Categories
mountains wells

Crinkle Crags

It was on a Monday that I went up Crinkle Crags. I own Crinkle Crags. Well not the actual crags, but I own the most iconic picture of the mountain which is Alfred Wainwright’s pen and ink drawing that was used in A Second Lakeland Sketchbook (1970). Here’s a scan from the book.
Anyway I’ll have to go back another time and do it properly. Because I rushed out – all I had was 500ml of water and no food – that’s not sensible when you’ve got a six mile walk before you start ascending. So I was pretty hungry and thirsty when I should have been enjoying that great high ridge walk with spectacular views. I took some snaps and here they follow :-

This is the target from the early stages of the ascent.
And this is at the same place, zoomed in a bit and landscape.
This is the south end of the crags looking northwards and it’s not a dissimilar viewpoint to that of Wainwright’s drawing.
The Langdale Pikes from the summit.
From a similar spot looking down Langdale.
And in the other direction across to Scafell and Scafell Pike.
Moving our view to the right we encounter the massif of Bowfell.
With no water left as I came to the end of the Crinkle Crags massif I aimed to head around to a footpath which is known as the Climbers’ Traverse. I couldn’t find a connecting path so just skirted round the col which is the top of the mountainside that is known as the Band. Eventually I connected with the Climbers’ Traverse and promptly bumped into a couple of climbers who had completed their climbing adventures for the day. The traverse is not for those who may get giddy or have balance problems but is good at getting you right in the middle of the spectacular parts of a mountain. I’d remembered the spring in the rocks at the bottom of Bowfell Crag as being a gush, but now it was just trickling out as a small stream. Whether this represents an accurate survey of the water table covering the period from the sixties to now I would not like to say. The water tasted a bit weird at first but my reasoning was that coming straight out of the rock as it did there couldn’t really be anything bad in it.

That was the first day of my holiday in the Lake District. On the last day I had a more dramatic and exhilarating close encounter with a mountain when I ascended Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark.
Pavey Ark is the crag on the right in the shot above and Jack’s Rake cuts across the crag face from bottom central to top left as you face it. As the photo shows it was misty and while I was climbing the mist had come down even more. I’m not sure if that was a good thing (in that I couldn’t see the drop) or bad (in that it might not have seemed too bad if I could have seen it). Probably it was a good thing. But I discovered that I wasn’t really fit enough to do that ascent especially not in wet conditions. Still I survived and eventually got to the top. I think there was only one bit where I was clinging to the rockface and I didn’t feel I had either one really secure foothold or one really secure handhold. I can confidently assert that I’ll never do that climb again not even in dry conditions.

Categories
literature nonsense wells

Reading List 2015

some time ago i did a post with the books that i’d read in a certain year and this is a continuation of that. but this time it’s the books i read this year which currently is 2015 and here they all are

Title By
Ancient North America Brian M Fagan
Memoirs Vol 1 William T Sherman
Memoirs Vol 2 William T Sherman
Selected One Act Plays George Bernard Shaw
The March Of Portola Zoeth S. Eldredge
Trips To Mars Lucian
Narrative of New Netherland Various
The Faber Book of America ed. by Christopher Ricks & William Vance
The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane
A History of Europe JM Roberts (II)
The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
Galactic Pot-Healer Philip K Dick
By Night In Chile Roberto Bolaño
The Divine Comedy 1 Hell Dante Aligheri
Charles Bukowski Barry Miles
Mrs Shelley Lucy M Rossetti
A Life of Philip K Dick Anthony Peake
George Gershwin Alan Kendall
Miles Beyond Paul Tingen (II)
Misquoting Muhammad Jonathan A C Brown
Voyage around the World Bougainville
Summer Crossing Truman Capote
The Storyteller W.Benjamin (IV)
The Enchanted Wanderer Nikolai Leskov
White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns Pete Brown
Omoo Hermann Melville
Valis Philip K Dick
Across The Plains Robert Louis Stevenson
Utz Bruce Chatwin
Briefing For A Descent Into Hell Doris Lessing (II)
Selected Tales N.Leskov (III)
Cantata 140 Philip K Dick
Lost Illusions Honoré de Balzac
Hung Lou Meng Cao Xueqin
The Last Crusade Nigel Cliff
What’s Welsh For Zen John Cale & Victor Bockris (II)
Popism Andy Warhol & Pat Hackett (II)
Alfred Jarry A Pataphysical Life Alastair Brotchie
The Jugurthine War Sallust
The Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montague
The Woman of Andros Thornton Wilder (IV)
The Diaries Andy Warhol & Pat Hackett
Letters Of Madame de Sévigné
When We Dead Awaken Henrik Ibsen
Visions and Revisions John Cowper Powys

i’ll write a bit about some of them not all because that would be too much.

