Irish computer, producer, bassist, and electronic musician David Duffy centers his most recent single around the existential question “What is my relation to Self?” Aptly titled, “Self” is filled with textured electronic soundscapes which create a driving sense of urgency that is mirrored in the music video by dark and frenzied imagery.
David has a long history of multi-faceted work within the music industry. He has his own quartet, The David Duffy Quartet, and is a founder and creator in the duo Eat My Noise. As a bassist, he is a member of The Niall McCabe Band, The Hard Ground, K Quintet, and plays alongside Irish singer/songwriter Jack O’Rourke. As a composer, he has worked on scores for everything from documentary and film to contemporary dance and stage. He has produced work for RTE, The European Space Agency, Thales, MIP, TnaG, and many more.
As an electronic producer, David creates rich sonic landscapes, often comprised of tiny continuously evolving fragments that invite the listener on a journey through these spaces, where the rich density of fragmented sound meets to create a large cloudlike experience. He strives to combine the cerebral with the corporal, always rich in emotional content, while challenging the listener. This is achieved by combining a litany of heavily processed organic sounds from the double bass, voice, vintage upright pianos, saxophones, and guitars, enriched with synthesizer and a host of orchestral samples, in a sound world that questions what is real and what is computer-generated, continuously undulating from fully synthetic to acoustic.
For those who have not yet heard of David Duffy, “Self” serves as the perfect introduction to the unique electronic experience that he provides. It combines precisely what he strives for – the cerebral with the corporal – as the track is filled with real and synthetic sonic textures that draw listeners into a surprisingly introspective space that is entirely made up of vibrant and reverbing, sounds. Explaining the inspiration behind the track, David shares,
This track, from its opening guitar pattern and birth, had a sense of running, a sense of constant motion, that implied moving from a thing that you can never truly escape – yourself. This is something I have been exploring for five years, through therapy, psychdelics, and other means, and is a theme throughout this album: what is my relation to Self?
As the track develops, layers of bowed bass, detuned mandolins, pianos, and distant vocal samples add to the flow of movement. Every time a break seems close, the soundscape changes into a new section. This constant start and stop of motivation, energy, and desire, reflects the creative process that David goes through regularly. He translates that process into something which listeners can feel they are so near to – the ebb and flow is palpable through the sonic journey. There is an essence of urgency that permeates throughout the entire track, aided by the feeling of constant motion but lacking direction or an understanding of what you are running from. Then one day, you realize what you’ve been running from all along – yourself.
To get the full cinematic experience, be sure to watch the music video for this track as it adds strong imagery to these distant ideas. David enlisted the help of Indonesian filmmaker Doniirwan and further discusses the process,
I gave him two simple directions: the lead character should be running from himself and should always be moving. Doni went on to create a stunning video, across the rural Indonesian landscape. While this was not the original intention, this idea of masks, then of the plague doctor, came in. No doubt influenced by the current world events, it also has a lovely double-meaning, with a person running from the fear of the current situation and, like many of us, losing his mind a little in the process.