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music nonsense sea trees

WEEW

It’s over a year now since I started work on recording the fifth Neureille album but I still need a few more sessions before it’s finished. I’m happy with the way it’s going and contributions from Paul Wigens, Everton Hartley, Mike Dennis, Pete Judge and Jim Barr have been superb. The next session is going to involve Ant Noel if we can get it together and that then shouldn’t leave too much to do.

In the meantime here’s a couple of improvisations I recorded on Sunday – just me and the loop pedal. The 1st is about 3 and a half minutes, the 2nd 8 minutes something. I thought about adding some words but instead here are the words I was thinking of using – you can always try a voice over of your own. It seems I wrote these at 1am on 2 October 2015. My diary tells me that earlier in the evening I’d been at Jocasta’s open mic night at the Clifton Wine Bar. The text file history tells me that I then modified the words on 3 April 2016 at 11.30pm. My guess is that I then added the last 11 lines and gave the thing a title which is West to East and East to West

the melting preferential stripped of alternate meaning
the diaspora of the circumference of the passing shroud
swill bits that squirm through deltoid species
the fascinating fandango of the fantastic phalanx
add extra sum-ups slowly and from below
the twining undergrowth of holistic chasubles
dredged as if from saffron drain combustible syringes
cotton-bud simplicity mixed with altruistic tendencies for symbiotic adherences
turtle-clad appendages bristling with slimy tendencies for chlorine aroma
aroma like sedge harvested from cocoon mocking hysteria
a thimble-full and then plenty
squidged through the blatant synergy of druid-built floating platforms
until suppressed and supplanted by visual images of cacophanies long forgotten
in boats squeaky on a high-built sea
like throats weakly on a fibre tree
I admit to a remote tendency
for torrid themes of treachery
and in-built divisions of geometry
that fly up into the terrasphere
and cast a shadow right to here
where symbols drift and conflicts clash
who cares to lift whose conduct rash
and so I pause and seldom rest
west to east and east to west

Fragment I
Fragment II
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
music

christmas eve 2013

I am working on a new Neureille album to be ready Spring-ish. A week or so ago we had the first rehearsal with the basic unit, guitar bass and drums. We practised 9 songs, the 10th will probably have no drums just a bit of percussion so we left it. 9 is enough for an afternoon anyway. At the end of the session we recorded them on my Zoom H4n. Paul Wigens plays drums and Mike Mulholland bass guitar.

I took an instrumental session from one of the songs and looped it a few times then played some guitar lead over the top. And then I recorded a second guitar lead and finally I leaked this 2nd guitar in here and there throughout the mix especially towards the end.

The song it comes from is called Die Andere Seite so I’ve called this instrumental version das bit.

das bit

This is my Christmas post so I hope the time passes pleasantly and cheerily for all and sundry in the world who follow the tradition.

I will be spending Christmas Day this year with Mr and Mrs Noel which is surely something to sing about. May God bless you all and if you have no god then you might as well just bless yourself.

Categories
geology mixes music nonsense sea

Granite Mix 7

and now a granite mix that deals with my own work. this is my unveiling on this website of my new album which is called true v eye and will imminently be available on itunes and as a hard copy at my amazon store – see the buy stuff page for links. there are only 2 of the tracks from the new album featured on the mix along with a selection from other albums and some obscure places.

the music speaks for itself but it would be churlish not to write a bit about these tracks so here goes. desert ghost dance has nursery rhyme style dialogue and therefore acts as a pair with track 6. a famous german 20th century artist is referenced in the last verse. perplex is a pair with it too because it is also a dialogue of sorts. then there’s suspense which also hovers between heaven and earth, as do, for that matter the children of the sea. domes however merely fly beneath the starlit sky. i’ve already mentioned in my jar – a famous 20th century british writer is referenced in the 3rd verse.

my video for happy song is a shoddy affair but has a certain innocent sweetness in its demeanour which i hope makes up for that.

the track that i’ve called chasing the sun dates to a period when I was using a sampler to create the basics of my music. everything was a home recording and nothing was ever that well-finished but i’ve got a lot of interesting things that may never show the light of day. this one’s made it through though – for a while at least. It contains a sample from a track by sun ra called disco 2100. in the train was recorded in about 1982. at the recording session for the new album i re-recorded this track and my plan is to release both versions on some vinyl later this year. this is a re-mastered version of the 1982 track.

the words for v’nosnu are almost all from primo levi’s magnificent novel if not now when (english translation i’m afraid – an italian version would be good or maybe even a yiddish one). i’d just like to point out though that there is some art to it all the same – though mostly inspiration. in my book inspiration trumps artfulness. a cherry tree aka the cherry tree was somehow inspired and inter-connected with the music of the last track of the mix. I was still at school when I wrote the words which aren’t used in the music but which are

