About Me

I'm a composer, developer and writer from Donegal, Ireland.

Some other facts about me: I have a PhD in music composition; I make iOS apps, games and websites; I run 5km almost every day; I own two cats; I love photography; I'm a classically-trained pianist; I'm teaching myself guitar; I've written and directed short films; one of my films premiered at a French film festival; my apps have been featured on the App Store.

You can reach me by email at stephenjdc@gmail.com. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram.

My Work

Below I've listed some of my notable projects, accomplishments and creations. It's not an exhaustive list, and there are probably some things I've forgotten entirely, but it covers a lot of the things I do. Articles I've written and other, smaller stuff goes in my blog instead of here. Finally, I've grouped a few different things under Noli Software Ltd, because I tend to think of those separate from my 'personal' projects.

Generally I only list completed projects, that is, ones that have shipped in some form or another. I've a lot of in-progress stuff at present too. I'm currently working on a game built in Unity, and about 20,000 words into my first novel. I'll update the timeline below as I've got more to share about those.

If you want to support my work, buying one of my apps is the best way! Or you can buy me a coffee if you'd prefer to just donate something directly.

 
2021
 
 
Fit500

Customisable Fitness Dashboards for iOS and macOS

November 2021·Currently Active
Information

Fit500 connects to the Apple Health and Apple Fitness apps, and allows you to create customisable fitness dashboards to track, summarise and compare your workouts. Use it to view things like your best 5K run, average swimming pace, or any workout info you like!

You can track any workouts that you've recorded using an Apple Watch, and choose which stats and figures you want to see. It's really useful for comparing one time period against another, or tracking progress towards a goal. It can also make nice shareable images of your stats!

It can access all your historical data, and there's a companion iPad and Mac app that lets you view your data on a bigger screen.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftSwiftUICore DataCloudKitUI DesignUX
Links
App StoreBlog Post
 
 
PageTurn

Hands-free page turning app for iOS and macOS

October 2021·Currently Active
Information

PageTurn lets you turn the pages of a PDF, hands-free, using facial gestures. Designed with musicians in mind, it uses facial recognition to keep your hands free while practising and performing.Announcing PageTurn, an app that lets you read PDFs and turn their pages hands-free, using facial gestures. It's targeted at musicians, and designed with them in mind. It'll work with any PDF, though, so is useful for any situation when hands-free navigation is needed.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
ARKitSwiftSwiftUIUIKitUI Design
Links
App StoreBlog Post
 
 
Report Manager

PowerBI report and embedded instance management

August 2021·Currently Active
Information

ReportManager is a custom solution for managing PowerBI Embedded instances. It transparently manages the power on/off of instances to minimise costs while allowing users to access at any time with no need to manually activate or deactivate instances.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
HTMLCSSJavaScriptPHPApacheMySQLPowerBIAzure
 
 
stephencoyle.net

The various iterations of this website over the years

April 2021·Currently Active
Information

Redesigning my site has become a sort of annual habit the past few years. I've gone through a few different ideas of how to organise it, which you can have a scroll through below.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
HTMLCSSJavaScriptPHPMySQL
 
 
Acacia

A repertoire tracking app for iOS and macOS

March 2021·Currently Active
Information

Acacia is the perfect way to keep track of the music you’re learning or teaching, and staying on top of your existing repertoire.

Create collections, pieces, and log your practice to build up to your musical goals. It’s ideal for learners, teachers, and professionals alike.

It’s tough knowing which piece to practice next; Acacia can help by organising pieces according to which one needs the most practice. It will also let you know if one piece in particular is getting neglected.

Acacia collections make for a useful teaching tool. Create a collection for each student, and monitor their progress through each lesson, making notes on what to work on next.

Collections are also perfect for creating set lists or concert programmes, and making sure each piece of music inside is up to scratch when performance time comes.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftSwiftUIUIKitCore DataCloudKitUI Design
Links
App Store
 
 
Ireland Vaccine Progress

Vaccine tracking Twitter account

March 2021·Currently Active
Information

This is a Twitter account that automatically tweets Ireland’s progress towards vaccinating its population.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
PythonHTMLCSSPHP
Links
Twitter
 
 
StreetSpace

Showcase website for the StreetSpace project

March 2021·Currently Active
Information

In collaboration with Nongraphic Studio, I developed a website for the StreetSpace Sailortown project. It implements a custom map view that allows the same areas of Sailortown to be viewed across different points in time.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
HTMLCSSJavaScriptPHPApacheMySQLJQueryLeaflet JS
Links
Website Homepage
2020
 
 
Nongraphic.studio

Design studio website

January 2020·Currently Active
Information

In collaboration with Nongraphic Studio, I developed their new website.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
CSSJavaScriptPHPApacheMySQL
Links
Website Homepage
2019
 
 
Budgel

Location-based social network

October 2019·Inactive
Information

Budgel was an experiment in bringing Message in a Bottle into the modern era. You could create audio, text, or photo messages, and leave them anywhere in the world for others to find. Go hunting for exciting, secret messages that have been left by other users, which could only be accessed when you get near.

In more remote places, or to get a bit more exposure, you could drop your message in Budgeltown instead - a special place where it would appear nearby for everyone in the world.

Dropping a bottle places it at your exact location. Its title would be visible to everyone, but in order for someone to open it - and access your audio, text, or photo message - they had to go to that exact place and collect it.

It was a fully-fledged social network. You could follow your friends or favourite creators, or just explore the world and see what you find. Its location-centric approach deliberately made it a slower-paced counterpoint to other social networks; viewing someone’s content required a little more effort than just tapping on it. It also allowed audio-only messages, which were then a rarity on social platforms. It was also free of third-party Google/Facebook/etc junk.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
UIKitAudioKitUXUI DesignMySQLPHPApacheMapKitREST APIRealtime NetworkingFFmpeg
 
 
Completed PhD

Improvisation and compressibility as complementary methods of generating and controlling musical material in notated composition

September 2014 - September 2019·Completed
Information

From 2014 to 2019 I completed a PhD in music composition, titled Improvisation and compressibility as complementary methods of generating and controlling musical material in notated composition. I was supervised by Professor Piers Hellawell and worked with a range of composers and performers over the course of this research. The research explored my own compositional practices, specifically formalising my use of improvisation as a method of generating musical material, and the development of a concept called compressibility which I use to migrate this material into completed compositions. I attended several festivals, residencies and concerts over the course of this, details of which can be viewed in my thesis attached below.

Skills and Technologies Used
ResearchWritingPianoSound Recording
Links
View thesis and compositions
2018
 
 
Noli Software Ltd

Software development studio

September 2018·Currently Active
Information

In 2018 my brother and I founded Noli Software Limited. We’re a software company that delivers a range of custom solutions for a variety of clients. We’ve built iOS apps, Android apps, websites and more.

I’m responsible for the day-to-day running of the company, and am our lead developer. I’ve created our iOS apps, designed our server architecture, web interfaces and APIs, while my brother is responsible for design, marketing and our Android development.

Our clients to date have included Culture Night Belfast, Belfast City Council, Letterkenny IT, Kaleidoscope NI and Belfast Maritime Mile.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
MySQLHTMLCSSJavaScriptSwiftSwiftUIUIKitREST APIClient-Server
Links
Noli Homepage
 
 
Podstand

Social podcast-sharing site

August 2018·Currently Active
Information

Podstand is a social podcast-sharing website. It's very simple; you can create a profile, upload your podcast subscriptions, and browse other people's subscriptions. It's a cool way to see what others are listening to, and to find some new podcasts to listen to. You can also browse by podcast, and see everyone who listens to a particular show.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
HTMLCSSJavaScriptPHPMySQLJavaScript
Links
Podstand Homepage
 
 
Spectralizer

Image filter app for iOS

April 2018·Inactive
Information

One Saturday night, I saw a beautiful sunset during a car journey, and did what I’ve done many times; I took out my phone, took a picture, and was disappointed with the results. Between the movement of the car, the lack of light, and the reflections on the car window, it was a blurry mess. The colours were very nice, though, which led me to this idea...

Spectralizer takes a horizontal or vertical row of pixels from an image, then stretches them to create a high-resolution image comprising the colour palette of the original image. Suddenly a blurry, disappointing image becomes an interesting, abstract image with the same colour tones as the source. I think they make really nice wallpapers, and just nice images to look at in general. It’s fun to see the patterns that come out.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKitUI Design
 
 
Tapt 2

A music game for iOS

January 2018·Currently Active
Information

Tapt 2 is the follow up to the original, with an all-new UI, and much improved user experience. Its most significant upgrade over the original, however, is its improved sound experience. It uses two-part harmony to create a much richer sound, that’s a lot more recognisable than the monophonic tunes of the first version.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKitAudioKit
Links
App Store
2017
 
 
Déjà

An iOS quiz game with a twist

September 2017·Inactive
Information

Déjà is a quiz game with a twist. The basic gist is that instead of answering the question you see on-screen, you have to answer the previous one. It’s a good memory challenge, and I hope strikes the fun-infuriating balance well. It’s also pretty hilarious to watch someone play it.

