Avebury Henge & Silbury Hill

Avebury 02

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.

Avebury_Aerial_0507

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.

aveburymap2Avebury 01

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.

Avebury 03

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

The Glove of Bones, for which I can’t deny substantial complicity, has been included in this pretty amazing release. 110 artists and hours & hours of incredible original independent music. Quite an incredible bringing together by the digitalDIZZY net label. Please take a few minutes to have a look and listen, its an admirable cause given the dubious positions of most Western Governments.

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…

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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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The Glove of Dub

Little Shadow

The following is shared from the Glove of Bones site which I hope you find in your heart to follow. I am of course utterly responsible for this, but also very pleased with the message on offer.

Information below…..

It has finally concluded. Whilst I’m very pleased to stand by and support the previous 50/50 and OST pieces, the ‘Glove of Dub’ really does feel like an arrival. Given the intuitive and chancy process this auditory content emerges from, this is the best dressed and most suitably prepared for public gaze to date.

It still whispers obscenities in the ear and has the embarrassing attitude of exposing the occasional slab of bare flesh in an inappropriate circumstance, but has enough personality to carry off its indiscretions.

I can’t thank the fun loving and diversely aware digitalDIZZY label enough for giving this project a virtual home.

If you have a thing for context, knock your self out with some Google fun on the titles. It really might help to explain this sprawling noise.

FREE downloads are available from the Bandcamp site.

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Captain Beefheart, cut up poetry and the inevitability of death.

crepe

After the very sad death of David Bowie recently I’ve been pondering on process, influence and the awful inevitability of all that creativity and effort reduced to dust, blabber & smoke.
Quite famously Bowie used the Dadaist Cut-Up technique to form lyrics taking as his direct influence William S Burroughs. The process has more recently been used by Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke.

Another notable exponent was left field American artist Don Van Vliet, mainly know by his nom-de-plume Captain Beefheart. A friend of mine often cites the Captain as “One of only two post-1945 musical geniuses (the other being Miles Davis).” I’ve often taken issue with this bringing in Zappa and others a counter argument, but I’m increasingly persuaded by his argument.

Van Vliet passed away in 2010 following several years of illness with MS. During his retirement from music he lived in the desert of California in quiet solitude with his wife and mainly engaged with the production of exquisite and primal painting in the Abstract Expressionist style.

Is work can be seen on his website HERE

But back to the poetry. The following was included in the exhibition document Stand Up To Be Discontinued in 1993. Its evident his health was declining from his reading.

– Fallin’ Ditch

When I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
When I trip fallin’ ditch
Somebody wanna’ throw the dirt right down
When I feel like dyin’ the sun come out
Stole my fear ‘n gone
Who’s afraid of the spirit with the bluesferbones
Who’s afraid of the fallin’ ditch
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
How’s that for the spirit
How’s that for the things
Ain’t my fault the thing’s gone wrong
When I’m smilin’ my face wrinkles up real warm
When I’m frownin’ things just turn t’ stone
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones
When I get lonesome the wind begin t’ moan
Fallin’ ditch ain’t gonna get my bones

– The Tired Plain

The bra was white and yellow elastic
and held to foam cones
the corners triangular shaped
pyramid
three edges made one point
starfish and embry boards
triple D cupped and poked to a point
the main character was composed into a bow
that broke first in the front
and equal on adjacent sides

American cowboy was approaching on a collision course
– his hands groped outstretched three digits triangular
to the front nail a line was drawn from the middle
finger to the knuckle of the index finger across
the middle finger onto the third –
creating a perfect arrow
with an imaginary point

– Skeleton Makes Good

There’s so many things
to feel and see while you’re awake
they’re just out of reach
out of grasp
yeah out of reach
and just as many, maybe more
the minute that you sleep
so I got to throw my preach
skeleton breath
scorpion blush
I have a crush on your skeleton
watch out unsuspecting stranger
you’ll fall off the log
headfirst into dreams
end up screaming
this will comb the wolf
and that will comb the fog
what will peen the rain
what will preen the hog
oh you mean earth
and hell over you
and laugh at your tire tracks
if you get up
skeleton makes good

– Safe Sex Drill

The child
held the old T.P. roll
carefully
thoughtful
not to misshape
the hole

– Tulip

It could be
a tremendous black upside-down tulip
it could be
a black fishes’ tail
it could be a day, artistically crimped
and buoyant
in its taped together way

– Gill

Bub & Gil
Bub & Gil
Bub in India
Bub & Mat
Bub in the wool
Bub in a rug
Indoor Bub – Bub in stitches
Glass Bub – Bub in rope
Bub in jail
Bub in tent
Bub in pale
Bub on springs – Bub’s brakes
Bub in pyjamas
Bub’s party – with Gil & Mat & Bub in stitches
Erect Bub
Gill’s pill
Perfumer

To close, here is the Captain in full musical wonder.

