Monday, May 1, 2023
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Now I’m this way
No one is to blame
I’m very happy to announce the resurrection of Lifetones; Charles Bullen’s short-lived but seminal project after This Heat. Charles and I have been discussing this concept since This Is Not This Heat drew to a close. We’ve since assembled a group of seasoned musical adepts and have meticulously arranged the recorded repertoire as well as some new music. Ticket links for Paris, Munch and London are all available on the venue websites and can be accessed via my linktree here. Lifetones is managed by IDA Projects, please forward any PR/booking enquiries here.
15th March - Bourse de Commerce, Paris
16th March - Bourse de Commerce, Paris
17th March - Haus der Kunst, Munich
18th March - Haus der Kunst, Munich (solo & talk)
15th April - Cafe Oto, London
16th April - Cafe Oto, London
Charles Bullen - Guitar / Voice
Daniel O’Sullivan - Guitar / Voice
Charles Stuart - Keys / Voice
Rose Keeler-Schaffeler - Viola / Voice
Caius Williams - Bass
Frank Byng - Drums
Please note, there will be more Lifetones performances beyond these initial dates so we ask you kindly to avoid unnecessary air travel
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Normal Service May Never Resume
He stood on the precipice of a new Mercury
A filmy liquid sphere
Unbound by immutable elements
Elements like will
A rose bloomed in ether
Cloaked in red
Curled in black
As far as the I could see
But underneath lay prophecy
He ligatured the years spent
And eternity earned
How strange it was
To be so loose and slippy in space
Once so defined
Now a trace
He would plunge into petals
Sloped and parched
For the slaking of a hard won newness
Aboard the mothership
He saw the life web voyager
In him self and in her self
In time was a slur
A bridge between stars
But who remains?
Did he ever even need the frame?
Standing guard for some flittering ill
Grasping the stem
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Dear world, here's the second in a series of LP's made for the KPM Music Library issued on vinyl by VHF Records. Fourth Density is out September 23rd 2021. Pre-order, sounds and semantic inquiry into the hermetic nature of library musick over here.
Also check out Ivy's trailer. 💙
Friday, July 23, 2021
Cafe Oto Residency
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Remain The Fool
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Don't Hang With Angels
Friday, October 2, 2020
DO'S /// Electric Māyā Tees
Friday, September 18, 2020
When I Miss This Is Not This Heat
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
The Colour Of Entropy (In Three Stages)
Pre-order and audio link HERE.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Ivy on the air
Monday, February 17, 2020
Musick For Ark Todd
Swarming Shapes: Musick For Ark Todd
By Daniel O’Sullivan
A: The Levitating Moon Piece
B: Black Egg / Orpheus
I wrote several pieces of music for Ian’s ‘Ark Todd’ static levitation performance over the years. Each setting provoked a different approach. The collaboration with Ulver at the Norwegian Opera house in Oslo was well documented but this particular version, composed for the exhibition of his Stab Wounds at the Horse Hospital gallery in Bloomsbury, has been resting dormant until now.
The second piece was a commission for The Place Theatre, also in Bloomsbury. An unfinished piece of choreography with dancer and vocalist Francois Testory. Like all of Ian’s work, this was a singular vision probing the human condition and meticulously scratching for truth under every surface.
Born in Cumbria, September 2nd, 1967, year of the goat, raised by his loving parents Herbert and Muriel Johnstone. He graduated in fine art at Middlesex university, where he cultivated Mr. Todd - a recurring performance motif hybridising the hunted fox, the poisoned seagull, the Edwardian philanthropist in Disneyland biting at the moon in perpetual levitation and static petrification. Partner of body artist Alan Oversby (Mr. Sebastian). Partner and muse of Geoff Rushton (Jjohn Balance). Made several costumes and artworks for Coil including Black Antlers, the Racing Green box and The Ape Of Naples. He performed live on stage with Mothlite and Ulver, the latter of which was a performance of Mr. Todd's levitation piece and The Leg Cutter at the Norwegian National Opera house. He was a radical permaculturalist, beekeeper and savant of medicinal plants. The main concern in his later years was Cantu Fermusu, Several acres of woodland in the Asturian mountains which he cultivated with Mikel Quirós. He was a master craftsman, discerning to the finest detail, humble and kind, self-critical and irreverent, in love with nature, at war with the patriarchy. A good animal, true to his animal instincts. He passed away under an Acer tree in Asturias, June 30th, 2015.
