Murmer is the long-standing project for Estonian field recordist and composer Patrick McGinley, and in Tether, The Helen Scarsdale Agency welcomes Murmer back to our roster, over a decade since he graced us with his last production for the Agency. His field recordings often center upon the amplification and activation of resonance from a particular space, landscape, or object. Such sounds emerge from a condition as begin fleeting, inconsequential, or ephemeral and explode into that which alien, sublime, and profound. Here lies the tremendous prowess of the contact microphone, as wielded by an accomplished musician! The source material cited by McGinley includes cables, fences, wires, and vents.
There is a heft to many of these sounds as heard throughout all of “Taevast” with deep throbbing pulsations from arctic wind generating subharmonic patterns upon thick high-tension wires. Elsewhere the subtle dissonance from a rasping cooling fan blooms into a brooding ambience that is sublimely rich in its metallic timbres and complex reverberations. McGingley has long been an exemplary artist in the field of phonography even as he is less prolific than others. On Tether, he has produced a majestic if occasionally foreboding work on par with the mythic wire recordings of Alan Lamb, Jacob Kirkegaard’s haunted resonance from Chernobyl, and much of the Touch catalogue for that matter!