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::: definition :::

::: murmer ::: definition :::

::: absurd records ::: cdr ::: 2003 ::: download :::

the three pieces on definition were recorded independently in the same year as eyes like a fish (oracle extended before, the other two after). only later did I decide to try to release them on one cd. each of these pieces was created around one specific recording (simon’s f.’s loop, the bicycle wheel, and my old freezer); other elements were added to serve them. with definition I decided to let the sounds truly take as much time as they wanted, and to create fields without necessarily progressing linearly (it’s perhaps my theatre background that often leads me to a progressive compositional style). in this way i hoped the listener would become familiar and comfortable with the details of the sounds; to be with them long enough to surpass their first impressions and arrive at a fuller experience of them.

::: liner notes :::

  • oracle extended (21:17): synthloop, trumpet, water bottle, feedback
  • spoke speak (16:37): bicycle wheel
  • liquid solid (21:08): freezer, rain, fluorescent lighting, airplane landing gear, shop alarm

all compositions and source recordings made in 2000 using minidisc, stereo microphone, analogue 4-track,
reverb, distortion and delay. synth loop constructed by simon f.

::: reviews :::

As the host of the Framework show on London’s  Resonance 104.4 FM, Patrikc McGinley highlights the arena of sound art that recontextualises field recordings and the often forgotten sounds of daily life in new works by the likes of Jonathan Colecough, John Hudak and Francisco Lopez.  On his third album as Murmer, McGinley manipulates such source materials as a water bottle, a bicycle wheel, fluorescent lighting, a freezer, rain and even the landing gear of an airplane.  he casts each of these sounds in soft focus, as synth loops marching in solemn procession and synaesthetic drones that evoke a nostalgia reminiscent of Beequeen’s ambient recordings.
::: jim haynes ::: the wire #236 :::

This is, I believe, Patrick McGinley’s a.k.a. .Murmer, third release (after one on Bake and one on S’Agita). He’s one of those blokes that always wears headphones and has a microphone as a third arm: always hunting for sound. The pieces on this CD include such sound sources as water bottle, bicycle wheel, freezer, rain, fluorescent lighting, airplane landing gear, shop alarm but also a synth loop, trumpet and feedback. When done with recording, Murmer sticks his sounds on his analog four track machine, adds a bit of distortion, reverb and/or delay, and that’s it. Life is that simple. And maybe it is. .Murmer’s music is of course one of lenghty pieces, in which sounds get to develop themselves. Rather then expanding just one sound like so many others, .Murmer rather layers different sounds over eachother to make a nice atmospheric mix of sounds that seemingely have no relation to eachother, but that just work nice. In ‘Spoke Speak’ he may use just the sound of the a bicycle wheel, he still go by with the same method of layering sounds and then do a mix of it. The best piece on this release is ‘Liquid Solid’, which uses the freezer, rain, fluorescent lighting, airplane landing gear, shop alarm. A bubbling piece of dark sounds, lighter crackles and an overall dark atmosphere. Here .Murmer can easily meet with the likes of Mirror, Ora or Jonathan Coleclough.
::: frans de waard ::: vital weekly #372 :::

Working from a variety of everyday sound sources .murmer creates extended pieces that move significantly – on this set sources include a fluorescent light, trumpet, water bottle, freezer, rain and airplane landing gear (OK not all that everyday!) Except in the second track, for obvious reasons, I won’t talk about where the sounds come from as the result is what counts. A billowing ringing is reverbed and delayed, gradually getting longer and gaining some complexity as ‘Oracle extended’ begins. A long high tone joins plus an growing ensemble of little noises – ticktock tushes, percussives, floush – as different parts of the tone bed seem to move to the foreground. Sometimes there is an almost voice like tone, and as time passes the busy foreground becomes more active and dominates as the back loops fade. The tone and percussion get power/play/ful broadening and intensifying, a squeaking passes through the sound space (almost a pre-ghost of the next tracks bike), more tones join before fading drones. ‘Spoke speak’ gives away its source – a bicycle wheel – and starts as you would expect with picked and plucked spoke music that sounds like a thumb piano, then some processing starts to work in – reversed sounds, changes of pitch, echoing. These are looped and layered to quite dense levels, with some ebb and flow. Just as it gets predictable a faster twanging comes in to provide a pattering variation, then another faster again driving to a climax including shimmers, strange deep noises, a sound like sheep or horns, fluttering and then dropping away. A glacial development occurs in ‘Liquid solid’ (I had noted glacial as a response before noting the title). A lovely multi-toned drone together with a crumbling soft plip-plop pattering open it out. Then a tapping and a warble-drone join moving in a relaxed and absorbing way. An occasional soft rumbling whoosh runs under, moving closer to the surface at times. The drones change a little, a high string tone joins in, and this gorgeous track continues it slow journey to a stripping away at the end. .Murmer works his material into excitingly diverse regions, and this album has a very satisfying range.
::: jeremy keens ::: ampersandetc. 2003_h :::

Murmer, aka London-based Patrick McGinley, provides three extended compositions on “Definition”, sourced, so we’re told, from trumpets, synthesizers, water bottles, freezers, fluorescent lighting, burglar alarms and airplane landing gear (wonder how he got to record that last one). There seems to be a certain pleasure to be had on the part of several electroacoustic composers these days in telling punters what they used as sound sources, as if we’re invited to marvel at how unlike the music sounds compared to the objects concerned. Personally, I prefer not to know (I’ve still not figured out what the hell Xenakis used to make “Bohor”, and don’t really mind if I never do) – the question of how the compositions unfold seems more important. McGinley’s heartbeat is slow, and concentrated listening (headphones, perhaps) required to appreciate it, or the mind can tend to wander, especially in “Spoke Speak”, sourced exclusively from a bicycle wheel. When the texture is richer and more complex, as on the final “Liquid Solid”, things seem to work better.
::: dan warburton ::: paris transatlantic july 2003 :::