Instant Orchestra with Nico Brown
I heard Nico and Martin for the first time this year and within one hour I had them booked for Ruaille Buaille '17. They are amazing and what they produce in their 45 minute workshop is quite incredible and yet fun!
Caroline Wynne, Festival Director
Nico Brown and Martin Brunsden tour Ireland and abroad, making music with children and their families. Playful imagination, unusual instruments and a little bit of chaos are the hallmarks of our shows, in which everyone has the chance to participate.
Born in 1957, Nico Brown was brought up in London where his primary school music teacher was Ivor Cutler (Buster Bloodvessel on The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.) After working on North Sea trawlers, adventure playgrounds and as a coffee delivery driver he turned to music and theatre. He took a degree in French, married, and moved to Ireland in 1990. He has written, composed, performed and directed for many theatre companies including The Young National Trust, Wet Paint, Storytellers, The Abbey and Macnas.
Musician-in-residence at The Ark, Dublin, from 1995-2000, he has always specialised in music for children and families, appearing in ‘The Morbegs’ and ‘The Art Factory’ for RTE, regularly running workshops at the National Concert Hall, touring Irish and international festivals, composing for film and theatre and working in diverse contexts including health and mentoring other musicians who wish to work for families and children.
A multi-instrumentalist, he has played sessions for film, including Mike Leigh’s ‘High Hopes’, and for artists ranging from Dustin the Turkey to PJ Harvey.
He has two daughters and a grandchild and lives in Beara, Co. Cork. In partnership with double-bassist Martin Brunsden, he also performs participatory concerts of original songs and musical activities for families, and ‘Instant Orchestra’, which they have toured to most Irish children’s festivals.
They have undertaken many schools tours where their flexible approach is valued as complementary to the music curriculum.
They have toured in Australia three times, twice with assistance from Culture Ireland. A creative producing relationship with ArtPlay, Melbourne has seen them playing there, at the Melbourne Arts Centre, at the Out Of The Box festival in Brisbane and at the Come Out festival, Adelaide as well as at Womadelaide.
A connection with Music Outback Foundation has seen them touring to remote bush schools and developing new work at ArtPlay in partnership with indigenous musicians and dancers including Shellie Morris and Wayne Thorpe.
Martin plays double bass and singing saw and has worked with literally hundreds of musicians, bands, artists, poets and theatre companies. He appears on over 200 recordings, has travelled the world extensively and is presently living on the majestic North-west coast of Ireland with his family of children, instruments and vegetables.
The last ten years have seen constant touring, numerous performances of interactive musical shows for children at the Ark in Dublin, a residency at Artplay in Melbourne, Australia, many media appearances including The Late Late Show and a steadily growing reputation as an accompanist to some of the cream of Irish and International musicians.
Current and recent projects include engagements with: • Nico Brown • Liam Ó Maonlaí • Hothouse Flowers • P.J.Harvey • Sinéad O' Connor • Baaba Maal • Toumani Diabate • Kíla • Solas • Pentangle.