Friday, 30 March 2012


KREATIVE is a project that hopes to include you. From Monday 9th April I invite any one to send me sound clips or images that you like. I am looking for abstracted fragments of sound and images rather than purely recognisable stuff. The quality is immaterial. The words and images above might be partly the inspiration for your choice.

Musicians and non musicians alike, are not only welcome to join with this but will do so on an equal basis. I am not looking for perfection of any kind, in fact probably the opposite. We all know what we like personally and that is what I want you to send me. I am looking for accidental noise and incidental images as well as very small musical fragments. I will collate combine selected material sent to me and use it in my new band project. This will run throughout 2012 so there is no rush with this. 

I am looking for sounds that have evocative, emotional and or dramatic effect. Most sounds will be short though some might be natural sound scapes and might be longer. there are no rules. I am looking for lovely things, dark ones and exciting things and also things that calm and soothe. All material must belong to you and be collected or made by you. I don't want to use any ones copy righted material.

Does this sound complicated? Well, you could record noise on your phone, dictation machine or by any other means. You might already have lovely noise you could send. 
When this gets underway please send photos, drawings etc and sound files to or email to make arrangements to send memory sticks or cd s etc.
I will be awarding some special prizes for the best contributions.Every one who contributes to this project will receive email updates and sound files when ever their material is used. Every one else will be able to follow the work in progress here >

If you have any questions or need more info please contact me at the above email address. I will be posting more details on the next post.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

in the half light

The half light - admit ONE

In the half-light there is a stillness and peace beyond all expectation. Here in the meditative quietitude nothing is permanent and there is no attachment to the objects that create a living death. The God light pops and the sigh of the soft breeze shifts as the wondrous waves spread out across the widest reaches of the Nazareth Plain at the edge of the Wide Meldings. Drag a bow across hair of horse. Beat the medicine drum – a tattoo of scattered utterances made by mind and hand. The waves touch me in the half-light. Like bathing in love. Like falling into life. The waves break over the weak and the powerful alike. Neither discrimination nor selection only a quiet embrace for all who breathe. Breathe well and deep. It is the way of life and love. All governed by rhythm and colour. Every thing touched by the great waves and then all is still.
Drag a plectrum across six tensioned strings. Ignore the rules to make sweet cacophony and grand gesture. Waving a Stratocaster at the rising wind that threatens to scream, shrill and cold. The wind makes the tightened strings chime above the nut, by the tuners that are turned to pitch the thing.
There is choice. Choose to shake a mailed fist against the growing darkness or acquiesce and bend to the inevitable. Banish the anxiety that fills us with dread and reminds us of the demons waiting patiently for us to succumb in fear and self  loathing. Rise up from your safe seat and march into the ringing thrall, into the half-light. I know we can’t stay in the dreamtime. I know that sooner or later we must all go into the velvet dark that waits to wrap us in it’s endless folds, free of all pain and suffering for ever. I will be ready.
A surprised woman opens her mouth and we stand amazed at the lovely sound she makes. She is shocked and cannot make the warm, sweet noise again. She cannot believe she ever did, though it was but a moment ago when she sang so sweetly. She cannot accept what is. Believe in your own power and strength.
When your sorrow is great and your concern founded in reason the night might be long but the morning is there waiting.  Be still and be guided in the quiet. Then after some time let the heart provoke the voice that yearns in you, to yoik some thing and to make good vibration where ever you are. Cry and sing. Sing and cry. Laugh and sing.
A girl singing and laughing lights up the dappled glade where a small stream bubbles across old slate, once traversed by dinosaurs, falling and rushing to the salt flat estuary and beyond into the living ocean. Low and deep like the bass end of the God light pop there is a noise that comes out my own head, through the same mouth that has made love and voiced words that threatened, comforted and tried to explain. The same head and heart that railed against conformity is now more quieted and calm. Still, a strong desire to be a part of change prevails. 
Smash the plectrum down in a slashing arc that makes the speakers sing a strident song for dancing wildly with out restraint of any kind in a place where no king can rule. Let the rippling chords crash out far and wide like chiming gongs of burnished bright metal, like ice on fire and the voices of ancient sages. Let the voices be heard. Let the truth in. 
Here I am as naked, a warrior at your service. The war is forever until the light has penetrated the hearts of the spoilers, until the music has touched us deeply and made us better, conscious and less ordinary. The great sounds that rang out at the beginning of time are still ringing faintly. Listen for the smallest good vibration. Find it in your own slowing; deepening breath as you close your eyes to see. Understand that what was, has passed. What might be is not yet made.
Beside a bamboo screen a drummer stands on the other side of a dream waiting in the near light. We all wait for the small change when silence will give way to expression, that small rolling beginning that rises and crashes across the music giving it life with new intervals between the lines and spaces. Change from a whisper to a thunderous, beating, liberation. Six strings a clanging, six white horses a dancing in sunshine. I feel the far off sway in the half-light. You know we can’t stay in the dreamtime. 
It is green tea time.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

