Anna Murray – City Shadows

Pieced together by recording walks through Akihabara Electric Town, the Metropolitan Expressway which runs through the city (and past her apartment) and Hamarikyu Gardens, Anna Murray brings the fizzing sounds of Tokyo life indoors, melding them with her own delicate treatment of improvised sampling, instrumental layering and live-performed processing. 

The result is a dream-like slow-scan through rushing traffic, temple bells, scurrying cicadas, noh chants, scattered crowds, the sound of radios playing from shop windows, game machines and vignettes of passing conversations. Anna's own interventions to the sound world never feel intrusive, and instead offer a subjective lens to the outside world: placing herself in a similar position to that of experimental filmmaker Chris Marker in his 1986 documentary 'Tokyo Days'. During the making of this work, Tokyo was not put into official covid-19 lockdown, instead a kind of voluntary isolation. Anna meets a city tilted off its axis, conjuring aural material quietly singing with wonder, alienation, sadness and longing.
Anna Murray - field recordings, piano, tape, processing
Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

1 - Electrictown [03:48]
2 - Expressway [05:43]
3 - Engines and Pines [7:28]

Anna Murray

Anna Murray is a mixed-media composer and artist from Ireland and currently based in Tokyo. She has a particular interest in language and text-based composition, as well as graphic and open scores combined with live electronics. Her current work revolves around an examination of music and meaning, particularly focussed on a study of Japanese Noh theatre. In 2019 she was awarded the Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship to attend Tokyo University of the Arts as a research student, where she is studying Noh with Takeda Takahashi.

Anna regularly performs solo improvised ambient electronics, including regular appearances in Dublin as well as at the New Music Dublin Festival and a collaboration with saxophonist and composer Nick Roth in Seoul. In 2013 she released her first solo EP Rndr. In 2017 she set up a small concert series in Dublin of experimental and improvised music called Kontakt, performing with artists such as Sebastian Adams, Rachel Ní Chuinn and Miro Baca. She also performed with and wrote for experimental gamelan group Gamelan Nua.

She holds a BMus from NUI Maynooth and an MPhil Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin. She has twice been awarded Arts Council Ireland Bursary Awards. In 2016 she was awarded the Music Currents Festival Commission by Dublin Sound Lab, and the resulting work, S:NP–VP–NP was performed at the festival in 2017. Recent commissions include My little Force explodes, written for Michelle O’Rourke and Lina Andonovska, commissioned by Ergodos as part of Morning Rituals at the New Music Dublin Festival 2019.

Other recent works include: LIT, a work for voice and electronics for regular collaborator, vocalist Michelle O’Rourke based on the poetry of Robert Fitterman, commissioned with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland, performed at the International Alliance of Women in Music’s Annual Concert 2017; and At Miidera for piano and electronics, written for Máire Carroll and commissioned by Kirkos Ensemble for their Kirkoskammer concert series with funds from Arts Council of Ireland.