about [murmur]


[murmur] is a documentary oral history project that records stories and memories told about specific geographic locations. We collect and make accessible people’s personal histories and anecdotes about the places in their neighborhoods that are important to them. In each of these locations we install a [murmur] sign with a telephone number on it that anyone can call with a mobile phone to listen to that story while standing in that exact spot, and engaging in the physical experience of being right where the story takes place. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze.

It’s history from the ground up, told by the voices that are often overlooked when the stories of cities are told. We know about the skyscrapers, sports stadiums and landmarks, but [murmur] looks for the intimate, neighbourhood-level voices that tell the day-to-day stories that make up a city. The smallest, greyest or most nondescript building can be transformed by the stories that live in it. Once heard, these stories can change the way people think about that place and the city at large.

[From hear you are — [murmur]]

Refining the Question

Well, I guess posting this question to the metal forums was somewhat productive. It also reminded me what a shit-show the world of online discourse really is.

I received a range of responses. Most were pretty aggressive and tended to drip with condescension and judgment, something I’m sad, but not surprised to see in a metal forum. The academically-minded tended to sling piles of bullshit, interspersed with valid observations; a few of which were mildly enlightening.

And there were a couple of responses that succeeded in getting me thinking about more than just why I was asking the question in the first place, which I don’t find so interesting.

Here’s one of my responses to what people were saying (they tended to assume I was trying to justify metal in an absolute, universal sense. I guess I didn’t make that clear enough).
Continue reading “Refining the Question”

Mongolian Night Hypertext

Mongolia, land of the clear blue sky, transforms at night; her blue skies fade to reveal the blackness of empty space, overwhelmed by a silent swarm of stars, frozen in a distant dance. The moon, if she is out, burns with epic brightness, casting a cool glow across the shuffling herd, who peer at me with amazingly complete incomprehension.

Poems => Digital

Two poems I think would make interesting multi-media pieces:


An architecture whose elegance
Could only emerge from Time’s
Eternal forge, casting
Function, form, philosophy.

Swarms of flies, driven mad by midday sun
Melt silence into winged static.

His life stowed in ageless wooden chests,
The malchins’ mournful voice serenades his herd;
A wood-framed home in a woodless land.

Ode to Pepto

O Pepto, how gracious thou art
Calming the stomach’s sea
Thy fair complexion glows as a rose in Spring
Thy taste, as sweet as the finest chalk.

I continue to find myself drawn more towards the poetic form when considering how to approach multimedia work. I think my mind generally works more in the abstract, unless I can find a really “perfect” moment to capture, and remember/have recorded enough details to make it viable…

5/19: A Metal Show

The music is weak
impotent, despite their valiant
efforts to churn the air
The bass swallows,
the treble fades
I know the song yet cannot find the parts
Lost in this sea of adolescents and itching
adolescent eagerness.
My mind strains, and finally
begins to find familiar notes
My body wants to jump to sing to play
Yet locked and bound I stand, maybe a sway
But not for long,
The next band takeds the stage, they
are worth a sound-check—yet
even now the sound is all wrong
Earplugs in, it sounds like
I’m underwater—
My anger builds, I am sure to glare
menacingly at the sound-man,
lolling at the back beer in hand.
I slough off my skin, begin to drop-in
allowing my baser nature to drink in
these emaciated tones—still familiar enough
The crowd begins to breathe and pluse. The
sweaty, teenage white boys with their bored
(amused) girlfriends. There is the
kid who cannot move. He stares. A nod
perhaps, no wait, was just a blip
of noise on the screen.

My hands are raised, the drums begin their
next lumber, my head’s nodding (banging)
We do the dance for them, scream for them
reach out our hands to them
We want
so desperately
some of what they have.
To reach that place
that plane. We are grateful for the journey
the sensational experience.
My head shudders, my neck
twines in a deep way
My shirt sticks to my chest and back
my hair drips.
I drive home shirtless, smile on my face.

5/9 Freeform. From “R’Lyeh The Dead” by Adagio

Drops of dancing light
Waves of dark, deep beneath
Break into a buzzsaw
Pounding, repeating
Primal rhythmic sense appeal
Aggressive cutting, harmonies
Even the piano
A beaming wavering light emerges,
dodges and dips, then fades