Murmer
We Share A Shadow
CD HMS 011


Foxy Digitalis

February 2008

      Minimal drone records normally depend to a certain extent on text to help interpret their meaning. Often by the artist's words we can better sense a mood that an electoracoustic piece is supposed to inspire. Of course, the real meat is in the pulse, and whether it can stand on its own independent from verbal description. Aside from a list of places where the found sounds on the disc were recorded—in Eastern Europe, Portugal, as well as in the U.S.—the traditional liner notes that normally indicate a way of understanding the intent behind We Share a Shadow is omitted. This allows one to listen to these two long tracks with a sense of freedom which, I suspect, was the motive behind their composition.
      Murmer is Patrick McGinley, who here blends environmental sounds with drone and the occasional horn. For an ambient record, there is a menace here as well, as several sections imply a biting commentary on the environments sampled. There is always a sense of wonder and forboding in any sound, driven by the space itself or by the mood of the listener. Histories personal and temporal collide on We Share a Shadow, and Murmer captures that tension with understated power. -- Mike Wood