DEBUT SOLO ALBUM FROM THE CO-FOUNDER OF BALMORHEA
OFFICIAL RELEASE: October 25
via BEACON SOUND (lp) & 1631 recordings (digital)
composed, performed & produced by Michael a. muller
featurING heather woods broderick & jonathan sielaff
cover photograph by awoiska van der molen
promotional photography by matthew genitempo
mixed to 1/2” tape by john michael landon at estuary
mastered by rafael anton irisarrI at black knoll
Introducing Lower River
Conceptually, Lower River explores the place where time, space, and self are occluded — a field of pure energy and creation similar to ‘the flow’ or zen state where ideas stream without impediment. Inspired by Muller’s own remote travels throughout the US and Europe and the personal exploration of a meditative practice, it’s a sonic exploration of what it means to deeply listen versus to merely HEAR, to immerse oneself in navigating the subconscious plane of pure energy and deep, immersive creativity.
In 2006, multi-instrumentalist Muller co-founded the Austin-based ensemble Balmorhea; over the last 13 years he has co-led the group through six full-length records, numerous EPs, global tours, and original scores and worldwide track placements.
Lower River is Muller’s debut solo full-length release, which began as a sound experiment in 2018 spanning from the isolated Oregon coast to rural Southern Italy and remote fishing villages in the South of France. With a tape recorder in hand, Muller chronicled his journeys through sound, contemplating along the way what it means to deeply listen amid a modern narrative underwritten by distraction. Merging his field recordings with original compositions recorded in his home studio in Austin, Lower River is a sonic venture into other worlds and into the depths of one’s own mind; a study in engaging with sounds that don’t easily slot into pre-existing notions of what a album ‘ought’ to be.
The final composition includes works by avant bass clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff (Golden Retriever), vocals by Heather Woods Broderick (known for work with Sharon Van Etten & Efterklang), and abstract double bass and cello by Balmorhea’s Sam Pankey and Elan Green, respectively. The material was mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio in Upstate New York, with the album cover art made by renowned Dutch photographer Awoiska Van Der Molen.
The album is accompanied by a sensorially rich counterpart; in lieu of performing traditional shows, Muller has curated an touring exhibit of interdisciplinary work to debut Lower River through Fall 2019, comprised of video installations and interactive audio experiences. THE CORNERSTONE Amid this series of one-off events is a film FOR the single ‘Fixed Shadow,’ directed by Andrew Gallo and starring Marc Menchaca (Ozark, Black Mirror) and shot in a single continuous take on an Arri Alexa. The film will premiere in conjunction with the corresponding AUDIO FOR THE lead single ‘Fixed Shadow’ backed with a reworked version of the track by Bing & Ruth’s David Moore.
LOWER RIVER Exhibit & listening experience tour
featuring films by peter liversidge & andrew gallo
with album stream LOOP & CUSTOM audio installation
view risograph poster
october 20 fvf friends space, berlin
october 25 mass gallery, austin
october 31 300 s. kelly, marfa
november 2 peralta, santa fe
november 8 beacon sound, portland
november 9 alchemy works, los angeles
LOWER RIVER reworkS
november 22, 2019 — via beacon sound (cassette) & 1631 recordings (digital)
featuring contributions from marcus fischer, masayoshi fujita, daigo hanada, julia kent,
emilie levienaise-farrouch, david moore (bing & ruth), duane pitre & saariselka
• promotional images (print/web) credit: matthew genitempo
• lower river poem by ryan paradiso
• audio installation loop COMPILED of artists’ recorded voice IN response to the album featuring
peter broderick, hayden dunham, Rachel grimes, martyn heyne, HRISHIKESH HIRWAY, pall jenkins, will johnson, rauelsson, tiny vipers, YOUNG MOON & more VIA CUSTOM PILLAR / 5-WAY AUDIO INSTALLATION ON THE EXHIBIT TOUR.