Brendan Dougherty

Brendan Dougherty is a sound artist and performer originally from Philadelphia and based in Berlin. He began performing music at a young age in folk music contexts and has been involved in pop, jazz, noise and improvised music scenes with an artistic output ranging from playing drums in bands to creating performances and installations. He has collaborated with many performance artists and choreographers including Meg Stuart, Jeremy Wade, Antonija Livingstone and Adam Linder, touring and exhibiting internationally. As a solo artist he has released two LPs under his own name.

Dougherty is performing at our second Heimat, Herz, Orte concert at Galerie Bernau in Brandenburg this Friday (13.08).


1. We are mostly water

2. Technology isn’t only digital

3. Micheal Jackson


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

To better understand the ways music can facilitate new social situations.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

I started very young, playing traditional Irish folk music with my father and grandfather.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

Todays all time favourites; Motion Graphics – Motion Graphics. Low – Secret Name. Joan of Arc – Live in Chicago, 1999. D’Angelo – Voodoo. the Staple Singers – Uncloudy Day

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

For a long time it was cheap and full of opportunities to try out projects with no real potential for (capitalist) success. These days this way of working is almost impossible but still lives on more as a mind-set of how to balance social / creative / financial goals.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

My barber (Cut & Color House – By Beyazgül) on Mariannenstr in Kreuzberg.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

Cook, garden, write.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?

I used to buy vinyl while touring buts its been a while. More recently and it would probably be something from Puremagnetik – they are a company that usually makes music software plugins and sound libraries. They’ve been releasing records that include a custom plugin that the artist used to make the music which I think its a nice new model for releasing music (at least for a very select group of people).

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

A singer who could maintain pop musicality on top of big electronic sounds; Laura Mvula? Palmistry?

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

Seeing OVAL play in a church basement in west Philadelphia circa 1997.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Only as far as the tools that I need to use function properly. But I also like how fast things are getting conceptualised / programmed / manufactured these days. I usually find some inspiration in a new piece of gear.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

Yes my sister is a painter and moved to Berlin around the same time i did. We collaborate every other year or so making installations or performances ( I also have three younger half-brothers who appreciate what i do but have taken much more vernünftig paths in their lives.

Photo © Enrico Boettcher