Dustin O’Halloran

1 0 0 1

Release Notes

Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Released: March 22, 2024
Mixed By: Francesco Donadello
Artwork By: Slater Bradley


Rising from his humble beginning as a solo pianist (I still clearly remember hearing Vorleben on Sonic Pieces back in 2010), the American Dustin O’Halloran quickly advanced to the ranks of some of the world’s most renowned composers, with a keen eye from Hollywood and subsequently, the revered Deutsche Grammophon snatching him up to propel him even further in his career. As a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, two of which are the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, which he shares with Volker Bertelmann (aka Hauschka) for his work on Lion (2016), O’Halloran remains one of the sought-out contemporary classical composers who can bring the emotion of his music to the very front of the backed tapestry of modern sound. His collaboration with Adam Wiltzie on A Winged Victory for the Sullen albums is yet another testament to his prolific output, which adorns one of my favourite genres of music. I’ve interviewed Dustin more than a couple of times, but I suppose my favourite will remain this “In the studio with…” piece from 2016. So yes, whenever he releases a new studio album, I’m definitely all ears! And here we have a brand release on DG!

These days, I don’t usually dissect the album in detail, inspecting its slow-burn evolution of the ebb and flow as a single story-telling journey. But in the case of 1 0 0 1, which is a binary representation of a decimal 9, there is indeed a tale which evolves from a quiet Reykjavik Silfur Choir featuring Bryan Senti on the violin for the five-part Spiritus Naturae Aeternus to the dynamic string progression performed by the Budapest Art Orchestra on a two-part Cymatic Love Spiral, until it explodes in contemporary, glitch-infused, deliciously pyrotechnic electronica, during the five-part Harmonic Sequence with a little help from the one and only Paul Corley of Bedroom Community. The latter piece, almost near the end of the album, is my absolute favourite, both in its amazing buildup and in the inevitable drop to the five-part Transfigural Syntax Eclipse, where we return back to the gentle choir and the gorgeous cello from Clarice Jensen.

The 30+ minute album is actually based on a same-titled ballet, on which O’Halloran collaborated with choreographer and dancer Fukiko Takase to explore ideas of technology and humanity and mind-body dualism – “the notion that humans have both a mind with free will and a body that executes mechanical movements, existing independently of but interacting with each other,” especially in the context of our current age of AI. You can hear more on the ideas behind it in the video I have shared above.

1 0 0 1 serves as an auditory exploration into the crossroads of artificial intelligence and our comprehension of existence. The record navigates the nuanced interplay between the intangible realm of consciousness and the rapidly advancing capabilities of technology. Each track is a deliberate exploration into uncharted territories, a reflection on the implications of a future where the distinctions between humanity and technology become increasingly blurred.

— Dustin O’Halloran

The album was released on March 22nd, 2024, and is available on all digital streaming platforms, compact disc, and vinyl. There’s also another music video for “Spiritus Naturae Aeternus” that appeared on DG’s YouTube on January 31st, which, once again, features Fukiko Takase dancing in the midst of Iceland’s natural beauty and desolate urban environment to convey a contrasting and transformative evolution from organic to artificial. Highly recommended! Let’s say that it will indeed appear on many “best-of” lists at the end of this year.