Under the pseudonym ‘Harry Bongo,’ Harry Docherty works as a composer, producer and recording artist. Based in Edinburgh, Bongo has gained notoriety for his entrancing live performances, vibrant DJ sets, multimedia collaborations and his contributions to a diverse range of local bands (such as instrumental outfit AVU). The music he produces ranges from gentle electronica to cinematic soundscapes, incorporating sampling of found sounds and electro-acoustic textures. In his solo work and contributions to different musical projects, Harry explores emotion through primarily instrumental music and bringing out a sense of humanity from electronic technology. Through his live performances and multimedia collaborations, Harry also explores the relationship between music and different visual mediums and how they intertwine to create meaningful experiences for people.
Recording and performing music from a young age, Harry went on to release an adventurous debut album in 2016, just before beginning to study BA Popular Music at Napier University. After completing this degree and recently a Masters qualification, he is going on to study for a PhD in Music. Marrying the techniques of the great minimalist composers (Glass, Reich and co.) with an affinity for modern electronica and post-rock, Harry’s original pieces are lush, endlessly evolving soundscapes which propel the listener into a uniquely meditative space. With musical structures that range from contemplative ambience to blistering crescendos, Bongo’s material is highly original in its sonic and emotional depth.
Harry’s music is known for its cinematic quality, which not only makes for captivating audiovisual live performances, but has also led to many visual collaborations. He has scored original soundtracks for films produced by Napier students and Screen Education Edinburgh, as well as the award-winning documentary filmmaker Amanda Rogers. Harry has also been commissioned for a number of original audiovisual installations and exhibitions, most notably by the visual artist Gina Fierlafijn Reddie. As part of his Masters programme, Harry studied the composition of original video game music, an area he aims to explore much further.
While in lockdown in 2020, Harry worked on his second full-length album ‘Iglu’, released in April 2021 to great acclaim. Recorded entirely at home, ‘Iglu’ expresses a mixture of feelings resulting from staying at home and themes of travel and exploration set against a musically ambient backdrop.
After the height of the pandemic, Harry made his return to live performance at the renowned Edinburgh-based arts festival Hidden Door in September 2021, performing an acclaimed audiovisual set of his best works.