Category Archives: Comment

Fresh Air, New Year

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As a brief exercise in head clearing, on New Years Eve I took a drive to our second nearest beach. Hunstanton is on the North Norfolk coast, just past Kings Lynn. It faces west across The Wash, making it one of the few places on the East Coast where the sun can be seen setting over the sea. Ideal for watching the last sunset of 2016.

I only passed through the main town and headed a little further down to Old Hunstanton, this has several miles of soft sandy beach with the tide going out a fair distance.

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A little further around the coast is Wells-Next-The-Sea. This working fishing port is a mile from the sea, safe harbour provided by a wide sand bank. A great place to get fresh fish & chips and take a long coastal walk.

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Finally, back to Old Hunstanton to watch the sun set on 2016 at 3:53pm.

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All the great tunes that I loved in 2016

…..well, not exactly. I loved a lot more but this covers mainly the new stuff, not the great standby stuff that gets bought out as needed or the numerous re-issues that I really needed, really.

To be clear, 2016 was a dirty ass dog of a year. Endless death and escalating volumes of stupid across the globe. Both of these probably contributed to my self burial in loud and distracting noise. Here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve enjoyed, no natural or unnatural listing or rating. It all worked when it was needed. Please feel free to ignore the words and click the links for the good stuff.

As Uncle Frank noted “Music Is The Best”.

Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

Probably the best of reborn DJ albums but I thought that about the last one. Loved the growing differences between Lou tunes & J tunes. Absolutely huge. On the lovely Jagjagwar label

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

A real work of art. With such a big history and reputation to fall back on it’s a huge credit to Mr Osterberg that he doesn’t play on it. Still plainly dangerous though….

Swans – The Glowing Man

Following up last years ‘To Be Kind’ which was huge in itself with a 3 disc opus and notionally the last album by the band as it has been for the last few years. Coloured by accusations of impropriety and worse by M. Gira it remains a master work of meditative hard noise. Still the most intimidating live band I can remember seeing.

BJM – World Pyramid

Anton. Well, how many albums this year? 4 I think, this the last. Classic BJM psych plus twist, new EP in January so his absence of moss continues.

Exploded View – Exploded View

One of those brilliant Sacred Bones bands (SB definitely in my list of great indi labels). Echoes of Krautrock, Ambient, Dub, poetic intervention and above extra-national. Took me ages to bag a vinyl copy of this but so worth the wait.

Grey Hairs – Serious Business

Second album by not entirely past it local post-grunge band. The live outting of this was a banger. They easily deserve wider attention for this riffy lyrical noise fest.

Rattle – Rattle

Wonderful eponymous full album from another local band. Drum, percussion & vocal, thoughtfully played and avoiding all the drummer cliches. Really pleased that they got a lot of attention and played across Europe (well, over the channel at least). This one is great.

Soundwalk Collective – Killer Road

New York based experimentalist group, and yes, it was Patti Smith that bought me here. This gives voice to the poetry of Nico but extends beyond the words. One of those records were time stands still when its playing.

Wymond Miles – Call By Night

More from Sacred Bones. I think I clicked on a link and was sucked in. Its got it all, lyrical glam guitar pop done with style. Sounds heroic…

PrairieWWW – WuHai

Another label that never fails to deliver is Gurugurubrain, more from them follows.

“Prairie WWWW is an experimental folk band formed in Taipei, Taiwan in 2010. Its music combines poetry, folk, ambient and tribal elements. The band seeks inspiration from the might of nature, and with a mixture of sounds and visual arts in their performances, they manage to bring forward to their audiences the experience of their unique soundscape visually and aurally”.

Minami Deutsch – Miami Deutsch

Another Gurugurubrain band. Storming Krautrock inspired music.

“Their sound is influenced by both their love for Krautrock legends such as Can and Neu!, and the band members being self-professed “repetition freaks” who heavily listen to minimal techno.
The music proceeds straightforwardly with the Motorik beat (Hammer beat), devised by Klaus Dinger (Kraftwerk, Neu!), as its central axis. Humorous, yet bizarre Japanese lyrics are whispered over a hard, cold beat that is maniacally repeated, creating a pleasant ambience of electronic pulses drifting in space. Sharp guitar tones reminiscent of Michael Karoli (Can) occasionally explode into fuzz distortion, on the verge of collapse”.

