Murmur Mori: Back to the forest

As you might have read, I’ve started expanding my tastes from metal to folk as well. In my personal quest to find something tangible and meaningful in these stranger aeons we live in, I stumble across wonderful music that hits me.

Folk that returns to nature, to ancestral groves where our forefathers and mothers would worship nature and their deities is not just a northern thing. Murmur Mori from Italy has a particular take on it and has created a beautiful album that you can read about here.

Because my words seemed to express what the band was saying, I felt I needed to learn more about Murmur Mori and their forest folk. So without further ado, here is my interview.

How are you guys doing? Can you briefly introduce yourselves?

Hello, we’re fine. Murmur Mori is our project and we are Mirko Void, musician with various projects, singer, composer, producer, working as a classical guitar teacher, and Kuro Silvia, photographer and film maker who likes to write poetry and sing, working now on a documentary on the archaeological finds in Val d’Ossola. Both are interested in our local traditions and ancient history. Together we wrote some articles for the magazine “Triple Moon”, distributed by the esoteric library “Ibis” in Bologna.

What does the name Murmur Mori mean? Why did you pick it?

Mumur Mori is a name with more than one meaning. Murmur can be a whisper or the demon associated with philosophy that has the power to let the souls answer to every question he poses to them. Mori is the japanese word for Forest or the latin word for “to die”. ?What music inspired you to pick the direction for Murmur Mori? The main inspiration comes from unexpected things, some examples: a leaf falling behind us or a book about the legends of the alps; about the music, we take it from traditional ballads and 70’s folk music. We are currently working on a new album that will come out first months of the new year and the sound will be more traditional and direct.

You’ve just released your second record, titled ‘O’. What concept or story is it you’re telling on this album?

“O” was a long research work, we visited the most of the archaeological sites of our land. Inside our work there’s the will to bring to the people a memory of our ancestors, to avoid forgetting how we used to live in tribes and with Nature. To remember how humans used to be a part of Nature, following the rhythm of seasons, esteeming and fearing Nature, we tried to find in these places the spirit and the knowledge about that way of living. We wanted to play music and sing words of ancient traditions and respect for the earth.

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The record feels like such an otherworldly experience. How do you get in the right state of mind to record?

The main part of our music was composed while we were visiting ruins in Italy, places where you find stones that are arranged in the wood from the Neolithic, “O” is in fact full of field recordings from those places, this helped us to transmit the emotions that we felt while contemplating cromlechs and sacred woods.

What is your writing and recording proces like?

(Mirko) I can stay whole weeks without recording, gathering ideas in my head and once ready, in two or three days I can manage to complete songs playing step by step every instrument that I feel has to be inserted. Sometimes the alienation is so strong that I spend hours without talking, just listening the work I’m doing and looking at the instruments in the studio, as the instruments are the ones that come forward to be played. (Silvia) I start to write down pieces of lyrics while I’m in a place that makes me feel inspired and I vocalise while Mirko is playing.

How do you get your inspiration, like where do you go and what other expressions do you gather from that?

We always visit a waterfall near to our place, in Piedmont, we walk a lot of trails in the mountains. There is a sacred forest where there’s a stone inside, which was used for rites of fertility, women glided on the stone and the trace is still visible on it.

Can you tell a bit about Stramonium? What is the collective about? Stramonium is a collective about music, poetry and researches of history and folklore created by us and our friends in Bologna.

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I find that there’s a deep meaning and experience to the music of Murmur Mori. Can you explain something about the places you describe in the biography. The ancient places, nature and sacred locations in the north of Italy. How can we visualise this?

We noticed a lot of ancient buildings, rocks, stones, and we felt that these places were full of history and we started to visit them more while writing songs and collecting informations about these ruins. There are a lot of archaeology proofs where we usually go by the mountains in Piedmont, they found evidences from the Lepontii which were a celtic population and the woods are rich of their presence still, dry stone structures even rooms with menhirs and cromlechs near to them. We feel very inspired by the idea of preserve the memory of these places.

Can you explain the logo you guys use? I originally thought to expect black metal when I saw it.

The logo is the seal of the demon Murmur with the japanese kanji for forest (Mori) in it. For me, your music is very close to the experience of nature.

What would you advice those that listen to your music and with to be in touch with nature more?

We are living in times where people are no longer conscious of where they are and are losing awareness of Nature, right now we need to re-learn the respect of it. Go walk in the woods or by the sea, take your time to breathe and listen, go live the woods, let your animal spirit awakes. Remove plastic and garbage on your way when you find it, it could be a small but useful action.

What other artists do you recommend people to listen to, who like your music, and why?

There’s a lot of amazing music in the world, from ancient times to our days but we suggest our friends qqq∅qqq, a music project from Venice. These guys reorganized a small lodge called “La Casetta” in the woods of Pianezze di Valdobbiadene (TV), They created a place where to play music and stay with Nature all around. Also if you enjoy our music, we made with Stramonium a compilation “Where Winter Beats Incessant” with the collaboration of some musicians we feel close to us.

What future plans do you have for Murmur Mori?

We are now finishing to record the new album and for the first time there will be the participation of outer musicians

Finally, I always ask this, if you were a dish (food), what would it be and why?

Polenta! Because we eat it a lot, fried and not.

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