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Check out Mared Jurphy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mared Jurphy.

Mared, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a mountain town called Truckee, CA, just northwest of Lake Tahoe. I played a bit of piano and guitar when I was a kid, but I fell in love with percussion (particularly drums) in high school. I’ve been writing poetry for about as long as I can remember. After graduating, I went to Chapman University to study percussion performance (I’m in my last year right now). I became inspired by all sorts of avant-garde music from composers like John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, and my composer friends at school. I also made some great friends and had a lot of fun playing drums in a few bands in Orange County, like Women Tied To Railroad Tracks, Dylan Kanner, and Dad Hat. I became more interested in finding unique, interesting timbres and techniques on my drum set, freely improvising by myself and speaking/screaming/singing on top of it all. A lot of my poetry and the sounds I try to get out of the instruments are inspired by my home in the mountains: the trees whispering through the wind, the cycle of life and death constantly moving, the rushing river and the birds flying above it, things like that. I feel a lot safer and my head feels clearer when I’m up there, so after I graduate from school, I’m hoping to move out of Orange County and go back north.

Can you give our readers some background on your music? What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make music that is mostly for solo drum set and my speaking voice. Some of the pieces are more tied to rhythmic structures, and some are more focused on certain sounds and techniques on the kit, with elements of free improvisation. I’m always trying to learn more about my instrument and myself through this project. I’ve performed some of this music with a couple of friends of mine, and I am looking to do more collaborations!

I feel like I can express my ideas/feelings the most honest when I am doing this sort of dramatic speak-singing rather than singing a melody. (Also, cards on the table, the band La Dispute and writers like Bukowski are pretty big influences.)

The writing process can start from either a bit of text I’ve written or a groove or timbre I want to explore and develop. I take them and sit at the kit with all my different sticks and implements (unless I know I want to play something other than drum set), improvising different ideas until I have a fleshed-out thing. It usually doesn’t start from one complete text or one complete drum set part; I try to let them meld together to get the thing to flow and feel authentic.

I feel like my writing has a few main themes. I talk about the great power of the forest. I also think it’s important to be as genuine as I can and appreciate the loving people in my life, knowing that I only have a finite amount of time with them. That sort of mingles with the big idea of death. It’s cathartic to talk plainly about how I feel about the whole thing, and I’m interested in what others think about it and how they deal with it. I hope people will think that talking about death and being afraid of it is okay, (I’m scared as hell and I feel like most people are) and I think it’s worthwhile to try and find a bit of gratitude for every day that we get to keep living, despite how difficult life might be.

The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I think time is a valuable resource. I’d say try to parcel out your time such that you can work on your art every day in between meeting demands for “real work” to earn money, even if it is just a little bit. If you can afford to go to one open mic a week, or write a song a week or work a bit on whatever you want to do, that’s just more time spent getting better at it. And one open mic can get you heard by one more person, which can lead to one more gig, and so on. If you care about the work, that should hopefully inspire you to work hard through whatever fatigue may come, and however slow the process may seem.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have an album called “Deathcalls” on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and other Internet music places, and I’m writing material for another album right now!

I update where I’m playing next on my Instagram page @maredjurphy.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kara Murphy, Chapman Radio

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