Dusk out now!

A new CD with handprinted covers and a detail of artwork from a painting by Alexander Brealey Birchall is now out on Vernacular. Interesting for me as it explores recording quiet, end of the day, melodic improvisations, using lots of space: the kind of playing I did nearly everyday at this kind of dusk time but just as a private exercise. I realised though that sometimes very really great moments of music occur during this playing; so repeatedly recording these sessions over a couple of months this May & June has been really enjoyable; being able to capture some of these nice glistening moments.

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Live in Beppu

Berlin open air swimming pool related this group came out of the fresh idea of “THE SCHWIMBAD JAZZ POOL” an association that was going to include the 3 of us on this record and our pal Rogier Smal on drums. For one thing or another the day before we were going to make our first record in LEEDS in the summer of 2016 with Keeby at the controls at OUSE STUDIOS it became clear it would be a trio and the SJP idea faded but left still a group of musicians as interested in improvising together as they are in bathing. Also remaining was the nub of an idea from daft conversations with Roro over time that we should both appear nude on our next duo record.

Unaware of how amazing the Japanese ONSEN experience would turn out to be, things got heavy and amazing in Beppu which has over 100 bathhouses using naturally occurring volcanic spring water as the source, coming in at 43 degrees with varying mineral contents depending a little on which one you go to. Staying in an old school house with no bathroom it quickly made sense to go and visit the bathhouse in the morning, which was quickly followed by the realisation that it was possible to go to the onsen 2 or 3 times a day.

To make the photographs happen was really a nice and unusal thing; involving I think some delicate/brave discussion between our friend and colleague Ono (he also acted as the photographer) with an onsenmeister he knew well to allow us in after closing time and with a camera to take the shots.

Listening to trains overhead, my own breathing, fingers on the skin of a drum held and bendable; a talking drum type tensioned thing, children’s games in the passage way outside, paper thin walls, light passing through different opaque materials; granulated, holding really still in hot water, breathing, sniff sulphur, doing calculations on fall height of electrcial apartus and water, walls and doors creak and slide, the outside has come inside and the reverse but you only hear and can’t see because its opaque; only light filters in and sound; private space but completely permeated by sound, shoes off, a miniute rattle or bad connection somewhere in the jack plug of the jazzmaster, still not actually fixed it in fact, downtuned ping and pang, that flavour of stuff we don’t really have at home, clear sake, clean, listening to water bubbling, shaving in a steamy mirror, steam cooking in the mountains, trains overhead.

Playing a pickup…

New youtube EP showing a first exploration of straight to guitar pickup to metal sounds. Recorded straight into the recorder on headphones; using an extremity of volume and zero overdrive (an unusual feature for me!) to make the small interesting elements audible. This is part of a longer piece of research looking at ways to generate sound from pickups. The main approaches so far are using interference in the electromagnetic to generate sounds and using non-traditional methods of string playing as you hear here.

striking uncomfortable poses while discussing the nature of power

Just had a re listen to this piece I made in our old place anew. 3 improvisations sculpted into a piece based on watching the same 6:51 youtube video of Chomsky and Foucault from Dutch TV in 1971 as compositional guidance.

I attempt to work on a daily basis with Alexander Technique, something I’ve done over the past few years. One of the things it makes you think about is how you and other people hold postures and how bodies are used in daily life. Both Chomsky and Foucault get themselves into some pretty uncomfortable positions in this debate. Guess its due to the nature of discussing power post 1968 or just very uncomfortable TV furniture!