the first one i mentioned in my last post so enough about that.

general sherman is one of those great characters they named a tank after him. anyone who gets a tank named after them must be ok?

the march of portola tells the fascinating tale of the european discovery of california. what a hostile environment that was back then.

i returned to the american civil war with stephen crane’s book which arguably helped to define war correspondence and cast a new light on the overall theme of war.

john roberts’ a history of europe can be seen as a companion piece to his triumph of the west series which i have posted the 1st episode and promise to deliver more in time. the tension between christian and muslim society grows ever more emphatic.

philip k dick’s galactic pot-healer is a very weird trip and i think it would make a fantastic film but you would have to have a lot of cgi for the underwater sequences. maybe not – a few plastic models floating in a tank might do the trick. later i read the biography very much around the time of reading barry miles’ book about bukowski. 2 californian lives.

whereas gershwin was east coast.

going back to the history of europe/christian/muslim equation jonathon brown’s book tries to shed some light on some of the important issues which seem to be becoming more and more vital day to day.

the new translation (2 years old by now) of the enchanted wanderer and other stories was something i had my eye on for a while. sometimes it pays to hold off immediate desires and play a long, laborious game of catch. the eponymous tale is a masterpiece and it’s all good.

i’d read all of bruce chatwin’s books (maybe not some obscure ones if there are any) except for utz so was glad to find this in a 2nd hand bookshop – oxfam at the top of park street in bristol i think but possibly elsewhere. whereas the leskov interacts with walter benjamin’s the storyteller essay then utz interacts with the unpacking my library essay.

and then straight into doris lessing’s briefing for a descent into hell. dantaesque?

eventually as the year staggered to completion i plunged into the world of jarry and warhol – an unnatural combination, one devolving into a world of poverty and the other becoming increasingly wealthy especially with death. both benefited from death one dying in his mere thirties the other lasting into his fifties. both difficult to measure exactly how influential. whatever i’ll stick with them.

Categories
gigs music Uncategorized wells

tri

Earlier this year I wrote in a post that I was determined to write a song in Esperanto before the end of the year. I haven’t done so yet, but I’ve gone a certain way along the path in recording another improvisation in which I make heavy use of numbers 1 to 10 in the said language and I’ve given it an Esperanto title. I mentioned a couple of months earlier that I was reading a certain book by Mr Wells and the Esperanto language does feature to a certain extent in the book where it is used as a symbol of a posited future where peace is a possibility.

Also enveloped within the music-scape is the traditional song Scarborough Fair. I will be performing on Saturday at Lance and Libby Cross’s wedding anniversary party which will be a pleasure. My good friend Ant Noel and I will be running it in an open mic style. Including ourselves there should be also appearing Jane Thomason, Franny McGirr, Dan Ashby, Everton Hartley, Rosalind Moreno-Parra and probably some others. Whether I will get round to doing something like this piece is not definite. All I know for sure is that I will be playing my song Wishing Well at some point because it’s a particular favourite of Lance’s.

Then on Monday I’m supporting Jane for her album launch. For that occasion I will be doing a set accompanying Rosie with me and Everton on guitar. The 1st song on Jane’s new album was written after seeing a gig Rosie and I did last December just before Christmas at a tango milonga. I’m so pleased she did that it’s beautiful as is the whole album.

