Julie Murphy’s voice has been described as “one of the finest of these islands” by BBC Folk on 2’s Mike Harding and has led to collaborations with music legends like Robert Plant, Danny Thompson and John Cale. Well known internationally for her work with innovative Welsh folk group fernhill she is also a highly respected songwriter and is about to release a new solo album, “A quiet house”, her first since “Lilac tree” ten years ago. The new album, recorded in her front room with engineer Jens Shroeder and produced by Murphy will be released on her own label and available on bandcamp via her website and at gigs.
The very personal, english language songs were written at the piano, an instrument Murphy started playing about two years ago ” when the house became suddenly quiet ” and are influenced ” as much by the paintings of Chagall and Ceri Richards as they are by folk song and the music of Steve Reich and Joanna Newsom “. The only other musician on the album is Welsh Canadian Ceri Owen Jones on trombone and harp. Jones, now living in Wales has a background in avant garde improv, jazz and ska which he explored as a member of Edmonton’s Chamber Graffitti, Calgary band No More Shapes and as guest musician with Tucson bands Calexico and Giant Sand.
The songs were recorded live, mostly first takes, with only the spoken word elements overdubbed. The piano and harp on Convoy, a setting of a poem by the Cornish poet Charles Causley, were completely improvised and the track includes murphy reading short entries from her father’s diary.
wed 14th mar 2012: Abergavenny, Stwdio felin fach
thu 15th mar 2012: Mold, Theatre Clwyd
sat 14th april 2012: Laugharne weekend : performing before Cerys Matthews in the church
mon 16th april 2012: Album launch in her front room at home in Wales with an invited audience of friends. To be streamed live from her website here
A live streaming test: The Essex Song: