There has been an almost apocryphal memory that has stewed at the back of mind for the last 19 years. A long time ago. It was three years before the Millennium and pretty much nothing seemed wrong with the world, not like today. It seems an age away and as I look back the distance seems to stretch away into some kind of youthful haze.
In 1997 I went to a music festival and I didn’t watch David Bowie live. Continue reading
Presently, I play a great deal of David Bowie. It is always there when I listen on the way to work, whilst I work, when I eat. Music is like that for me, my high quality music player being one of my prized possessions, and I find that to have a soundtrack to life makes everything more real.
My boy accused me of having nothing but Bowie on my music player, as it seemed to dominate every playlist, even on the shuffle. I thought I would find out how true that was and set out the stats. Continue reading
The nights are cold and long, the sky is flat with the grey of winter, the moon is at the dark side of my sight and Sagitaria appears below the horizon. This means another year has passed and I have travelled around the Sun once more.
Although this happens every year, the Birthday thing, this year I feel a little extra jolly about the whole matter. I can’t say quite why but a quick look around and I can see that I am lucky to have a wonderful family, security of my home and some pretty cool things to occupy my time. Things like a nice new, super high quality recording of the Bowie album Hunky Dory, which was one of the other great events to occur in 1971. Continue reading
I have a recurring day dream argument where someone in conversation misappropriates an Emerson quote and I go mental. The source material is full of great quotes and a lot of them remind me of me.
“Meantime nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. We come to wear one cut of face and figure, and acquire by degrees the gentlest asinine expression. There is a mortifying experience in particular, which does not fail to wreak itself also in the general history; I mean “the foolish face of praise,” the forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease in answer to conversation which does not interest us. The muscles, not spontaneously moved, but moved by a low usurping wilfulness, grow tight about the outline of the face with the most disagreeable sensation.”
I have done that too many times and hated myself for it. The ”foolish face of praise”. Don’t give in to it. If you have your own opinion be true to it and state it in all you do. Continue reading
I have an idea that is gnawing at me. I return to it and chew it over like it’s an odd new food that I can’t figure out the taste of. I am unsure as to whether I like it or not. Is it a rotting mistake or a super-food? I am not even sure of how it started, half in night-dreams and half in day-dreams but the initial idea has become something else and in examining it I think it comes down to this.
How do you go about maximising the artistic moment of conception?
This means that you could find a process where everything you need to do, in order to make the most of a given creative moment, could be condensed and cultivated to occur in a very short space of time. When I normally go through a creative process there is no-one to really put any pressure on me about whether it is good or not. I do these small art projects now and again because the idea wants to get out. I create it. It’s done. I can take as long as I want, even to the point of never finishing. I know there is no-one to really be an audience for it so I just enjoy the process and I set it out in the sun to go its merry way.
Non-entities and bland wannabe’s rubbing shoulders with some of the few greats in music left who are still on the Aunty Beeb party card, force fed through the gullet of the BBC’s corporate white collar devoid-droids and churned with grease and slippery Russian back rub before being defecated through their extra-special ‘Boikomatic Schmaltz-o-sphincter’ into one steaming Christmas ready, charity shaped turd. Continue reading
Hoi Oligoi is a collection of music that came about in a rather twisted fashion.
The earliest pieces were written back in 2004 as part of the lost ideas I had at University and have been resurrected from their midi sleep using the Notation app on the iPad. A miraculous little tool that allowed me to return to these hidden tracks and give them a new voice. They would have belonged to the Under the Feet of Giants collection had I the time to complete them but when they were fresh and new I did not think they were finished. It was only by going back to them after almost ten years that I realised they were as done as could be. I certainly couldn’t reconstruct the complex and detailed mythology and meaning that usually underpins the work I do for piano or quartet.
I don’t like football, I think that is fairly well understood by those around me. This is not a problem for the most part as I can ignore footsballs and it will generally ignore me. I could go into the many, good reasons why I think it sucks the devils dong but that would merely present more difficulties; mainly because everyone else seems to like it, and with the Big WC on the verge of full-on culture aneurysm, any negativity is likely to cause a backlash.
I am also aware of a tendril of Po Mo Cyn getting into my thinking. The enjoyment of others and the need to defend against it by bringing it low. That’s just bad karma.
So faced with a month of something I loathe being everywhere I look, I decided to paper over the experience with an alternative. Something geeky.
It’s funny how much time can pass without realising what you are passionate about or why.
A lot of my most formative and powerful memories of my youth, of growing up, centred around music in one form or another. To say I can’t remember my earliest memory is a bit facetious but it seems like there are a lot of them, so many of them that I don’t know how far back they go; the memory of other times gets in the way.
This was the original mix of the Vurt trailer. Although it lacks the perfected timing I think the audio quality has some serious balls. For me that matches up to the Vurt feeling – if I was directing the movie I would want people to be a little nervous. Be afraid. This ride is not for the weak.
Vurt by Jeff Noon – 20th Anniversary Edition released in April 2013 via Pan Macmillan.
Video by Mobius Engine
Music: “Blowdown” by Dayn ; soundcloud.com/dayn/dayn-blowdown
To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none – to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art – this is the temper and spirit of the modern Bohemian in his outward and visible aspect. Continue reading
I follow some odd blogs here and there for someone primarily interested in marketing, media and music. Bruce Schneier is one of those, someone I latched on after reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Continue reading
I noted these adverts around town and they caught my eye. It seems like a kind of marketing designed for my kind of demographic. I could see what they were going for; the 30 to 40 year old that doesn’t want to do ‘energy drinks’, it ties into the new gentlemanly motif.
Then I looked a little deeper.
They claim it is for ordinary, balanced blokes but is it?
Big beardy men in the woods. That’s their primary image. Each advert is of a big beardy man doing something macho, like hold a tree or hanging up a lion.
The bottle shows a figure in aviator shades with a big old moustache, looking like one of the Village People.
It claims to have 40% more protein. (Why do we need more protein?)
The tag line reads ‘the manly chocolate milk for men with added man.’ and above it reads ‘Lait d’homme’ – or milk of man. Man milk.
Do you want some brown man milk with extra protein, sir?
Actually I have gone off it a bit, now you ask.
The video trailer for Jeff Noon’s 20th Anniversary edition of Vurt.
More information to be found here: http://torbooks.co.uk/2013/04/18/vurt-by-jeff-noon-the-trailer/
and of course here: http://www.metamorphiction.com
If you can answer these questions, then maybe you are hoi oligoi after all. If that is the case I want you to help me create a new card game for the elite. A game designed for the minority. No more ‘fun for all the family’ unless you are a family of genius eccentrics. Continue reading
Listening to this young lad, Logan LaPlante, talk so fluently and eloquently on the topic of education makes me flush with pride over our own decision to choose home schooling. He mentions the previous TED talk fromSir Ken Robinson about how School may be killing creativity and how creativity should be equal to literacy, noting that it is one of the most popular TED talks ever. Quite an achievement for education and shows how new forms of education are not only needed for our children but openly sought by new parents. Continue reading
There is a lot to this performance that deserves credit. At first I was thinking of how iconic and perfect the original is; it is impossible to make a cover that tries to just plod along with what we expect because at the end of the day it still wouldn’t be Bowie. Here Beck uses 160 musicians in a surround environment and binaurial recording technology, so it is immediately one step removed from a normal cover version. It’s not even a performance in the traditional sense but a event. Looking beyond the hype that the sponsors would bring to it I think Beck has been careful to refer to the original without regurgitating it.
The point when all the disparate elements that form the main riff come together had an equivalent for me in Charlton Heston seeing the Statue of Liberty. It’s a sudden recollection of that original work.