An old song from a younger man. I think this was the first thing I ever recorded and mixed myself, maybe? 2004, perhaps? An old Boss BR-864. Singing into the onboard mics. Still trying to rid myself of an American accent when I sang. Still dropping ‘g’s.
Think too much, I act too slow The moments pass and the syntax refuses to flow Don’t think of it as sentiment Or a nervousness as I have to catch my breath In that pause (the heart beat) I take in the room and the walls and the light And I breath, I breath in that moment And just for that moment, just in that moment is all Baby Baby, come
Half-lit room with its breathless air I can only just begin to forgive myself For daring to dress you down Are we open now? When we talk, when we touch each to other’s mouths? Confess to me all you dare and I swear we can be ourselves In a breath, in a breath in a moment And just for that moment, just in that moment is all Baby Baby, come
Think too much, I act too slow The moments pass and the syntax refuses to flow Don’t think of it as sentiment Or a nervousness as I have to catch my breath Confess to me all you dare and I swear we can be ourselves In a breath, in a breath in a moment And just for that moment, that one tender moment is all Baby Baby, come
I was saddened to hear of the sudden and unexpected passing of Virginia Anderson this weekend. I met her through watching the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble and then getting to play with them. I will miss her enthusiasm and encouragement and my thoughts go out to Chris and Virginia’s friends and family. Xx
I decided on a whim, neither having heard of them or heard them, to see them live on the basis of this photo whilst scrolling around Folk Radio. “What is that dude doing with a Gretsch in a forest?!?”
I did my utmost, too, to not listen to them, to not search out what they might be like before the event. I conceded briefly, though, when trying to encourage some others to come along. 22 seconds in to the the video for ‘Charmer’ and I was on shaky ground – “That dude is bowing a mandola?!?” I had to turn it off as I thought my head might explode in expectation.
The gig itself was wonderful. Two Fridays before lockdown V.1, an uncertainty of what was to happen both then and afterwards, this beautiful undulating cloud of sound drifted around the Guildhall – voice, strings and harmonium floating around us. This melding of different organic elements creating one gentle incredible, shimmering whole. It was wonderful.
I got to speak a little to Ewan and Lauren afterwards, mainly about guitar things and it took all my strength not to buy a record – I didn’t want that to become my memory of the evening and how it made me feel. But isolating at home afterwards, the sounds still buzzing around in my thoughts, I had to. And it’s as close to perfect as you could get.A total joy.
I really miss singing sometimes. I don’t miss the listening back, the (often) feeling of worthlessness of it all ; the difference between the feeling as you sang, the imagination of what it was and what it now is.
The second of my ‘trying to make a thing a month’. I went away to Norfolk for a few days in February and took my recorder and some contact mics (that I’ve never used before) with me to try and record some of the sounds of the reeds and the marshes. I love the sound of the reeds swaying in the wind, that ‘whooooosssshhhhhhh’. I’ve always wanted to walk into the middle of it crouch down and listen – except you can’t really do that as it can be quite dangerous.
Instead I attached mics to wires, flung the Zoom into the reeds and grasses, generally hung 25 metres back from my family as they walk ahead, me just staring at whatever was around me. My recorder’s headphone out doesn’t work so I have no idea what I have recorded until I empty it out on the computer. It’s a little like film photography, it’s always a surprise.
Last weekend myself and the wonderful Lee Allatson played a short improvised set at the Under The Radar weekender put on by Magic Teapot and Echoloaction. It was a really enjoyable set, playing on the floor & feeling our way in the darkened room. Below is a video of the second half of our set, gradually pulling at the threads of the sounds we’d made and reducing them to a new quiet. A massive thank you to whoever filmed this, I am most grateful.
The All In is the last session of the year for the south leicestershire improvisors ensemble, where as many guest performers from previous sessions join in to make one massive ensemble. This was my first time in a while playing in such a large ensemble. The range of instruments and sounds was really quite broad and fascinating to be a part of. There are some pictures here (and some below) taken by Jordan Parker. There is also a bandcamp link to the 2016 All In which you should definitely have a listen to as well.