We Share A Shadow
CD HMS 011
In travel one wishes to be taken over by the journey, by absence, a kind of giddy whirling that the mind savors and the body eventually abhors. Others such as Patrick McGinley prove more capable of enduring these travels, nursing out of them a way of life. Owing to his stomach for this nomadic lifestyle, We Share A Shadow forms a distinct lattice lined by materials, textures, and colors seldom seen, much less scrutinized by a culture where 'elsewhere' and 'other' usually mean a diverted copulation with the 'same'.
Field recordings are culled from England, France, Estonia, Germany, and Portugal. McGinley also interacts with the objects in these respective environments, bowing branches, telephone wires, and the like. These are then arranged and otherwise altered by a computer, churning out drones of some clarity, execution, and intensity of feeling. These computerized pieces of drone music never efface the field recordings they bury; they encrypt them, but all the while keep them inside, tucked away like secrets or indistinct sources of warmth that ensure an easy intimacy is audible in the encounters, no matter how alien they may seem to become.
The unfolding itself involves a ritualistic placement of discrete sounds in fields of tense silences, machine-like scrape and clatter, evocative textures, abstraction and coloristic patterning, various kinds of bowing, and polyryhthmic taps. That such disparity is used means that a certain austerity seeps in now and again, but this serves as a foil for the sort of development McGinley pursues, one in which sounds are gradually enriched in depth and vividness, adumbrating an enveloping multi-level experience. In this way, McGinley points to and shelters the uneasy vicissitudes of his travels in beads of rain, oddly vicious prolonged metallic shimmer, and vast abscesses of darkling ambience - a complex path, but a scenic one, too. -- Max Schaefer