Notes from The Sound

Music

I grew up Ballyfermot in Dublin, immersed in Irish folk music and song. I’ve been touring and recording as a musician, singer, and song-writer for about 20 years.

Way back in January 2018 I began recording a new album. Ryan Davidson drove up to Seattle from California, with his big double bass tucked into a touring van. Matt Jerrell took time out between working with injured veterans to set up his drum kit in my basement. Colleen Raney tried her best to make it, but a North Eastern blizzard kept her snowbound in Maine, where she worked anyway.

Over 3 recording sessions, spanning 18 months, with steaming coffees and milky hot chocolates, we made music. It was Time Again.

All together, we made 11 tracks. There are Irish folk songs, old (as the ditch) and new, that I've been singing and playing and putting a spin on for a long time. There are 6 songs of my own, written in English and Irish. There's a country song. There are two sets of tunes. There's heart break, and heart ache, and hope, and joy and promise. 

But you don’t have to wait until 2020 to hear it! You can pre-order the album today, and I’ll send you a download link for a new track from the album every month.

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Tech

I’ve been working on technology and policy since the late 90’s. My passion is Internet-scale systems. I’m a member of the Apache Software Foundation and one of the core contributors, as well as a former release manager, of the Apache Web Server.

I’ve worked at Amazon Web Services since 2008 where I’ve helped build and run Amazon CloudFront, Route 53, ELB, HyperPlane, EC2, and more to come. I’m also the main author of Amazon s2n, our open source implementation of the TLS/SSL cryptography protocols.

On the Policy side, I’m a founding director of Digital Rights Ireland, an organization that defends technology and civil rights in Ireland. I’m a 5-time elections monitor, and co-founded “Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting”, a lobbying group that worked hard to successfully remove insecure e-voting from Irish elections.

After a very long pause, I’m restarting my blog. Expect essays on how we build some of the big distributed systems that power the internet, or about the nitty-gritty details of cryptography. I’ll link too to talks that I give, podcasts I appear on, and anything else that seems relevant!

There’ll also be some photos from my travels, and anything else that feels right, because why not!