Kikagaku Moyo – House In The Tall Grass

If they make a record, its on the list. Gurugurubrain again and the band that bought the label to my attention. This years album covers a lot more ground but they still rule when the groove settles in and the guitars freak out.

MERZFunder

Declared self interest here. The diversity of music on this is outstanding, independent artists, unfettered creativity. The project was created to raise funds for the Merz Barn in Ambleside and many of the pieces are lead by thoughts relating to Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters. It was great to be involved, contribute a couple of track and produce the cover art. Dive in, #5.00 for over 5 hours of music.

Scattered Purgatory – God of Silver Grass

More Gurugurubrain goodness. These brave guys dragged themselves into Nottingham for a very special gig at J. T. Soar.

“God of Silver Grass” is Taiwanese experimental duo, Scattered Purgatory’s second release from Guruguru Brain. On this album the drone music-makers delve deeper into their obsession with creating dark, ambient sounds, while adding new approaches to give spice to their intense, ritualistic music. In contrast to the magma-hot heaviness of the riffs on their previous record “Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean”, “God of Silver Grass” coolly crystalizes into a whirl of icy synthesizer loops and improvisational guitar”.

Bob Dylan – Royal Albert Hall 1965

This may be a cheat but really, WTF. This is the real 1966 Royal Albert Hall concert rather than the other 1966 ‘Royal Albert Hall’ show which from Manchester Free Trade Hall. Stunning quality audio and pure fire from beginning to end. The Company released all of the 1966 shows on CD, an archivists wet dream, this particular show is the bomb.

Ex-Easter Island Head – 21 Strings

Another band with a local connection although they are from Liverpool. Unique and absorbing. We saw them in 2015 playing this music prior to recording. One of those big silly grin on your face before you noticed it was there bands, surprising and engrossing music that lifts the spirit.

Six By Seven – EX

EX is the most recent release from Six By Seven and the incredibly prolific Chris Olley. This a raw (that word again) Krautrock referencing record that was produced through a Kickstarter campaign. Chris is incredibly prolific and I follow his work as best as I can. In 2017 Beggars ArKive are releasing ‘The Closer You Get’ following last years Christmas chart storming ‘eat Junk, Become Junk’. I’m in…..

Glitterbust – Glitterbust

The ever inventive and never chasing the pop dollar Kim Gordon and her mid period not Body/Head project. Kim is the only ex Sonic Youth i’ve yet to see and I’m sure it’s worth the wait. Creatively I’ve feed on a lot of the Body/Head & Glitterbust work. Built on intent and atmosphere.

Twin Peaks OST

Another terrible cheat. This came out in 1990 with the first season, but it got a vinyl release in the Summer. It’s a thing of beauty and I don’t care if it’s not contemporary. New series in 2017 and I don’t doubt the musical aspect will blow socks off.

Cousin Silas & Glove of Bones – Ornithology

More despicable self interest. Of all the musical & creative things I’ve diddled with over the last couple of years, this one still feels disconnected because it came out so well. There was some thought to make a ‘dub’ album but it went beyond that. Cousin Silas is a wonderful human being and far more adept at this ‘making musical things’ business. A truly great thing to be involved with and a highlight of my creative year.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Do Not Disturb

It seems likely that this album will be the final VDGG album. None of them are young things any more but hat didn’t stop them making a record that extended their catalogue without repetition. PH’s voice is strong and the lyrical content unlike any other. I’m sure there will be ‘something’ more. One of those out side of a genre bands, linked to prog but really elsewhere.