The following documentary is also and engaging watch.

Don Van Vliet January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Yet another Annual Review of 2015

Really, I’m not big on lists, music criticism, reflection or history. Yet for some perverse reason I’ve posted Annual Best of posts pretty much since I started this blogging thing. The main reason being it compensates for poor memory. In doing this list I had to check my calendar and a pocket of receipts to verify what I’ve done over the last 12 months. Shocking isn’t it, age is catching up with me, living in the moment is the only option.

This years version is split over live & recorded. I’ve not included any musical purchases of music not released this year (unless indicated or where I’ve cheated). I’ve also cut back on the critique in relation to the recorded stuff, theres column inches of that self absorption out there. Lists and best off are just examples of the bubble that the commentator lives in, my aim if any above aid-memoire is to guide you dear reader to somethings that may have not burst your bubble. Also, don’t look for chronology or ratings, I’m not responsible enough for that. So, lets start with gigs, these chronologically listed.

British Sea Power - Derby Theatre

Jan 10th – British Sea Power – Derby Theatre

More intrigue than fandom. This was the tour where they played with a Brass Band. I only really knew their first two albums which I recall liking. The concept worked well when it gelled but I did find some of the orchestrated parts shoe horned in. Worth a look though.

J Mascis - The Rescue Rooms 2015

Jan 16th – J Mascis – Rescue Rooms

Slacker Prince of Shred. I’ve seen him a dozen times but never solo. A great way to start the year especially as it wasn’t that packed and I got to stand front & centre. He played a great selection of tunes from his not insubstantial song book. The treat though was up close view of his loop building on the fly. I would always jump at a chance to see J.

JAMC - Rock City

Feb 22nd – JAMC – Rock City

The first time I’ve seen these. Like many bands they were on a ‘play x album back to back’ Rock City was absolutely rammed and the sound was monstrous as you’d expect as they slowly pushed past 11. The album was Psycho Candy which to be fair is a great album, the first half of the show was best of the rest which I think I preferred.

Hookworms - Rescue Rooms

March 22nd – Hookworms – Rescue Rooms

These Sheffield boys share a label with some local bands so have played here before. They work on the long near drone punctuated by great melodies and a flying vocalist. Definitely worth a visit and really enjoyable event.

Wire - rescue Rooms

April 22nd – Wire – Rescue Rooms

Another band that I’ve enjoyed over the years but never seen live. This was a standout surprise of a gig. They played almost entirely new material and it held my attention throughout. They walk their own groove, a little like Hookworms with long limited chord songs but great dynamic and masterful sonics. A highlight of the year.

Nick Cave - RCH Nottingham

April 30th – Nick Cave – RCH

This came with a lot of loaded expectation. One of my favourite artists who I’ve seen several times over the years. The last time he played the Royal Concert Hall was on another ‘Nick Cave’ solo tour with the proto Grinderman line up. That was ‘intimate’. This was expansive. A near full Bad Seeds line up, lots of pretty lights and long long show. Cave is the king of stage craft, interacting with the audience, chatty light and full of jokes. And the songs are immense and played to perfection. Not just gig of the year but in the list of best evers.

Grey Hairs

June 19th – Prolapse / Grey Hairs – The Maze

I was attracted to this by the support band, local grunge paddlers Grey Hairs. They released their debut LP this year which is jolly excellent. They gave good gig on the small stage in the Maze. I think I missed Prolapse first time around. A post MBV/Curve/Slowdive shoe gaze band with added regional kitchen sink drama. It was good.

Ex Easter Island Heads

July 25th – Ex-Easter Island Heads – BoHunk Inst

I missed these when they played in 2014 so was keen to make sure to see them this time around. They play electric guitars, lain flat and in odd tunings by variously hitting them with batons & sticks. Invariably long tunes building on rhythm and repetition. It’s very hypnotic especially in a small gallery venue when you are standing at arms length from the performers. Look them up on Bandcamp. Worth a listen I guarantee.

