Lives of Angels was the brainchild of Gerald O’Connell from London, England. In 1974 he worked at CBS studios mastering recordings from tape to disc. During the early and mid seventies Gerald worked on the startup of the Virgin label, and also met most of the leading figures in German electronic/rock music. People like Klaus Schulze, Amon Duul II, The Can, Manuel Gottsching, Edgar Froese and so on. Their music was obviously years ahead of its time and he was quite inspired by it. By the end of the 70s Gerald was playing in bands. In 1977 he joined his first band Mystery Plane, led by school mate Mark Harvey and later joined by his soon-to-be wife Catherine. Due to a lack of resources it was impossible to do the kind of music that was in his head. So he built his own studio. Gerald branched off in 1980 forming Lives of Angels as an outlet for his own compositions. He recorded, produced and played all of the instruments on “Elevator to Eden” between 1981 and 1983, using a primitive set up of drum machines, one keyboard, guitar and a tape echo.
Influenced by the Krautrock sounds of Neu! and Amon Duul II as well as US psychedelic rock, Lives of Angles crafted their own unique post-punk sound. Gerald says he has been influenced by, in no particular order: Van Dyke Parks; Tangerine Dream (Zeit); passing trains; The Grateful Dead (especially Dark Star in all its iterations); Ash Ra Tempel; Van Morrison (Astral Weeks); Steve Reich; Michael Rother; Albert Ayler; Neu (Hallogallo); Glenn Branca; the sound of the city; Amon Duul II; distant playgrounds; late sixties San Francisco Psychedelia; Debussy; aircraft engines; Bulgarian folk song; Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Philip Glass; Wagner; Vaughan Williams; the dance bands of Zaire, especially Dr. Nico and Tabu Ley; Klaus Schulze; Schubert; Ornette Coleman; Arnold Bax; waterfalls; footsteps in cathedrals
“Elevator to Eden” was originally released in 1983 on cassette by Color Tape Records, the label started by Gary Ramon of Modern Art. Then in 1986 Fire Records remixed and re-released the album on vinyl but the band was not happy with the mixes.
By 1989 Gerald was so disheartened by the process of trying to make a living out of music that he gave up on it altogether. He started drawing and painting: http://www.gacoc.demon.co.ukBy Art and computers came together from 1996 onwards as he became immersed in the online/digital world. He still had a lot of music in his head, but didn’t give much thought to actually doing anything about it. Early in 2000 he remarked, in an offhand way, to a friend that he wished there was an equivalent to Photoshop for the digital manipulation of sound. The SoundForge software was all that was needed in order to re-awaken his active interest in music. With just a couple of thousand pounds worth of equipment (most of it the cost of a PC) it was now possible to have a setup that might have cost a half million twenty years previously. Gerald continues to make music to this day. Some of it can be heard on their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/livesofangels/music