pulling at the threads

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.


But what if music was or is….

I’ve mentioned Andy Goldsworthy before, when talking about ephemarilty in music before and watching this made me think about it all over again.

I know that music is fleeting, temporary but our documenting of it undoes that ( not that I  think that is a negative thing ). But imagine if the documenting of that transitory moment could only be done by those there and not with recorded sound. If all you had was a description in words and sound told and made by those that witnessed it. How would it sound to you then? Would it be as strong or would it be altogether something greater drawn of the imagination?


Snow, snow, snow!

I love the snow. I love the snow for many diffrent reasons – personal, artistic, social – I just love the snow! So when I came out of the Corn Exchange in Cambridge this weekend after watching the City of London Sinfonia perform Ralph Vaughan Williams‘ Scott of the Antarctica I was very excited.


The photo above is of Kings College, Cambridge as the snow was falling down. The photo below is of locked bikes outside, the snow piling up agaisnt the wheels.


When we came outside everyone was moving about, pulled up collars and hoods, heads down, glimpsing up a few short seconds at a time, catching the snow in your face. Voices were raised some in dread and some (most) in giddy excitement. Through pub windows you could see people huddle into seats glad to be inside, talking about outside. The journey home was a bit hairy in the snow but, that’s the thing about snow – it changes everything. Each step you take, how you drive, how you see things. It is a leveller.

The following morning we saw this all the more clearly. Dad’s are playing with their children. The light has a new quality to it. Everything sounds different. There are fewer cars. Amongst the new soundscape birds can be heard, more excited voices, the crunchy sound of the snow beneath your feet. Everything you do is new but it’s only there for a short time and then it’s slush and then it’s gone. A memory.

I love the snow.


We went for a walk. Last out the door, I patted the dog and set out across the fields.


As soon as we went passed the last house and into the first field you could feel the wind. Pushing at us, passing all around us, pressing clothes to bodies. Dipping our heads down ( in defence? Respect?) And the noise, roaring across the ears. I pull my wooly hat down lower over my ears, a gesture only.

As we went into the next field, I could hear the voices of children playing football in Fleckney, carried by the roar, in the roar, over distant hedges, other fields, finding me here. But we keep walking and the sound is gone.