stuck in the middle of an alley closing in on all sides

by jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    numbered cd printed cd-r in jewel case. jam016.

    Includes unlimited streaming of stuck in the middle of an alley closing in on all sides via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.


      $7 CAD  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 69 jessica murray releases available on Bandcamp.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of inricited, boogeyman, teenage jesus, circus, the harsh truth is that only idiots wish for happiness, i think i feel much better now, why, useless, and 61 more. , and , .

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this is one of the tracks that i can't date well. i do, however, remember working on it during the winter, which means it must have been late '00 or early '01. i'm going to consequently deduce that it must have been what i was working on over the 2000 christmas break and date it coming out right after it.

actually, i have another reason to date it in early '01 rather than late '00: the introductory piano part was recorded live into my notation program on my dx100, which i was given over christmas (maybe a little before; it was a cheap garage sale pickup) to act as a controller for my recently broken jx-8p, that i had tried to take apart over the summer to clean a sticky key (a common problem with mid-80s roland analog synths) but failed and left keyless. it's still keyless. yet, the dx still drives it....

that introductory piano part formed the basis of the track, which built itself up fairly quickly. somewhere, i lost the nwc file by saving it as midi, which ruined all the formatting. it's been sitting on my drive ever since.

why put together seven different midi versions of the same track, and sequence them after a polished recorded version? well, this was never actually meant to be computer music. i was just composing something the old fashioned way with the intent of later giving it to some musicians to play. that never happened. what did happen was that i found myself playing it back on multiple sound cards over many years, trying to make it sound as good as possible in the short run - until i could finally get the chance to sit down and actually record it. while each of the different renders has it's strong and weak points, i ultimately don't feel that they form a total order. something i thought about doing was recording tracks independently on different cards and then pasting them together, but that would have just created another dozen incomparable mixes. rather than arbitrarily pick one, i decided to just upload all of them.

in hindsight, i think the format is interesting in itself in terms of it being a psychological experiment with sound. the differences from track to track are sometimes inaudible and sometimes extremely noticeable. stringing it all together in a row like this is challenging to any listener in the sense that it rips apart the process of becoming familiar with a piece. it means listening to exactly the same song through multiple different sound libraries. i think your brain would have to interpret that as a sort of a trip, especially when it comes to trying to build associations in sound within tracks that are both similar and different sounding, soundcard wise. i think that might be part of the reason i had so much difficulty isolating tracks in the first place.

so, listening to the ep through all the way is likely to be a bit disorienting and might ultimately be a strange experience. however, if you like the track for what it is as a collection of overlapping sequences of notes then i hope you get something out of the process of comparing and contrasting the renders together.

i have included the original midi file as a bonus item in the download, if you want to play with it on your own. the added guitar sections in the final version are recent additions and have not been written out.

thematically, the track is meant to orchestrate a feeling of claustrophobia with society pushing down on you too hard. it's meant to transmit a feeling of existential dread. at the time, i really felt stuck with life in general and not sure how i was going to get out of it.

four further remixes were added at the end of may, 2015, which has forced me to move the bandstand mix and m-audio mix to download only. it also splits the ep into jazz and orchestral components, with a glitch mix added on to the end. i do not expect to add further mixes at this point.

written late 2000 & early 2001. the renders present here are all from the early months of 2014. minor instrumentation changes to facilitate a small wind section were implemented in late april, 2014. live guitars were layered into the final version over may 2014. four more mixes were added from may 19-26, 2015. as always, please use headphones.

*download only


released January 10, 2001

j - electric piano, programming, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, digital effects & treatments, digital wave editing, composition.

the rendered electronic orchestras variously include piano, bass, synth bass, distorted electric guitar, clean electric guitar, other guitar effects, steel string acoustic guitar, nylon string classical guitar, sitar, violin, viola, cello, contrabass, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, oboe, english horn, bassoon, synthesizers, clarinet, flute, piccolo, xylophone, glockenspiel, woodblock, tubular bells, orchestra hit, jazz drum kit, hand drums, melodic toms, orchestral drum kit and electronic drums.



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jessica murray

this is the archive for the artist formerly known as jason parent and now known as jessica murray.

the music here has shifted dramatically over many years, from roots in punk/grunge through to experimental synth pop and into a type of kitchen sink post-rock with heavy electronics. the only consistency throughout is a lack of consistency, guitars and an impressionist aesthetic. "blender rock".
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