Danny Mulhern: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix


Here is something to brighten up your Monday, an eclectic assortment of tracks from British composer and musician Danny Mulhern. In the coming weeks he will release a new album on 1631 Recordings. Titled 'Reflections On A Dead Sea' the album sees him work alongside the London Contemporary Orchestra who have worked previously with the likes of Actress, Radiohead and many more. The album is an ethereal assortment of sounds and looped orchestration which is almost cinematic by nature. 

When we invited Danny to record a mix he indicated that he was not a DJ as such so what we have here is a rather brilliant playlist of tracks which have helped inspire and determine a path forwards. 

Listen and read the interview below: 

Recovery – Rival Consoles
CXCIV – Surrogate Sibling
Give Up The Ghost (Orchestral Variation) – Minor Victories
Sky Could Undress – Balmorhea
Mehr als alles andere – Bersarin Quartett
Nothing More True – John Metcalfe
À bout de souffle – Dictaphone
In The Hands Of Strangers – Danny Mulhern
They Leave Everything Behind – Jóhann Jóhannsson
The Distance Between Us (Nils Frahm Remix) – Codes In The Clouds, Nils Frahm
Pinemarten – Kiln
Them – Nils Frahm
Miss You – Trentemøller
Spiders (Finnebassen Remix) – Gundelach
Train To Montauk – Portico Quartet
In The Androgynous Dark (Nest Version) – Brambles
Abandoned Silence – Christopher Willits, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Neuland – Triola
Flametop Green – Daniel Lanois
Oculus – Luke Howard
And Still They Move – Colin Stetson, Sarah Neufeld
Round Midnight – Bugge Wesseltoft, Henrik Schwarz, Dan Berglund
Stimata II – Tim Hecker
Depth Perception – Danny Mulhern
Memorial to Hitchens – Oliver Coates
Awash – Hidden Rivers
Walzer für Robert – Anne Müller
2×5: II. Slow – Steve Reich
Stuntman – Edgar Froese

Please introduce yourself….

My name is Danny Mulhern.

Who are you? Where are you? What are you?

I’m a composer and musician based in London. I, mostly, work with small ensembles, mixing live instruments, synthesis and combining contemporary classical with electronic elements. I, also, write for film and TV.

Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us…

My Monday Mixtape is a collection of some of the pieces I’ve been listening to over the last couple of years that incorporate electronic elements.

If it were to be drawn what would it look like?

Some sci-fi concept art

If it were a food what would it be?

A hotel breakfast buffet. All ready to help yourself, possibly in the company of strangers. 

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

In the back of a driverless car on the way to Hong Kong airport (coming home). Early hours. Sleepy.

What should we be wearing?

Something collarless.

Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?

I’m not great with mornings, but don’t have a specific problem with Mondays. I like them actually.

Who got you hooked on electronic music?

The 80s. My brother. Growing up then, synths were everywhere. Mostly, pop was on my radar. Later I loved Vangelis. It’s so great to hear the CS80 so prominently again in the new Bladerunner score. 

I would be really excited to hear what Jóhann Jóhannsson had written for the film as well. I’d love to hear that one day. 

I like the TV show 'Stranger Things' because it reminds me of that time. Including the music. I included Edgar Froese’s Stuntman as the last track on this mixtape for the same reason. It’s also hopefully a good energising last track to get you into your Monday after the tranquility of the rest of the music. 

Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?

Just being alive is a constant influence. Remembering to stay connected to your emotions, to the ground and to what moves you. It’s so easy to rush around and forget that stuff. If I could do that consistently I’d consider it a satisfactory achievement. 

What were your original aspirations as  a musician and how do you think you're shaping up?

I’ve failed unspectacularly at my original aspirations. I wanted to be a lead guitarist in a band. I’m happy about the change, of course, though. Having said that, I’ve just had a beautiful guitar made and will definitely use it on my next record. I went to WOMAD earlier this year and it rekindled my interest in the African Soukous guitar style. I’ve been thinking for a long time that it would be interesting to incorporate that with orchestral and electronic elements. I have no idea how yet, but it’ll be fun trying.

Some self help questions for a Monday:
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that i have lined up for the week?

Yes. I’m rehearsing for my London show on November 14th at Archspace. 

Am I looking forward to engaging with the people i am meeting or working with?

Definitely. I’m working with an excellent cellist from the London Contemporary Orchestra. We’re gonna try out some improv techniques for the gig.

Am I going to my dream job?

Some days. Those are great days.

Am I being compensated fairly for the value i bring to my job?

Are you kidding? Absolutely f**king not!

Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?

That’s the plan. I’ll let you know when it works.

If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?

Am I allowed an animal? I’d like one of those lizards that grow their hands back when they get cut off. Assuming lizard hands are edible đŸ˜‰

Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?

Tennis (minimal effort – there are courts at the end of my street). After years of searching for enjoyable exercise, I found tennis and then busted my ankle after a couple of months of playing. If the doctor says I need to exercise at the moment I’d change my doctor.

If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?

I’d go back to last month and wear some proper f***ing tennis shoes.

What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?

I think it was the original Bladerunner score. I loved the Love Theme. A really excellent (and rare for that time) example of acoustic and electronic instruments combining beautifully.

How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?

Emotionally, and lazily.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First: Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. 
Last: Clear Language by Balmorhea

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

Getting stuff right for my gig on the November 14th at Archspace in London. Did I mention that already?

What's your answer to everything?

Yes, but….

Anything else we need to discuss?

I’m feeling energised, rested and confident now.
Oh, and I’m playing on November 14th at Archspace in London.

Buy the album HERE. London gig details HERE

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