The all-enticing Jennifer Walshe

Photo: Blackie Bouffant. Bluebell Woods, Knockvicar, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

“Without a doubt, hers is the most original compositional voice to emerge in Ireland in the last 20 years.”Michael Dervan, The Irish Times


Composer, performer, vocalist; Jennifer Walshe’s body of work is vast and impressive. She is never anything less than surprising, thought provoking and relentlessly imaginative, today being one of a great number of composers contributing to an explosion of new writing, pieces with a bold, subversive approach like that of XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, perhaps her best known work.



Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. Following her study of composition at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Kevin Volans in Dublin Walshe graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in June 2002. Since then she has been the recipient of endless awards, residencies and commissions, spanning both her composition and vocal work to an international broadcast.

The crux of much of Walshe’s work has an overarching structure of several sections, in which her voice is used in different ways, with different techniques in each part, but she is also the creator of a breadth of alter-egos and creative outlets. Irish Dada is her creation, as is the minimalist Dordán (Irish for drone) project, and so too the Breathnach archive (his name translates as ‘Kevin Walshe’) that Walshe inherited in buying a house in the west of Ireland. Walshe is responsible for so many manifestations occurring in her extraordinary music and performances, each meticulous practices that extend the creation of characters, voices, and events into dizzying bodies of work. The Grúpat collective, a fictional ensemble or “insurgency group” of alter egos that Walshe founded in 2007 to generate sound works, photography, self-built instruments and costume designs, serves as another example for Walshe’s enticing provocation, emphasising herself as an artist who delivers astute, sometimes savage observations on every day life, and who’s next move nobody can guess.

“Stepping away from her alter egos and into the day-to-day performance of everyday life, Walshe is a trim blonde woman of medium height; but in her work she shifts to a multiplicity of different forms: bearded drag queen, ukulele-playing chanteuse and neatly coiffed vamp.”- Musicworks


Make sure you catch her on the Saturday of Supersonic Festival 2018