Martha Skye Murphy & Maxwell Sterling
Distance On Ground
Much like travel literature, Distance on Ground, comprised of two long form improvisational tracks by Martha Skye Murphy and Maxwell Sterling, enacts the motion of journeying as it embarks on a discussion of it. Conceived as travel music, the compositions move between urban and rural landscapes and are accompanied by a participatory website--distanceonground.com-- where the listener can voyage in real time to and with the music in their chosen environment.
Born out of several improvised recording sessions, this body of work marks the beginning of Martha and Maxwell's collaboration. The immediacy of the way the music is created, captured and edited allows the listener to feel as if they are listening from within the studio it was recorded in.
"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."
Martha Skye Murphy
"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."
released January 14, 2022
Produced, mixed and engineered by Martha Skye Murphy and Maxwell Sterling.
Mastered by Andrew Weathers.
Recorded at Super Symmetry Studios, London.
With thanks to Jordan Reyes, Andrew Weathers, Casper Mills, Ina Tatarko, David Coleby, Nathan Beazer and Warp Publishing.
Photography by Andrew Weathers.
Design by Devin Shaffer.