Categories
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
anthropomorphism music

surd rime

Here’s a couple of tracks from the new neureille album surd rime. I meant to do a lot more with it but sadly I’ve not felt that I had enough time and space to do all those things such as…

Promotion, distribution, dissemination, application, phosphorence, stability, strata

In particular I was supposed to organise an album launch party that could have been a starting place a building block foundation or something of that sort. Instead just 2 tracks from the thing. 2 bits of stuff which I can no longer judge. That’s how it should be I suppose.

Firstly Caspian Gates which is a potted history of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). It doesn’t tell you a great deal about him sorry about that. But if you’re interested it’s fairly easy to find out. One of the interesting things about the Caspian Gates – the gates that is and not the song – is that nobody is sure exactly where they are geographically or at least where the mythological site of the gates is.

Caspian Gates

And the other song is called Love On A Moving Platform which is a song about moving platforms and love. Adolf Hitler had a dream about leading his country. It came true. So not all dreams that come true are good things. Surely some are but possibly not.

Love On A Moving Platform

If you’d like to buy either of these tracks or indeed the whole album or other albums come to that you can do so by going to the Buy Stuff page which is on the menu at the top of the page. I can’t say fairer than that can I?

The 2 songs feature as well as myself Paul Wigens on drums Mike Mulholland on bass guitar Rosalind Moreno-Parra and Jane Thomason on backing vocals.Thanks again to all those musicians and the fantastic work they put in with very little direction from myself.

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
anthropomorphism birds music songwriting

mus et ursus

In 1974 probably in the 8 week term that is known as hilary I wrote a song which is the oldest song that I have on a cd. In fact I have it on 2 cds. And that is why this the 3rd series of repeated songs exists. The first version was recorded in 1980 probably possibly and as usual as it’s historically a precedent I’m highlighting it first. It’s out there in the world. I was happy that someone else (Chuck Warner) made that decision because to be perfectly frank I didn’t think it was good enough. As a song it’s fine it’s just the recording I’m talking about – not that there’s anything wrong with the musicians, just that if I thought it was going to be released to a wider audience I would have wanted to work and record it better. It wasn’t meant for general public release. But as I’ve said before it’s all there is so that’s in a way irrelevant.

The Mouse And The Bear (1980 version)

The 2nd version was recorded in December 2007. The people involved were Jeff Spencer, Paul Wigens, me, Immy & Mossy Price. The last 2 just had a cameo role and I’m glad to say that they’re both musicians now although that’s as a result of many more variant influences than me. More female musicians is pretty high up as a goal in my manifesto however.

the mouse and the bear (2007 version)

The 2 songwriters I associate with this song are of course Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers who initially I copied. (Back in 1971). Most of my early songs were either based on one of the other of those 2. Luckily The Mouse And The Bear is not exactly quite like any song that either of those 2 wrote, I can certainly perceive the similarities. I have an even earlier song called The Story that I can play which is in the same vein. More Kevin Ayers-like in that it has jazz chords. The chord thing with Syd is moving mainly major chords up and down without worrying about basic rules of harmony but he never got round to any jazz chords all that much other than that Bb diminished in Here I Go. Maybe I’ll do a demo of The Story soon that would be nice. Really I ought to be working on the next stage of the coathanger trail but I’m stuck with that difficult requirement and so it’s possible I won’t be able to do that until the spring of 2014.

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
coathanger trail insects music

coathanger

I noticed the other day that some nice person had put up a comment about a song of mine on Itunes which is called Coathanger. They say it would be a good song in an 80s Italian zombie film. I’ve just added a page to this blog with links to buying various songs of mine on Itunes including this one, which I’m linking to here. The song features myself on guitar and vocals, Paul Wigens on drums, Jeff Spencer on bass and I think the backing vocals are Jo Swan and Jeff.

Coathanger

Actually I prefer the demo version of the track which I recorded in October 2007 shortly after I’d written the song.

Here it is and below is what I wrote about it at the time.

But first – if you have any plans of making an Italian zombie film – please get in touch.