Stranger Things OST

Netflix hit of the year with a really wonderful retro synth soundtrack. Demand out stripped supply and the vinyl was over a month late. Waiting for the second series whilst hiding behind the sofa. (The OST tracks keep getting removed so apologies if this doesn’t last)

Bob Mould – Patch The Sky

Gig highlight of the year and an album that may complete the trilogy of Silver Age & Beauty and Ruin. The meaty backline of amps on stage gave a good indication of the evening ahead. Bob played with the energy of a guy 20 years younger without any break for breath. Love the guy.

Squrl – Live at Third Man

Sqürl don’t release nearly enough music but what they do is precious and wondrous. Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan, Shane Stoneback & Josef Van Wissum. The last big thing was the OST for ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ but this year they released a live set recordered at Third Man Records for Jack White. Perfect analogue production cut straight to vinyl master. Rich, resonant & loud as hell.

Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch

More from Sacred Bones. A recent acquisition although it came out in September. Artful and extreme in sound and lyric.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

If there was any hierarchy here this would juggle at the top. I’m a huge fan of Nick Cave and the Skeleton Tree was a highlight despite the sadness and pain embedded in it. Released just after the limited showing of ‘One More Time With Feeling’, a direct and painful making of and much more. This is an amazing song.

David Bowie – Blackstar

2016 was looking like a great year for music when the new Bowie album ‘Blackstar’ was announced at the end of 2015. The video was released, the excitement mounted, the album was a revelation, and then…… Stunned. Art as life. Hugely missed but thank you for the music Starman.

Brian Eno – the ship

This dropped in April and i’ve played more than I thought I might. Engrossing soundscapes and unexpected lyrical content including Peter Serafinowicz. Loved this Velvet Underground cover. Particularly beautiful packaging on this as well.

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

A five year gap between this and King of Limbs but worth the wait. Super duper special edition, the immaculate ‘True Love Waits’ and the storming opener ‘Burn The Witch’. A definite highlight.

Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker

Lenny was been writing about the darkness and long walk to the grave for years. ‘You Want it Darker?’ came out in October and at the time he indicated this may be his last album. Then in November the curse of ’16 struck again and he was gone. There’s a great article about him here which is worth a read. As dark and deep as it gets.

King Crimson – Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind

Closing with a little cheat. This live album came out this year but was mainly recorded of the previous couple of years. It includes every song performed by the band throughout their current three drummer seven headed Crim line up. This is the stunner ‘Starless’.

I hope you find something you either like or hadn’t heard up there.

A big shout out to Forever Records in Nottingham that helped me enjoy many of the above albums. best record shop in Notts easy.

MC& HNY. Bye bye 2016.

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digitalDIZZY – MERZ Funder

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The absolutely huge MERZfunder compilation was released on Friday 28th October. 114 original tracks by some highly creative individuals & bands, many pieces made specifically for the project. As well as offering two tracks, one with Peter Wullen, I was very honoured to be asked to put together some cover artwork for this.

The piece took specific reference from the many collages of Kurt Schwitters, whose Merz Barn in Langdale is the point of this fundraing project. More about the Barn can be found in a previous post HERE. The project is a digitalDIZZY production, an independent net label and promoter of all things anarchic and free thinking. Kudos to Ruby Black and the Devotional Hooligans.

Here’s a small selection of pieces by Schwitters that informed my cover design.

The MERZunder is on Bandcamp now and for a small number of 5 British Pounds it can be yours.

There is a huge diversity of music here. Most of the featured artists also have their own Bandcamp or Soundcloud page.

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UPDATE: Press Release

MERZfunder press release
31 October 2016

It is 100 years since the Dada movement first rocked the art establishment and paved the way for every oppositional and groundbreaking cultural force that followed, from surrealism to pop art, situationism to punk. Yet in the recent BBC celebrations of the anniversary, no mention was made of Kurt Schwitters, the man seen by many as a major force in and beyond Dada – and the only one to leave a lasting physical legacy of his work in the UK.

MERZfunder brings together more than 100 musicians and experimental noise makers to raise money to support and preserve the Schwitters Merz barn in Cumbria. This was where Schwitters made his final Merzbau installation, a sculptural collaged wall, which he worked on in the last years of his life, walking five miles each way from his home in Ambleside to get there.

