Muldowney, Dominic (John)
- Andrew Burn
(b Southampton, July 19, 1952). English composer. He studied with Harvey at Southampton University, privately with Birtwistle, and with Rands and Blake at the University of York (1970–74). From 1974 to 1976 he was Southern Arts composer-in-residence and in 1976 he was appointed assistant music director of the Royal National Theatre (director, 1981–97).
In Muldowney's earlier works, for example the Piano Trio (1980), angular melodies and dissonant harmony predominate. However, his experience of working with actors, communicating directly to audiences, and, most importantly, absorbing the theatrical ideals of Brecht, created a desire to forge a more direct language. Three Brecht settings chart this progress: Five Theatre Poems (1980–81), In Dark Times (1981), and his first mature work The Duration of Exile (1983). The Brechtian influence is evident in particular in the syllabic setting of words emphasizing their natural rhythms, and the avoidance of word-painting and melismas....