Boomkat Product Review:
A Note from Lawrence English
"The work of Amby Downs, aka Murri/European artist Tahlia Palmer, occupies an intensely personal and unique space in the Australian music landscape. It is a project that speaks as much to trauma, as it does to aspiration or hope. It is work that recognises the complexities of intergenerational exchange; emotionally, socially, politically and culturally.
For the past half decade, Tahlia has been seeking to trace unspoken, and in some cases deeply fragmented histories, and thread a linage that is heavily worn by the weight of colonial aggression and obfuscation. She is a collector, a researcher and a surgeon, stitching together these pieces of connective tissue, and through doing so she creates the opportunity to imagine, perhaps even re-imagine, the stories that have forged her very being.
Ngunmal and I Am Holding My Breath are two long form works that exist both as sound pieces and as audio visual installations. They are pieces that operate in the realm of the physical. They are loaded with a low frequency energy that breathes, sighs and yearns. There’s a sense of simultaneous constriction and expansion in her compositions, a quality that draws you in deeper and deeper. This depth is sensed as pressure. In some respects her sound works mimmic the research that feeds into them; even the smallest crack, the tiniest murmuring, can be split open to reveal an entire cavern of sound.
Amby Downs, and Palmer’s practice more broadly, asks us to make ourselves available. It asks us to be vulnerable to places and situations of not knowing, to be uncertain, to being unsettled. It prompts us to recognise within ourselves the way we operate in the day to day, and through doing so opens us up to experience these wildly intense, provocative and ultimately beautiful works."