“Myles O’Reilly is a musician, composer and filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland. Since first lifting a camera in 2010, multi tasking O’Reilly has filmed, directed and edited over 100 music video promo’s and 20+ music documentaries of Irish musicians at home and abroad, some of which include Glen Hansard, Villagers, Imelda May, Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds…”
You can find out more about Myles O’Reilly here.
An extraordinary year in many ways. How did it affect you specifically?
I have a great love for music. I’m one of the lucky ones who has had music in my life from a very early age. My parents, of course, were obsessed, and there hasn’t been a minute of my life to date without music playing, or an earworm from the last song I just heard, still swimming in my mind. So I had spent all my teens and 20’s playing music, and then the last 10 years developing a skill as a music documentarian and music video filmmaker. That became quite a busy life for me. People would regularly ask me when I was going to play again, not film but play. I had no answer.
The music that I have been personally listening to for the last 5 years is minimal ambient. The likes of Brian Eno and Harold Budd would have led me that direction. I had absolutely no idea how they were making those sounds, so didn’t think there was even the slightest possibility I could play music like that myself. When Lockdown occurred, suddenly I had more time on my hands, lots more time. I googled ‘Moog Synthesizer’, and ten months later, I’ve recorded and released three ambient music albums. It has been a spectacular and all-encompassing metamorphosis back into the musician I was a decade ago. My dusty attic that was previously filled with boxes of crap, is now a sparkling clean home studio. Long may it stay that way.
What albums resonated this year? Can be old or new.
Minimal ambient records that came out this year were my drug of choice. Winged Victory for The Sullen, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Celer, Ian Hawgood and Chihie Hatakayama have all released very beautiful albums this year.
If you had to pick one album to sum up this year, what would it be?
The arrival of Jon Hopkins into the minimal ambient genre has been welcome. I mean, it’s not like he wasn’t there already. There’s plenty of tracks of his that steer away from the metronome and bliss out, but this year he went full ambo and released ‘Singing Bowl (Ascension)’, accompanied by a formidable playlist of his favourite ambient tracks called ‘Meditations’. It’s on all the time at the moment. On first listening, I was pretty surprised in fairness because there are tonnes of very obscure tracks from all kinds of artists, well known and not so well known, that I had also saved to my own playlist. Maybe he’s just a huge fan of my ambient playlist ‘Ambient Pharmacy / Nutritional Atmospheres‘ #plug
Are you working on any interesting projects?
Despite journeying into the weird and wonderful Narnia of minimal ambient music creation, I do still have my Patreon account, and a promise to my Patrons to make a music film once per month. Were it not for that practice, I might have stopped filming all together this year. I’m still immensely proud of my film works and finding musical subjects to film that I greatly admire. The most exciting project I have on the editing table is a documentary feature about the late great folk singer and political activist Liam Weldon. I started filming interviews and performances with musicians, friends and family of Liam back in 2019 and there’s still more planned but so far Radie Peat [Lankum], Damien Dempsy, Daoiri Farrell, Lisa O’Neill, Paddy Keenan and a dozen more musicians have given me the most beautiful performances in tribute to Liam. It’s going to be something I’ll be incredibly proud to finish and release. Hopefully by close of 2021.
Any hopes for next year?
2021 I hope will return to normal by the summer, well, relative normality but for me I think the major change will be the performance of my own music in a live setting, and taking that on the road somehow. There’s other ambient artists in Ireland, great ones, and I can’t help but think that 2021 is a year to focus all our efforts on bringing ambient music to a larger audience. I can help, through my camera and by planning to bring the community of ambo artists together in various forms, film/video, compilation releases and live events. There is definitely a keen audience out there, I can vouch for that. I think there’s a need to satisfy their hunger, and I’ve no problem helping in that area. I’ve been doing it for folk music enthusiasts for a decade now.