On May 23rd, 2008, Katie woke up in her New Zealand apartment to the sound of a bird singing outside her window. That same day, Phil went to a clinic in Germany to see about fixing a nagging cough. Mitch took his son fishing in Whitehorse. Drew went to a department store in Tokyo. It was, on the surface, a normal day for all of them, but one crucial difference was linking these people, along with others around the world: they were all helping to make the new album by Toronto-based electronic musician A.M.
For his fourth independently-released album, A.M. invited friends, family and fans to record audio of whatever they happened to be doing on May 23rd, 2008, and send him the results. These clips were woven into his songs in a variety of ways: the birdsong that awoke Katie from New Zealand floats over airy plucked guitars on the lead track, “Good Morning”; the frantic “Preskription” is a dance track composed almost entirely of the sounds of doors slamming, patients coughing, and phones ringing in the German clinic. Taken as a whole, however, the results are much more than musical gimmickry. Featuring A.M.’s signature mix of samples, live instruments and found sounds, Let’s Spend the Day Together, is an atmospheric, eclectic snapshot of a day in the life of humankind.
For A.M., (also known as elementary school teacher Andrew Moore) using found sounds as part of the creative process is nothing new. On Underground (2006), he used audio of Toronto’s subway system, and for Today Is (2008) samples were pulled from years of family home video. “Those were very personal projects, which basically involved me either recording hours of audio myself, or digging through hours of audio looking for clips. The idea of inviting other people to record their own lives was exciting for me…it made the album more of a public project, more of a collaboration.”
For a solo project, Let’s Spend the Day Together certainly has its share of collaborators. Aside from the project’s participants, a variety of musical guests provide the wide variety of instrumentation (horns, sax, flute, organ, voice, turntables) that rounds out A.M.’s electro-acoustic sound.
Fittingly, Let’s Spend the Day Together was released exactly one year after the project began: May 23rd, 2009.