Mike Watt

Sept 10th – CUZ – The Maze

CUZ are Sam Dook and ace of bass Mike Watt. Again great to see them in a small venue like the Maze and managed to chat with Mike a little before the gig. They played a hybrid pop, rock, world music set. Very diverse and quite unlike the album they had recently produced when played live. Watt is a master though and worth seeing in any setting. Apparently the last time he played Nottingham was with J Mascis & the Fog which I saw. Forever ago.

King Crimson BSH

Sept 14th – King Crimson – Birmingham Symphony Hall

Another gig proceeded by huge anticipation. KC don’t tour often and hadn’t played in the UK for several years. Now a seven piece band with three drummers and decades of incredible complex music to draw from. Unlike Cave they have no interaction with the audience. A pre-recorded message from band leader Fripp with a request to not take pictures before the band come out immaculately dressed in dark suits. Expertly rehearsed they played songs from their 50 year history including devastating versions of ‘Starlesss’ and ’21st Century Schizoid Man’. World class genius.

Hey Colossus - The Chameleon Arts Cafe

Oct 10th – Hey Colossus & Kogumaza – The Chameleon Arts Cafe

The Chameleon Arts Cafe has a performance space in the upstairs of an already small upstairs bar. They also have enough PA to put on a loud show in Rock City. Supporting were local hard drone (?) band Kogumaza (again, check Bandcamp, they are excellent) who use finely balanced analogue / retro effects with huge volume.
Hey Colossus release two albums this year and have rightly got them selves a lot of attention. Three guitarist, bass, vocals & drums, slow builds to roaring noise. There was paint falling from the ceilings at this one. Another stunning show and a must see band.

Sisters of Mercy - Rock City

Oct 15th – Sisters of Mercy – Rock City

From the distant 80’s Goth scene I couldn’t resist the pull of Andrew Eldridge and the current Sisters of Mercy. Rock City was again completely packed even though it was a early (7.30!) show. Barely visible through the dry ice Eldridge, two guitarists & Doktor Avalanche ripped through the hits. A dense mass of youngsters slammed and swayed their shoulder dancing girlfriends while I hid on the balcony. I hadn’t seen them since the late 80’s but they gave good gig. And of course closed with Temple of Love & This Corrosion.

The Space Lady

Oct 16th – Space Lady – The Chameleon

This was pure curiosity. The Space Lady (Susan) was a street performer from San Francisco who uses a Casio keyboard and a beguiling manner to re-interpret songs from the seventies mainly. A gig is like being introduced to an obscure mystic who has plainly discovered a level that you can’t quite imagine. Precious and as hard to nail down as smoke.

God Speed You Black Emperor

Oct 22nd – GSYBE – Warwick Arts Centre

From out of left field GSYBE announced a tiny handful of UK dates. Closest to me was Warwick Arts Centre which has been rebuilt since I was last there to see Bauhaus quite a few years ago. God Speed released a great album in the early part of the year which was essential a single 40min piece of music in four movements.
I arrived early and by immense fortitude managed to stand front and centre throughout. I had anticipated the kind of crushing volume used by Swans but it turned out they have a more user friendly approach. It was loud but clean and precise. Like King Crimson they avoid anything more than a quick wave hello and a nod of the head goodbye. In-between was tidal storm of music whipped up by musicians who knew each other intimately on stage. Unmissable performance which I won’t forget.

There was supposed to be one more but I ducked out due to frailness. Next up in 2016 is Bob Mould, ‘\w/’ as the kidz say.

Albums that crossed my horizon…..

So here’s a less than comprehensive list of albums I’ve enjoyed this year. To help you along I’ll include some YouTube videos (the only irritation being regional restrictions and future take down notices – get it while its hot I say).

No chronology here. Sorry. Probably available for academics out there.

Black Mass – Dumb Flesh

A recent find although this came out early in year. One of the guys from Fuck Buttons, I’m more with the noise than the groove. Side four of the vinyl is a long nameless ambient piece which is a stunner.

Hey Colossus – Black & Gold and Radio Static High

See above about their gigging. They put out two albums this year and I couldn’t choose between them. A cracking band with a signature sound. Nothing not to like. This from Blank & Gold.

