Brendan Murray - Commonwealth
Over a single forty five minute track, Boston sound sculptor Brendan Murray creates a sonic meditation with more depth and true emotional highpoints than most ambient drone. "Commonwealth" truly inspires, its frequency adjustments drawing as much from barely there guitars as from electronic manipulation. There is a silence here even when the drone reaches a peak of mass colors.
The beauty of drone is that it can sound transcendent and despairing at once, and Murray walks that line often, allowing the sound to find its own compromise with the silence, at whatever mood it drifts into when it faces that silence. Slowly the piece fades away naturally, and we don't miss it, because it did its part perfectly, announcing that all things have to die even as they reach many heights while alive.
"Commonwealth" then would be a great intro to those who see ambient drone as just some random pulse meaning nothing, an experiment conducted by an artist who just set the keyboard to do its thing, forgot it, and watched "MXC" in the other room. Much drone does lend itself to accusations of exercises in irrelevance. Brendan Murray rises above his chosen medium and adds incredible life to it as well.
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