Stephen O’Malley: This Is How You Will Disappear
A musician, composer, curator, and visual artist who has conceptualized and participated in numerous drone and experimental projects for over two decades, Stephen O’Malley is best known for his work with SUNN O))), KTL, and Khanate. Wildly prolific, O’Malley’s oeuvre defines a breadth of multidisciplinary interests. His music is characterized by its physical extent, experimental approaches, and plasticity involving a deep commitment to valve amplification. His collaborations have included a wide range of experimental musicians and composers, including Scott Walker, choreographer Gisèle Vienne, the authors Dennis Cooper and Alan Moore, Alvin Lucier, Fujiko Nakaya, Jim Jarmusch, experimental music research centers IRCAM, INA-GRM (Paris), EMS (Stockholm) and many others. A tireless live performer who has toured extensively and has performed over 1000 events worldwide since 2000. His live performances feature a reverberating fog of electric guitar minimalism – sorcery that challenges the boundaries of space and time.
This is How You Will Disappear was originally created as a staged live performing arts piece created in collaboration with choreographer Gisèle Vienne, writer Dennis Cooper and musician Peter Rehberg between 2009-2010. The work premiered in July 2010 at the Avignon festival and toured between 2010-2015.
The original intensive and immersive music score for This is How You Will Disappear was composed and created by Stephen O’Malley & Peter Rehberg in collaboration with many players/musicians and was recorded and produced in Tokyo, Seattle, Austria, Bretagne, and other places. The piece utilized a vast multichannel spatialization setup incorporating IRCAM SPAT technology for the first time for the DACM company and composers. It was performed as a live mix/diffusion by O’Malley and Rehberg. The expansion of the spatialized sound diffusion possibilities marked a turning point in the extent of the music presented in O’Malley and Rehberg’s music for dance, theatre, and spectacle vivant. The duo would continue working with these multichannel tools for the subsequent original scores for Vienne’s pieces.
After Peter Rehberg’s death in August 2021, O’Malley was tasked with recreating the technical performance aspect of the extensive score. To preserve Rehberg’s music’s legacy and integrity and rebuild the ability to perform the entire score in the performance alone, and maintain the possibility to continue to perform it in the future as a multichannel tape piece. As part of this process, O’Malley worked on the production system in the multichannel studios at INAgrm in Paris, Music Unit with Manuel Poletti in Montrieul, La Becque in La-Tour-de-Pielz, and at Cinema Bellevaux, Lausanne.
Now, for the United States premiere, and with the cooperation of Rehberg’s family & the DACM company, Stephen O’Malley will present the multichannel score of This is How You Will Disappear as a stand-alone intensive listening experience.
Photo credits: Estelle Hanania, Phillipe Levy, and David Douglas