A few months back I reviewed independent recording artist Mark Murdock’s new CD, ‘Cymbalic Encounters’, along with my positive review, many more followed. Due to good word of mouth and wonderful promotion, ‘Cymbalic Encounters’ is now being unleashed on the world with a previously unheard of bonus track on June 17th. I welcomed the opportunity to ask Mark a few questions.
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Mark, Can you start off by telling us about this new release date?
Mark Murdock: On June 18th ‘Cymbalic Encounters’ is being released worldwide via Gonzo MultiMedia which houses a host of notable Prog artists. I feel ‘Cymbalic Encounters’ has found a nice home with Gonzo. Up to the Gonzo release, the CD has been exclusively available through disk Union Japan and as a digital music download via cdbaby, iTunes, and Amazon. There will be a Bonus Track and an expanded insert with lyrics and more photos on the Gonzo release.
Classic Rock Radio (UK): What has been the most rewarding response to ‘Cymbalic Encounters’?
Mark Murdock: I have received a number of thumbs up for bringing John and Percy together on record, most likely from Brand X followers. I believe it has been a number of years since they have collaborated on any given project. More importantly, of course, is that the music has been for the most part well received. Some key radio programs like CRR Dot EU and stations in Europe aired it and there have also been numerous reviews featured in many key music magazines, all of which I wasn’t really expecting. I initially envisioned the CD would have a sort of an underground appeal amongst some shady group of characters from the late seventies.
Photo: Behind the Drum Kit … Mr. Mark Murdock
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Have their been any attempts to play this music live?
Mark Murdock: There was an attempt to bring everyone together as a Brand X reunion and Cymbalic Encounters set here in Tokyo. Actually, I was asked by a promoter to do a Japan tour, and had agreement from all Brand X members but one key member. So to make a long story short, without this one key member it was an unlikely sale. So, at the moment I have a three piece group of local musicians, here in Tokyo, where we are rehearsing selected songs in hopes of playing a few local gigs.
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Regarding the songs, I was wondering what was the inspiration behind the song titles?
Mark Murdock: It’s funny that you would ask me that question, Gary. I keep getting asked about the song titles, as the CD title suggests a play on words, Cymbalic and Symbolic.
Songs like ‘Revert To My Senses’, ‘Illusion Nation’ and ‘Until The Sun Is No Longer’ portray a kind of struggle of existence in an unpredictable world.
‘Goodsall Funk Railroad/The Ballad Of Percy Jones’, just came to me as John is a great funk player (Grand Funk Railroad turned into Goodsall Funk Railroad) and Engine Percy from the kid’s show ‘Thomas’ that my son, Preston used to watch on Japanese TV. I’m not all that sure that Percy and John were approving of that. I might have pissed them off actually. I will be careful in the future, (laughs Mark).
‘Sunning Hill’ was the name of Phil’s old flat in Epson, Surrey U.K. (flat 3) that I used to visit when he was playing with Brand X. The flat had purple wallpaper, a red piano and a green painting on the wall of Eno’s Another Green World. They were in real need of an interior decorator. It was like a flashback to the psychedelic 1960’s.
‘Philosophically Sound’ has an intelligent kind of melody similar to a scientific formula. Percy is an inventor at heart so perhaps this song has some kind of equation hidden in the melody?
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Do you plan a follow up to Cymbalic Encounters?
Mark Murdock: Yes, I have a new Cymbalic Encounters in the works now and hoping by fall to have it completed and released. There will be fewer songs than Cymbalic Encounters but have John Goodsall and Percy Jones on board.
Photo: John Goodsall_Mark Murdock_Percy Jones
“This new batch of songs seems more wide open harmonically.” – John Goodsall
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Any additional featured artists Mark?
Mark Murdock: My son, Preston is playing electric sitar and has a few guitar spots.
Desirably, I would like to incorporate some new guest artists on the CD and I have in fact invited a few respected musicians. Not sure who will end up on the recordings yet. Stay tuned….. Oh, but I can reveal that I have a professional cello player on a few tracks, which is a departure from previous projects I have attempted.
Classic Rock Radio (UK): You live in Japan. Any cool promotion there?
Mark Murdock:The Japanese magazine ‘Strange Days’ interviewed me. It is a popular music mag here which did a three page feature on the CD. They seemed interested in my involvement with Peter Banks (YES – R.I.P). Someday perhaps Mark Murdock will be a household name! Isn’t he the sushi song guy?
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Any closing thoughts?
Mark Murdock: Spread the word
Classic Rock Radio (UK): Thanks for the time Mark. We here at Classic Rock Radio (UK) are confident the Gonzo release of Cymbalic Encounters to be just the start of even bigger and better things. Already looking forward to whatever the next musical adventure will be.
Official Gonzo Media Group / Mark Murdock Webpage
Bonus: Cymbalic Encounters Sample (enjoy)
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
August 15, 2016
From the Desk of Mark Murdock
Gonzo U.K. and Diskunion Japan released Cymbalic Encounters second CD ‘Exploration of the Southern Constellation’ which like the my first CD features Brand X’s John Goodsall and Percy Jones.
As a performing unit, Cymbalic Encounters has been appearing around the Tokyo club circuit hosting events. On the playlist, we have been performing songs not only from CD 1 and 2 but songs from my Era-2 CD (Gonzo) which were co-written by Percy Jones. In addition we have played a tribute to Brand X in our show.
Cymbalic Encounters – Exploration of the Southern Constellation
What’s in the works?
CE3, a third CD has been in production for sometime. I actually have more songs that could go onto it, so will be releasing some as singles on CDBaby or Bandcamp soon.
CYMATICS is now available on CDbaby, iTunes, etc. This was a space-themed jazz-rock experiment using the Alpha Syntauri synth with the Apple II computer in 1981.
Percy Jones played a fretless 4 string Wal bass on it.
Photo: Mark Murdock – In Concert!
NEW Mark Murdock Release:
Mark Murdock – Era 2 – Eyes Down and Seacloud (CD)
NEW BAND — MASHEEN MESSIAH — Debut Album will be Released: October 2016