drum set
FoxFire (2012)…………………………………………………………………….……44′- 48′
for mandolin, fiddle, marimba, steel-string guitar,
and double bass (© Melmac Records)
The Unwinding Path (2012)………………………………………………………..………50′
for soprano, alto, and tenor vocals, guitars, mandolin, fiddle, percussion,
double bass, organ, and drum set (© Melmac Records)
The Czar’s Reign (2014)………….……………………………………………….….……18′
for chamber orchestra
1.1.1.1 – 1.0.0.0 – strings (10.8.6.4.2)
The Last Circus Act (2014)…………………………………………………….………….24′
for soprano and alto vocals, guitars, banjo, mandolin, percussion,
drum set, pedal steel, and effects (© Melmac Records)
The Stranded Aviator (2016)…………………………………………………….………..29′
for banjo, tenor guitar, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, cello,
steel-string guitar, and bodhran (© Melmac Records)
A Postcard from Finnegan’s Lane (2017)………………………………………..….……34′
for alto and tenor vocals, guitars, electric bass, percussion, drum set, pipe organ,
keyboards, and strings (© Melmac Records)
Piano Works (2017-2020)……………………………….…………………………….……48′
14 pieces for piano or a keyboard instrument
String Quartet No. 1 (2019)………………………………………………………..………12′
two movements for 2vn, va, vc
String Quartet No. 2 (2020)……………………………………………………..…………18′
three movements for 2vn, va, vc
The Ballybriar Heist (2019-2021)…………………………………………………………38′
five movements for symphony orchestra
2.2.2.1 – 4.2.2.1 timp.perc(2):clv. tub.b. – strings (14.12.10.8.6)
Ballybriar Heist Movement V (premiered Nov. 30, 2021 by Maestro………….….…..…12′
Wesley Broadnax and the UNC Wind Ensemble)
for ensemble
2.2.2.1 – 2.1(flg.).1.0 timp.perc(2):clv. tub. b. – pno. – db.
King’s Ravine (2017-2018)……………………………………………………………..…..8′
for 2 marimbas and vibraphone
Mystic River (2019)……………………………………………………………….…..……44′
for fiddle, silk and steel string-guitar, hammered dulcimer,
and cello (© Melmac Records)
Music for a September Session (2021)……………………………………………………46′
for fiddle, silk and steel string-guitar, hammered dulcimer, and cello
Echoes from a Fading Clocktower (2020)………………………………………..…..…..30′
for piano and electronics (© Melmac Records)
Obscured Constellations 2019-2021………………………………………………………205′
Phase I,III,IV, and V for piano, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, keyboards, electric guitar, cello, double bass, and electronics. Electronically realized and arranged.

/Videos





/Reviews

If you want to sit down and take in some really nice music, listen to The Last Circus Act by Conor Mulroy. The compositions are all his. They have an old feel, reminding me of songs by Townes Van Zandt – they’re full of feeling and observations of the heart. “Brown’s Island” is a notably lovely instrumental piece. “Norwegian Eyes” makes me think of the Moody Blues. “The Last Circus Act” is the most unique track. It feels other-worldly and mysterious – beautiful album.
– Kimmy Sophia Brown –
Together with artists who have played with Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and the Brian Blade Fellowship, Conor Mulroy pens a very personal and often intimate album. This serves as a great introduction to Mulroy’s song craft for me, as his very genuine brand of singer-songwriter sounds certainly left me intrigued and willing to explore further.
– Take Effect –
Through Echoes from a Fading Clocktower Conor Mulroy and Ella Feingold present very cinematic material to their listeners. Deep tracks and thick layers of ambient orchestration, hammered piano echo, and foggy drones surround the listener. A real treat for true ambient music fans.
– Nagamag.com –

Real life is unscripted. Why not music?
Loaf has a reply in 5 tracks: Slices from Acadia Smell it.
– Loaf –

The Battle for Ranked Choice Voting follows Maine’s story, drops in on cities like Memphis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Santa Fe that have adopted Ranked Choice Voting, and takes viewers on a whirlwind tour of non-plurality systems dominant throughout the world. Follow this citizen uprising to restore our failing democracy!
– RCV Website – produced and scored by Scotty Vercoe, with music from Conor Mulroy –

To record The Stranded Aviator Conor Mulroy and Jason Phelps collaborated for a remote recording session. In the middle of composing music for his master’s thesis in Maine, Conor was also working on arranging music for the acoustic group The Bee Eaters, with their instrumentation of cello, fiddle, and hammered dulcimer playing in his head. They had just relocated from Boston to the west coast, and Conor was worried he would never actually have a chance to record his compositions. Jason agreed to work on the project, and invested in a mobile recording setup, which they brought to a remote, off-the-grid gold-rush era cabin in Northern California. There they spent an incredible week remotely recording The Stranded Aviator. The record was then mastered next door by Pat Keane.
– Acadia Recording Studios –

The disc The Glass Ocean blew me away so I’m going out on a limb here because I think its that good! Accompanied by bassist Jordan Alegant and drummer Ches Smith, Conor Mulroy created this near 57 minute instrumental composition – The Glass Ocean. Like an ocean, this one continuous piece ebbs and flows melding introspective folk-like acoustic parts with searing electric passages that take on a metallic energy. As I listen I’m reminded of a variety of sources of musical inspiration, including Philip Glass. While this is not Mulroy’s first release it’s clear that he is a talent to be watched. I think you will find this mesmerizing. Highly recommended.
– Ken Golden, The Laser’s Edge –

On Salinger the playing is spotless; led by Mulroy on mandolin, nylon-string guitar, and piano, guitarist John McGann (so impressive as one of the Wayfaring Strangers), Crooked Still’s double bassist Corey DiMario, and Grand National Fiddle Champion Tristan Clarridge. They play well as an ensemble, and ensemble is what this is all about. There’s little in the way of solos or improvising here, the unaccompanied elements more like thoughtful cadenzas in nature rather than lengthy flights of fancy. Repeated listening reveals plenty of musical substance.
– David Royko Psy.D, Bluegrass Unlimited –

/Photo Gallery