Press Release

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CD Project Inspired by Groundbreaking Canadian Instrument

This is a Canadian story about the positive power of creativity, innovation and how the experiments of a hard-working and unassuming artist can enhance the way we communicate with one another through music.

About the Apprehension Engine and Tony Duggan-Smith:

Toronto-based master guitar-builder Tony Duggan-Smith has created - in cahoots with long-time friend and film composer Mark Korven - an exhilarating new instrument that adds vivid new colours and sounds to the palette used by musicians and composers everywhere. The introduction of a wholly new instrument in any time and place is rare. But when it happens, the potential to explode the boundaries of how we perceive “sound as music” and increase the depth of expressive potential associated with human creativity comes alive:

"I have no doubt we are witnessing the birth of another one-of-a-kind instrument with the introduction of Tony and Mark Korven's Apprehension Engine and the music it generates. Remember when we first heard the Synclavier, the Mellotron, the Moog, Theremins and others? I expect nothing less from the creative, renaissance-man mind of Tony Duggan-Smith." 

- Frank Davies, Founder of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame/

"It’s no surprise that Tony would create an instrument that forces musicians to come up with new musical ideas and constructs. The Apprehension Engine is a fluid transitioning instrument that forces the musician playing it to be creative. As a listener, you never know what sound is going to come out of it. Tony is the kind of guy you want to be shipwrecked on a desert island with because he would find a way to turn the one palm tree into a boat that would take you home. And once you were home he would turn the boat into a musical instrument."

- Linda Manzer, Luthier

Complete quotes here.

While people have been experimenting with sound for millennia, a new instrument that strikes a chord so quickly and at a global level is rare indeed. The Apprehension Engine has resonated internationally with millions of people. With no “songbook” or history of how it should sound or be played, its immediate uptake by composers including Mark Korven and John Kander, among many others, shows that the instrument invites creativity at the highest levels of imagination and experimentation. Without judgement and despite its name, the Apprehension Engine conjures both dark and light with the gorgeous, evocative sounds it produces. A unique sonic tool for this moment in history.

The Album: The Murmuring is a live concert recording of the first instance of the Apprehension Engine used in live performance in an ensemble with musicians playing conventional instruments. It is a unique demonstration of the potential of the instrument’s capacity to generate genuinely new sounds and new music in a group context.

About the Music: This album is a landmark recording: the first use of the Apprehension Engine outside of film scores to create new ensemble music. Its eerie sounds are attracting widespread attention from musicians, composers, and progressive audiophiles around the world and on the Internet. 

This is Music With-A-Twist-and-a-Turn.

The Apprehension Engine screeches, howls, groans, rattles, sings and sighs. A sonic rainbow in a post-modern manufactured landscape riddled with political anxiety and teetering on the brink of ecological collapse, it is introspective and apocalyptic. It shouts - demanding attention via its completely analogue composite sound sources. Simultaneously an impressionistic acoustic portrait of an old-time love ballad and a soothing lullaby that sets nerves on edge, it demands close listening to its shamanic, primal soundscapes. 
The participating musicians on the recording/performance are drawn from Canada's leading proponents of experimental music and performed at one of Canada’s premiere venues for experimental and improvised music, Silence.