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granite mix 11

I think I mentioned before that this mix was to be a mix of things I’ve recorded from the radio over the years. It’s not something I do any more I can’t imagine spending the time. But I used to starting in the late 60s. At first it was to quarter-inch reel to reel. Then it was onto cassette which was what I recorded most of my radio recordings. Later I started to use mini-disc but by then I’d already slowed down in my recording habits.

The quality of the tracks is not brilliant in that they were recorded off the radio mainly onto cassette then in some cases kept for many years then digitised so there’s some crackle a bit of buzz and probably cases where there’s a subtle pitch change. I have mainly tried to make them live recordings in the radio studio or out at a gig but they may not all be – well one’s part of a dj set, that’s sort of live but there’s a couple I’m not sure about.

Thomas Morley was organist at St Paul’s Cathedral and composed many madrigals. He almost certainly knew Shakespeare as they lived nearby and London wasn’t that big back then apparently. He certainly wrote music for one of the playwright’s songs in a famous play. I don’t know who wrote the words for this song they are good.

Sleep, slumb’ring eyes; give rest unto my cares,
My cares, the infants of my troubled brain;
My cares, surpris’d with black despair,
Doth the assertion of my hopes restrain.
Sleep, then, my eyes, O sleep and take your rest,
To banish sorrow from a free born breast.

My freeborn breast, born free to sorrow’s smart,
Brought in subjection by my wand’ring eye,
Whose trait’rous sight conceiv’d that to my heart
For which I wail, I sob, I sigh, I die.
Sleep, then, my eyes, disturb’d of quiet rest,
To banish sorrow from my captive breast.

My captive breast, stung by these glist’ring stars,
These glist’ring stars, the beauty of the sky,
That bright black sky which doth the sunbeams bar
From her sweet comfort on my heart’s sad eye.
Wake, then, my eyes, true partners of unrest,
For sorrow still must harbour in my breast.

From a live concert of Paco Peña one of my favourite guitarists accompanied by another guitarist whose name I don’t know unfortunately. And I don’t know enough to say what type of piece this is siguiriyas or what have you.

Next is The Chemical Brothers well sort of it’s more like The Beatles really but it was a great moment when I heard this Essential Mix set one Saturday night in about 1996. Really you need to have more context than I’ve given here.

I was fortunate to see Paco Peña roughly around the time of the earlier recording and that is also true of this track by Oregon. I’m sure that the set on the recording is pretty much the same set that they did when I saw them in December 1990 at Hope Chapel.

This song by The Fall is taken from a radio session on the programme Mixing It which must have been sometime in 2005. Midnight In Aspen is the story of a dying Hunter S Thompson. I’ve got a better Fall radio session from an 80s John Peel programme but later on I’m using another Peel session. Anyway this is better sound quality.

I can’t remember when I taped this concert by Tadao Sawai but he died in 1997 so it must have been before then. The wikipedia page I have linked to only lists 1 album to his name which can’t be right. There are fortunately 2 albums of his on Itunes and for slightly less than 15 quid you can buy them both. Actually I might just do that.

From a Lou Reed gig broadcast on the radio in about 199? this is a version of A Dream which has Lou doing the vocals rather than John Cale who did them on the album (Songs For Drella) and the filmed performance of the album. I believe the words are taken from Warhol‘s diaries which I haven’t read but I will buy the book one day – gee wouldn’t that be great?

The Schnittke has a very quiet beginning – it’s a short piece and it’s very beautiful in a crystalline way. Without having listened to a great deal of his music I admire him greatly and I have got the underlying philosophy of his work and in a way shamelessly appropriated it myself. I can’t tell for sure whether I’ve included a full work here or just an excerpt of one, but I don’t see it matters and I hope he would agree with me

The oldest recording is this John Peel session which I did not record when it was first aired in about 1971 but later in the 80s when it was repeated. This session was issued on vinyl I believe in the Peel Sessions series and later there was a cd. Both formats are quite rare now. Syd‘s Two Of A Kind was only known to be recorded on this show – you can also find this on a compilation.

