Danny Mulhern is a British composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Reflections on a Dead Sea is the debut album that is out on November 10th via 1631 Recordings. It features London Contemporary Orchestra and cellist Oliver Coates.
Reflections on a Dead Sea is an augmented, evolved and extended version of a score composed by Mulhern for short film The Dead Sea, directed by Stuart Gatt. Danny explains, “The film is set in Lybia and tells the story of refugees detained while trying the flee to Italy. It was backed by the humanitarian NGO Medicins Sans Frontieres.
We discovered the sound that fitted the film best was extremely soft articulations, played so they were barely audible. It opened up a fascinating sound world that I felt could go beyond the film. The film didn’t actually require much music, but I had a longer studio session booked, so once we’d recorded my pre-composed cues, we used the rest of the morning developing this sound we’d found and improvising around the cues I wrote.
For the album sessions I had some pre-recorded piano improvisations, with instructions for each player to play over them within certain parameters (such as articulations, choosing notes from certain chords and never staying longer than a bar on any given note.) We could then home in on interesting sounds that were suggested with each take – a sort of controlled randomness. This way of working was an epiphany; it was really exciting to essentially hear new music coming out of the control room speakers for the first time. Every track has pre-composed elements and improv elements – it felt very alive and full of tensions and possibilities.”