||the source recordings for .murmer were all taken during my first six months as a resident of the city of london. hence they document my exploration and discovery of a new home, as well as of a new medium. i purchased my first recorder and microphone upon arrival here, and began exploring their possibilities alongside exploring the city. however, these sounds are not a portrait of a location; i made no attempt to map a geography. they are more personal. many originate from within my private space (the refrigerator and grill provided in a bedsit; the wind through an apartment window) and all are tied strongly to my personal movements (the air vent on my local bus, the heater in my place of work). what ties them together is that they are all new sounds, for me as well as (hopefully) for my listener, that caught me unawares and demanded to be given attention. that is what i have attempted to do.
o .rumer (25:43): modem and telephone line
o .errum (14:07): air vent on a 73 bus, malfunctioning gas heater, feedback, escalator at pimlico tube station
o .meurm (11:56): refrigerator, gas grill
o .rumme (6:01): unidentified tape loop, 3 182-cm. long metal pipes of varying diameters
o .ummer (1:16): modem and telephone line
o .mmeru (11:17): air vent in a red austin mini, wind whistling through a 3rd storey window, air vent on a 73 bus
all compositions and source recordings made between january and june 1999
using minidisc, stereo microphone, analogue 4-track, reverb, distortion,
and digital and analogue tape delay
unidentified tape loop constructed by simon f.
“Arriving in London a few years ago, American born Patrick McGinley began documenting the banal ambience of his immediate surrounds, be it his apartment or anonymous forms of mass transit. Wind, refrigerator hum, malfunctioning gas heaters, an air vent on the 73 bus, modern data streams and a tube station escalator make up the base material of his effective lowercase debut as Murmer. Working a simple setup of four-track recorder and delay pedals, he transforms these raw recordings into glowing compositions of delicately pulsating drones. .murmer is his introspective reconstruction of the novelty of his big city experience.” jim haynes – the wire #223
“With a minimum of sound sources, such as fans, modems, heaters and air flows, Murmer creates long, flowing ambient tracks. The atmosphere is pretty desolate, but not in an uncomfortable way: the sounds are warm and sort of close, with only a few exceptions. There is no hurry getting through the tracks, they take their time and thats okay. It reinforces the dreamy nature of the work. However, this is not background music. All tracks are built up with subtlety and use the minimal material to its fullest extent. A very nice album indeed.” roel meelkop - vital weekly #323
“Another musician using unusual sounds, Murmer collects what could be described a sonic detritus the sounds listed as sources include a modem, air vent on a 73 bus, escalator at Pimlico station, refrigerator, long metal pipes, air vent on a red mini and wind whistling through a 3rd storey window (these have been associated with particular track, but I will just refer to the sounds as heard). .rumer is 25 minutes of tones drones and crackles: long rising and falling tones emerge from the silence, whips and rumbles provide highlights; becoming more active calls shuffling and drones phase and change with a harmonium like pulsing; tonepulse loops cycle out and in phase gradually gaining density, while a high ringing develops and long swinging pulses take the foreground; a drop to a ringling that develops into a high tone, clickcrackle noises emerge and fade into a bagpipe-ish cycling and buzz pulse crackle builds to a climax before a fading tone end. After that tone driven track, .errum has a strong mechanical rhythm with pulsey noises clatters and hints of music: then a soft pulsing with plosive noises over, high ringing and a Tuvanic drone creating a very visceral density, building a head of steam to a rumble clatter and fade. In .meurum a hiss and growing sine tone create undertones, overtones and interference patterns within the listening , wavering and gulping (is it auditory illusion?). The puttering increases, banging come to the foreground, the tone retakes it a clattering, and again a fade. Percussive affects in .rumme looping, changing speed, puttering, shifting through the soundspace, some tones, all very resonant and moody, with a clanging and little notes appearing in the second half. A minute or so of loud pulsating metallic layers in .ummer ( .rumme is the second shortest at 6 minutes, the others are all around 11-14 minutes). So finally .mmeru with a wooshy vent-noise fluttering high and whistly tones, dropping to a pulsating whistle rumble that rebuilds to a mechanical whistle and click, fading and rebuilding again. Mechanical minimalism, a exciting venture into a cross ambient-electronica-noise area. An excursion worth exploring, and another success for Staalplaat s Bake venture that offers wider distribution for self-produced material.” jeremy keens - ampersandetc. 2002_09. Accessed 5.11.06 from http://www.murmerings.com/