Categories
insects trees

rain yellow flowers

rain yellow flowers caricatures south west england against deep interiors of the african continent during the nineteenth century. this blends into specific meridians of meandering thought. laburnum flowers here dangle concupiscent and aleatorically irrelevant.

i think i’ve pinned it there but don’t blush. derogatory whispers split infinite commands of rectitude. skies consonant and irregular at quavering times to drift nonsensically towards the plains of contusion.

guitars voices and a solitary saxophone resplendent with guttural perches strapped on and blending into darkened vortices of sick – sicle – syphon – ssss.ansidote

renal yell flickering
rhodes year freshman
ripped yeast farine

thanks to bbc creative licence for all the clouds

the rest is silence

Categories
music trees wells

2 versions of 1 song

I’ve just put a version of my song Wishing Well on youtube and I thought I’d link to it here because that’s the sort of thing you’re supposed to do. I know there’s a lot more other stuff that I’m supposed to do as well, but one step at a time – that’s my motto.

The music was recorded at my place shortly after taking some footage at a gig where we couldn’t get decent sound recordings. That was about 3 years ago. It’s been sitting around and now I’ve finally done something with it. Instead of the gig footage which I formerly used before in my video for Children Of The Sea this is some seaside variations.

Wishing Well was written in 2009 and not longer after I recorded a demo version which I put on youtube with a more complicated video than the one above. This isn’t anything that special but I’m not sure I’d have the energy any more to do the editing that I did for it.

Finally I’d just like to say that the next film version will be a full length feature film. This is the cast we have lined up :-

Wishing Well – Max von Sydow
Shell – Tiny Tim
Quercus Robur – John Wayne
Ripples – The Flying Foxes
Solveig – Milena Vukotic

Categories
gigs trees

soon gigs

Categories
angels birds fire insects literature music nonsense sea spider trees

mr knight

I am halfway or more through my new album which I won’t name yet, but I thought I’d do a quick creature head count.

1st song

a flesh hound (whatever that is)

2nd song

another hound (seems to be a bit of a theme – not intended)
sparrows

3rd song

red wolf
bees
mountain lion

4th song

hare
fish
birds

5th song

raven

6th song

tsetse fly

7th song

none

8th song

crow
dragonfly
spider

9th song

none

Eventually I’ll do a whole thesaurus of the animals, birds, fish etc. that populate the world of my song lyrics, not to mention the trees, flowers and assorted inanimate objects. When I am ill and lie abed with 2 fat wishes I’ll be fed and let the leaden moments pass each choosing singly their own path.

Instead of a basic guitar/bass/drums core the new songs are underpinned simply by 2 acoustic guitars. There is a 10th song which won’t be on the album but is a new version of an old song and this moves matters in a further fish like direction. Everton Hartley as always is the 2nd guitarist. We also recorded a dozen or so minutes of the instrumental music that we play together under the name Ashinosya. Here’s an excerpt from that to give you a flavour of the 2 guitars by themselves.

Instrumental

Categories
film music trees

the great outdoors

I’ve recently managed to complete a film comprising of some footage that I shot about a year ago. It’s called The Great Outdoors. As a soundtrack I used some excerpts from a jam I had with Nick Pullin about 20 years ago. This is something we only did once – at least only recorded once. I’ve searched through the archive and found this image of Nick which I hope he will approve of.

If not I might have to update this page sometime in the future and hopefully change this wording. If not don’t worry. Worse things have happened on the world wide web, or even the whirled woid wedge or thereabouts.

Here is the page for Nick’s band Ilya (or thereabouts) with Joanna Swan, some friends I’ve known for a year or two.

They’ve just moved but they used to live very close to where these images come from so it’s all very fitting.

Now I have new friends in Albemarle Row – it’s funny how life works out. Or so Moses used to say. Apparently.

Here’s the embedded what-do-you-ma-call-it. If you don’t like it, please don’t bother to let me know. I’ll just take that for granted.

Categories
birds nonsense prose sea trees

Winter Thirst

WINTER THIRST

A Short Operation

Fall

Green became tawny. Between tall spindle trees smoke rose from a cottage chimney. It hung in the air and then spilled to one side.

As Ern and Kast drew closer they heard sweet violin tones, muffled by thick limestone walls. The door was open – they knocked and Ern shoved his head inside. Both were grabbed, shaken and invited to dance by a frenzied crone, drenched with a bitter perfume. Mascara cascaded down her wrinkled cheeks. Her breath smelt strongly of onions.

