James Murray – Killing Ghosts

James Murray – Killing Ghosts


This comes in our 4 panel reverse board card package in an edition of 500.

In the spring of 2014 my wife and I stayed at a remote log cabin in the Black Mountains. Anne was taken ill from the moment we arrived and barely left the bed all week. I’d packed a laptop, small midi keyboard and portable hard disc recorder, and resolved that if we weren’t to have a break together I’d at least salvage something from the trip.

I’d spent a lot of time around then thinking about how haunted we are by our lost loved and not-so-loved ones. About how these ghosts can be more than just absences, that they can actually exist in some real sense as shadows cast by our fears and regrets. The horse-whisperer who owns the cabin told us when we arrived of the local belief that up in those mountains the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. From the first nightfall to the very end of our stay I felt like the atmosphere in that place was charged, agitated somehow, like everything was on the verge of cracking.


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Pines groaned in the woods all around us, walls and floorboards continually creaked and china rattled on the shelves. I recorded everything that made a sound, then manipulated and distressed those recordings, letting them bleed into one another, forming their own shifting rhythms and gritty, grainy textures. I added deep sub-bass sines, electronic washes and gently improvised motifs that felt in step with the strangely watchful energy of the place. Between the crackling of the open fire and the wild, wide landscape outside, I seemed to have stumbled into the perfect environment for exploring these unsettled yet tenderly nostalgic feelings I’d been having. The music flowed.

And now – thanks to Gosia Łapsa-Malawska’s wonderfully plaintive artwork and Ian Hawgood’s passion, belief and commitment – here is Killing Ghosts, my attempt to make some sense not just of that peculiar time, but of each and every day spent without those we leave behind. – James Murray


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