Coathanger Demo

I was working on the music for a possible song a few days ago and when I’d finished it and played around it with it a few times I realised that somehow I had gone back 30 years or so to about 1978 and written a Dry Rib song of that vintage. So then I had the idea to connect the words for the song with Dry Rib and make it in effect a song dedicated to the band.

There are a lot of obscure references to old songs and sometimes their lyrics. It’s a bit of a cryptic puzzle. It’s called Coathanger and I will explain that because I don’t think anyone else will know what that is about. In the early days of the band there was a song we did of mine which was called Cancer. The music was quite reasonable and the lyrics owed a lot to Vintage Violence/Paris 1919-era John Cale. For example,

And I, my heart, was with those gallant crewmen
As was the heart of every mother’s son
Yea and daughter too, I swear it, in the town

But right at the end of the song there was a repeated refrain :

And you aren’t anything other than a coathanger

It was probably that bit that led to the song being dropped so I think it is absolutely fitting now that I should resurrect its essence as a chorus and title.

The music put me in mind of Syd especially the instrumental link section between the end of the chorus and the start of the next verse, so I also put in a tribute to him with the snippets of my voice from a very old cassette tape of a rehearsal.

That’s the end of the bit from 2007 but I’d just like to add that the tribute to Syd Barrett in the other version of the song is the guitar solo at the end.

Categories
birds music

Budgies in Space

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few hours helping my friend Adrian Price to complete a video he had made with a few other people (credits at the end of the video) which was for the good of a noble cause – the Children’s Hospice in Bristol. I’m not sure of the exact story behind the knitted budgies being sent into the stratosphere but can definitely say that it is a tale of a commemoration of a life tragically ended prematurely but is contiguously an affirmation of the power of life, love and the human spirit.

My task in the enterprise was to put the Children’s Hospice logo in the top left-hand corner of the screen. What should have been something simple took many hours though most of them spent waiting for rendering to finish. It didn’t help that I edit on a Mac and the film that Ade gave me was a Windows .wmv, but by the end I realised I could have done it more quickly and easily. I wish I could have a quid for every time that’s happened.

Anyway it’s a great little video with fabulous music from Eyebrow. Paul Wigens has drummed on 2 albums with me and I love what he does with Pete Judge. I think I was at their debut gig – there weren’t many of us.

As I’m writing this I know that Adrian and his brother, Andrew and probably some others are doing another launch at Bestival. It’s a project with a lot of potential.

Adrian’s main project is Soundbeam. I’ll cover that in more detail in a later post which will have some of the great videos which illustrate that incredible product.

Categories
gigs music

december 3rd MMXIce

Categories
fire music

giving fire

playing with fire is a piece of music I wrote – a simple piece of 3 cycling chords (Ebmaj7 Abmaj11 Gmaj7). That’s all there is to it apart from one final B diminished type thing at the end. It has a floaty feel and doesn’t really go or get anywhere except in a sort of peripatetic picaresque sort of way. I’ve come up with a few pieces with the same sort of thing in mind over the last few years, but this is the only one properly recorded. When I first wrote it (at the start of 2010 I think) Laura and I played it live quite a few times and it generally seemed to have a bit of a buzz about it. But by the time we did this recording we hadn’t played it so much which didn’t help. Actually the worst thing was that I cracked my head 3 days before the recording session and I wasn’t quite up to the vocal demands required. Still it doesn’t sound too bad and works in a soundtracky fashion which is ideal for accompanying some moving images.

The picture we burn is by my friend Rod Henderson. He gave it to me a long time ago. The last time I moved house I rang him up and said, look Rod, I’ve got this old picture of yours and I’m trying to minimise my possessions, it’s a bit scrappy and faded now – do you want me to send it you? After a moment’s thought he said no, that I could get rid of it, but to do it in a memorable way. The film is the result of that.

I feel I’m not selling it too well. But perhaps that’s the best way. Build it up to be complete shite and then when you get to listen to it, it’s not that bad. I mean what causes streamlets to meander anyway? Declination? Glacialisation? Or just subtle sublimation maybe.

guitar, vocals * rob vasey
bass guitar, vocals * laura lambell
drums & percussion * paul wigens
tenor saxophone * tom ranby

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