The face of the violinist caused them to leap back towards the door. It resembled a metal flower – well-rusted and extremely scrappy – fit only for the junkyard.

They both ran for it, of course. Afterwards Kast said to Ern “You know, I liked very much that violin-playing.” Ern agreed that it had been astoundingly skillful. They returned to their small boat and sailed back across the channel to their homeport.

Ern’s Dream

At work, wearing new overalls he spilled a plastic cup of hot chocolate over his chest. His father emerged from behind a forklift truck. His eyes were pointed heavenwards.

“Commend my son unto thee. See he is like a whisky bottle run dry – the last drop of spirit lies unevaporated around the concave bottom. His mother passed away many years ago, since when I have used a fish in order to be faithful to her. Aye, a fish, like fisherfolk do on long sea-voyages.”

His dad was acting like a raving widower. He could not bear to see him thus transformed and went for him with a box of nails, assorted into handy sizes.

His father, with a cut eye and forehead lurched back out of what was now a chapel. A rather lively fugue was being performed on the organ. He followed the injured man out into a sunlit courtyard. Out in the open air, church bells pealed deafeningly. They were quickly surrounded by ostriches with long inquisitive beaks and necks.

He retreated to the chapel where he watched through the peephole whilst the ostriches, somewhat excited by the smell of fresh blood, perpetrated hideous disfigurements on his father’s whole body. The old chap still clung on though and, when he could, delivered stubborn kicks that winded several of the birds.

Ern was interrupted by a tug of his sleeve. “Could you sit down during the sermon, please” asked a rather presumptuous lay-worker. He sat in a central pew.

“Hells’ teeth, friends, are long, like fritters, coated in tartaric acid with the taste of rancid margarine exhumed from a dead man’s gut. Eventual Justice Will Prevail. I can’t express this too often. Some of you here today will be clawed by bird-men till you are but bleeding wrecks – raw carcasses yet still alive.”

At this point in the sermon Ern blushed, thinking of his poor old dad at the mercy of those unusually savage ostriches. Defying the lay-worker’s despising glare he hastened to the door and looked out to see his father struggling to get in, a mass of blood and feathers. Although one could not make out much of his face he seemed to cast a reproachful glance at his son through the small glass square. Ern repented. He opened the door. The lay-worker loomed up behind, slobbering with rage. Ern’s dad, now a vicious fighter, jumped on this rather pompous little individual.

At first Ern was quite amused to see this little runt take a beating, but then he noticed the scissors in his father’s hands.

“How the devil did he get those” he thought.

It was already too late – the sharp little blades had gone straight through the shirt that had been white, but was now reddening, and split the lay-worker’s abdomen open.

“You fool!” shouted the angered official.

No-one paid much attention, for meanwhile the ostriches had invaded what was now a cathedral. Some could fly and defecated on the choir and congregation from above. It grieved Ern’s heart to see such desecration.

La Flèche Sympathique

Eventually Kast and Ern never returned to their home-town.

Edgar felt lost without them. He mooned around the quayside where he had so frequently welcomed them in past years. One afternoon he sat on a backless metal bench facing a light dredger of dowdy appearance. To his left, by a rusting capstan, an unkempt mongrel was spewing up a dark red (almost russet) mixture that reminded him of something he had once seen on the floor of a Parisian public convenience.

This only added further to his irritation. Back home, his landlady would invite him to a game of chess, but both she and the game itself he found boring – he preferred to watch the dog.

“At least out here some adventure might befall me” he thought.

His wish was granted. Perhaps Ern or Kast had something to do with it, but after all, who cares – an adventure’s not to be scoffed at.

Later that evening he had returned to his apartment and was intently studying a cup of tea, when someone climbed in through his living-room window – open as it always was at this time of the year. A smartly-casual clerical type with a bulbous nose and a complete lack of eyebrows walked briskly across the room towards Edgar, seized him by the wrist and led him back to the window.

Most people would have resisted, but Edgar’s present lethargy and ennui induced him to succumb. One must admit, however, that he did begin to have serious misgivings when he found himself on a narrow ledge some thirty feet above the concrete yard at the back of the house. But there was no need to worry – they jumped and both started flying through the air.

“How peculiar” mused Edgar. It was certainly an unexpected twist to the day. They followed the widening channel and then reached the sea. As Edgar watched the beach and cliffs fade into the distance his thoughts turned to Ern and Kast – lost friends drifting in a void. Probably eating hamburgers. He, too, was hungry and rather cold by this time. He looked towards his companion for some sort of explanation, but the clerical character would not look at him. In fact, he strained his neck away, searching in the distance.

