Seijiro Murayama / Michael Northam – MORIENDO RENASCOR

Xing Wu

Moriendo Renascor was recorded and mixed in 2003 and 2004, yet it sees the light of the day just now. The result was well worth the wait: capturing sounds from areas as diverse as Portugal and the Swiss Jura, the artists have managed to reach an intense state of “material suspension” which permeates the record, a sense of mystery only increased by the text penned by composer Lionel Marchetti that is hypothetically printed on the inner sleeve of the CD. The ink is so pale that the handwritten scribbling is all but indecipherable, a suitable symbol of the music’s elusive nature. This kind of ambience is par for the course when Northam is involved: working on the borderlands of environmental/concrete music – influenced, first and foremost, by long childhood journeys through the deserts of Utah – and performing on self-made instruments, he creates marvelously unfinished aural matters that demonstrate his perpetual attentiveness to sounds at the edge of perception. The pairing with Murayama, who has worked with Fred Frith, Tom Cora, KK Null, Keiji Haino and Jean-Luc Guionnet among others, is entirely sympathetic given the percussionist’s interest in the phenomena of “phantom resonance” – his performances sometimes consist exclusively of pure gestures. Roles are decentralized – no more “composers”, only “generators” or “unintentional bystanders” – as these four tracks explore the spellbinding qualities of resounding metal and natural phenomena, delivering the arresting coalescence of involuntary coordination and raw magnificence that apparently inanimate objects reveal when exploited with the intent of making us aware of the relation between our physical being and its function as a receptor for sounds.


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