I’ve since taken this app down from the App Store; but it got many tens of thousands of downloads while it was active, and was featured in the App Store’s “New Games We Love” segment.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKitUI Design
 
 
Composer in Residence, Ulster Youth Choir

Acted as first composer in residence for the Ulster Youth Choir

June 2016 - June 2017·Concluded
Information

I was appointed as composer in residence for the Ulster Youth Choir. During this I wrote a composition, Darkly Bright that was premiered by the choir in their showcase concert in July 2016, and sung by their chamber choir the following autumn. I also took part in some workshops with the choir that were supervised by Dominic Peckham.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
CompositionTeaching
 
 
Wordflash

A word game for iOS

April 2017·Inactive
Information

I made WordFlash over a 24-hour period as an exercise in learning some new things. It’s a simple memory game, where you’re shown a list of words, then have to select the word that you didn’t see.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKitUI Design
 
 
Lady Death

A short film

January 2017·Completed
Information

A short film I worked on, as DoP, composer and editor.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
Sound RecordingVideographyVideo EditingColour Grading
2016
 
 
Speaker at Úll

Gave talk in the builders part of the conference

November 2016·Concluded
Information

In 2016 I gave a talk at Úll, in The Europe Hotel, Killarney. It was themed around the conceptual similarities between composing and programming.

Skills and Technologies Used
SpeakingProgramming
Links
Transcript of the talk
 
 
IConArts Composer in Residence

Residency and music premiere in Romania

July 2016·Completed
Information

I took part in the IConArts festival in Sibiu, Romania, in 2016. My piece, Two Unusual Stories, was premiered by the IConArts Percussion Ensemble and soprano Veronica Anusca.

Skills and Technologies Used
Composition
 
 
Tapt

A rhythm game for iOS

May 2016·Currently Active
Information

Tapt is a unique music rhythm game. You’re given the name of a song, and each time you tap, you hear the next note. The aim is to play the song with the correct rhythm.

The app can intelligently detect how accurately you’re playing the rhythm, and has a few clever tricks that allow it to judge accurately regardless of the overall tempo you play at.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKitAudioKit
 
 
Pi Zero Simpsons Shuffler

Press the yellow button, and it plays a random episode of The Simpsons

May 2016·Completed
Information

The Pi Zero Simpsons Shuffler is simple - you press the yellow button, and it plays a random episode of the Simpsons.

Check out the blog post below for information on how it's made.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
ProgrammingRaspberry Pi
Links
Blog PostMashableLifehackerHackaday
 
 
Colour

A simple iOS game

April 2016·Inactive
Information

This was an iOS app I developed over a few days as a learning experience, and specifically to get used to the process of publishing to the App Store ahead of my first major release, Tapt.

It’s a simple colour-matching game, where you have to tap on a dot when its colour is the same as the background colour.

Skills and Technologies Used
SwiftUIKit
 
 
Bogey

A short film

February 2016·Completed
Information

A small short film I wrote and directed.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
VideographyColour GradingComposition
2014
 
 
First There Are Whispers

A short film

February 2014·Completed
Information

I wrote, filmed and directed this short film in 2014. I also wrote the music and did the sound design for it. It premiered at the Aubagne International Film Festival in March 2014.

Media
 
Skills and Technologies Used
WritingVideographySound RecordingVideo EditingColour GradingSound DesignComposition
2013
 
 
MA in Music Composition

Graduated with Distinction from Queen's University, Belfast

September 2012 - September 2013·Completed
Information

I studied under Professor Piers Hellawell and Dr Simon Mawhinney for a master's degree in music composition. During this course I did modules in history as well as performance, and graduated with a distinction in 2013.

Skills and Technologies Used
CompositionWritingResearchPiano
 
 
Musical Theories

Video essays about music

August 2013·Ongoing
Information

I started this channel to host an array of video essays and thoughts about music. Videos are written and presented by Professor Piers Hellwell, and shot and edited by me.

Skills and Technologies Used
Video EditingSound Recording
Links
YouTube Channel
2012
 
 
BMus in Music

Graduated with 1st Class Honours from Queen's University, Belfast

September 2009 - July 2012·Completed
Information

From 2009 to 2012 I studied Music at Queen's University Belfast. I specialised in composition and piano performance, and graduated with first-class honours in 2012.

Skills and Technologies Used
ResearchWritingPianoComposition
 
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