So a few years back, as I was just starting explorations on the new record, I was asked to contribute to a tribute album* for British folk artist Roy Harper. I have to admit I was totally unfamiliar with Mr. Harper’s work, but listening through the songs to be covered, I was immediately struck by "Another Day." Stylistically and lyrically in a different world from me definitely, the song nonetheless seemed somehow familiar and close in its subject; mourning the loss of a life never realised, yet somehow glimpsed, almost tangible; the cruel march of time, so heavy and irredeemable to the living. I don’t know. Maybe it was the lyric about children. It reminded me of T.S. Eliot’s "Burnt Norton," those unconceived children in the leaves, and maybe also a little of Woolf—one of my favourite English writers—in the observation of the mundane as counterpoint to human drama unfolding, and even Plath, whose grieving voice in "Parliament Hill Fields" has haunted me since I first heard it. And certainly I recognised the place; the dreary English afternoon in a darkening London flat, time measured out tensely waiting for the kettle, the perfunctory cups of tea; all pieces of a familiar geography. So, although I’d never before recorded someone else’s work, this somehow felt like a song I might translate quite naturally. At the same time, the project presented the perfect opportunity to meet and work with a couple of great people, who’ve since become friends, Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, and American composer Nico Muhly who, as it happened, were both in Iceland at that moment. And so we convened in Reykjavik for a week and spent a couple of Winter afternoons making this recording. Hope you like it. * = the tribute album was never completed #AmazonOriginal #LoveMeNot
More of a personal post/appeal here folks. Last week two fishermen from a village near me tragically lost their lives while working at sea. A fund has been created to raise the considerable costs of trying to recover their bodies and to help their families. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.
Hello all. So as this strange year comes to a close I realise I've been pretty quiet on here. Something I'm kind of given to by nature I suppose, and although that might go against the current climate of pushing high volume with high frequency, well, I hope that's ok. Truth is, I think a bit of quiet is something we could probably all use a little more of these days, so I haven't felt too much pressure to break the silence, you know, just for the sake of making myself some noise... But then, in the last few months, I've got a lot of messages from folk that have gone from enquiring about music to flat out wondering if I'm ok or if I've fallen into the sea somewhere, so to speak. So, I just wanted to say to all of you who've written that I really greatly appreciate these messages of solicitude and support. And also from all those enquiring patiently, and even impatiently, about new music...yes indeed. I am ok. I have been at sea. I haven't fallen in. That's the short version. Now. The new record. Where to begin..? What to tell..? The story of its making is a long one. It involves a whole host of amazing people and places. It's definitely a far flung journey I've made, sometimes in company, often alone, over wild and sometimes remote landscapes of life and music. It's too long a story to tell here right now. Later...later. For right now allow me to report that this long journey is finally nearing its end. As I write this I am, come full great northern circle, where I began this work almost four years ago--in dark and wintry Montreal--street noise outside hushed by snow already, sitting, listening to the mad and beautiful sounds of that journey, making last edits and notes and getting ready for the final stage of mixing and mastering. SO...while I maybe can't say just yet *when* exactly you might hear all of this, what I can tell you that the last chapter of making this record has begun. And that the music is on the way... I'll do my best to keep you posted, and share what I can as I get closer. So please stand by for that. Meantime, thank you all for waiting, for listening. I wish you all strong hearts and quiet minds as we head into a new year... -A
Hello folks. So I was literally getting on the Facebook to post a little update about recordings and such, when this post from Patagonia came across my feed. Yes, Patagonia is a clothing brand and some of you might take a cynical view of commercial enterprises aligning themselves with politically charged issues of the moment. Sure, fair enough. But let me say that, first, I know a little about some of the folks at Patagonia and I know that as a company they are deeply and genuinely invested in the health of our little planet. For real folks. And second I think that, if anything, this is evidenced by them going out on a limb and posting their position on this issue, absolutely risking real market share to stand up for something they believe in passionately. And whatever side of this issue you come down on, I don't think you can fault them for that. So, excuse a little further delay (and non music related nature of this post) but this needs sharing. Now I'm well aware that the cover image is somewhat (deliberately) incendiary. It's also not quite factually accurate-and, if anything, in its hyperbole it actually misses the more nuanced and insidious reality of who is and will really be doing the stealing here *because, make no mistake, theft is pretty certainly underway--but that's another discussion... So maybe the headline is not the best. But the events being reported. These are very real. And people need to know about them. I'm also well aware that this issue has been cleverly clouded by the real vested interests so as to convince well meaning outdoor loving folks in Utah and beyond that this is about returning the land from the zealous overreach of the Federal Government to the real people, for outdoor pursuits, hunting, grazing rights etc etc. *And, as someone who absolutely values freedom to roam and be in the wild, I totally appreciate how these arguments can appear compelling. (*So, to those of you who encounter folks who support this move, please don't jump to the conclusion that they are all anti-environment, pro-drilling, fracking, climate change denying ostriches...They are not. ) Having said that, the sad truth folks is really much simpler and uglier--as it always is in this kind of situation. Pretty much. Every. Single. Time. And speaking of time, I'm not going to spend half an hour of yours trying to argue for why this is in fact the case. Because history and common sense tend to yield up truth as well as any argument can. So here are two simple questions instead: First, how many times in history do you think protections have been removed, or rights granted that have actually resulted in every day real benefit to regular folks, rather than to corporate entities and the wealthy individuals who control them? Second, how many times in history do you think that, once protections have been removed and rights granted, and once exploitation for profit by wealthy interests has begun, have those protections ever been reinstated for the benefit of all? Many things can be recovered. Some things get lost for ever. For those you should probably stand up. Thank you. Onwards.