Here’s the latest improvisation. It’s the 3rd in a series and it’s a bit over 20 minutes long. Everything was recorded live.

estas nenio

Categories
ancestry birds fire wells

something out of nothing

another stabilising post there are reasons why i need to be unprolific at the moment. a chance to exhibit a couple of songs that i demoed some time ago for various reasons such as back up and to the top.

the first is called fey and is a song i wrote about three years ago i was also reading a book called opening the old testament by katharine dell and there are some old testament references. i could just as easily use gilgamesh and probably have sometime in the past. don’t get me started on the rig veda.

then there’s a version of a song of mine called ex nihil abundancia which i’ve done another demo of. this one is a fairly rough and ready live one that i did with laura lambell which we seemed to have created on sunday april 25 2010 at 16.20. it’s nice to know when things happened. this has some elements of south american history but it’s never made obvious which they are you’ll just have to take my word for it. i wrote a song called ladorada around the same time which was likewise.

fey

ex nihil abundancia

i was also going to add another demo of a song called minerva’s song which is about forests and loss a subject we pondered last night with my friends lance cross and ian powell but i’ve decided to hold it for later as i want to try to add a retrospective track or two to fill it out.

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
geology mixes music wells

Granite mix 4

Back in 1968 Aretha Franklin brought out an album which was called Aretha Now. I was 14 back then, my brother or my sister who were older than me had the album which contains 10 songs including Think; Say A Little Prayer; You Send Me and the one in this mix See Saw. I remember, I remember, I remember and I’m speechless.

Twenty-two years earlier in 1946 the BBC adapted Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost for radio and Gerald Finzi wrote the incidental music. Later he developed the music into an orchestral suite.

Over the last year or so I’ve been making some arrangements of a few instrumental pieces for solo guitar. One of the first ones I did was a setting of My Foolish Heart as played by Bill Evans. One day I hope to arrange Waltz For Debby for 2 guitars. There is much to…

Córdoba.
Lejana y sola.

Paco Peña is one of my favourite guitarists. This recording comes from a Radio 3 programme which I think was broadcast sometime in the 90s. I don’t know the details of what the piece is, but it is, of course, beautiful.

And I’m pretty sure this is Nicanor Zabaleta although I don’t seem to have the cd any more and can’t find anything obvious on amazon (no link I’ll let you try that one yourself). Somewhere I’ve got some radio recording of a Gillian Tingay recital which I can’t seem to lay my hands on. It was easier when it was all vinyl. Still they did seem to go mysteriously missing even then.

I have written before about the 1st time I saw Kevin Ayers & The Whole World back in 1971, but I’m not going to trot it out right now, maybe later sometime. That was the year that whatevershebringswesing came out. I remember still hearing some of it first on John Peel‘s Sounds of the Seventies. A bit disappointed at first. But Song From The Bottom Of A Well in itself would justify the whole thing and there’s a couple of other classics.

Kevin was “born 16 August 1944 in Herne Bay, Kent” according to Wikipedia. According to the same source John Douglas Surman was born exactly 2 weeks later in Tavistock, Devon. Well that’s strange isn’t it, perhaps not. I think John Douglas is the first repeat I’ve made in this Granite series but as far as I am concerned he is much under-appreciated and is one of the finest British musical creators of the last 50 years.

John Lee Hooker was born in 1917, the same year as my father. In fact 99 days after my father’s birthday. 9 + 9 is 18 and if you subtract 1 from 18 you get 17. This is starting to get scary.

I also don’t have much to say about Gulzar and his film, Lekin because I don’t know much about him, but I always loved this Bollywood stuff after hearing it in Brick Lane curry houses in the late 70s and early 80s. Here’s a link for some incredible excerpt from some film with music by Hridaynath Mangeshkar and Gulzar.

And also I heartily recommend this film of John Fahey playing in 1969.

And for the end we have Nico, well her son’s on vocals. I love the presence of his breath intakes in between the song’s verses, for me that’s duende.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 4
Artist Title Album
Aretha Franklin See Saw Aretha Now
Gerald Finzi Music for Love’s Labour’s Lost: Alegretto grazioso Finzi – A Centenary Collection
Bill Evans Trio My Foolish Heart Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Paco Peña Unknown Radio Broadcast
Salzedo Chanson dans la Nuit Unidentified Nicanor Zabaleta album
Kevin Ayers & The Whole World Song From The Bottom Of A Well whatevershebringswesing
John Surman The Snooper Withholding Pattern
John Lee Hooker Blues Before Sunrise Unknown JLH Compilation
Gulzar & Hridaynath Mangeshkar Kesariya Balaam Gulzar’s Lekin
John Fahey Unknown Tango I Remember Blind Joe Death
Nico Le Petit Chevalier Desertshore