The MERZfunder digital download – available for a minimum donation of £5/€6/$6 at merzfunder.bandcamp.com – comprises 114 exclusive tracks, delivering more than 10 hours of Schwitters-inspired creativity. Contributors include:

The Astronauts
V4V (Charles Hayward/This Heat)
Ob
NIk Turner’s OUTRIDERS OF THE APOCALYPSE (Hawkwind/Inner City Unit)
Geoff Leigh (Henry Cow/Warrior Squares)
Richard Youngs
Rapoon
Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club/ Vibracathedral Orchestra)
Hagar the Womb
Band of Holy Joy
The Shend (The Cravats/Very Things)

Money raised will go towards the rebuilding and shoring up of the Merz barn at Elterwater in the Lake District, which was damaged by one of last winter’s storms.

Kurt Schwitters was an outsider everywhere – not just as an exile in the Lakes, in London, in Norway, but also in Germany, where the Berlin Dadaists wouldn’t let him join their club because he broke their rules as well as everyone else’s. That inspired him to develop his Merz style of artwork, which he applied to poetry, performance, and abstract expressionist sculpture, collages and installations.

Schwitters was an artist in exile for most of his life, and he worked wherever he was. He ended up in a barn in the English Lakes. This was a working building that was not designed to house an internationally important artwork. It has not weathered well, and is now buckling under the onslaught of age and climate change. It was the last place of work for one of the world’s most influential artists and it continues to inspire others today. For that legacy to continue, the barn needs to be made sound.

That’s what this MERZfunder is raising money for. Please pay what you can to help make this happen – and, as a bonus, treat your ears to a wealth of wonderful sounds created by 100+ of us who want to thank Kurt Schwitters for showing us that creativity is about finding the artist within each and every one of us in whichever medium feels right, the more primal and abstract the better.

https://merzfunder.bandcamp.com/releases

NOTES

As one of the originators of the cut-up collage technique, which he applied to sound, poetry and 3D installations in his famous Merzbau projects, Kurt Schwitters inspired countless others to explore their creativity outside the confines of the fine art tradition. Think Brion Gysin, William Burroughs, David Bowie, Lydia Lunch – all gave a nod to Schwitters for setting them on their path.

Kurt Schwitters was an outsider everywhere – not just as an exile in the Lakes, in London, in Norway, but also in Germany, where the Berlin Dadaists wouldn’t let him join their club because he broke their rules as well as everyone else’s. His creativity wasn’t bound by the values of the art world, his work never belonged in galleries. He had built Merz installations inside an ordinary house in Hanover, and when he had to leave them there (there was no place for ‘degenerate’ artists in Nazi Germany), he found somewhere else to make his mark: inside a cold, dark, little barn, buried in the most awe inspiring natural landscape. In the last years of his life, he walked five miles each way through those breathtaking mountains and valleys to get to his wall from Ambleside and make Merz.

The MerzBarn Langdale is under the care of the Littoral Arts Trust, which encourages artists inspired by Schwitters to continue his legacy by working at the site. http://www.littoral.org.uk / https://merzbarnlangdale.wordpress.com / @MerzBarnLangdale

The Schwitters Wall was cut out of the barn in 1965 and taken to the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, where it remains part of the permanent display. https://hattongallery.org.uk

For more details, contact digitalDIZZY through Facebook or email: algonne@hotmail.co.uk

And to close this post and great video & sound from Sequential

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Glove of Bones – Mabinogi

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This from my on-going project site The Glove Of Bones. I’m really happy with this outcome. It’s exactly as I planned – long, narrative free, a visual drone, a tied in soundscape (which I was really pleased to persuade Cousin Silas to help with). It’s a long piece at 72 minutes and I’m unsure how many might make it to the end, it is however in three easier to digest sections, each with their own character. I hope you take the leap and click on the link.

A film by The Glove Of Bones.

Taking it’s title from the Medieval text, The Mabinogion (a loose translation of this being Juvenile Distractions), this new work of film and original music takes on non-narrative considerations about passing time, the joy of travel & landscape, musings on history and our broader connection to our ancestors through reflection and our progeny through creative acts.

