Father Murphy return to the blog this week, for potentially the last time.
It took us a while.Their final record, Rising, was released at the end of April.But it’s a dense, sombre record that took much turning to the light to find our way in.
Our entry was Gradual.The third track on the album.A parade of the dead.A place for mud and souls.A visceral lament for the dead Father
Theirs is a sound that seems utterly, irredeemably, human.A merging of the voice and the organ and the skin of the drum.Drums that seem to haunt forests.Drums that summon the dead.Drums that speak of hidden ritual, of finality.Theirs is a final stand against our cybernetic future.An appeal to a deeper power to save us from the machines.
Today, in our infrequent Saturday mixtape series, we bring you the selections of Father Murphy. More on their final album next week but today they’ve provided us with something conceptually appropriate…
Let perpetual light shine upon us A collection of music for eternal rest by Father Murphy
1) Kyrie (Gyorgy Ligeti)
A swarm of voices pleading for mercy in a Cormac McCarthy landscape.
2) Bala (Senyawa)
The sound of transcendence delivered by shamans from the Island of the Deads.
3) Salomon islands women funeral chants
Heart wrenching and sublime at the same time: like only pain itself sometimes can be.
4) Ad mortem festinamus (Virolai, Llibre Vermell de Montserrat)
Melodies and harmonies, joyful and somehow triumphants, that allow us to accept Death as our dancing companion.
5) Danza Macabra (Francesco Filidei)
Rattling bones or military rolls, there will be sounds to keep us company inside the coffin.
6) Responsorio delle tenebre a sei voci (Salvatore Sciarrino)
Another swarm of voices, keening and muttering. A massive and feeble delayed sound in a perpetual search for vindication and rescue.
7) Malproksime (Mohammad)
Relentless and incessant, like a single gigantic wave that will cover all the land, a mournful chant that takes us by hand to witness a funeral rite.
8) Miserere (A. Castro, S. Chirdo, F. Falcone & M. Salatino)
We sing for Thee, holding our pumping hearts in our hands.
9) Hesteofringen: Min Dode Hest op. 55 (Henning Christiansen)
Sorrowful and breathtaking. The sound of consciousness holders, inflicting death and at the same time mourning for it.
10) I Thirst (ARIADNE)
“I fade to this dust and I shall be no more”
11) Koumé (Eliane Radigue)
“Ashes of illusion becoming light. Descent to the deepest, where the spark of life is. There, Death is born. Death becomes birth. Actively re-beginning. Eternity — a perpetual becoming.”
Four sides of vinyl, each containing one track. Yet this Father Murphy EP has 10 tracks in total… how so? Because each side has been intended to be played back simultaneously with another side of vinyl, or standalone, opening up a variety of aural combinations.
This is doubtless regarded as a gimmick by some.
But why be so cynical as to alienate yourself from magick? It’s a simple process, but one which engages the listener in a more involved capacity than just passively listening to music.
As bloggers, as DJs, promoters, and half-assed label owners that is all WE ever wanted to do.
If there’s any criticism of Father Murphy’s concept at all it’s simply that their collage work is so accomplished that any intervention is redundant at improving their sound. But ‘improving’ probably isn’t the point here – instead it’s like shuffling a sonic tarot deck, flinging out new and improbable pairings that prompt you to gaze hard into the juxtapositions for meaning.
Here is a sliver from that Pain is on Our Side Now EP: