Patrick stefan appointed as Musician-in-Residence by Music Network and St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre in Listowel

Patrick stefan appointed as Musician-in-Residence by Music Network and St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre in Listowel
In partnership with St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre in Listowel we are delighted to announce Patrick stefan as Musician-in-Residence for our first ever residency specifically for a professional musician who is autistic/person with autism.

Throughout his residency Patrick will develop work inspired by bird song in Listowel in collaboration with a local poet. He plans to record and study local birdlife to identify their patterns and sounds while learning about the historical folklore associated with native birds.

Patrick will also engage with the community, working alongside facilitator and musician Tommy Hayes to deliver a programme of inclusive music activities, and new music created will be performed in concert by Patrick and his band at St. John's Theatre at the end of the residency this October.

Speaking about the appointment Patrick said: “I'm excited to lead this residency that allows me to share my interest in connecting bird song to music - through my own music and in working with the autistic community, leading explorative sessions. Birds are fascinating, elusive and omnipresent, offering a sense of security, connection to our past and even creative inspiration if we pause to listen.”

This opportunity was developed in recognition of the fact that professional musicians who are autistic/people with autism face barriers to career progression that others may not. The main purpose of the residency is to provide time and space for the Musician-in-Residence to grow creatively, while also supporting Listowel’s journey to become an Autism Friendly Town.

Through this opportunity Music Network and St. John’s Theatre are seeking to create the conditions to influence social change in the music sector in general and hope to gain knowledge on how autistic people/people with autism can be better included and facilitated both in their own programmes and in the wider sector, whether in performance or educational environments.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said: “We are delighted to partner with St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre to offer this new residency and support Patrick in the development of his work and creative practice. We also see this as a valuable opportunity to learn from him as he spends time at the venue as Musician-in-Residence, and hope that musicians and other creatives in the area who are autistic will connect with the project and explore the potential to participate in music or other arts activities at St. John’s too.”

Artistic Director of St. John's Theatre Máire Logue said " We are excited to welcome Patrick to St. John’s as Musician-in-Residence. We are committed to supporting our community on its journey towards becoming an Autism Friendly Town. Together with Patrick through this residency we plan to make St. John’s Theatre a hub for conversations around the supports and changes required to make venues more accessible and welcoming for those on the autism spectrum and will endeavour to implement change and invest in supports that make our space more inclusive in the future.”

Patrick will commence his residency today, 1 July, and it will run for a 4 month period until October 2024. The opportunity will provide him with an €8,000 bursary as well as dedicated space and time to develop his creative practice and create new work.

Patrick and the teams at Music Network and St. John’s Theatre will work closely with Listowel Autism Friendly Town committee with the aim of making St. John’s Theatre a welcoming and accessible space for all those with neurodivergence who visit and use it.

More about Patrick stefan

With entrancing folk songs that blend old with new accompanied by deft guitar playing & delivered with a delicate strength, Irish singer-songwriter Patrick stefan is described as the ‘voice of James Blake meets the guitar playing of Nick Drake’.

The son of a Dutch songwriter, Patrick - himself an award-winning songwriter - recently released his debut album Wayfare, an alt-indie-folk document of Patrick's nautical ancestry and of his own weaving travels from Scandinavia, Brazil, to west Africa and back home, his songs voyaging through time and cultures, speaking to the intimate and profound.

In 2024 Patrick has performed at Folk Alliance USA and Your Roots are Showing showcases and for Whelan’s Ones to Watch, and is fast becoming a must-see live act that captivates audiences with his hypnotic intensity and folk charm.

A former Fulbright scholar, Patrick followed the path of his father’s folk-singing footsteps after an array of collaborations with artists like Niwel Tsumbu, Rhiannon Giddens, Martin Hayes (with award-winning instrumental group Ensemble Ériu) & Eurovision winner Luisa Sobral.

Patrick is an Irish Arts Council Next Generation awardee, winner of the inaugural Night & Day festival song competition with the song Head Voices and an ISC songwriting semi-finalist. Patrick is endorsed by Tanglewood Guitars.

Find out more about Patrick stefan.

Music Network is funded by the Arts Council. St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre is funded by the Arts Council and Kerry County Council Arts Office. With thanks to AsIAm and Cork Opera House for their invaluable advice and support in relation to the planning of this residency.