The idea is to imply a sense of interruption by creating
sets and sub-sets of little tranquil audio components that
can be switched between, brutally and abruptly. Each audio
component (or loop) contains a sense of movement in order
to emphasise the disturbance when it is switched on/off,
so I recorded and processed instruments to convey temporal
fluctuation. For example, some of the material includes exponentially
plucked banjo, fwd/bwd looping piano chords, filtered random
noise and wobbling analogue synthesizer.
The medium of tape was of huge significance to the Bibio piece.
I took that as my starting point and considered the mechanics
of the medium. The grainy residue of his recorded elements
was very characteristic, so i decided to smooth this out while
retaining the harmonic values and brought them into the digital
realm. This gave me a collection of chords to build my own
It struck me that when you pause a tape machine, the next time
you press play the recording begins from where it was interrupted.
Most digital samplers will always revert to the start of a
recording when you pause them, so I assembled some software
to enable a tape machine-like playback. Using a computer enabled
me to set up a live performance environment in which I could
instinctively switch between hundreds of little audio components.
I am very interested in generative techniques in music composition
and this set-up provided an infinite number of loop combinations,
as there was no syncing or governing tempo. The contact points
between the loops being turned on and off became the central
theme to the performance and suggested either a series of conveyor
belts or a complex system of switches.
As I was cultivating wild facial hair during the building of
the performance so I called it "A Beard of Mercury Switches". Dunk Murphy / September 2009
After completing his MA in Music Technology at the University of Limerick,
Sunken Foal (Dunk Murphy) released his debut album "Fallen Arches" on
Planet-Mu records alongside the "Fermented Condiments" E.P.
in late 2008. Since then, he has played a string of successful gigs developing
a unique 'finger-triggered' improvisational live performance setup. His
music tangles stringed instruments with analogue synthesis and walks
a fine line between murky pessimism and ethereal harmony. Occasional
vocals are met with digital percussion that twist and turn at every
juncture. His interest in generative music has lead to techniques that
imply continually fluctuating timbres and compositions while never wandering
too far from the dance floor. Sunken Foal has featured as BBC Radio1
session artist (featuring Jürgen Simpson and Cormac Dermody) on
the Mary Anne Hobbs Experimental show and has contributed to her acclaimed
Wild Angels compilation.