Gulls glided below complaining to the wind of the hardness of their life. Or so it seemed to Edgar. Actually he felt like complaining himself. I mean, an adventure is something, that’s true, but there must be limits, after all.

Eventually they reached another coastline. Highlands rose steeply from sea-level. A few miles inland they reached a pass between two craggy mountains. A medium-sized office block reared up on a grassy plateau. The two aviators came close to the building, hovered down and entered through a window just like his at home.

The room was a rather dreary office. At last his abductor spoke,

“You have been chosen as one of the few here in Arsanda – the few given the chance to marry the King’s daughter and rule at her side when he dies. This is a magical kingdom and the perks and benefits are unbelievable – I cannot begin to explain them to an uninitiate like you. Yours could be a life of luxury. But in order to win the Princess you must work here for forty years. She is but two years old, the King is twenty-four and has a good many years left. You must in the meantime prove yourself worthy of the Princess’s favours. You or one of the fifty like you – it matters not which.”

In The Golf Club

Scene IV

(The golf club bar. It is dingy and dimly-lit. The 4th Trombonist is acting as barman. Pious and unrelenting he pours lager over the heads of the customers. Whilst the following exchange is advancing, the customers throng, jostle and joke incessantly. Gordon and Firtree are sat on stools some ten feet from the bar. Each has his drink. The juke-box plays Amarillo Zippodder’s “Crazed ‘Bout You” as many times as necessary.)

Gordon: Nice whisky.

Firtree: You think so? Not a mixture?

Gordon: No, not on my nelly.

Firtree: Your nelly?

Gordon: That’s what I said.

(Pause)

Gordon: Been playing?

Firtree: Praying, actually.

Gordon: Preying?

Firtree: No. Praying. To Jesus.

Gordon: I say, really?

Firtree: Well, no, just my little joke.

Gordon: You’ll never believe what happened to me on the fourteenth. I was trouncing old Thompson, the building chappie, by a clear seven points when we were interrupted by a balloon race. One of the blighters landed on the fairway.

Firtree: Gawd, did you chase them?

Gordon: Tried to, but they turned on us with empty propane canisters. Smashed up our clubs, too. Spoiled the game completely. You know – it’s impossible to go on when you’ve been put off your stroke like that.

(A bunch of drunken young men lurch backwards knocking Gordon and Firtree off their stools.)

Gordon (still on the floor): Have care, you swine.

Firtree (rising painfully): Oh my ribs – something’s smashed.

Gordon: See what you’ve done, you bastards, my friend’s haemophiliac.

1st drunken youth: We don’t care if he’s made of delicate china or fine cut glass.

2nd drunken youth: Or built like Humpty-Dumpty. Eggshell surface – a bag of wind inside.

(The lights fade. A whistle pierces the stillness. A single beam of light returns – directed on a solitary drunk.)

Solitary Drunk (thinks): We burnt his feet, by the side of the fishpond. The wind blew backwards, rushing repeatedly through two silver tree-trunks. A renegade ice-cream van careered through the undergrowth, an ominous green light within. He staggered up, his feet peeling and blistered, and crawled off to look for his mother, on her way home from the supermarket. But she had run off with her new boyfriend – Cyclops. They had taken a taxi to the station and were already arguing.

“Do you always wear blue socks with brown shoes?”

Cyclops began to stammer an excuse, but kept silent. They passed by a huge red-brick factory which caused the very air to stink of rotting carrots discovered under one’s mattress on a winter’s night.

Then, the station. The taxi pulled up, but neither mother nor boyfriend showed any sign of stirring.

“I’m bored” said Maria (the mother, that is).

“I’m not going to cringe before you any longer, you toadthug.”

“What a cheek! You frisky cad!”

“Don’t ever ask me again. Come on, let’s get the train. Pay this citizen.”

“Don’t talk to me like that. My father was a foreman, my mother was a nurse, and I was made to swear, I’d never end up worse.”

An Only Child

Sebrana rose – she’d had enough. The kettle was left to boil as she slipped through the Judas trees, her eyelids pinned to her cheeks.

Night it was and fine, bright one too. The wind sounded like rustic pipes, blown by a dolt.

She walked head-down across the clodded meadow, pretending to be with Gordon, her imaginary lover, who whistled a tuneful waltz in her ear. They were in the desert – on a sand dune – it was jolly.

