PRESS RELEASE [download .pdf here]
Translate, the second album from celebrated composer CJ Mirra, is the official soundtrack to the latest surf movie created in collaboration with multi-award winning filmmaker Chris McClean and the bedrock of their acclaimed audio-visual experience. [read more about the live experience here] Released November 2020, Translate is an ode to the raging North Atlantic that sculpts the landscape, the customs and the surfing tribe that call these European shores home.
The album unites ethereal soundscapes and rising orchestral movements with sublime electronic excursions, manipulated samples and heavy, lo-fi moments to transport the listener on an immersive and unrestrained journey across the continent taking in the coastlines of France, Spain, Ireland, England, Scotland and beyond. “We set out to make a soundtrack rather than a score,” explains CJ Mirra of the project that has confirmed his status as ‘the sound of cold water surfing’. “ This gave us freedom to mirror the changes in the locations, the waves and the surfers, imbuing the music with the tastes, textures and sonics to reflect the landscapes and shifting oceans, capturing the pan-European scope of the film.”
The title track Translate (released 21/08) is cinematic while collaborations with the likes of renowned surfer/ musician Lee-Ann Curren have taken the music into new, sonic territories. “We recorded with Lee-Ann at Abbey Road – she has the coolest voice and she sings on a couple of the tracks and plays some guitar. Sans Raison (released 11/09) with her layered melody and French language vocal, is two minutes of high-energy, beat-based, psych-pop with distorted bass lines and spiralling, fuzzy guitars. Our cover of the track Horses (released 25/09) is a traditional arrangement while Narnia (released 30/10) is a gritty, dark improvisation on a number of bowed metal objects summoning the industrial tone reflected in the visuals.”
Other collaborators include Andrea Balency (played w. Mount Kimbie / Tirza / Kindness) and Robert M Thomas (worked w. LCO / Massive Attack).
CJ Mirra is the alias of renowned London based recording artist, sought after composer and sound designer John Sampson. He has scored over twenty films screened from London to SXSW and in 2018 received a BIFA nomination for Best Sound. Translate is the latest collaboration in a unique partnership with filmmaker Chris McClean exploring the bounds of the cinematic surf-sphere. Translate the live A/V performance had its sell-out world premiere at the London Surf / Film Festival where it scooped the prestigious Viewer’s Choice Award and will be touring soon.
Translate released on The State51 Conspiracy is available 27th November 2020 on digital and ltd edition vinyl with the first single released 21st August.
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CJ MIRRA BIOGRAPHY
CJ Mirra is the alias of London based recording artist, composer and sound designer John Sampson. Having previously toured and fronted several successful acts, CJ is now a sought-after composer mixing live analogue instruments with electronic and ambient textures often blurring the boundaries of composition and sound design.
In 2018 CJ received a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Sound for his work on the feature documentary TIME TRIAL. Other film credits include Martin Radich’s critically acclaimed NORFOLK working with Chris Watson and JG Thirlwell, Ruth Paxton’s Be Still My Beating Heart (BBC Films) starring Maxine Peake and is currently in production with Akinola Davies Jr’s debut film, Lizard.
CJ has become known as ‘THE composer for cold water surf films’ after scoring over 20 films by Chris McClean, a partnership that toured an award-winning live audio/visual performances world-wide as well as releasing ‘Static (Original Surf Soundtracks Vol I)’ in 2018 via theState51conspiracy label. They are releasing their debut feature length collaboration, Translate in 2020.
Other studio work has been with Mount Kimbie, Mike Slott, Ronika and many more like-minded artists.
He has also worked extensively in spatial and binaural audio, creating the cult releae Space Trix Vol. 1.
CJ Mirra’s debut record will be out in 2021, which follows the release of the soundtrack to “Translate “ in Nov 2020.
What they’ve said about him
“CJ MIRRA TAKES SURF SOUNDTRACKS TO A DARK BUT ECSTATIC PLACE” – WHALEBONE MAGAZINE
“THE SOUND OF COLD WATER SURFING” – FINISTERRE
“DREAMY & EVOCATIVE” – HUCK MAGAZINE
“POETIC & AWE-INSPIRING” – TINY MIX TAPES
“WAVES OF AMBIENT LOVELINESS” – RECORD COLLECTOR
“I like to think of CJ as my own Angelo Badalamenti, supremely talented and able to adapt to every given situation with a new range of sounds yet with a very Johnesque sound which never fails to amaze and deliver.”
Chris McClean, Multi award winning filmmaker
“Working with CJ was one of the most special experiences I’ve had in collaborating with artists…He created a timeless soundtrack that after years still blows my mind. I don’t know what happened there between us there but I believe it is a piece of art.”
Felix Gansicke, Award winning Director, Headache
“When we were defining what cold water surfing looked like for us – surfing and seeking out some of the coldest most uncompromising waves – we turned to CJ … From the outset his haunting soundscapes exemplified the search, the elements, the camaraderie and the reward”
David Grey, Finisterre
“A highly evocative audio visual journey into the sublime that feels at once both powerful and personal and when it comes to an end, you feel awoken.”
Demi Taylor, London Surf / Film Festival Director on Chasing Zero