I planted a cherry tree
I watered it every day
in the summer I sat in its shade
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
one day a cherry appeared on my tree
it is for this that we live
it is for this that we live

here’s the mix

ca

Granite Mix 7
Artist Title Album
Neureille Desert Ghost Dance True V Eye
Neureille Perplex Amanogawa
Dry Rib Suspense Whose Last Trickle
Neureille Children Of The Sea Disparue
Robert Vasey Domes Unreleased
Neureille In My Jar Amanogawa
Neureille happy song (for dependable person) Disparue
Robert Vasey Chasing The Sun unreleased
as,hem,syrup In The Train Whose Last Trickle (remastered)
Neureille V’Nosnu True V Eye
Robert Vasey A Cherry Tree Unreleased
Categories
gigs music

Neureille album launch

gig

Categories
gigs music

Ant Noel At Home

Way back earlier in the year on the 11th of May to be precise my friend Ant Noel had an album launch gig for his new recording Under City Lights. As can be expected it was a good night. First of all Anna Young did a beautiful set of her plaintive melodies. Then Lonely Tourist beat up the rhythm with his fantastic songs. Ant Noel & The Peabody Drakes is a big sound 6 piece outfit which allows Ant to explore the full possibilities of his musical journey. And finally I did a set with Laura Lambell on backing vocals and Tom Ranby on saxophone. James Stallwood on clarinet joined us for our last song, The Wishing Well, which must have been about a 20 minute version.

You can find more details about the new cd on Ant’s website which is linked to above.

All this happened at the Polish Club in St Pauls Road, Bristol. Later that night we reconvened at Ant’s flat for a last drink or two. To commemorate the event I’ve made a little piece of music which I hope someone might like. All samples checked for copyright.

here’s the piece

Categories
gigs literature micromuseum music nonsense

What will be and what’s gone past

This is just an interim post to jot down a few things that may be coming and a few that may not. A few follow-ups and advertisements where the 3rd syllable sounds like eyes and is stressed accordingly.

There will be a Neureille gig at the Kingsdown Vaults in Bristol on Saturday 3rd December. Proposed line-up will be Paul Wigens on drums & percussion (small kit), Everton Hartley on bass guitar & guitar as well sometimes probably, Tom Ranby on whichever saxophone he fancies that night. I will be playing my Spanish guitar rather than my Strat. Laura Lambell might make it too to do some vocals. We will be playing songs from the 2 albums, disparue & amanogawa plus possibly doing some other things. And I hope to have a few guests to do some cameo appearances plus some sets. I will provide more details when I’ve worked that out. Unfortunately Ant Noel won’t be able to make it as he’s playing a solo gig that night.

But I will be doing a couple of things with Ant over the next couple of weeks – Sunday 13th November at the Somerset House in Clifton Village and Tuesday 22nd November at the Merchant’s Arms in Hotwells. I’m not sure exactly what sort of thing the session on the 13th will be, but I’ve done a couple of the Tuesday night sessions already with Ant and my contribution has been as a quartet with Everton and myself on guitar, Ant on mandoline and James Stallwood on clarinet as we did at the event I described in an earlier post. It’s a great line-up. We’ve only played 4 songs so far but we could easily do a 45 minute set at the drop of a hat because there’s a lot of freedom and improvisational possiblities there.

I’m a bit behind at posting things here, but I’m working on a demo of a new song which will make a nice post with some more artwork from The Adventures of Tintin. Too much day-work right now is slowing me down, but that is due to finish at the beginning of December. Other posts I have promised are

  • Wintersol – sequel to Musrum (another one for the Nonsense category)
  • Edward Gorey Part II (again Nonsense)

One that I promised which I decided not to do was on the wreck of the Medusa. I found that this had been covered pretty extensively in a work by Julian Barnes. There’s something a bit plagiaristic I find about that sort of thing. Borges was able to do it ok and Umberto Eco also does it in a way I find acceptable, though I must admit I can’t call myself a huge fan of either of those writers. In other words, I think covering the Medusa raft story is ok for a blog post but to me it shows a lack of inventiveness to rewrite the narrative in a novel, however nice a style you have. So sorry about that.

To conclude the Fool’s Gold saga I will be putting up the track that I recorded back in 1983 or so which uses random snippets from the text. This easily ties in again with Nonsense as does another post which I’ve been meaning to write based on the work of NF Simpson who died earlier this year.