Back in the forest, as tall as trees, Sebrana sobbed on Gordon’s shoulders. Now they had grown even larger and used mountains as armchairs in their cosy apartment.

In truth she was alone. Even the little animals seemed to avoid her. If she had carried a knife in her bag she could have stuck it in her heart. Kept it there as a souvenir. Of Gordon, vanished, running into the night, lost in the forest.

Sequel

Gordon eventually reached the house and entered by the conservatory. Once inside he ran upstairs into the bathroom and removed his sore eye. In the next room he could hear a hungry baby wailing for attention.

He slipped his plastic clammy fingers over the door-handle, pushed the door open and took a step inside.

One day, in the Caucasus Mountains, a goatherd had a dream :

He was in a red polystyrene beaker in a turgid canal – floating whichever way the wind blew. From this vantage-point he saw the moon, with a face, bend down and kiss a mad dog. Marching past, a military band were playing a foxtrot, but stopped and drew swords. The dog was slain. He saw tears on the eyes of the moon-face.

Back in the bottom of the beaker he found a handful of salted peanuts – and, shortly afterwards, woke up.

Back in the house, Gordon side-stepped into the corridor. The lights began to flicker incessantly in the umbrage, causing his thoughts to flash back to the freak meteorite storm that had occurred in his bedroom when he was nine years old. The next day he had found a smooth, rounded pebble in a clear mountain stream. His mind and indeed his life was full of such irrelevancies.

Suddenly he cried, “Yike!” as an enormous jellyfish, crimson with purple spots, plopped off the glass roof onto his neck. As it slipped down his shirt he sat on the foam carpet, sobbing.

Another door opened. Gadfly, the boy jockey, appeared with a handful of radishes.

“What’s up?” he queried.

“I need your help, I’ve been the victim of a vile ambush” said Gordon, opening his shirt-front to let the jellyfish slop out over his lap onto the foam. It scurried down the passageway towards the stairs.

Gadfly sniggered. “That’s Tony. He loves his little joke”

“Tee hee” thought Gordon.

Categories
birds songwriting trees

The Moment of Creation

Usually these days when I write words for a song I do so using the Voice Recorder function on my mobile phone. I record in short bursts – 1 or 2 lines at a time. Writing it all down and editing it comes later, accompanied by guitar. Tweaking the words can go on for a while after that. In fact in theory that could go on while there is still life in the old dog.

I recorded a demo of the song I wrote towards the end of 2011, RV Marche RG. Later I found that I had not yet deleted the various Voice Recordings. Before doing so I transferred them to my MacBook and strung them all together. They are the log of the act of creation. They go on for about 4 minutes. In real time of course there were gaps between Record and Stop so I was probably stumbling around the streets whilst recording/creating for about 10-15 minutes in total.

My presentation of this moment of creation is not really a thing of beauty, but I felt it was worth preserving and was prepared to front it on YouTube, possibly a mistake but what the hell. My favourite bit on the soundtrack is the call of some random bird that happened to be about at that unearthly hour. I did think about cutting that noise and introducing it with some delay or something a bit more frequently but in the end laziness prevented that innovation which I think is good because just appearing once and then not again is ultimately more rewarding/intriguing.

The film I carved together from a few oddments derived at similar late night junctures, though not on the same night and in fact from the opposite direction. Down by the dockside to be precise where late night lights flicker and dip with reflected refractions. I have done something vaguely similar though reasonably different in the past which is here. I abstracted more this time and resisted the temptation to fade the odd Hergé still subliminally into the background.

Here are the final lyrics

rv marche rg

past rows of metal boxes
with single antenna
save one for tintin street
feelers for dreams
that flow through channels
towards tintin street

save the last one
save a little bit
save some now
for tintin street
save one
for tintin street

the last gully
transmigrates
to simplistic gratuity
burnt into diamond shapes
that line the walls
on tintin street

save the last one…

where concrete descends
a pear tree attends
suspends and portends
with balconies around
can calculus be found?
cellared up and bound on tintin street

save the last one…

through the smoke
the buildings choked
don’t stay too long on tintin street
your lair’s right there
fair and square
you’ve made it back from tintin street

save the last one…

Categories
micromuseum trees

Botánica Tomo II

This is the 2nd Chilean post in the micromuseum section. For the first one go here. A couple of weeks ago I included a drawing which pointed an accusatory finger towards this micromuseocosmic instance. That was here. The monkeys illustration was from a Chilean textbook from 1927 that my father had when he was at school there. It must have been shortly before he was sent to boarding school in England.

