SUFI IN THE CITY
Damien is a vocalist, songwriter, percussionist and producer based in Manchester with a passion for community and collaborative projects.
He performs and releases music with Caulbearers, a Manchester-based collective who weave together elements of hip-hop, funk, dub, soul and jazz around Mahoney’s ‘bittersweet songs of the self, soul and society’. The band have enjoyed airplay, press and many plaudits across the UK & internationally for their music and videos.
Contributors have played with acts such as Cinematic Orchestra, The Breath, GoGo Penguin, Homelife, The Earlies & Cherry Ghost & Beats & Pieces Big Band.
Damien is the founder and curator of Music As Medicine, a live music event aiming to bring communities together through music & dancing, drawing on world influences and encouraging collaboration and improvisation between artists.
Passionate about the beneficial potential and power of sound, Damien regularly provides live music for therapeutic events including meditation, dance, breathwork and yoga
sessions, retreats and ceremonies. This work includes the live
improvisation trio, The Order Of Love.
Damien is a trained Natural Voice Practitioner and has facilitated communal singing groups in a variety of scenarios, from his regular ‘Soul Sounds’ sessions and nature retreats to specialised work with lung health patients, NHS staff, social workers and prison inmates. He recently worked alongside music therapist & creative director Phoene Cave to develop and deliver a voice, breath, movement and therapeutic songwriting programme for Hospice staff in Manchester.
Damien collaborated with the artist Helen Knowles for ‘Trickle Down, A new Vertical Sovereignty’ a soundscape and video installation which explores value systems and wealth disparity. This is an international piece of work, first shown in London in Jan 2020. For this he created original voice-based sound recordings via workshops with male prisoners in Liverpool, UK and members of the public at ZKM centre for art & media in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Other notable collaborations include work with musical director, Sarah Sayeed, performing together at BBC Radio 3’s Season Launch in Autumn 2017 at Broadcasting House, London. Additional gigs included the BBC / Hull City Of Culture’s ‘Contains Strong Language’ event and Nottingham Mela, with accompaniment on tabla, guitar and voice. Damien recorded and produced original music with the same artist for Manchester’s Contact Theatre and for the Arts Council installation ‘Sufi In The City’ (2018).
In 2021, Damien was commissioned to create an audio book for author Azariah-France Williams’ book ‘Ghost Ship’, about institutional racism in the Church Of England. Damien wrote a series of original pieces of music for this hybrid work, which also included poetry and sound effects alongside the author’s narration.
Damien was a co-founder of Single Cell Collective, a group of artists, activists and musicians from a housing estate in Hulme, MCR, who combined musical and artistic collaboration with support for environmental, human rights and social justice causes. The collective’s compilation album ‘Six Rivers’ featured on a BBC 2 documentary about the importance of Hulme in Manchester’s music scene.
His creative output and collaborations span funk, soul and reggae, to acid house, and Balearic dub with Indian and Afrobeat influences along the way. Commercial releases range from remixing R+B artist, Faith Evans for EMI through to underground DIY collective projects, with credits on international compilations and radio documentary soundtracks.
Damien also produces other artists and is currently working on a series of releases for Somerset-based singer, Ruth Blake, having also recorded, mixed and produced her 2021 single ‘Brave Ships.
As an independent film-maker, Damien has exhibited works throughout the UK and been invited to showcase and present films at festivals in Berlin and Rome.
Damien has 25 years of experience as a sound technician in the TV and film industry and has worked on many flagship productions for the major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Ch4, Netflix, Sky, etc.
He has also worked as a freelance lecturer on a BA (Hons) film degree course for the last 10 years.