Donna McKevitt (born 1970) is an English composer based in London. She studied viola with Gustav Clarkson and voice with Linda Hirst and gained a BA Hons in music at Kingston Polytechnic.
While touring and recording full-time Donna set some of Maya Angelou's poems for voice, trumpet and double bass and in 1993, after contributing to the soundtrack of Derek Jarman's last film Blue, she began work on Translucence. These settings of Jarman's poems were recorded for Warner Classics in 1997 by Andrew Keener and featured the voices of Michael Chance and Melanie Pappenheim. "A work of haunting and unpretentious beauty", 'Translucence' has been performed by the original ensemble at Columbia University (broadcast live on WNYC Radio), at The City of London Festival and at Tate Modern. 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 Michaelangelo sonnets for Michael Chance and lutist Nigel North, were commissioned and performed at The Radovljica Festival in Slovenia in 2000.
Donna is a member of the 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 Italian Vogue.
2010 saw the release of This is What I Wanted to Give You' a collaboration with The Cesarians' drummer and poet Jan Noble and the beginning of a new song cycle from McKevitt. A live preview of the forthcoming 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 trumpeter Lew Soloff and double bassist Francois Mouton in which she presented her settings of Maya Angelou's poetry as well as recordings of her work with Miranda Sex Garden, songs from Translucence and new tracks from McKevitt & Noble.
- Iris with Miranda Sex Garden, 1992, Mute Records
- Suspiria with Miranda Sex Garden, 1993, Mute Records
- Fairytales of Slavery with Miranda Sex Garden, 1993, Mute Records
- Second Light with Dreadzone, 1995, Virgin Records
- Earth Angel (single) with Dreadzone, 1997, Virgin Records
- Biological Radio with Dreadzone, 1997, Virgin Records
- Translucence Jarman/McKevitt, 1998, Warner Classics
- Translucence Jarman/McKevitt, 2004, Dharma Records
- This is what I wanted to give you (single) McKevitt & Noble, 2010, Not Your Average Type
- This is a Bucket (single) McKevitt & Noble, 2010, Not Your Average Type
- This is her... (single) McKevitt & Noble, 2011, Not Your Average Type
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