Grey Hairs – Colossal Downer

Local vendors of post grunge Stooge noise. They have a knack with covers (Final Solution & Jump Into The Fire). This is from the album though. Honourable mention to Colossal Downer for an iconic cover image.

Pop Group – Citizen Zombie

From one of the standout gigs of 2014 to a great return to the studio in 2015. Mark Stewart and the Pop Group didn’t loose a beat from their 1980’s edgy punk funk conscious dance grooves. Immaculate.

BJM – Thingy Wingy & Musique de Film Imagine’

Always prolific (thats a dumb thing to say isn’t it) and always idiosyncratic and beyond the curve. Anton Newcombe gave us two BJM albums. Played the grooves off both of them.

BJM & Tess Parks – I Declare Nothing

Another Anton project from earlier in the year. This with Tess Parks who had appeared on the Musique de Film Imagine album. Absolute corker of an album. Tess growls through the project in the classic European ingenue style.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and other Distresses

Near gig of the year and near album of the year. Huge in scale but the result of tight personal connections in the band. This is the closing section of the album. Played live the entire piece was name Behemoth which is appropriate.

Rocket From The Tombs – Black Record

A surprise entry. Cult Cleveland progenitors of avant-rock came through with a new line up and finally put down some old songs. Given the age of these guys its a damn miracle. This might well be my album of the year. And of course David Thomas.

Sun Kil Moon – Universal Themes

After the sublime 2014 album Benji this came with a heap of expectation and TBH it didn’t fulfil on first listen. A couple of months on though it started to sink in. Kozalek had dug even deeper into his personal life and took pretty much himself and drummer Steve Shelly into an acoustic orchestral fantasy life.The songs change pace and the though train derails before jumping back with such intricate detail you can smell the food he mentions and feel the cold on the film set. It needs slow absorption.

Jeff Bridges – Sleeping Tapes

The Dude made a self help album for insomniacs. Yep. Pretty sure its great but I have no idea what happens at the end. If you want we can pretend to be crows.

Steve Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase

I had some appreciation of Wilson from his ‘Raven Songs’ album. For a short period I played the hell out of this. Through this I also found his long form drone albums. Admirable artist with a wide interest and substantial talent.

Courtney Barrett – Sometimes I Sit & Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Acres written about Courtney. Great album, you can see why she hit a groove. But what do I know…. I’m a phoney..

Wire – Wire

30 years at the forefront of obscurity and they can still put out a ground breaking album. At this rate in tens years they will be an overnight success. Seriously though, epic album and they use beautiful guitars.

Bjork – Vulnicura

Appearing on lists all over the place. Bjork’s lack of given fucks helps but this albums narrative of relationship fracture made it into something more human than some of her previous albums. I still can’t got Moto Crash out of my head though. The videos though….

Bob Dyan – Bootleg – The Cutting Edge

My first cheat. Yes its old but there where literally hundreds of unheard versions, sessions, breakdowns and sweepings on this. Bobcats three years of wild mercury sound. The full release needed something like 19 hours to absorb. More of a historical artefact than an album release.

Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night

And on the other side of his career, confounding fans and critics, Bob puts out a album of Sinatra covers and shows with a pitch perfect lo-fi band & production that He Can Still Sing. This is utterly sublime……

David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock

When I first heard this it didn’t ‘grab me’ but after watching the BBC Making Of doc I was persuaded by its merits. Still enjoying it but still waiting for Comfortably Numb. This track is about encouraging young people to social insurrection so not a bad message. So Long Syd.

Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart

The vampiric eternal life form and human riff Keef came back with a solo album. What I loved about this was the production. They had gone with studio ambience, it sounds like a band in a room, its primal, no flashy solos. The soul of rock’n’roll. Its just music, man….

Twelve – Houston V – Houston IV (HERACLEUM MANTEGAZZIANUM) – Houston We Are All Going To Die – NO_COUNTRY

The most prolific artist in the country came through with four full Twelve albums in 2015. These have accompanied me on numerous journeys, each has a different tone but mines the same electro Kraut Rock / Motorik mines of beat and groove. The penultimate frontier.

Miley Cyrus – ‘Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz’

This might be considered a surprise last entry. This album was fascinating in the same way that being given strange food when blindfold and trying to decide if you like it or not is fascinating. The feeling on the palette is uneasy but the gag reflex hasn’t kicked in so it must be OK? Still undecided but would definitely advise you don’t play it on the school run. You go girl….

