Kate Ellis is cellist and Artistic Director of Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading new music group.

A versatile musician dedicated to the performance and exploration of all new music, she has performed at venues worldwide, from New York to Shanghai, and collaborated with, commissioned, premiered and recorded works by numerous Irish and International composers.

On Saturday 10th February, Kate will be one of the special guests performing with composer/cellist Rubin Kodheli, a celebrated, versatile, genre-transcending creative rebel, at this year's SPIKE Dublin Alternative Cello Festival - more details here.

Film

I haven't watched a film in a long time but I hear the new Star Wars extravaganza is pretty spectacular! 

Music

I've been away for a good few weeks and have been working my way through my Dad's extensive vinyl collection. He has really eclectic taste in music and has been pulling out some old gems for me to listen to. Deep Purple In Japan, Soft Machine Volume 1, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Eddie Condon and his All Stars, to name but a few. 

Book

The current favourite reading materials in our house are the Mr. Men and Little Miss libraries. We were lucky enough to find the (very nearly) complete set of books in our local Oxfam shop on Frances Street last year and have been working our way through ever since. 

Play

I haven't been to a play as an audience member in an extremely long time BUT I do have tickets to see Sive at the Gaiety this month, and I'm really quite excited about it. 

TV

I've started re-watching The Wire this month. I didn't manage to finish the last season and I'm determined this time to see it through to the end. 

Concert

The last gig I went to was the crazy duo of flautist Lina Andonovska and drummer Matthew Jacobson at the Grand Social just before the end of last year. They played some brilliant new music by Irish composers. Upcoming gigs for me are the 21st Century Song project at the National Concert Hall on the 3rd of February with Crash Ensemble, Paul Noonan and Lisa Hannigan and a whole host of other songwriting magicians and then onto the SPIKE festival of all things cello the following weekend, 9-11 February.

Art 

I've been looking at a lot of video work by visual artists recently as we at Crash Ensemble have been looking for artists to make work for recordings we are releasing. 

Radio/Podcast

WQXR Q2 Music's Meet The Composer is my latest podcast. I tend to dip in and out of podcasts but this one suits my attention span with a perfect mix of music and chat from its fabulous host, Nadia Sirota. 

Tech 

Google Translate! The Google app that allows you to scan text and then isolate which part of the text you would like translated. I'm learning a monumental piece of music called Vortex Temporum by the French spectral composer Gérard Grisey at the moment. The music arrived in the post and was covered in very complex instructions on how to play the piece, all written in French. Google Translate saved the day...

The Next Big Thing...

My next big thing would be to campaign for an extra day in the week. Also, to alter the seasons. I get very confused seeing daffodils in January. 

Find out more about the SPIKE Dublin Alternative Cello Festival here.