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In recent years I’ve collected materials when taking the annual Summer break holidays. These often return as blog diaries with pictorial content, and more recently as associated songs & sounds. This year, on the 4 1/2 hour drive to Wales some vague project came to mind, fragments, ways of collecting content, some notional endpoint started whispering.

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From the point of arrival, in the rain, with this sat-nav avoiding single track road as our entry point, it started to come together. The piece would directly connect to the place, the local elements, history and the joy of distraction that comes from being away from your natural home.

Filmed in August 2016 around Pembroke in Wales with some underlying sounds either recorded in the area or made during the trip.

Additional tone and texture in the soundtrack was provided by acclaimed ambient musician Cousin Silas.

As with the original text which has four ‘Branches’ or short stories (additional tales where added later), the film is split into three sections, each bearing a Welsh language title. These link to Earth, Water & Air in some ways.

This is the Mabinogi as dreamed by the Glove Of Bones

The piece is split into three sections, or branches.

1- Taith Hir (Long Road) – 20mins
2- Tonnau Araf (Slow Wave) – 30mins
3- Breuddwydion mewn carreg y Pentre Ifan (Stone Dreams at Pentre Ifan) – 20mins

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Please anticipate after thoughts to be added below.

Useful links below;

https://www.gloveofbones.com

http://www.mabinogion.info

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Wave:Line:Form:Curve:Repeat

The following is reposted from my Glove of Bones page and illustrates some recent visual work.

I hope you find something of interest here.

Wave Line Form Curve

I recently produced a set of images which started with screen grabs from ‘Glove of Bones’ film which you can enjoy all over again HERE.

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These had a certain degree of random selection, having taken 20 or so across the four main sections of the film they were whittled down into a set that had some visual connection but as stand alone items appeared fairly abstracted. Taking their source and shape they were allocated the a shape designation which lead into the digital Lino Cut accompanying image.

These were then ordered and conjoined with drawn & collaged elements over the top of large digitally printed base images.

There is no particular narrative and the naming is really no different from descriptors one might use when making a sound peace, quieter, scratchy, more bass, etc and I’ve built the pieces in the same process/structure as I would if building four sounds that were intended to be heard in sequence. Of course aspects of self, personality and approach work their way under the skin of the pieces.

The final pieces have been scanned and digitally reproduces as art prints on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper. The prints can be reordered, moving No1 to position 4 for example without destroying the continuity.

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The Commonality of Strangers – Mahtab Hussain

Mahtab Hussain

I don’t share posts here that relate to work very often. This does in that the artist concerned is someone I assisted with printing services over the last few years.

Recently, in my view, we saw our society step back from the open, inclusive country it had been developing towards over the last 30 years. It happened quickly, fuelled by a divisive referendum, with much public opinion informed by, to be completely frank, blatant, manipulative lies.

Over previous years I have been very pleased to work with the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, producing printed materials for their many diverse exhibitions. One particular show was produced by photographer Mahtab Hussain. This work has a great relevance to the current debate. Much of the below is from the press release and his website.

I received the following from Mahtab earlier and would like to share this first.

“Over the last 5 days I have been heart broken by the rise of hate, xenophobia and racist attacks that has taken hold of the British public. Britons voted to leave the European Union, steering the UK on a course of uncertainty, and critically, effecting the fate of those who have chosen to make the UK their home. It seems to be open season for migrant communities as hate crime has increased by 50 -55% in less than a week of the referendum result and I for one cannot sit around waiting for our ‘so called’ leaders to settle down the public.”

Mahtab Hussain

Much of the work for the exhibition was shot around Hyson Green in Nottingham, I lived in the area for the best part of ten years, it’s also where the New Art Exchange is based. The area demonstrates the best of what a multicultural society can achieve. The many cultures, religions and ethnicities live side by side. Many coming in from overseas gravitate to the area, contributing and striving for better futures, before moving out into wider areas and making way for new visitors.

