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Manja Ristić, Murmer

The Scaffold

Label: Unfathomless

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

Preorder: Releases March 18th 2024


*165 copies limited edition* "The first person to contact me for collaboration back in the Spring of 2020 was Patrick. I was living with a sensitive child and a big dog in a small rented apartment in Belgrade when ridiculously harsh and oppressive curfews were forced upon us by the Serbian government. It is really hard to explain to anyone the situation I found myself in without acknowledging that it sounds like a dystopian SF. Only a few details to picture the reality – I had to risk getting arrested for taking the dog for a walk during the times when the kid was firmly asleep.

The invitation from Patrick came as a ray of light from a parallel universe which still had a meaningful socio-cultural framework. Not for long though, as the pandemic was progressing we all witnessed how deeply troubled and morally unrooted „contemporary“ societies are, from nation to nation revealing their pathologies, systematic cracks and hidden corruptive mechanisms. My „in-situ“ recordings were reduced to a windowsill, toys and household objects, kitchen and bathroom pipes and utilities, and sound voyeurism of the neighbours I never even met in the poorly soundproofed building. Patrick sent me a file of a singing scaffold. I listened to it for days, almost as a therapy sequence. Imagining what sort of scaffold our society would need to rebuild this mess, or at least to stop the structure from crumbling completely. A first exchange of files and initial work bounced between Belgrade, Serbia and Metsküla, Estonia in Spring 2020. In June I left Belgrade, and as it happens, I never went back. The pandemic year(s) were progressing slowly, revealing their bizarre madness from month to month, so our work on the Scaffold piece was slow. As I recollect it would take a year to start working on Antenna, another marvellous field recording coming my way from Estonia.

At the time I already started moving around and recording other environments than only Korčula island's micro world. During the summer I went to Dubrovnik, which was a terrible mistake. The tourist season was raging as if there were no pandemic at all, people from all around the world were clogging the narrow streets. I had a panic attack from not being able to walk without someone breathing into my face or neck. I found refuge in the church next to the Pile gate. It was such a contrast to find myself in an empty and silence-packed church, and then the magic happened. A group of priests started practising Gregorian chants behind the altar. The experience was mesmerizing, and today I am deeply grateful for it. To find a solace in the midst of turmoil, to sense the spiritual resonance of the deep past in the heart of contemporary hustle, was truly rewarding. But most of all, the friendship in sound and constant appreciation for mutual efforts and work is what is embroidered in this collaboration. Although parenting and demanding everyday flow occurs as a slow pace of working, I am certain that we have only just started our collaborative journey." - Manja Ristić

Cat. number: U83
Year: 2024