Enter Martha Skye Murphy’s world in this immersive audio dreamscape

Lose yourself in our kaleidoscopic mosaic of sound created in collaboration with the celestial South London artist

Words by Alice Nicolov

When we first heard Martha Skye Murphy live it was in a dark basement. The room was enveloped in thick, heavy air; full of bodies and teenage couples whispering and holding each other’s clammy hands. The low purr from the ancient, ineffectual aircon unit merged with murmurs from the crowd merged to fill the space. We found a spot near the back and waited. When Martha began to sing, the background hum disappeared and the weight in the room lifted, dissipated by Martha’s crystalline voice. Each word, every note and the story behind her songs cut through the haze.

That’s why, when we came to work with Martha for Lucent, we wanted to create a space where our audience could meet the London-based artist through her voice first. We started to think about making a place that people could visit and lose time – somewhere that felt personal and handmade but was still accessible. We asked Martha to talk us through her songwriting process and, inspired by the artist’s own ideas of an online sound diary, we began to sketch a digital soundscape. Martha collected and recorded new work which she poured out in a kaleidoscope of sounds, visuals, scraps of writing, vocals and more to share with us. Then we began to build.

We took the sounds and photography and dropped them piece by piece into an online basin, working with Martha to refine the sound piece until the experience felt like a channel into her mind. A place where we could chase fleeting sounds and pictures but would never quite be able to capture them.