John Murphy, pioneering music veteran of Experimental Post-Punk and Proto Industrial genres, shed his mortal coil on October 11, 2015.
Anyone who knew John Murphy, knew him as the 'quiet one', the one who was never arrogant or scene-stealing. He was happy to stay settled behind his drum set, playing for and collaborating with an array of artists. Although his musical career spanned four decades, one is hard pressed to find the same abundance of images of John as for other musicians.
He came out of the 70s Melbourne Little band scene and was instrumental in the development of experimental, post-punk and proto-industrial music. Although he was percussionist to many bands, a quick search through music videos shows that he's usually obscured or conspicuous by his absence. As a photographer, it was a rare opportunity and privilege for me to be able to capture John for an exclusive portraiture photo shoot last year. The session was at NK in Berlin during a rehearsal for an upcoming performance with Nikolas Schreck.
Some of the photos I took that day illustrate this tribute and memorial to John. You are welcome to share them, with photo credit to my name, Zeena Schreck.
Many who worked with John knew he had been struggling with illness for quite a long time. But he concealed exactly how ill he already was. Music was his entire life and it was clear that the thought of retirement, or resting out the illness, was not an option in John's mind. I was therefore very fortunate to have John perform with me earlier this year at WGT. It was a musical ritual invocation to Seth, the ancient Egyptian god who guides safe passage through death to immortality. It was to be John's second to last performance.
On the night and early morning of John's passing, he was not alone. He was surrounded by a lot of love from his wife, Annie, and a small circle of close friends. I was among them. At his request, and according to his religious beliefs as a Gnostic Christian-Tibetan Buddhist, I conducted the customary Tibetan tantric Buddhist and ancient Gnostic Sethian transference of consciousness rites which bridged his passage from this waking dream reality into the ultimate reality of pure light. It was a peaceful process. John is now liberated from all pain and suffering.
Awake in peace,
You-whose-Face-is-behind; in peace,
You-who-sees-behind; in peace,
Ferryman of the sky; in peace,
Ferryman of Nut; in peace,
Ferryman of the gods; in peace.
John Murphy has come to you that you may ferry him in that ferry with which you ferry the gods.
OM AMI DEWA HRI