Martha Skye Murphy and Maxwell Sterling have teamed up for a new ambient EP called Distance On Ground, which is available now digitally and will be released on cassette through American Dreams records.
Distance On Ground features two extended tracks built from several improvised sessions between the two. The compositions enact the feeling of journeying, and the release comes with a participatory website – distanceonground.com – where you can watch landscapes roll endlessly by as you listen to the work.
The recordings are live and entice you into feeling as if you’re in the room with the pair. Murphy’s vocals chart an exploratory path across the searching and tactile instrumentation, beseeching you to let go and travel with them.
The two artists introduce Distance On Ground below.
Murphy says: “Distance On Ground began as a conversation where words were replaced by sound while Maxwell and I shared our interests in articulations of place and space within a long form medium. We started recording almost immediately when we met. An organic and fluid movement between our instruments arose, my voice answering Maxwell’s rich double bass and vice versa. The wordless trance lasted for over 3 hours. We spoke like this again a few weeks later, documenting it all for a further 5 hours. Distance On Ground is the collaged result of our geographical discussions through music. Each time I listen to 86 km and 93.3 km they reveal themselves differently to me as another site, path or direction is exposed.”
Sterling adds: “These recording sessions with Martha were such a tonic after isolation and lack of playing music live. There’s something deeply healing in the music that came from these sessions, something closer to a live performance for me. The interplay and sonic relationship between voice and double bass is something that I love to explore, and with Martha’s vocal dexterity and subtle processing, it felt like a very natural combination from the start.”