Here’s the front of one of the other books.

And now some illustrations from this book. Firstly this is what I take to be a baobab tree and I’m not even checking to find out whether I’m right or not. The drawing suggests to me a tree that reproduces by spreading itself out rather than dropping seeds. It’s a typical ploy by a lot of plants that come from a tropical latitude.

The 2nd illustration has something that is reminiscent of a painter I mentioned recently which is Magritte. The cabbage and roots suspended in the air has a somewhat surrealistic feel to it. It’s interesting that photomontage was a favourite device of many of that movement’s artists. Ernst in particular immediately springs to mind.

And here’s a rare colour picture. That must have been pretty exciting back in 1927.

Finally my pièce de résistance. This one would make a lovely tea towel or tray design, maybe even an apron. I intend to earn a fortune selling it via National Trust outlets.

Categories
micromuseum music trees

as regards tintin street

At last I have managed to finish the demo I started a while ago. It gives me a chance to put up a couple more bits of Hergé artwork in an unassuming manner. I can’t see the harm in it myself. I’ve called it RV Marche RG which is pronounced as if you were speaking French to give it an English quasi-phonetic spelling it would be ‘ervay marsh erjay’ or something like that but really you need to get that guttural French R to give it it’s most satisfying rendition. Really I know that properly my initials should be reversed and be ‘vayeur’ rather than ‘ervay’ but the thing is I’ve never reversed my initials – yeh sure I’ve reversed the letters of the name because that makes Trebor Yesav which could easily be a Georgian sculptor or a Macedonian boat-builder – but Georges Remi did reverse his initials which gave him his distinctive pen-name.

The song stems from a street near where I live which for some reason I call Tintin Street. Quite often when I’m coming home late at night I pause for a while on this street (which is quite a steep hill) and reflect. I’ve thought a lot about why I call it Tintin Street but I can’t quite pin it down. It was sort of an instinctive thing. I’ve looked through the various books trying to find some point of reference but with no success so far. Here follow some street and house images from the cartoons.

My Tintin Street is very different from the actual street that Tintin lived on. We just get glimpses of that. Here seen from a vantage point slightly higher than the 2nd floor window suspended in the air outside the building.

And here from the middle of the road outside. It’s quite a busy street in the middle of town. As you can see the glimpses of the street usually coincide with a dramatic incident – abduction in both these cases. Firstly Bunji Kuraki of the Yokohama police force and secondly Tintin himself.

So what is the reference point? The madeleine in the tisane? Is it the balconied window?

Or maybe just the shutters?

It could be the long, high concrete wall that I refer to in the 3rd verse of the song. Plain walls are popular with cartoonists for obvious reasons.

Or possibly it’s all a mistake and I was thinking of another famous Belgian.

[René Magritte L’Empire des Lumières (detail)]

Anyway here’s the track.

RV Marche RG

Categories
film fire literature trees

Archive Footage

Over the last little while or thereabouts I have been posting archive bbc footage on my youtube channel. This all comes from a programme I recorded on vhs back probably in the late eighties. I think I first bought a vhs recorder sometime after 1985 and most likely early on after that I recorded a compendium of bbc recordings which were generally from the late 60s. It was introduced by George Melly and for the first time in the most recent clip (Pasolini & Callas – see below) there is a fragment of his commentary added to the original fragment. In the past I have always managed to decently edit out any of his contributions (apart from the Heinz Edelmann clip where he is central, as a younger self). Not that I’ve got anything against the guy, but because I wanted to be true as possible to the original recordings. But this comment is right in the middle of the clip and trying to edit it out would be a real pain. I think he must have felt that as a singer he was allowed to comment about Callas but sadly I must regret that he felt it was necessary to add anything as Maria is so beautiful and so poignant in her words that there scarcely is need of aught else. Ah well, such is life, you can always edit the film yourself. Download it from youtube, it’s not that difficult, and edit it. But sadly you can’t bring her back to life. Anyway as I usually say, here’s the youtube clip

And just to show what I was talking about earlier on here are the other youtube clips from the programme that I have already posted. Sometimes I wonder if the bbc has lost the original footage that these clips were taken from. I would be happy to take this stuff down if I felt that it was available somehow commercially, but until that happens I will carry on posting it for the world to see. And if sometimes I feel like Kafka‘s Warden of the Tomb maybe that’s my destiny. There are some gems still to be unearthed. In the mean time here are the other segments…