A previously-unknown composer is to have her work released for the first time thanks to her great nephew and his brother-in-law.
Mirry – Mirabel Lomer – spent her life caring for her parents and then for an elderly couple in Wiltshire, but throughout this time, composed pieces of music which her nephew recorded.
Her great nephew, Tom Fraser – who works under the CasioMTB moniker and previously released several albums as part of Tantrum as well as Fake Tan – discovered these recordings of Mirry’s work during a house clearance in Edinburgh.
Fraser called upon his brother-in-law Simon Tong – once of the Verve, part of Erland Cooper’s Magnetic North, and also a member of Good The Bad & The Queen alongside Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, and Tony Allen.
They also enlisted Antonia Pagulatos – who has worked with the likes of Gorillaz and Mel C – to provide strings complementing Mirabel’s piano playing, Tong on guitar and keys and Fraser in charge of programming.
“I had always planned to do something with my great aunt’s recordings,” Fraser says, having initially planned to complete the next CasioMTB release first. However, with recording stalled on that project at the start of lockdown, he and Tong chatted about the discovery of the tapes, and a plan to release them was hatched.
The Mirry project was taken up by Kirsteen McNish, with a video of Super 8 footage also discovered in a family attic being edited together by Camella Kirk.
Tong describes the project as “a celebration of Mirry’s work and a call and response to her original recordings with her family members – almost as if she were still in a room with them.”
The team behind the release are encouraging people to donate to the Carers Trust in memory of Mirry, who passed away in the 1980s. Her nephew Geoffrey, who made the recordings, believes Mirry would be delighted that her work would be heard many years later.
“This project hopes to shine a light on carers,” Tong adds, “and how one’s creative work can live on and continue to reverberate and evolve long after its original conception”.
The album is available on vinyl Dinked Edition as well as digitally with the full album release on vinyl & CD is scheduled for February 2021 on Dutchess Records. Singles ‘Anthem’ and ‘Study in B flat minor’ are available to download.
Mirry’s life is also the subject of a Radio 4 episode of “’Short Cuts’ entitled ‘Silent Symphonies’ which aired in early December and which is available to listen again.
More at mirrymusic.com.