Ah yes....things round here have slowed up. Did anyone notice? Anyways, I've decided to concentrate on brazenly showcasing my musical activities in a (slightly) more professional manner over at marshmusic.org, so please go there if you like for all the latest showbiz news...
I've been listening to this excellent podcast from The Wire, where Robert Wyatt talks to Tony Herrington about...well, everything, really. There are few people on the planet who appear as sincere, honest, self deprecating and insightful as Mr Wyatt, and he's one of those musicians who inspires something approaching love in my withered old heart (not just because we're from the same neck of the woods). His music seems to have been with me for ever, which I suppose it has.
I was going to write a long rambling post about my favourite Wyatt moments etc but instead I'll just quote Andie, who said the other night that his voice reminded her of 'an Autumnal hug'. I think that just about sums it up. Gawd bless 'im.
a couple of weeks ago myself and Paul May were booked in to the excellent Onecat studio for a session with Wigdump, a new quartet put together by saxophonist Julie Kjaer with trombonist/euphonium player Ian McLachlan. I was quite excited about this as it's a corking little ensemble and one of my current faves, but sadly Ian was ill and couldn't make the session, leaving Paul and I with some studio time on our hands. Julie refused our offer of a trio for some reason, so we drafted in pianist Mark Ball who's a regular at our Stockwell jazz extravaganza. A set of rather peculiar unplanned improvs emerged, which I've been toying around with on one of those computer things.
The first thing happened while we waited for Mark to arrive, and we had no idea it was being recorded. It features my nice new Fender Precision, which I am starting to fall in love with a little bit. I added more stuff later.
The second thing was recorded about 7 seconds after Mark arrived and sounds like EST on some horse tranquilisers. The double bass was added later and replaced the Precision as it needed something slightly more vague sounding...
Apologies in advance but there may be more of this...
A few weeks back I came across The Science Museum's Oramix competition - the challenge was to create a new piece out of samples of Daphne Oram's work. Having nothing better to do I ended up constructing something out of a couple of short samples of what sounded like a zither which had been sped up massively and soaked with tape echo. It took me a few hours and I posted it on the relevant Soundcloud page and forgot all about it. I didn't think it was up to much really, but I never do.
Last week I got an email from the Science Museum and this is what it said.
The results are in and after adding up the scores it turned out we had a ‘photo finish’ on our hands. Unfortunately you didn’t win, but we would like to give Orbit a special mention, because it still had an impressive overall score and Brian Eno called it “very engaging, intricate and complex in mood. I wanted this to go on and on.” We think that’s still a pretty amazing result. Of course we understand that you wanted to win OraMIX, but the competition was incredibly tough. We want you to know that we think you submitted a great track.
Which is all very lovely. Now I looked up this Brian Eno chap on the internet and apparently he's very famous. I think he likes my track because it sounds like one of his. Ahem.
Another podcast this time of stuff made primarily by the double bass, accompanied on occasion by percussion, metals, tape and prepared piano. Includes Dumitrescu's Cogito, which is as dark as proverbial pitch. A guaranteed floorfiller.