So there you go. There are about half a dozen albums that have been recommended that I didn’t get to, Joanna Newson, Father John Misty, Public Service Broadcast, Jenny Hval, Low (which I’m sure I’d like) and also a bunch I tried but (shockingly) didn’t get.

Apologies to all who tried to guide but for the life of me I didn’t get…….

Jamie xx – In Colour

Panda Bear meets the Grim Reaper

Sufijan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

New Order – Music Complete

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

I promise to try again unless some fool brings another record out in the mean time.

Seasons Greeting to you all and remember as Uncle Frank taught us ‘Music Is The Best’.

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YSP & Hepworth Wakefield

OriginalPhoto-470314630.934384

A couple of weeks ago I had a random day off work with no commitments that couldn’t be ignored. The weather wasn’t entirely clement but with an intention to do something I’d hoped to do all summer I took a ride up the M1 to Bretton and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There are 500 acres of open country park which hosts some of the most important modern sculptures by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Anthonys Caro & Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elizabeth Frink, Jaun Miro, James Turrell, Ai, Weiwei, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Quinn, Julian Opie & Richard Long.

A steady walk around the grounds takes upwards of 3 hours with the enticement of another artefact in the distance to keep you going. I had hoped to take some ‘proper’ photographs but the light was flat & grey. The best results came from Hipstamatic using a near monochrome fine grain high contrast film.

This first set of pictures are all YSP. Highlight for me was the James Turrell Skyspace which only the experience of it justifies. The Turrell pieces are more commonly known in the wide open spaces of North America but this construction in an old Deer shelter on the estate is graced by the noise of crows and our steel skies. The 20mins I spent there was fortunately solitary and all the better for it.

James Turrell - Skyview, YSP

Click on a single image to open the gallery view.

The gallery spaces are used for temporary exhibitions and currently they have work from artist Bill Viola – not an artist I was previously familiar with. One of his large digital projects was also placed in the Chapel on the estate. This was a stunning piece relating to Ascension & Recension. The short film below gives a flavour of the work but its better seen and experienced with scale the artist intends.

After exhausting the collection at YSP (and my legs) as I was in the area I went over to the Hepworth Wakefield. This is wonderful contemporary art space built to place and celebrate the work of Barbara Hepworth and host temporary exhibitions. Its a surprisingly expansive space with numerous galleries. The current show by Enrico David was defiantly worth a look but the numerous Hepworth pieces and reproduction casts contributed to an engrossing view. This is the gallery view…..

Follow the embedded links for more information about both places.

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Re-Blog: Anniversary of the Glove of Bones

Re-posting this from the Glove of Bones site. I hope if you find it interesting you will pop over there and follow for updates.

The Silent Flute & the Cyprian Fountain

It goes like this: Last year I was 50, there…. I said it. Years ago as I may have mentioned elsewhere I used take some reflective time and do a self-portrait on my birthday. I had dozens of them from 17 to early 30’s. Then I got distracted and forgot how to draw. So, last year I though rather than doing a picture, and as it was ‘big one’ I’d do something a little more profound.

My wife & and I went a away for a weekend and ended up in Winchester where I went to art school. We also took a trip to Stonehenge and it was around then I was finishing what ended up as the NueChromeWave set of songs. So it occurred to make a kind of abstract musical biography, something that used events, people, places, influences and anything else to hand to mark each of my previous five decades from 1964 until 2014. Thats what the the Glove Of Bones was intended to be, five fingers to the world. In the end that became a broader name for the personality driving the hearse and the song set became 50/50, an homage to chance and small nod to a Frank Zappa song.

Well, a year on I managed to complete 50/50 and a book of images and clues to go with it, plus a 50min film with is here – the sound track of which was released on digitalDIZZY (which made me very happy) and following that I’ve started (and almost completed) what can loosely by described as a ‘dub’ album of new songs. Whilst originally this site was just intended to host the 50/50 project, its come alive as useful place to keep the idea alive – some odd thread seems to pass through it all in one way on another.

I’m not entirely sure whats next, certainly more films for the 50/50 songs, my a vinyl record of some new music, could be punk, could be dubstep, could be dark ambient. Definitely more still images, maybe even some rule breaking colour.

Playing below are the first four complete pieces in the Glove of Dub. They take their titles from a trip to Tintagel, Halloween and some rather poetic 16th century terms for …….sex and body parts. More to follow.

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