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Myles O’Reilly | IMRO Creative Rooms

August 4, 2022

IMRO Creative Rooms is an online content series that invites artists to share an intimate insight into their creative process, by showing the spaces they create in.

Myles O’Reilly is a musician, composer, and filmmaker from Dublin. Since first lifting a camera in 2010, multitasking O’Reilly has filmed, directed and edited over 100 music video promos 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, Sinead O’Connor and Lisa Hannigan, alongside other international artists such as Hollywood soundtrack virtuoso Ernst Reijseger, Icelandic artists Soléy, Múm, and Amiina, US soul phenomenon Janelle Monae, and UK folk trio The Staves.

Early life as a working musician began for Myles in 2003 with the band Juno Falls. Signed for two albums by Sony UK and then V2 records, Juno Falls disbanded in 2010.

Ten years later and in a global pandemic lockdown, Myles returned to making music and has since composed, recorded, and released two minimal ambient albums, Cabin Light’s Off (2020) and My Mothers Star (2021), followed now by this new collection ambient folk songs titled ‘Cocooning Heart’:

How important is it for you to have a dedicated creative space?

It is so important that once I enter my creative space, that I leave the rest of the world behind. That feeling I get from going on holidays and forgetting about my life at home, my routines, the paths I walk, schedules, commitments, expectations, reminders… kicks in the second I enter my studio. Only in that headspace can I dedicate all my processing power to manifesting ideas. Creating something, from nothing. My brain needs to be empty and free of all the apps it has running to help me in day to day life. Managing a creative space that allows me to turn off those apps immediately, literally recharges and resets the energy I need to create. To try to seek inspiration and be creative in a setting full of distractions, is impossible, and if I try, my work, my pace and motivation will always suffer.

What makes this space work for you?

It’s out of the path of my routine life. My previous space was in The Back Loft Creative Hub off Thomas Street, and that had the same effect but in the pandemic lockdown of 2020 I discovered that my attic mezzanine floor, which was previously just a storage space also has a unique position in that it’s not in the path of my ‘functioning’ home. Despite living in a small terraced cottage, when I’m in my attic studio I can be up there all day without any interruption. The phone is turned off, and I don’t mean to be rude but when I’m in my flow any number of family or friends might call, stay for tea or lunch/dinner, and leave, never having known I was upstairs. My wife Aideen is very patient, she understands I’ll still pull my weight with household chores, just not while I’m in the studio.

In what way(s) does this space influence your output?

It speeds up my output, and means that my workflow moves at an uninterrupted pace. I can exercise that essential and delicate muscle called intuition. In creative editing or writing music compositions, I can quickly access an idea, even if it is incredibly vague, and capture its beginnings with all of my concentration. Sometimes it’s just an emotion I’m feeling. The emotion is the instruction. So I spend time with that feeling, and in a truly uninterrupted space, simply sitting with the images and notes that the feeling evokes, it doesn’t take long to know what to do next. So I create a space where ideas come and manifest in the same heartbeat. The space is a lake, thriving with fish, and I only ever have to cast my line a few times to get a bite.

What’s your favourite instrument/piece of kit? And why?

Short answer. My M1 Minimac. Up until a few years ago I used to argue that computers were never going to be of any use until they do what you want them to, as soon as you think of it. Now, apart from having to move my mouse and click through folders and menus, my computer doesn’t take any time to do what I need. It assists that precious uninterrupted flow I need to feel my way quickly and intuitively through a project.

What would make this space better for you?

There are no holes in my boat. It’s smooth sailing and every strap, screw, rope, hatch and mast is part of a tight ship. The only thing I could ask for is the impossible, that when I leave my studio I can step out onto a beach, somewhere in South East Asia, or West Cork. To be completely honest, that’s 100% the plan. I plan to grow old on a beach somewhere, as far away from reality as possible.


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