Dustin O’Halloran, Composer in Lion

Dustin O’Halloran began to teach himself piano at age 7 and soon after began to perform his own work, having been inspired by the sounds coming from the ballet lessons that his mother gave. Soon, the influence of the likes of Chopin, Arvo Pärt and Debussy was supplanted by a fondness for more esoteric acts – Cocteau Twins (whose Simon Raymonde would later sign him to his label, Bella Union), Gavin Bryars, Morton Feldman and Joy Division – and, by the time he was 19 or so, he was writing songs with Sara Lov, whom he met at Santa Monica College, where he was studying art. Together, the two formed the band Devics, whose hazy dream pop won them considerable plaudits. They went on to record five albums.

By the time their last release, Push The Heart, came out in 2006, O’Halloran already had two albums of solo piano pieces under his belt. The first of these attracted the attention of Sofia Coppola, who invited O’Halloran to contribute music to her award-winning film Marie Antoinette, bringing O’Halloran widespread recognition.

Since the release of Piano Solos Volumes 1 and 2 in 2004 and 2006, O’Halloran has gone on to score a number of films and TV shows. These include Drake Doremus’ Breathe In (starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones) and Like Crazy, which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, as well as the new sci-fi drama, Equals (starring Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce), which he scored in collaboration with Sascha Ring of Apparat. In 2015, O’Halloran scored the Indian drama Umrika – which won the Audience Award at Sundance, and gave him his first opportunity to compose for a full string orchestra – as well as the new comedy drama, Transparent, for which O’Halloran won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.

O’Halloran also released two further solo collections, including the live recording, Vorleben (2011), as well as winning further fans – and selling out prestigious seated theatres – with A Winged Victory For The Sullen, whose two albums (released by Erased Tapes in Europe and Kranky in the USA) showcase O’Halloran’s trademark, delicate melodies awash in his colleague Adam Wiltzie’s ambient atmospherics. Their most recent release – ATOMOS (2014) – emerged from an irresistible invitation to work with Wayne McGregor, the Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, and further emphasizes O’Halloran’s eagerness to explore new musical realms