Fergus Kelly is a sound artist and improvising musician based in Dublin. He has been in numerous shows around Ireland, and has shown in Canada, America, Germany, Finland, Holland and England. He has done soundtracks for film and theatre and received many Arts Council awards.
Sound has been a constant element in his work, and has been used in a variety of contexts: tape/slide, performance, installation, soundworks for tape, CD, radio, and public spaces. His work was performed by The Manhattan Marimba Quartet in The Kitchen, New York, in 1991. Radio broadcasts include A.A.R.T., Dublin, 1994 and 1998, Hearing Is Believing, Liverpool, 1995, Horizontal Radio, Alberta 1995, Radio Gagarin, Hamburg, 1996, Resonance, London 1998, and Drift:Resonant Cities, Edinburgh, 2004.
Other highlights include showing in the European Workshop Ruhrgebeit in Recklinghausen, Germany in 1990 and 1991, and the Audio Visual Experimental Festival, in Arnhem, Holland in 1993 and 1995, participating in The Tuning Of The World conference in Banff, Canada in 1993, and performing in Six Weeks Of Sound and In The Eye OF The Ear II, both in Chicago in 1996. In 1997 and 1999 he performed in Dublin and Cork with UK sound sculptor Max Eastley.
He also showed in The Digital Hub’s Captured in Dublin in 2006 and performed in a duo with David Lacey in the Tulca performance festival in Galway in 2006, and in Volume 4 in Dublin in 2007. In 2007 he was selected joint winner with Ian McDonnell for electro-acoustic composition in Crash Ensemble’s Free State concert in Dublin. In 2009 he performed in London with Max Eastley and Mark Wastell.
He showed in Futuresonic in Manchester, also in 2007. In 2011 a soundwork was featured at the Alchemy Film Festival, in Hawick, Scottish Borders. A soundwork featured in Nowhere Island Radio, UK, and A Quiet Position, curated by Jez Riley French, as part of a broadcast during the AV Festival in London, in 2012.
Breathing Room, a sound/light installation was presented in The Goethe Institute in Dublin in 2012. A soundwork was featured in The Hilltown New Music Festival, Westmeath, in 2012. New soundworks were featured in Mayfest in London, Free State 7, Kilkenny Arts Festival and (H)ear Festival 3, Heerlen, Holland in 2013. He performed solo in Berlin in 2013, as part of the Functional Sounds conference.
In 2014, his soundwork, Concrete Sonorities was featured in the Urban Soundscape And Critical Citizenship conference in Limerick. It also featured in Invisible Places/Sounding Cities in Portugal in 2014, and in Radio Cona broadcast project, Ljubljiana, Slovenia in 2015, and Radiophrenia, UK, in 2015. A new piece, Tethered, was selected by Darren Copeland from New Adventures In Sound Art via a residency in University of Limerick, to be developed for performance on UL's SpADE surround sound system, and also for performance in Toronto later in 2015. This piece was also featured in Listen | Compose | Perform, an event in Dublin in 2016, curated by composer Karen Power. His work has also featured in various Radiophrenia broadcast events in recent years. He took part in Erstwhile label manager Jon Abbey's AMPLIFY/QUARANTINE online festival in 2020, as well as creating online work for Come Hell Or High Water series of live events on the Thames foreshore at Poplar, organised by Anne Bean, Hayley Newman, Harriet Latham and others.
Repetitive Strain Industries (Fergus Kelly, David Lacey & Jurgen Simpson) performed in Perspective 2000 in Belfast, and in the Infusion and Fix festivals in Limerick and Belfast in 2000. They also performed at Scoip 2001 in Tralee, and in Summer, in Dublin, in 2001.
Soundworks on CD include: GBH (1993), which appears on Random Access Soundworks, Pressure (1994), appears on Audio Artists Radio Transmissions. He appears in collaboration with Garrett Phelan and Carol McKeon on Soundworks III (1998). A solo CD, Invisible City (1999) was published by Project Press, as part of Project's Off Site series.
Recording under the name Reptitive Strain Industries, his work has been featured on compilations released through Charnel Music in San Francisco, Meeuw Muzak in Maastricht, and Staalplaat in Amsterdam. The album Nets In The Trawl was released by ND in Texas.
In 2005 he established a CDR label and website, Room Temperature, as an outlet for his solo and collaborative work, producing the CDs Unmoor (2005), Material Evidence (2006), Bevel (2006) (with David Lacey), A Host Of Particulars (2007), Strange Weather (2007) and Leaching The Pith (2008), Swarf (2009), Fugitive Pitch (2009) Long Range (2010), Unnatural Actuality (2014) and Quiet Forage (with David Lacey) (2015), Trembling Embers (2018), Gleaming Seams (2019) and Plundered Lumber (2020).
The album, A Congregation Of Vapours, was released to critical acclaim in 2012 on Dublin label Farpoint Recordings.
Two new albums were released in 2016: Neural Atlas (Stolen Mirror CD) and Shot To Shreds (Farpoint tape release).
The album Local Knowledge (Unfathomless CD) was released to critical acclaim in 2017.
A trio album with Max Eastley & Mark Wastell, The Map Is Not The Territory (Confront) was released to critical acclaim in 2019.