Stephen O'Malley was born in 1974, in New Hampshire, USA. He was a founding member of several music groups including Sunn O)) (1998), Khanate (2000), KTL (2005). He was also part of the founding teams that created the labels Southern Lord (1998) and Ajna Offensive (1995), and worked as artistic director for the label Misanthropy records (1997- 2000). In 2011, he created the label Ideologic Organ in collaboration with Peter Rehberg / Editions Mego.
Photo credit : Maciek Pozoga 2020 (for The Wire Magazine)
Wildly prolific, Stephen O'Malley's work is defined by its breadth, complexity and multidisciplinary interests. A frequent collaborator with many musicians, artists and composers in various formations, in performance, exhibitions and productions including Scott Walker; Choreographer Gisèle Vienne; the authors Dennis Cooper & Alan Moore; composers Iancu Dumitrescu, Johann Johannson, Alvin Lucier & Phill Niblock; artists Banks Violette, Fujiko Nakaya, Emily Ding, filmmakers Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, Jim Jarmusch & Panos Cosmatos; designer Rick Owens; IRCAM, INA-GRM (Paris), MONOM (Berlin), EMS (Stockholm), & others.
He draws inspiration from a deeply informed sound practice developed through his fascination with dhrupad, long-wire instrumentation, drone music, phenomenological spectralism and sound bath/healing. Stephen O'Malley presents long-form pieces of microtonal and physical sound. As a live performer he has toured the world extensively since 2003.