Order the book/tape here: strangeattractor.co.uk/shoppe/23-stab-wounds-julius-caesar/
Honour Wave in British Animation Awards
Friday, July 12, 2019
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Folly enters the atmosphere
THE TIMES “a warm and welcoming affair”
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Sutton House Residency
April 5th will also feature two artists from the O Genesis Recordings family, The Silver Field and Richard Youngs. Thighpaulsandra and Peter Broderick are my guests on the 6th. Peter plays a 'In A Landscape' by John Cage, Thighpaulsandra will perform solo music and then both will join the sextet to perform songs from my forthcoming solo LP, Folly. It's an intimate space and therefore seating is limited.
Under The Knife
Or listen on spotify and help me get my numbers up (how depressing). Incidentally, artwork is by the magnificent Ivy Wren O'Sullivan.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Daniel O'Sullivan has announced details of his new solo album, Folly, out on O Genesis Recordings on 5 April 2019 with the first track to be taken from the album, ‘Silhouette’: https://youtu.be/n1qau8VKN2w
Folly is O’Sullivan’s second album under his own name and embodies a confident, evolution from his acclaimed debut VELD (2017, O Genesis), an album which distilled the multiverse into a rich and complex soundworld; textured and allusive, alive with sonic diversions, hypnotic mantras and ornately arranged songcraft.
The release will coincide with a two-night residency for The New Arts & Music Programme at Sutton House, Hackney. Set in the Arts & Crafts era wing of this Tudor manor house, using its early 20th Century Steinway grand piano, Friday 5 April will see O’Sullivan performing songs from Folly with his ensemble, with special guests from the O Genesis family, Richard Youngs and The Silver Field, supporting. Saturday 6 April will include a solo performance from Thighpaulsandra, who recorded and mixed the album while Daniel performs songs with guest appearances by Peter Broderick and Thighpaulsandra among others.
Folly was written around the birth of his son Ari and the passing of his friend Ian Johnstone, and both events were significant in the album that followed. O’Sullivan explains, “Joy is inseparable from suffering and sometimes those polarities arrive at the same moment. Music offers a vessel to contain the unspeakable.”
This cycle of twelve songs deftly illustrates O'Sullivan's ascent as a unique and multidimensional songwriter. Moving from the familiar pantheon of experimental music and arriving upon a universal narrative probing the human condition from the inside out. Both lyrically and within the intricate lattice of arrangements, traditional forms are reshaped into transcendent pop symphonies. Both intimate and alien, archetypal and atypical, joyous and melancholic, the aperture of Folly is wide open and light streams in.
O’Sullivan explains the solo writing process, “Writing songs alone can take some time even if a song arrives fully formed in your mind. The execution of it involves long durations with each individual part of the arrangement until it reaches something concise. The song tells you what it needs and I try not to force ideas onto it.” and goes on to say, “These songs are outside in rather than inside out, there was always a latency between the birth of the song and my understanding of its purpose. Folly is looking at who is doing the shaping, most of these songs are about writing songs.”
Folly was recorded and mixed by Thighpaulsandra (Coil, Julian Cope Band, Spiritualized) at his Aeriel studio premises in Wales and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Written mostly in London, O’Sullivan explains the inspiration for the title, “There's a folly of a medieval abbey in these gardens that surround where I live. My family and I spend a lot of time roaming around there, amongst the frogs, foxes, mushrooms, owls, and the many strange "introduced" plants and trees. It was landscaped to be a rabbit hole sort of place.”
Daniel O’Sullivan is a composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist living and working in London and has been contributing a vibrant, chameleonic brew to the music landscape since the late 1990's. He has achieved international acclaim writing, recording and performing with Grumbling Fur (with longtime friend and collaborator Alexander Tucker), Ulver, Sunn O))), Guapo, Miracle, Æthenor and the recent reincarnation of This Heat in the form of This Is Not This Heat.
5 April – London, Sutton House – with Richard Youngs and The Silver Field
6 April – London, Sutton House – with Thighpaulsandra and Peter Broderick
Folly is released on O Genesis Recordings on 5 April 2019
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The Physic Garden
The Physic Garden was inspired by my favourite green spaces, from manicured gardens and follies to urban common land, overgrown and forgotten. The invitation to make "library music" initially transported me back to those sepia tinted memories of Arena documentaries and public information broadcasts; Penguin Cafe, Nyman and Greenaway; late night screenings of weird arthouse, sci-fi and B movies on Channel 4. You know when you’re eleven years old and suddenly you’re watching a Hal Hartley film or Fitzcarraldo or something. Other things like the rope swing over the brook in the local park and the strawberries climbing the trellis in my grandmother's garden. All these sights, sounds and smells coincide with the verdant swathe of vistas from recent times. Visiting bio-luminescent trees in the Peruvian Amazon, Watching my daughter scale the towering holly and juniper in the strange Victorian mews where we live. Sometimes a warm memory can be convalescent, particularly when it takes the shape of music.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
The 23 Stab Wounds of Julius Caesar
THE 23 STAB WOUNDS OF JULIUS CAESAR Artworks by Ian Johnstone, with a text by Geoff Cox, an afterword by Serena Korda and a 40 minute cassette of music composed for the original exhibition at the Horse Hospital by Daniel O’Sullivan (Ulver, Mothlite, Grumbling Fur).
