Question of Taste: Tom Lane

Born in Bristol, Tom Lane is a composer based in Dublin who has been involved in regular projects at Cork Midsummer Festival. He speaks to Des O'Driscoll.
Question of Taste: Tom Lane
Tom Lane has created the soundscape for an audio walk at the Midsummer Moments festival in Cork.
Tom Lane has created the soundscape for an audio walk at the Midsummer Moments festival in Cork.

Born in Bristol, Tom Lane is a composer based in Dublin who has been involved in regular projects at Cork Midsummer Festival, including The House Trilogy of short opera shows at Cork Opera House.

For this year’s Midsummer Moments event, he has created a sound file for an audio walk that you listen to via your phone while on one of the city’s bridges. Tom has also been studying for a composition PhD at UCC. See corkmidsummer.com

Best recent book you’ve read:

I’m currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It’s a brilliant 19th century adventure novel set all across Europe with a wild and complicated plot.

Best recent film:

I really enjoyed Knives Out.

Best recent show or gig you’ve seen (in pre-Covid era):

I was lucky enough to catch Enter Achilles by DV8 Physical Theatre

in Berlin earlier this year, it was incredible.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

The aria ‘Ach Ich fühl’s’ from The Magic Flute by WA Mozart.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

The song cycle Winterreise by Franz Schubert.

What makes a good soundscape for a show?

Something which integrates music and sound seamlessly into one immersive experience. The sound also needs to work closely in partnership with all of the other elements in the piece.

Best soundscape you’ve ever experienced at a show?

The music and sound in the National Theatre’s production of Amadeus in 2018 was phenomenal. The music was played live by a full orchestra who were completely integrated into the stage action and the sound was perfectly balanced with the dialogue.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

My wife and I recently completed watching all seven seasons of Mad Men on Netflix, and we also love watching Gogglebox on Channel 4, and The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC One.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I’m a big fan of RTÉ Lyric FM and especially Mystery Train with John Kelly. I also listen to a lot of BBC Radio 4 and Deutschlandfunk Kultur from Germany.

You’re curating your dream festival – which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Pianist and composer Clara Schumann, composer W A Mozart, trumpeter and composer Miles Davis.

Your best celebrity encounter:

I once met actor Mischa Barton at a play in Dublin in 2012.

You can portal back to any cultural event or music era – where, when, and why?

I would love to have witnessed the notorious premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Paris in 1913.

You are king of the Irish arts world for a day – what’s your first

decree?

An increase in arts funding to at least the level of the EU average as recommended by the recent publication by the National Campaign for the Arts.

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