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Melanie Ó Dubhshláine - Urban Animals (Leeds International Festival)

As part of our Launchpad Program, Music:Leeds is commissioning Leeds based music creator Melanie Ó Dubhshláine’s new piece, ’Urban Animals’. IT will be performed on Friday 10th May 2019, at the Brudenell Social Club, as part of Leeds International Festival.

A journey through the city at night, and into the dawn, with all its excitement, mystery and danger, seen through the eyes and ears of the creatures that inhabit it...

Melanie Ó Dubhshláine presents a suite of short musical works themed around the different wild animals to be found in the Leeds urban area. Digitally manipulated animal calls will collide with the noise of the man-made environment to create several distinct pieces in a contemporary homage to the Carnival of the Animals.

Attracted by easy access to food and warmth, some species have chosen to increasingly make their homes alongside man in the cities. Wildlife has changed its behaviour and voices to adapt to life in urban environments. Researchers found that songbirds had raised the pitch and tempo of their song to make it audible above the rumble of traffic. Since the 1960s, fox calls are increasingly a part of the soundtrack of living in a city.

Using field recordings gathered in and around Leeds, plus electronic instruments, working alongside local live performers and vocalists, with striking visuals created to accompany the music, Ó Dubhshláine will take the audience through an alternative vision of the nighttime landscape of Leeds.

Many thanks for the assistance and advice of West Yorkshire Bat Group, The Conservation Trust at Skelton Grange and Chris Hassell at Leeds University

Music:Leeds' Launchpad Commission is funded using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and as well as Leeds City CouncilLeeds 2023PRS Foundation and Leeds International Festival.


In a fifteen-year musical career, Melanie Ó Dubhshláine has performed and composed music based in the noise, electronic, experimental and psychedelic rock genres.

Her solo work takes the form of two projects. Ocelocelot is concerned with using vibrations and waveforms from found sound to create undulating soundscapes, whilst Melanie Ó Dubhshláine focuses more on electronic composition. Her background in visual arts leads her to introduce visual elements into her performances. An overriding theme of her work is using unusual instrumentation to extend human expressive capabilities and give voice to previously unheard sounds.

As a member of Ashtray Navigations with Phil Todd, she has performed at All Tomorrow's Parties, Supernormal Festival, Tusk Festival, Swn Festival in Cardiff as well as shows in the UK, Europe and USA. Ashtray Navigations have curated multimedia events at Leeds International Film Festival and Glasgow International Arts Festival.

She has collaborated with other artists including Neil Campbell, Damo Suzuki, Bridget Hayden, Uton, John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man) and MV & EE. 

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