Finally a 1991 live concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall. This was part 1 of the encore. Keith Jarrett is a very serious man and musician.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 11
Artist Title Comment
Thomas Morley Sleep Slumb’ring Eyes Unknown performers
Paco Peña Unknown See notes above
Chemical Brothers Chemical Beats/Tomorrow Never Knows Excerpt from Essential Mix
Oregon Unknown Live circa 1990
The Fall Midnight In Aspen Mixing It session
Tadao Sawai Unknown See notes above
Lou Reed A Dream See notes above
Alfred Schnittke Voices Of Nature? See notes above
Syd Barrett Two Of A Kind John Peel session
Keith Jarrett Somewhere Over The Rainbow See notes above
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geology mixes

granite mix 3

I still remember very well first hearing Rock Bottom back in 1974. My friend Ray Kent bought it before me and played it to me. He described it as soft rock. My favourite British rock/pop albums are The Madcap Laughs, Rock Bottom and Shooting At The Moon. What have all 3 got in common? The contribution of Robert Wyatt.

I like the song Alabama Bound so much that I wrote a sort of tribute song which I call Belerion Bound. I don’t play it too often, maybe I’m too much of a Puritan to want to emphasise it’s hedonistic agenda. Actually it’s called Don’t You Leave Me Here and is by Papa Harvey Hull & Long ‘Cleve’ Reed.

It’s hard to remember just what impact David Bowie‘s Station To Station had back in 1976. It takes me back to the sitting room of my friends Rod & Sheila Henderson in Hyde, Manchester. The still from The Man Who Fell To Earth on the cover seemed to hint at things that were extra-terrestrially incumbent. Actually the film came out earlier in the year, before I was living in Manchester. The film I associate with my short time there is another offering from that year, Taxi Driver. That’s something for another time. There is much to write about it seems.

Which leads me to the soundtrack of another 70s film, Roma. I didn’t get to see this film until 73 or 74 and I have a vague memory that I saw the end of the film (the motorbikes bombing around Rome) first as the previous screening hadn’t finished when I took my seat. It’s not a good idea to do that, although not too bad with a film like Roma.

I first saw John Cale perform on June 1st 1974. That’s easy to remember because the concert was recorded and came out on an Island Records album and that’s what they called it.

Sun Ra I think I saw twice, both times at The Venue by Victoria station. And in reference to the earlier paragraph, that was somewhere I also saw John Cale do a solo gig on his first solo tour and I saw Nico do a solo gig there once too.

Monk sadly I never saw. I’m working on a guitar solo version of Pannonica and have been doing for a while now. It’s going to take me a little longer before I contemplate playing it live, but one of these days.

Misterioso is another of my favourites. I’ve seen the Kronos Quartet a few times. The first album I bought with them on was Terry Riley‘s Cadenza On The Night Plain. There is much to listen to it seems.

Finally back to 25th December at Rod & Sheila’s in 1976. My best Christmas present was the box set of Keith Jarrett‘s Solo Concerts. I may have played one of the sides sometime that Christmas morning. Afterwards I left the triple album in its box on top of the TV set. It’s never a good idea to leave records on the top of the TV. Especially not on Christmas Day in 1976. Later that afternoon I found that the records had sort of changed shape and not much of the vinyl was left in a listenable state. So this recording of Side 4 of the record is from my 2nd copy of the album (although I’m afraid it has some vinyl defects near the end). I should point out that this last track is a couple of minutes over 20 minutes long.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 3
Artist Title Album
Robert Wyatt Little Red Riding Hood Hits The Road Rock Bottom
Papa Harvey Hull & Long Cleve Reed Don’t You Leave Me Here The Songster Tradition
David Bowie Golden Years Station To Station
Nino Rota Ecclesiastical Fashion Show Roma
John Cale Baby You Know Sabotage
Sun Ra & His Outer Space Arkestra Rocket Number Nine The Singles
Thelonious Monk Quartet Straight, No Chaser Live At The It Club
Kronos Quartet Misterioso Monk Suite
Keith Jarrett Lausanne March 20th 1973 Part 1 Solo-Concerts

Thanks for listening and finally I would like to copy out the words of a poem by William Carlos Williams. I don’t know why exactly but the desire hit me a little bit earlier.

An Exercise

Sick as I am
confused in the head
I mean I have

endured this April
so far
visiting friends

returning home
late at night
I saw

a huge Negro
a dirty collar
about his

enormous neck
appeared to be
choking

him
I did not know
whether or not

he saw me though
he was sitting
directly

before me how
shall we
escape this modern

age
and learn
to breathe again