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Jay Batzner, October 2012

Where (we) Live, a collaborative composition/performance/event by Grey McMurray and So Percussion, does everything in its power to communicate a sense of place and space. The first track sets McMurray as the leader of a guided meditation asking the listener to think about various places he/she has lived and how it felt to move into a new place. It is the kind of metaphor one might expect someone to build a piece around but it is a narrative which would require ample program notes (and listeners who would read them) in order to communicate the piece’s true intent. McMurray cuts right through that and after 20 seconds, you know exactly what he is shooting at. Even before his narration comes in…we get a sense of space.

So Percussion and McMurray keep all details focused on mood, tone, and event throughout the disc. All details, from subtle timbres to large formal designs, all point back to the whole composition. Even a track like “Moat,” which contains some jarring shifts from loud and percussive moments quickly dropping into subdued delicate textures all seem to convey the very idea of what a moat is and what it does: a drastic shift in the landscape meant to isolate one thing from another. As this particular track continues, the disparate elements are unified into one cohesive unit.

“Room and Board” walks that fine line between a work for narrator and ensemble and a story on This American Life with a slightly more exuberant soundtrack. “All Along” is a straight-up groove for a while but gives way to spare electric piano chords at the end. While the disc has a mostly ambient sound world about it, So Percussion gets plenty of rhythmic and driving moments to contrast the pointallistic and quieter moments. Everything blends so well together, every sound is so perfectly chosen, each component is exactly where it needs to be. © 2012 Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2012

Where [we] Live (Cantaloupe 21087) is all about home, and it’s also all about genre bending. Guitarist-vocalist Grey McMurray joins So Percussion in an adventure that combines song forms, narrative, a bit of post-prog avant rock, new music, world music, post-minimalism and other channels of musical expression in a tightly sequenced program of music that shines forth in ways that stick in the mind.

Musically there are rather uncanny combinations of percussion ensemble music and rock, with synthesizers/keys and McMurray’s forward leaning guitar work forming an important part of the mix.

The various combinations and interweavings of percussion, vocals, and guitar-synth ensemble provide the listener with an unforgettably memorable tapestry of music. © 2012 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

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