“The Commonality of Strangers addresses the impact of multiculturalism in Britain today and humanises the migrant’s story, demystifying who these individuals really are, while confronting the viewer with the reality of their experience and why they came to live in the UK.

These stories tell of people escaping from poverty, persecution, violence and personal tragedy. What unfolds is a collection of images which challenges stereotypes and assumptions in a current political environment in which immigration is a major issue. Hussain hopes that in bringing these individuals to the fore and allowing their voices to be heard, this series will empower minority cultures by giving a deeper context to their existence in the UK. In turn, Hussain is asking the viewer to consider the commonality of mankind’s wants and needs whilst emphasising that the veneer of everyday life can easily veil the immense struggles and deeper contexts in which people live, and have lived.

The Commonality of Strangers serves to contextualise and humanise the migrant story, urging viewers to move beyond widely held stereotypes, assumptions and scare mongering tactics used unashamedly by politicians in the Brexit campaign.

Commissioned by New Art Exchange 2014/15.

Education, awareness, tolerance and truth are the best tools available to undermine the appalling and increasing incidents of racial abuse which this deeply faulted referendum has bought back to the surface of our society. As in the 1970’s & 1980’s creative endeavour can be a positive force to shame those that feel suddenly empowered by the darker elements in our political system.

Visit the New Art Exchange here http://www.nae.org.uk/

More about the artist here http://www.mahtabhussain.com/

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MerzBarn – Fundraiser

Kurt Schwitters and Hilde Goldstein outside the Merz Barn, c. 1946. Photo © K und E Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover

Kurt Schwitters and Hilde Goldstein outside the Merz Barn, c. 1946. Photo © K und E Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover

I have noted here previously an association with the wonderful digitalDIZZY net label. They have released two of my musical pieces and have been kind enough to include my schizzle on two of their great compilations.

Well there’s another one forthcoming which I’m more than happy to get behind. Please forgive the following copy and paste content, but I hope you’ll get the point.

From Wiki:

Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters (20 June 1887 – 8 January 1948) was a German artist who was born in Hanover, Germany.

Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dada, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures.”

For my part, having an interest in graphic design, collage, printmaking and surrealism, I took quite an liking in his work when at art school.

“Schwitters first visited the Lake District on holiday with Edith Thomas in September 1942. He moved there permanently on 26 June 1945, to 2 Gale Crescent Ambleside. However, after another stroke in February of the following year and further illness, he and Edith moved to a more easily accessible house at 4 Millans Park.

During his time in Ambleside Schwitters created a sequence of proto-pop art pictures, such as For Käte, 1947, after the encouragement from his friend, Käte Steinitz. Having emigrated to the United States in 1936, Steinitz sent Schwitters letters describing life in the emerging consumer society, and wrapped the letters in pages of comics to give a flavour of the new world, which she encouraged Schwitters to ‘Merz’.

In March 1947, Schwitters decided to recreate the Merzbau and found a suitable location in a barn at Cylinders Farm, Elterwater, which was owned by Harry Pierce, whose portrait Schwitters had been commissioned to paint. Having been forced by a lack of other income to paint portraits and popularist landscape pictures suitable for sale to the local residents and tourists, Schwitters received notification shortly before his 60th birthday that he had been awarded a £1,000 fellowship to be transferred to him via the Museum of Modern Art in New York in order to enable him to repair or re-create his previous Merz constructions in Germany or Norway.[58] Instead he used it for the “Merzbarn” in Elterwater. Schwitters worked on the Merzbarn daily, travelling the five miles between his home and the barn, except for when illness kept him away. On 7 January 1948 he received the news that he had been granted British citizenship. The following day, on 8 January, Schwitters died from acute pulmonary edema and myocarditis, in Kendal Hospital.”

Merz Barn Eltewater

The Elterwater Merzbarn is at the centre of this project.

This from Merz Barn Langdale

“The Merz Barn project is an outstanding contribution to the understanding of contemporary art, not only in this country but in the world-art context. It has taken great care and work to bring this to fruition. It speaks enormously well of Cumbria and of us as a nation, and will undoubtedly be a focus of interest for decades to come. To think that it will crumble away for the sake of a modest grant speaks very badly of the Arts Council’s priorities, especially in the more remote parts of England. I do hope this will be reconsidered.” Email from Lord Bragg, 10.6.14

The Merz barn building still stands much as Schwitters left it in 1948. Located in a remote woodland in the heart of the Langdale valley in Cumbria, NW England it serves as a symbolic connection and poignant memorial to the spirit and tenacity of the artist who worked there. This project is about the recovery, documentation and restoration of Kurt Schwitters‘ last Merzbau project; the Elterwater Merz Barn, and the international fundraising campaign that is intended to pay for vital restoration work and sustain the development of the project in the longer term.

This brings us directly to the project. This from ‘Merz Funder

“Over the past three years we’ve been visiting the beautiful Elterwater Merz Barn in Cumbria (last creative home of the mighty Kurt Schwitters)using various devices to capture field recordings(outside the barn) & using these to create live soundscapes(inside). On our arrival last week we discovered that the whole site has been severely damaged in recent storms, which is devastating news as the merzbarn receives no arts grant or regular funding. SO we need your help to raise monies and awareness about the final home of uk dada! Ruby/lamorna/Joy/exp ct!”

So for all of the above reasons, I’m very pleased to offer ‘Merzquito’ to the project. This was produced with content by Belgian sound artist Peter Wullen. A happy accident of coincidence, his word assemblage / text/talk poem about a mosquito, reading about Schwitters internment on the Isle of Wight at the end of WWII, and the launch of the Merz Funder project.

I’ll confess to having a couple more lined up and some musings on visual materials. Its great to inspired by a project. I hope some readers here will feel the same. Contribution is everything.

Some vital links here

Merz Funder on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/Merzfunder/

Merz Barn Langdale https://merzbarnlangdale.wordpress.com

This from A-N https://www.a-n.co.uk/news/kurt-schwitters-merzbarn

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Avebury Henge & Silbury Hill

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Very occasionally I indulge my self with a trip out with my camera. As I’ve posted here previously about the various ancient monuments that I’ve visited around the UK it can be assumed it’s a standing stone of an interest.
Towards the end of 2014 when staying in Winchester we visited Stone Henge which without doubt the most well known neolithic stone circle in the UK. I’d hoped to drip in on Avebury on the return journey but time didn’t allow.

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So, ignoring the weather forecast I took a drive down to Avebury for a look around. I went there maybe 25 years ago, and as sleepy villages go, its hasn’t changed. The National Trust & English Heritage now look after the site and its noted as a World Heritage site.

As a child I remember watching the quite scary series ‘Children of the Stones‘. Whilst based in a the fictional village of Tilbury, this was filmed inane around Avebury. I rematched this recently and its still a potent little story.
Avebury is the only village that sits inside a stone circle, surrounded by a back and ditch. Construction of the circle is dated to around 3000BC although as in the case of Stone Henge there are suggestions the site was important prior to this as recently discovered evidence of Wood Henges indicate.

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The weather was pretty blood awful unfortunately (note rain spots on the lens) but I’m pleased I managed to spend a few bracing hours walking around the site. There is a mass of speculation about the meaning and intent of the architects of the site. Undoubtably giving the scale of the site and the effort required to create it, it was important to them.

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The following is a more atmospheric gallery of Hipstamatic pictures – still my go-to iPhone app.

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Avebury 05

Avebury Stone Detail

A little one a mile to the south of Avebury is Silbury Hill. At 30 metres (98 ft) high,[1] it is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe and one of the largest in the world; similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids of the Giza Necropolis although constructed somewhat later around 2400BC. Despite numerous excavations there’s no real indication of its function.

Silbury Hill

Silbury Hill 2016

I’m now off to read John Drews book ‘The Silbury Revelation‘ which i bought a while ago but neglected to put in the ‘to read’ pile.

And finally in the spirit of ‘if you liked this, you might also enjoy’ heres some pictures and sounds from Dol Tor stone circle.

