Donna Mckevitt

Composer | London | Pilot

After contributing to the soundtrack of Derek Jarman’s last film ‘Blue’, Donna began work on the song cycle ‘Translucence’. These settings of Jarman’s poems were recorded for Warner Classics by Andrew Keener and featured the voices of Michael Chance and Melanie Pappenheim.This critically acclaimed work was Donna’s opus 1 and was record of the month in Gramophone Magazine. It has been performed by the original ensemble and with violist Roger Chase at Columbia University (broadcast live on WNYC Radio), at The City of London Festival and at Tate Britain. It has also been performed at The Edinburgh Festival and in Boston, Tokyo, Sydney and Zurich by other ensembles. In 2000 Donna moved to Sarajevo where she continued writing, producing settings of poetry by Paul Celan, e.e cummings, Ben Okri and later, in collaboration with film maker Chris Briggs, work by Pablo Neruda. ‘Love Songs for Michael’, the settings of three Michelangelo sonnets for Michael Chance and lutist Nigel North, were commissioned and performed at The Radovljica Festival in Slovenia in 2000. She is currently enlarging this work to a full song cycle called ‘Michelangelo Made This’ for mezzo soprano, violin, viola, cello and oud which will be produced again by Andrew Keener in December this year. Donna is a member of the Parisian band The Mabuses and composer for the photographer. Emma Summerton contributing film scores and soundtracks for the fashion house Bodyamr, London and Paris Fashion Week, Jaeger and Vogue. 2010 saw the release of ‘This is what I wanted to give you’ a collaboration with poet Jan Noble and the beginning of a new song cycle from McKevitt.A live preview of the debut album from ‘McKevitt & Noble’, showcased at the East End Film Festival in May 2011, was McKevitt’s first live performance in nearly 10 years.A one hour retrospective of her work broadcast on WNYC in December 2011 included a live studio session with trumpet player Lew Soloff and double bass player Francois Moutin of her settings of Maya Angelou’s poems. Donna’s dance work includes a collaboration with Rosemary Butcher for her work ‘Unbroken View’ and more recently ‘Compass’ a work commissioned by Sadler’s Wells which was performed on the main stage in April 2012. For this, Donna produced music for the Sadler’s Wells Company of Elders and a group of dancers with learning disabilities collaborating with members of The Jasmin Vardimon Company and The Sidi Larbi Company. In 2013 Donna completed a film score for the ‘The Fold’, this also involved writing incidental music for a Polish folk group, sea shanty singers, a cathedral choir and solo violin.This was her first full-length feature since working onThe Child,a short for the BBC. Her EP ‘Cut’: six pieces for voice and orchestra was released this year and she has just been commissioned to write the score for John Stanley’s epic six part music documentary series ‘Time of our Lives’. Donna is currently working on a chamber opera with Jan Noble and a dance installation based on X.J. Kennedy’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ with choreographer Michela Meazza and Myriam Blundell.