March has been long and at times really quite hard. These overlapping strands feel like the absent minded shading-ins where my mind has been ‘elsewhere’ when it should have been ‘there’. I guess this is me looking back at them and thinking ‘what was that?’
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.
Super delighted to reveal I’ve been asked to play this year’s Handmade on Friday 2nd of May at The Guildhall, Leicester. I have never played the Guildhall – an old historical building next to the Cathedral, which holds a special memeroy for me as I saw I am Spartacus there, officially the nearest I ever got to seeing Bob Tilton. Not sure what i’ll be doing yet but Her Name is Calla (who are headlining the Guildhall friday) are soundtracking a film live so there’s scope for something.
Also, a couple of weeks ago I went to The Cookie and played some music whilst some lovely folk (including Adam from Calla and the ever lovely David Wilson Clarke) filmed me. The first video to come from this is below. Enjoy!
With Handmade Festival but days away I’m still trying to figure out what to do and play. It’s a special gig in a special place for a special festival and I want to try and do something that respects that.
Consequently, I’ve grabbed as many things that make and play sound as I can that I think I can get away with to come up with something. This includes instruments I haven’t used for ages and trawling through 14 years worth of minidiscs of field recordings for help with what I’m trying to do.
Hope I can create something to reflect what I feel about it all.
I was interviewed by Demon Media ahead of the event too. Get your tickets here – http://www.wegottickets.com/f/5930
So, somewhere in the middle of April I decided to start three projects with the intention of getting them done for summer (now reads the end of summer). Of those three projects one is now complete, the second has begun (with a finished track, as I write this) and the third has has some ideas bashed about ( I need a piano, can some get me a piano please?)
Of the one finished article, I’m not sure what to do with it yet, I should have some idea by the weekend on how I make it available and stuff. It’s around twenty minutes long and is made up of edited down improvisations of the song ‘Spring’, which if you’ve seen me play live is also known as ‘the birdy song’. Over the past two years this songs has developed into a near 40 minute exploration of different strands of the song. I’m happy with how it’s all come out and some of it really captures the ‘letting the mind wander’ aspects of my work. I hope to share it with you soon.
In the meantime, please find below some of the sounds that didn’t make it but I didn’t want to erase.
It’s been a difficult week or so. My ears have been ringing worse than I can ever remember. I’ve been doing a lot of recording and very little of what’s been making it to tape has appealed to my ears.
On sunday morning I took my partners iphone outside to record the bird song – I could hear that thrush again – a thin squiggle of audio drew itself on the touchscreen. Later on I sat on the bed with my daughter’s guitar, the iphone on my lap, listened to the birdsong and started to play. Our cat climbed up on the bed and purred. I listen back to the sounds and pressed the icon marked ‘share’.
I’ll gladly sacrifice sonic quality to get within a quarter’s touching distance of getting what’s going on inside of me outside and I feel this does that. I’m going to make a little film for this song. It’ll just be for me. It’ll be my children spinning round and round in the garden, rolling on the grass.
Enjoy it. Share it with your friends. Thank you for listening.
[I’ll probably write later on about using multitrack DAW to record this as it was a valuable experience]
The phrase ‘untethered afternoon’ comes from an A.E. Stallings poem.