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A Warmer Welcome – Via The Glove of Bones

digitalDIZZY

The Glove of Bones is very pleased to have a track include in the 110 track various artists compilation from digitalDIZZY produced to raise funds for the Refugee’s Welcome organisation. There is a nasty isolationist attitude in the general political atmosphere in the UK and its commendable that creative/arts organisations spread the word of tolerance and charity that is often missing from the broader culture.

(dD88)
A Warmer Welcome is a benefit release for #refugees welcome
www.refugees-welcome.org.uk

In times of crises, British people have always answered the call and banded together with other friendly nations to speak out, send aid and provide refuge.
Along with local groups and national organisations, we’re ready to respond to this crises; welcoming refugees from abroad and encouraging our political leaders to do more.
We’re ready to welcome people fleeing from violence and persecution.
We’re ready to find homes, help children to settle and bring Civil Society together.
We’re ready to answer the call once again.

Compiled by Ruby & Lamorna for digitalDIZZY | Feb 2016
Artwork | Pamela Caughey
www.pamelacaughey.com

<>
credits
released February 15, 2016

Please listen, purchase & share. The music on offer here is cutting edge from hugely committed independent artists.

A huge thanks to Ruby Black for previous support of the Glove of Bones and for bringing this great project together.

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#TDM – The Drone Machine Project

The followings is reposted from the Glove of Bones project page. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

A4

TDM

From the beginning of my swagger into music production of some sort or another the term ‘Drone’ has been in the room. A friend of mine, Mark Ward had started to make ambient music and through this I found the frighteningly good natured and creative community of diverse independent musicians through FaceBook groups, Sound Cloud and Bandcamp net labels. There are people out there making 8 hour compositions, terrifying field noise experiments, dreamy piano / synth / guitar pieces, industrial noise and experimental drone.

Drone (or protracted monophonic/harmonic sound) has occupied a place in music for millennia. From a wet finger circling a wine glass to bagpipes and the sitar, the hypnotic underpin of many musical forms is the drone element.

In contemporary music artists like Sunn O))) and Steve Wilson (as Bass Communion) use sustained repetition and volume to affect an audience at a level other than just song structure & lyrical content.

Following the modern trail back you get the Velvet Underground and Modern Classical composers like Terry Riley, Steve Reich & Phillip Glass.

Further into the obscure there are artist from Dada, the Beats & Avante Garde using pure sound to impact their audience.
A little before the New Year I came across Tony Conrad and the group that formed the Dream Syndicate
In particular the link between a sound experiment and an artefact had resonance.

The Long String Drone is discussed in this article and for some unknown reason the device struck a chord with me.

Tony_Conrad_Long_String_Drone_GB_W

Digging a little deeper the sound produced from these devices cemented the fascination.

Add to that the incredible process & construction behind the work of Ellen Fullman and I was intent on having my own device.

My approach to scale is somewhat limited by domestic circumstance and budget and overall you could say I’ve given an organ transplant to a guitar. I am, as always lead by a Voodoo notion of connection to materials, history and activity. The resulting artefact is almost exactly as I imagined with the added advantage of being functional.

The intention was to build something with a physical presence that took it away from being a guitar, that it would be a functional electric device whose sound could be manipulated, that as an object it would have an ascetic of its own, and that to best of my ability it would be constructed from the ground up.
Most of the ‘guitar’ elements are exhumed from a cheap Strat copy from the local Cash Convertors, the main body is a 1.4M long piece of Oak which the very kind Alan from Custom Frames supplied and routed to my design. The project has come together far quicker than I imagined it would and bar some minor cosmetic intervention its working. Below you can see a gallery of the development process.

The creative applications for this elaborated plank are slowly coming together. I’m hopeful that I can acquire more analogue sound effect devices but that wanders into a whole new world of practical dilemmas. I’ve had one small experiment with the machine which whilst casual and unplanned, I found exciting to produce. The drone element of this is a single unedited production. the sound artefacts that are added are to colour in the narrative (a non specific walking story). This is #TDM 01.

I hope you join me for the further adventures in drone, coming to this page soon.

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