The Wire (December 2017)
“Muscle Memory is a piece of meta art […] Rennie foregrounds the act of listening as an active component in the creation of musical experience”
Mike Westbrook (personal communication)
Thanks for the sample.
Beautiful and interesting for me to hear what you’ve done.
I look forward to hearing the whole thing,
Good luck with it,
Simon Waters (Contemporary Music Review)
“Muscle Memory begins to answer questions about how one work can comment on and analyse or critique another through its own agency as music. It also demonstrates how a work can marshal autobiography and ethnography to illuminate the human capacity to manipulate and be manipulated by musical activity. It explicitly engages multiple modes of listening and points of view: documentary ‘field’ recordist; participant observer; soundscape composer; ‘amateur’ musicologist and music lover; DJ and remix artist; spectromorphological composer—and allows the listener to explore different modes of listening through these multiple and nested points of view such that this becomes the primary formal concern. The listening home (the point of view) is contingent and transitory as we move through the scant twelve and a half minutes of the piece, so the listener is constantly becoming re-involved with, and made conscious of, the act of listening”
Adam Harper (Muscle Memory liner notes)
“Difficult to say which one I liked the most. ‘Graham South’ has the amazing extended solos and that enthusiasm, but ‘Matt Bourne’ has that killer opening and gorgeous textures like a full moon seen three meters underneath gently rolling water. The latter feels more A side. ‘I need to tell you about something that happened’ – what a great way to kick of a sequence of sounds! It has such an amazing effect on the attention and how the rest then seems to unfold.
The questions asked are firstly what a recording is and secondly what a recording is for. Answers to these questions are not just multiple but nested, multiple in parallel. But rather than some structuralist exercise, all the participants (performers, listeners, sonic materials) dance and improvise through the thicket (go on then, ‘rhizome’) like spider monkeys, with their hands, feet, tails”