Damo Laughlin & Autumns
Conversation / Lozenges
Conversation / Lozenges is a collaborative artwork created by Autumns’ Christian Donaghey and visual artist Damo Laughlin.
The work consists of two digital paintings, two pieces of music, and two pieces of “found poetry: all based on the theme of Loneliness and linked by their shared titles: 'Conversation' and 'Lozenges'.
The titles refer to a type of Victorian confectionery known as Conversation Lozenges (or Conversation Hearts) which featured a short written message, usually meant for a friend or a lover.
The artists used this idea as a jumping off point and created two pieces of poetry composed of messages borrowed from vintage lozenges (based on images found online) juxtaposed with lines lifted from modern day Love Heart sweets. The messages are short, cryptic and sometimes melodramatic, but they articulate a sense of longing and a need for attachment, which feels pertinent and recognisable in this strange year.
Some lines from the poems have been included within the two musical pieces by Autumns, which can be heard being manipulated by the use of Dub techniques throughout both pieces to create tension and atmosphere.
The music and poems are complemented by Damo Laughlin’s digital artworks, which depict two isolated figures, ambiguously pensive and rendered in an expressionist style. The figures are together in being alone – a slightly ironic situation that many of us have found ourselves in during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Autumns is the solo project of Christian Donaghey from Derry, Ireland. It is an outlet for electronic post-punk with a lethal pulse. After a brace of rough demos without preliminary hype, the project emerged fully formed on Karl O’Connor’s (aka Regis) illustrious label Downwards back in 2014, the youngest act in a new vanguard of artists that included the likes of Tropic of Cancer, DVA DAMAS and The KVB.
Releases for Clan Destine Records, iDEAL Recordings and DKA Records have seen Donaghey engage in a rough trade of transgressive noise, dysfunctional metal dance and DIY punk angst. Autumns' already extensive back catalogue has pushed Donaghey's sound forward from it's raw beginnings. 2016’s ‘A Product of 30 Years of Violence’ saw the project moving into vast glacial spaces after the propulsive post-punk discord of 2015’s ‘Das Nichts’.
2017 presented a further progression into Autumns’ journey from his post-punk beginnings to producing some of the tautest and toughest electronic music around with the release of his debut album ‘Suffocating Brothers’ on Clan Destine Records. Gaining radio play from selectors like Trevor Jackson, Regis, Debonair and Giant Swan.
Alongside progressive appearances on cult labels the project has developed a notorious high-intensity live show, having played and toured with artists such as Silent Servant, Veronica Vasicka, Wire and Beak>, performing to audiences from Los Angeles to Beirut, and Moscow to Berlin. Autumns has also ventured outside of the typical music world; performing alongside Samuel Kerridge at the 2016 edition of Paris Fashion Week for Downwards, creating a sound installation at Void Gallery Derry, and improvising a desolate live score to David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’. This has earned Autumns a fierce reputation not only as a live act, but as a multi-disciplinary artist.
Following contributions to labels such as Amok Tapes, Touch Sensitive, Veyl (Maenad Veyl) and Earwiggle (Sunil Sharpe), as well as remixes for Strange Therapy, Infidel Bodies, and Clan Destine Records. 2019 saw Autumns’ experimentation in the studio go much deeper, with the release of his sophomore album ‘Shortly After Nothing’ on Oliver Ho’s (aka Broken English Club) illustrious ‘Death & Leisure’ label, alongside a heavy touring schedule, a collaboration with post-punk legend Eric Random and the launch of his radio show ‘Dyslexia Tracks’ on Dublin Digital Radio.
Autumns continues to move forward in 2021. Donaghey has released two EPs - 'Laying Heavy' on Clan Destine and 'You Are Now Listening To Autumns' on Opal Tapes whilst lining up albums on Detriti Records and Touch Sensitive. He recently contributed to the online edition of the renowned Celtronic Festival and has taken up residency on Bristol's Noods Radio.
Damo Laughlin was born and studied art in Derry, Northern Ireland. He's now based in Belfast, creating digital and physical artworks that embrace spontaneity, ambiguity and sometimes the sinister.