About this project
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songs for forgetting
This campaign will enable the release of songs for forgetting a new LP of compositions by Patrick McGinley, aka murmer, on the Gruenrekorder record label. songs for forgetting, murmer's first full-length solo release since 2012, will be released as a vinyl LP in 2016. We need your support to make an object that looks and feels as good as it sounds.
Notes on the release by the artist
I work very slowly, and as such songs for forgetting has been in development for a very long time. The first element, a large sand timer, was recorded in Köln in August, 2007. Further field recordings were made of rain dripping through Soviet era drainpipes in the small Estonian village of Tõravere (later that same month), mascletà daytime fireworks (whose purpose is pure noise) in Valencia, Spain (March, 2008), a pebble beach in Ētretat, France (June, 2008), and underwater life in a branch of the Andelle river in Perruel, France (May, 2009).
But the direction that brought all these recordings together was an accidental tendency towards instrumental recordings, which feature in each of the 'songs'. These were all unfamiliar instruments, or, in some cases, not 'instruments' at all, in the literal sense of the word, but objects or spaces that nonetheless lent themselves to being 'played'. I encountered them around the same time as these other recordings were being made, and recorded my explorations and improvisations with them, sometimes including other players as well.
The first of these instruments was a small zither, perhaps of African origin, that was in an apartment in Berlin where i was put up during a visit in 2007, the apartment of another sound artist whose name, Jeff Gburek, i'd known for years, but who i had never met in person. He was out of town at the time; he doesn't know that i played his instrument (although perhaps he does now).
The next was an old radio antenna, on the roof of a large astronomical observation telescope, also in the village of Tõravere, which sang a predetermined melody when bowed, which i did together with a native of that village, Piibe Kolka, in 2007. And later that year, while in Vienna, Austria for a festival, i recorded an improvisation with the debris and trash under a small pedestrian bridge with my friends Lasse-Marc Riek (who coincidentally co-heads the Gruenrekorder label) and visual artist Elffriede.
Early the next year, while staying with my good friend Max Shentelevs in Riga, Latvia, I experimented with one of the many instruments in his collection, a small African lute. And about a year later i recorded some experiments with another tabletop zither, given to me by an old housemate in London, the singer-songwriter Sam Semple, played by a small motor given to me also by Max from Riga.
With all the elements collected, the songs began to be put together, very slowly, starting in that summer of 2007, and finishing only now as the release is being prepared. They were built often in response to specific emotionally challenging situations, situations that demanded some forgetting themselves, so the title can be read two ways; what you choose to forget is up to you. - Patrick McGinley, April 2016
Gruenrekorder is a German record label for field recordings, soundscapes and sound art, although the release spectrum also includes compilations, crossover projects, and works from the New Music genre. It was founded in 2003 by the sound artists Lasse-Marc Riek and Roland Etzin in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Roland Etzin and Lasse-Marc Riek also operate as activists and artists in an international network and collaborate with diverse communities, organisations, scientists, authors and artists in various contexts.
We liked songs for forgetting from the first moment we listened to it and we have a long standing relationship with Patrick McGinley. The originality of the field recordings used, combined with the delicate body of the instrumental recordings make this a wonderful release. The handmade artwork and vinyl pressing made it impossible to pass up. Patrick McGinley has had a long term empathetic connection to field recording, so we are very proud to release this work on Gruenrekorder.
What your contribution will pay for
Your support will enable us to produce a beautiful physical object, a home for the artist's wonderful sounds, which is rooted in the Estonian landscape where Patrick lives and works. The paper, printing and design have all been sourced locally from amongst his friends, collaborators and contacts. In supporting this release, you also support the networks and community that are at the heart of Patrick's artistic practice.
We have also chosen to have the record mastered and the master lacquer cut by the experts at Dubplates & Mastering in Germany (in our humble opinion the best in the business), and the final pressing done onto 180 gram vinyl also locally to Gruenrekorder by Handle With Care.
Supporting the creative community
The sleeve for this record, which is being designed by the Armenian illustrator Vahram Muradyan, a close friend and neighbor of the artist's, will be made from 100% locally-sourced recycled card from the oldest continuously-operating industry in the country, the Räpina Papermill, with whom Patrick has been collaborating for the packaging of his framework editions label since 2009. It will be printed locally as well, on the historical machines at studio.tartuensis, with whom he has been exchanging recording and printing services for the last few years.
Vahram Muradyan's design incorporates many elements from McGinley's own collection of found detritus - leaves and leaf skeletons he has collected decorate the LP labels and the front of the outer sleeve, and notebooks found in a ruined mill near his home are the source of the handwriting on the inner sleeve. They are children's school notebooks - math and writing exercises, but from years of exposure to the elements they are all but impossible to read, hence the conceptual connection to to the album's theme of forgetting. And with each copy of the LP we will include a small fragment of one of the original notebook pages, housed in a small plastic bag, like evidence, or a scientific specimen.
You can hear the sound of paper being made at the Räpina Papermill here, recorded by the artist during his ongoing documentation project there:
And a recording here he made of the historic printing presses at studio.tartuensis:
THANK YOU For your support!!!
This release needs you. We are aiming to create an artwork as visually worthwhile as the audio it contains. This involves paper, vinyl, printing, love and time. For it to be worthwhile, we need to know there is an audience for a physical release in these days of digital, online media. By backing this project you help to bring it into the world. Without your support and appreciation, it just can't happen.
Of course you are here to get yourself a copy of the songs for forgetting LP in it's beautiful hand-made packaging (along with a downloadable digital version). However we have some other exciting rewards that we would like to offer you in thanks for backing this project. You can choose to see your name in print, online or the record sleeve itself. You can receive a hand-made record-carrying tote-bag, designed and printed by our excellent designer, Vahram Muradyan. You can select any number of past murmer releases, or releases from Patrick's framework editions imprint. Or you could choose to receive a USB stick with the COMPLETE ARCHIVE, over 500 shows, of framework radio, Patrick's long-running field recording radio show.
Or, for a more personal touch, you can choose to receive a hand made item from Patrick's home in the Estonian countryside, where between the kitchen and his partner's studio, all sorts of edible and wearable delicacies are produced. What you receive will depend on where you are located, and what import regulations will allow. This may be a homemade jam or chutney, sauerkraut, or a bottle of Patrick's own recipe birch sap beverage. Or it could be a pair of hand-knit wrist warmers, or a felted woollen mobile phone cosy.
Finally, one contributor will have the opportunity to take a special field recording trip to Estonia, where Patrick will take you to the forest, show you some of his favorite recording spots, and stuff you full of home-cooked foods (his favourite hobby).
Slideshow video designed and constructed by Vahram Muradyan. Image credits: John Grzinich (1,9), Lauri Kulpsoo (4), Max Sheltelevs (10), Patrick McGinley (all remaining). Extra special thanks to Felicity Ford for her advice and guidance in putting this campaign together.
Risks and challenges
Once this project is financed we don't forsee any further complications. The Gruenrekorder record label has produced over 150 releases, so we know how to deal with critical situations.
After that the only risk we might have are problems with on-point-timed production and shipping, but these are always factors in record production, and nothing we can't handle professionally.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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