A Question of Taste: Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis lives in Dublin and is artistic director of Crash Ensemble. The new music group play at a number of events at Clonmel Junction Festival over the next few days.

Best recent book you’ve read: 

At the moment the best books I’m reading are children’s bedtime stories. We’re currently reading the Alfie short stories by Shirley Hughes, alongside Hans and Matilda by Yoko Shima, and Shh! We Have A Plan by Chris Haughton.

Best recent film:

The last film I saw was a pretty strange film from the 1930’s shot in Ireland called Some Say Chance. Myself and the very talented bass player Caimin Gilmore were scoring music to the film as part of the Carlow Arts Festival.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig you’ve seen… and what you enjoyed about it:

I went to see a pretty good art exhibition at my nephew’s school recently. It was actually amazing to see such imagination and talent.

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

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix recently. The small person in our house seems to very much like the electric guitar.

Money is no object — what instrument would you buy, and why?

I would buy a Steinway Grand piano and build a venue in Dublin to house it. Actually, many pianos and many venues. Gig venues in Dublin with a good piano are few and far between.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you:

I vividly remember watching The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Even though I was a teenager at the time the imagery from the film has always been clear in my mind.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I don’t have a TV at home but like to get stuck into box sets. I’m about to watch the last episode of the BBC/RTÉ series Paula and have been intermittently watching The Detour, American Gods and Orphan Black.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I’m working my way through the Q2 podcast Meet the Composer.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill?

Bach, Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

I would like to portal forward (for just for a few hours) to the next century and see where things have progressed.

Unsung hero — individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

People working behind the scenes in charitable organisations.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

My first decree would be to add an extra day to the week. A second Sunday would be the best!


I am dating a lovely guy. However, he seems really awkward about being naked in front of me.Sex File: Boyfriend keeps his T-shirt on during sex

To instantly power up your look, veer towards the hard shoulder.Bold shoulder: How to instantly power up your look

Plums are a wonderful autumn fruit, useful for all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. In Ireland we are blessed with wonderfully sweet plums.Currabinny Cooks: Juicy plums work for both sweet and savoury dishes

The rise of home skincare devices doesn't mean that salons and clinics no longer serve a purpose.The Skin Nerd: Don’t try this at home — new treatments in the salon

More From The Irish Examiner