- Lucy Mulgan
- Born: 1971
Lucy Mulgan is a professional composer and bass player. Her music reflects a wide range of styles and her compositions range from full orchestral soundscapes through to funky jazz songs.
Lucy originally trained as a jazz bassist at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music. Graduating in 1992, she freelanced in Wellington as a bassist and composer. In 1996, she left New Zealand to pursue post-graduate studies in composition at the University of York, where she was awarded a PhD in 2004.
Lucy has remained in the UK and is currently based in London, where she continues to work as a bass player and composer.
Her most recent compositions include an original score for Beyond the Pink Curtain, an independent documentary on gay rights in Europe. The film has been shown at film festivals in Brussels, Lithuania and Serbia to critical acclaim and is due to be shown in London as part of Pride Week in July 2009. Lucy also arranged two carols for the 150-voice London Gay Men’s Chorus at their sell-out show at Cadogan Hall in December 2008 and recently received commissions from the Ground Bass Ensemble and West London Sinfonia.
Lucy’s composition lowlight for juice vocal ensemble has been performed over 20 times in the last three years throughout the UK and Europe. The Times newspaper described its recent 2009 performance at the Wigmore Hall in London as “a classy take on a jazz standard”.
In 2002, Lucy’s orchestral work Ruapehu was performed by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by James MacMillan, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Despite living overseas, Lucy has remained connected to the New Zealand music community both as an ambassador and participant. In 2003, she was a finalist in the Douglas Lilburn Prize with the NZSO. Her entry Cape Reinga received wide acclaim, described by the New Zealand Herald as “using delicate, otherworldly textures, tinctured with gleaming colours and bravely expressive glissandi”. It received its UK premiere with the Fulham Symphony Orchestra in 2008. Lucy has also been commissioned by Ethos, through Chamber Music New Zealand, as part of its 2004 nationwide tour.
Lucy is a founding member of the contemporary jazz improvisation ensemble, DOLLYman, which performs an all-original repertoire regularly across London – described by the UK’s Time Out magazine: ”A fractious Mingus-informed punky jazz quartet offers broken themes full of menace and mischief. Compellingly odd stew of sounds.” The group is due to release its first album later this year.
When Lucy was still based in New Zealand, she appeared regularly as a bass player, percussionist and composer with Saxcess throughout its Chamber Music New Zealand tours and also at the New Zealand Composing Womens’ Festivals (1993 & 1995) to great success. One of her compositions, Wrench!, was included in the SOUNZ educational resource Ears Wide Open in 2002.
Lucy’s other commissions and performances include: Hilliard Ensemble, Northern Sinfonia, Val Deakin Dance Company, New Zealand Fringe Festival 1996 and the University of York Jazz Orchestra where she was also Assistant Musical Director.
Lucy is also a member of the Academic Council of the Centre for New Zealand Studies based at the University of London.Source: Lucy Mulgan, June 2009