Strange Attractor presents archival quality, large format, collectors’ hardback 240mm x 240mm, 72pp. Full colour throughout. £40.00 + p&P 300 copies only.
A series of 23 drawings by Ian Johnstone, in red ball point pen on melamine, originally exhibited at London’s Horse Hospital in November 2010. The drawings celebrate individual blood consciousness, the in-between and the constant state of becoming. They appear on blocks of unguessable purpose : pin-veined rough-cut blocks of whitewood. Displayed in the clutch of the screw’s harsh thrift.
The cloth is pulled away. The 23 wounds. Sphagia. Extispicy. Blood spidered and baked on fissured rocks. Lassos and bones and a tracework of bones. Flesh bared and pared and spindled open through a million pin pricks. Tiny and vertiginous, their lines cluster and tear themselves into liquid fold and tiny blots. The eye swoops like a raptor, bedazzled. Swims unfocused by infinitesimal mysteries. Tricked, beguiled, left rotting. Impossible amulets.
23 broken hawk beaks
23 rotted talons with their fringe of ant trail
23 fragments of a skull
23 curses hung round the neck of a scavenger wolf
23 bell shards tolled for the ghost of a headless ram
23 mourning scarves of ink-clotted lace
23 eggshells sticky with seed
Interred in the shadow of the tower of silence, beneath bird wing’ storm and acid hail, the fruiting body hardens. Takes shape.
Musick For Ark Todd By Daniel O’Sullivan
A: The Levitating Moon Piece
B: Black Egg / Orpheus
“I wrote several pieces of music for Ian’s ‘Ark Todd’ static levitation performance over the years. Each setting provoked a different approach. The collaboration with Ulver at the Norwegian Opera house in Oslo was well documented but this particular version, composed for the exhibition of his Stab Wounds at the Horse Hospital gallery in Bloomsbury, has been resting dormant until now. The second piece was a commission for The Place theatre, also in Bloomsbury. An unfinished piece of choreography with dancer and vocalist Francois Testory. Like all of Ian’s work, this was a singular vision probing the human condition and meticulously scratching for truth under every surface.”
‘Ian was artist of unimaginable talent and vision, articulated in his singular and exquisite aesthetic which was manifest in all he touched… he was charismatically irreverent, compelling to watch and to listen to and bottomlessly soulful.’ - The Horse Hospital
“This is a rare document of blood voiced signatures; weeping guilt details of all our conspiracies. Snatch it up. Let the words’ knifings and the split Biro capillaries own you. But never lend it out, or pocket it close to your heart, it’s too unforgiving.” - Brian Catling, author of The Vorrh
Saturday, December 9, 2017
MIRACLE /// TSOLIAD /// RELAPSE
The combination of warped synth pop and literary gothic has been attempted before and yet here Miracle have produced a sonic portal sounding like nothing else on planet earth. O’Sullivan cites Max Ernst, Cordwainer Smith, Kate Bush (specifically The Dreaming), Madame Blavatsky, Olaf Stapledon, Hildegard von Bingen, Roxy Music (specifically For Your Pleasure), Richard Wagner, James Joyce, the gnostic Nag Hammadi library, Alan Moore, J.G Ballard, The Upanishads, The Golden Bough, Henri Michaux, Dimethyltriptamine, Nicholas Roeg, Agatha Christie, Glenn Danzig, August Strindberg (specifically Inferno), Robert Graves (specifically The White Goddess), Austin Osman Spare, Madonna, Leonora Carrington, Robert Anton Wilson, Georges Bataille, Lao Tzu and Walt Disney as inspiration for the album.
Listen to THE PARSIFAL GATE.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
VELD on bandcamp
Thursday, July 27, 2017
A music video. Imitating the colloidal dispersion of nitrocellulose and camphor. Crafted by Michael James Lewis for swimmers and landlubbers. VELD is available now on O Genesis Recordings.
Oh and got some dates coming up...