Today I look out to sea. A cold wind disturbs the surface. Yet beneath it all is quiet and calm. I know this. But I remember it also. From some time long ago. And it gives me great courage. And for a clear moment I know something clearly: That in this year that lies before us, in spite of all the difficulty, the losses, the struggle, the pain that we will face and the grief we must endure, in spite of these, there will also be joy, and there will be laughter, and acts of selflessness and of great compassion and, even in the uncertain face perhaps of growing fear, there will still be a deepening of understanding and of community spirit among us. In short, even though we will doubt and often not know or see it in the every day of our lives, we will this year, every single breathing one of us, be better people. To ourselves. To each other. - Happy New Year ... (https://www.instagram.com/p/BOvDo7qAerQ/?taken-by=alximrdch)
Walking this morning through the old cemetery in Montreal, where the sun shone down, and flowers grew, and insects busied themselves about the grass and shrubbery, the gravestones stood collected and collectively silent. I observed the names carved thereupon, of generations come and gone, resting beside each other now. And I took note. All those names fading on the stones. Names from all number of nations. Names, all shuffled together on the hillside and beneath the trees. Scottish next to Italian, English and Irish next to French and Spanish, Greek side by side with Polish and German. Names of immigrants, each and every one, come here from the European continent to make and live out their short lives. Names all silent now, long gone, indifferent, forevermore in company, lying in the same ground. -- via www.instagram.com/alximrdch/
Hello everyone. Just to say that all goes well with new music works--hope to post more details about all that soon...Meantime, for anyone interested, I've been documenting things a bit here ( : https://www.instagram.com/alximrdch/
Hello to anyone attending Iceland Airwaves Music Festival: Alexi Murdoch is in Reykjavik this week doing some recording work. His friends at the Bedroom Community label invited him to join their informal, off-venue showcase. Alexi will play Friday night at Kaffibarinn. More details: https://www.facebook.com/events/451592795051785/ - Team AM #icelandairwaves
Hello IRELAND! Alexi Murdoch is playing a surprise show tomorrow night during Sounds from a Safe Harbour, alongside Little Scream & Richard Reed Parry's project Quiet River of Dust. More details: http://soundsfromasafeharbour.com/crane-lane-theatre/ -Team AM #SFSH
The vinyl edition of Time Without Consequence is now ready to ship. It is a 2x LP set with music on three of the sides, and a fourth side containing a beautiful compass etching. This picture is the plate used to imprint that etching. It is a beautiful object produced with the highest quality in mind. Get your copy at: http://aleximurdoch.merchline.com
First you must free yourself from the idea of your voice. From the very sound of it. You must throw off the yoke of familiar language. The habits of rhythms and structures that are familiar. They are limitation. You have to expel even your greatest teachers. They too have become an obstacle to your freedom. But most of all you have to be honest. You have to be yourself. You have to be fearless—no, more than that--you have to be mindless of whatever might be the consequences of being so. Only by this way will you arrive at true revelation.
Time Without Consequence will be released on vinyl this April. The first 1,000 copies of the 2xLP will be pressed on white vinyl (500 copies) and black vinyl (500 copies). Each order comes with an instant album download. Reserve your copy: http://aleximurdoch.merchline.com