Some of Gerard's current projects are shown below. You can also read details of previous projects in the project archive.
Stand Up is Gerard's latest project.
Ten years in development Stand-Up is Gerard’s newest project. It is a combination of solo saxophone works and pieces for saxophone and electronics.
Every work is accessible and inclusive. The sublime beauty of atmospheric works such as Karen Tanaka’s Night Bird and Andy Scott’s My Mountain Top contrast with the freshness of Tony Davis’ dance inspired Iguacu, Come down and Dance. Gerard will also perform duos by Telemann and Ian Wilson using effects that have to be heard to be believed.
Virtuosic works by Paganini and Barry Cockroft include amazing techniques like circular breathing and slap-tongue. Multi-layered works, performed live, using a loop station complete this unique cutting edge project.
In 2013 Gerard was commissioned to write his first ever piece in a collaboration with Nobel winning poet Seamus Heaney and members of pop band Snow Patrol. Sadly, Seamus Heaney died three weeks before the concert. Gerard completed the work called "Mid-Term Break" and premiered it in Derry in 2014. To date over 500 people have heard the new piece.
In 2015 Gerard will premiere new works by Irish composers Ciaran Farrell and Stephen Gardner.
Over the past few years, Gerard has built up an exciting collaboration with Austrailian guitarist Craig Ogden. Together they have developed a programme of original music for this beautiful combination.
This new duo have given over 20 concerts in venues ranging from St David's Hall, Cardiff to the Sugar Club, Dublin. The BBC and RTE have broadcast several of their performances.
Their album pluckbow on Meridian Records, takes its name from Greg Caffrey's work of the same name which is featured on the CD. Other works on the album include funky, new crossover works by Ulrich Schultheiss, Andy Scott, Ciaran Farrell, Billy Cowie, Stuart Greenbaum and Ian Wilson.
Gerard McChrystal & Craig Ogden
The programme has music influenced by the dance rhythms of South American with works by Piazzolla, Celso Machado and Iain Ballamy. The composers may not all be familiar to you but the styles will be.
The Celtic inspired Shannon Suite by Ciarán Farrell contrasts with atmospheric pieces from Poland and Australia by Marek Pasieczny and Stuart Greenbaum.
Jazz inspired works by Andy Scott and Ulrich Schultheiss complete the programme. This programme has been previously performed at The Wigmore Hall, London and at the Sugar Club in Dublin.
View pluckblow for more sound samples.
The fourth and final movement, led by a momentous McChrystal, reflects on the dissolution of violent chaos into relief, culminating in a commanding coda of hope and peace. What follows is beyond words - "The Starlit Sky", a truly spectacular encore celebrating the "natural world" and "the beauty of life" with the prominence of Connolly's vocals, McChrystal's saxophone, the pipes and the choirs. Sights n Sounds