29.07.17 – Irish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin ('Beneath The Rug The Plants Are Moving' with Mark Titchner and Stephen Dunne)
06.08.17 – Off Festival, Katowice, Poland (w/ This Is Not This Heat)
18.08.17 – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, Wales (w/ Grumbling Fur)
25.08.17 – Sea Change Festival, Totnes, Devon (w/ Grumbling Fur)
02.09.17 – Les Rendez-vous de l'Erdre, Nantes (w/ Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur TMO) 09.09.17 – Festival Number 6, Portmeirion (w/ Daniel O'Sullivan Sextet plays VELD and other popular favourites)
04.10.17 – Razzmatazz II, Barcelona (w/ This Is Not This Heat)
06.10.17 – Villamanuela Festival, Madrid (w/ This Is Not This Heat)
07.10.17 – Out Fest, Lisbon (w/ This Is Not This Heat)
October 10-20th – DOS presents The Honourable Daines Barrington EU tour (dates TBA)
12.11.17 – Sonic City curated by Thurston Moore, Kortijk, Belgium (w/ This Is Not This Heat) 19.11.17 – Audioscope Festival, Oxford (w/ Daniel O'Sullivan Sextet plays VELD and other unpopular favourites)
25.11.17 – Worm, Rotterdam (w/ Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur TMO)
Monday, May 8, 2017
Click HERE for tickets.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
My debut solo album VELD will be released by O Genesis Recordings on June 30th. It's available for preorder here. Assembled at Tower Gardens Road under sidereal supervision. Cover art by Mark Titchner. Cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering, Hammersmith. Some blurb from beyond...
Tim Burgess’ curated imprint O Genesis Recordings present VELD, a new solo album of luminous pop incantations, electroacoustic music and shimmering drones from composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan. Whether solo or in his varied collaborative projects, O’Sullivan’s work is remarkable in the way it infuses familiar everyday experience with traces of the uncanny, the secret and the magickal. VELD distils these tangled realities into a wonderfully rich and complex record — one of O’Sullivan’s most immediate and moving pop albums to date, yet one that's strikingly dense and allusive, alive with enticing sonic diversions, hypnotic mantras and eerie biomechanical rhythms.
VELD was written and recorded between 2010 and 2016 while O’Sullivan was living on Tower Gardens Road, during the same phase that also nurtured other collaborative projects including Grumbling Fur (with Alexander Tucker) and Laniakea (with Zu’s Massimo Pupillo). This was also the space where O’Sullivan assembled and arranged Ulver’s 12th studio album ATGCLVLSSCAP and the last two Æthenor LP’s (O’Sullivan’s “automatic composition” group with Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))) and Steve Noble). The house was a kind of parallel world, an oasis of the strange and the mystical in suburban North London belonging to Ian Johnstone (artist, permaculturalist and muse of the late Jhonn Balance of seminal English experimentalists Coil), who passed away in 2015. The album is dedicated to Ian and his home who, explains O’Sullivan, was a friend, inspiration and grounding space over the years.
Their influence has audibly seeped into O’Sullivan’s intuitive, exploratory approach to music. His varied work is united by a love of bricolage, a fascination for drawing sounds and ideas from across disciplines and aesthetic worlds into a shared orbit. Traces of his many projects all meet and mingle in VELD: from his solo music as Mothlite to the lysergic songcraft and space-time vortices of Grumbling Fur and Laniakea, the reality-distorting zones of Æthenor and Ulver, the electronic pop of Miracle (with Zombi synth maestro Steve Moore), and his recent involvement with another pioneering London group, This Is Not This Heat.
While distinctly a solo-led record, VELD is animated by the same roaming, impulsive compositional spirit as his collaborative work. While grounded in pop music — which O’Sullivan describes as the ideal vessel for channelling more celestial energies — its dreamlike soundworld draws inspiration from across both natural and human landscapes. Its influences range from Ray Bradbury (whose story ‘Veldt’ inspired the album’s title) and Gurdjieff to Borges and Anais Nin; St. John’s Wort and Psylocybin to Tottenham Cemetery and Streatham Common; Cocteau Twins and Judee Sill to Alice Coltrane and Tony Conrad.
Written during a time of great personal upheaval and growth, these are songs steeped in thoughts of change and growth: the joys, fears and strangeness of parenthood and family life, loss and grief, the passing of time. Yet they’re also inspired by the transformative, self-obliterating potential of sound and music — its ability, explains O’Sullivan, to weave together multiple voices, forms and aspects of the self into a unifying whole. So throughout you hear O’Sullivan’s voice merging and phasing with guest vocalists including Linn Carin Dirdal, Jael Reasoner and Astrud Steehouder, as the music surges from astral pop songs (‘Scorpio Rising Blues’, ‘Sabotage Devices’, ‘Luminous Fibres’) to dubbed-out electronics and burning feedback (‘Plutonians’, ‘The Projector’), fractal sound collage and spidery guitar pieces (‘Doe A Deer’, ‘Be Honour You’). The result is a record whose songs evoke multiple universes and other possible realities, making it O’Sullivan’s most unified and self-contained solo work to date.