I’ve mentioned Kafka in the last two posts and so I’ve just made that a run of 3, but at the moment I’m simultaneously re-reading The Complete Short Stories and also The Diaries. After that I’ll re-read the Walter Benjamin essays and then maybe write further on the writer who I feel in many ways made me write the way I do. All this takes time and creative energy so may not happen until next year.

On the micromuseum front I should like to do another postage stamp set + I took some photos of some strange Chilean artefacts which need to be manipulated and I also need to think what possibly I can write about them, for they are mysterious and very difficult to research. Other micromuseum things I planned were a post on Alfred Wainwright’s book, Fellwanderer, some of John S Goodall’s illustrated small books and probably some other things, but now it is late – gone 3am and I must be up soon after 7.

I couldn’t be bothered to put the usual links I put in, in this post. Occasional sloppiness can only lead to perpetual sloppiness, but the excuses are there.

Categories
music

Ant Noel at the Somerset House

Last Tuesday 30th August there was a celebration at the Somerset House in Princess Victoria Street, Clifton Village, Bristol, where Gary Spavins was ending his tenure as landlord at the said establishment. The object of the exercise was to drink the pub dry and in addition was a celebration for the last night of the open mic night that had been put on there for at least a couple of years there maybe more by Ant Noel. It’s close to where I live and Ant has become a very good friend of mine over that sort of period of time. He pays tribute to me on his facebook page as his biggest supporter there week in week out. I didn’t make them all but probably about 75 per cent. As I say it was close to where I lived and my friendship and admiration for Ant’s musical skills made me happy to support him when I could.

To tell the truth it was never really a place that was going to seriously dig my music. But I persevered in performing my own material although tending to concentrate on songs that I felt were easy to understand like

The Airman’s Prayers

Children of the Sea

Early Rising Late

which we played on Tuesday.

Plenty of other songs were played over that time but those in particular were often repeated because Ant and I have them down pretty well. Obviously if Everton, was there as he was from time to time and thankfully this week he was, he would join in too. Also James whose speciality is The Wishing Well, though he’ll do himself proud on anything.

There was a bad spell in 2010 when it was mainly just me and Ant playing and there often weren’t many punters either (though they’d often turn up shortly before last orders and then clamour for music when it was time). But invariably there was some good part of the evening when things would come together. And certainly in the last 12 months (now is September 2011) there were quite a few lock-ins which generated extended sessions where we ended up playing Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry etc. late into the night. Apparently in the end some students complained about the noise and we had to be more careful. I’m not a smoker but actually I quite like that moment when the curtains are drawn, the front door shut and the ashtrays come out. There’s a nostalgia element there. The worst thing in my memory of tobacco legislation was when they had smoking carriages on the Tube in London. Before, anyone was allowed to smoke on public transport and you didn’t particularly notice it because you were used to it. But when they brought in that legislation most of the carriages were non-smoking and there was one (maybe 2 I don’t remember) where you were allowed to smoke. If you strayed into the smokers’ carriage through necessity it was unbearable because everybody just got straight in there and lit up. I mean why else would they be there?

Anyway whatever hopefully Ant and I will keep up some sort of musical collaboration from time to time. I will keep you informed.

Categories
music

amanogawa

The new Neureille album is now available on Itunes. It’s a digital release but I have had 200 hard copies made for promotional purposes. I’m packaging these simply in soft plastic cases with some rudimentary homemade art work and notes.

This is the front cover…

and here’s the back

There wasn’t a lot of space for too many words so I’d like to just provide a little bit more extra information here.

Paul Wigens also did the drumming on Disparue. He’s a great bloke and ideal for me to use because of his musical knowledge, experience plus of course his drumming ability. He has a number of musical projects on the go usually, but I’d like to particularly recommend his duo with Pete Judge, which is called Eyebrow.

Jim Barr is another superb musician, his principal musical project being Get The Blessing. He played some guitar on the jam we recorded which was used to produce the 3 extra tracks – Eurapsid, Vega and Altair as well as the Tibetan singing bowl on Cup & Bowl plus all the engineering. But also I should point out that all the recording was done in 2 days and it wouldn’t have been possible to get the tracks to sound as good as they do in that time without his ability to assimilate the music so quickly almost like in the back of his head. For example, most of the saxophone parts were recorded in 3 takes. Pretty much as soon as the takes were done, Jim would have worked out which were the best parts to use.

Someone who isn’t credited at all on the cover who should be is Rob Williams of Ruby Studios who spent a few hours with me tidying the whole thing up and mastering the album.

In addition I want to thank all the musicians in Bristol who have supported and encouraged me, in particular, Everton Hartley and Ant Noel.

Here’s the first song on the album.

A Clef

Categories
gigs

grain barge gig