Michael McGarrity joins CHILL with the premiere of Wander
You can feel Michael McGarrity’s passion for the music through his careful selections and the stories he builds through them. His desire to create an experience that both transports and transforms the listener is expressed through the beautiful and emotional music that fills his mixes, music that gets to your core and takes you into its world for a moment in time. His love for exploring nature and discovering the connections it creates can be heard through his mixes, this feeling of being alone yet with the world permeating the sounds he shares. His Chillout Sundays mix that has reached almost 15K is our first FRISKY foray into this place, and now he will be taking us on a journey every month with the launch of his new show Wander.
Premiering on Sunday May 13th @ 10AM EST [convert timezone] Wander encourages the listeners to escape and explore through the power of CHILL. Get ready by getting a glimpse into Michael McGarrity’s world, through his photos & words:
When did your passion for music start?
I have very distinct memories as a child of going on long car journeys through the Scottish countryside with my parents. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the country and this had a huge impact on my outlook and passion for nature and the outdoors. My Mum used to have this cassette called “Impressions” – it was filled with tracks from the likes of Ennio Morricone, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Clannad & Jean-Michel Jarre. We’d be traveling through rich countryside so I think this combination of travel and atmospheric music really got into my core. I’m always drawn to music that conjures a landscape or something cinematic so I can close my eyes and wander with the music. As I grew older, my Dad would play more of Ennio Morricone and the early works of Mike Oldfield had a big influence on me; Tubular Bells II & Ommadawn were on constant rotation. After this, I picked up Daft Punk’s Homework, Robert Miles’s Dreamland and the Chicane debut and pretty much never stopped since – I always get excited about discovering new sounds 🙂
What sounds do you love?
This can vary so much on my mood and the time of year, but at the moment, I really can’t get enough of ambient. I like the idea of music appearing and disappearing out of natural sounds. I tried to do that with my first guest mix for Frisky. Let the listener go on a bit of a journey without leaving their desk or their couch or wherever. I hope to do the same with my first Wander mix and then begin to go further, delve deeper if I can. I find these kinds of ambient sounds to be so therapeutic too. That combination of natural sounds, synths, piano, brilliant 🙂
What do you hope to communicate through your music?
As many emotional reactions as possible 🙂 I love the idea of the listener completely switching off from whatever is in their life, sticking this on and just immersing themselves in the world. See where the end up in the end.
Escapism is what I’m looking to give the listener, a brief respite from any troubles they have.
What is important to you in the music you select?
I want it to get an emotional response from the listener and hopefully have some kind of longevity. I love the idea of the listener going back to the mix once or twice. I really try to be quite picky when selecting music for any mix. I don’t have a clever setup in the slightest and tend to experiment a lot and try get a feel for what may work and transition well to keep a particular mood going or introduce new themes. The music itself just has to resonate, has to have a soul and create a picture in the listener’s mind. A soundtrack for their own imagination 🙂
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I think if I was stuck on a desert island with only a limited amount of artists to choose from, I’d opt for the likes of Burial, Boards of Canada, Ennio Morricone, Alexandre Desplat, Ulrich Schnauss, Rob Dougan, Solar Fields, bvdub…these artists just seem to hit that sweet spot where you could close your eyes and go on a vivid journey. I could list thousands but these are the main acts I always return to. Some tremendous independent artists out there like 36, Jason Van Wyk, Magdalene Flowers, Fading Language to name a few – you’ll hopefully discover some of your own favourite artists with these mixes.
What else are you passionate about?
I love getting out in the wild with my dog Benji and going hill walks and cycling. I work at a computer all week, so it’s great to just switch off and hitting nature is like a big reset button for me. I get so much from it and know instinctively when I need to drop everything and get out there.
I also love the cinema. I’m not much of a “binger” (if that’s the right word?) but do try my best to catch great movies when they appear. ‘The Iron Giant’ & ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ are 2 of my favourites of all time. Recently, I’ve loved ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, ‘Victoria’ & ‘The Red Turtle’.