noise of art

my salvation - banbury internet radio 8th march 2012

A train like a bus parked on the rails. The one I’ll ride. Next is the Virgin bullet, all streamlined and looking like speed. No rush for me, through the city and out into the wider world but a steady, rolling north through the urban decay and then into the green. The ancient stands of oaks stripped in the autumn now stand waiting for raiment , bright green, waiting for sunlight to usher the sap rise all through the valley of the great Avon where Shakespeare did walk. At journeys end, a friend not seen for many a moon though one who always will seem familiar. Have we grown out of callow youth’s things and learned any of life’s great truths or even some things small of real significance? Talking and listening , sharing and learning and still, there is the desire to go forth on a new adventure to seize the day and make our way undaunted and bravely. Yes – we have learned and mellowed. Some rough edges but smoothed in the affairs of folk, kith and kin, kinder and more inclusive. We can commune on a new quest and try to make something special. Can we make something savage and real, down with the people and also some thing clean, bright, new and beautiful? Time will tell. We talk and talk and talk. We play as well. Finding our way with each other. I sense the desire and intent to get this right, slowly, carefully and sure.
I am reminded of a party way back in Stratford Upon Avon, way back in time when we both were together trying to be artists, setting out to be different and beginning to write our own songs.
Driving to Banbury Internet radio. Ten until midnight chatting and singing a few songs. I got to hear a list of my favourite songs. The time went by quickly and after a stop off on the motorway it was back to endless talking,  more catching up and laying loose plans for the way we would begin our work.
A small room with the scent and spirit of like minded souls. They are players all. Those who strive to entertain or inflame, or both, work in here separated in groups and bands of brothers but with a common spirit. It’s here in the room, palpable and real. A peppercorn hire rate for the day’s rehearsal and jam. This space is the gift of a man called Sam who is rightly venerated here.
A drum kit communally battered by all the drummers and a P.A. sits silent. Set up with a lovely Fender amplifier kindly loaned to yours truly. Kindness and encouragement abounds.
Tentative and expectant we all begin the merging, reaching out to commune with out stress or pressure. This must be FUN! Talk about conceptual things, the ideas around the use of random sounds as an emotive driver and words that touch the core inside us all, Big ideas. No restricting luggage or criteria that is still born out of dusty, endless familiarity or institutional rigidity. No reason to do any thing because that’s how we’ve always done it. Every reason to do it all, and why not?
Feeling our way through the songs. Slowly but surely small spaces appear in the rhythms that develop, unwind, reform and gradually settle. Early days, the first few hours. The spaces open up and inside is the room to plant the seeds and noise that will be felt by the listener. Head full of things to be made for the next time. Hands scratching out a strange tattoo on the top skin of the snare. Tiny tingle cymbal things that sing with a small voice against the finger picked electric ostinato provide some thing of a hipitty hopitty vibe and tribal. Bass thumps riffing needs less notes.  Imagining a paper bag with 44 notes – using them sparingly and wisely. I want space in it. Occasional long low sub bass thingies that make your shirt flap and are gone until another moment, waiting, waiting, still waiting and then, there it is again. 
A baby God Light Pop that takes your breath not just because of what it is but also when it occurs.
( see  )   
A small piece of drama in the offing, just visited and cyclic. Am I really playing finger style on the stratocaster? I take up a plectrum for the next song. It feels so different.
Six white horses backing vocals. A mouth singing one thing and four fat strings saying something else. I lose my place in the song because I am watching and listening.
Shared anecdotes that inform and pave the way forward. Common expressions of the same hopes and dreams. No room for should have done it then, or when? There is  only room for - going to do it now.
This England now has a new vocal part adlibbed. Three voices making space and time for an audience to reflect. In my mind I hear the tingle sounds and prettiness that will underscore this new little vocal part and the huge sweeping thing that will fall down on us all like a breaker shattering over a rocky outcrop in a force 9 gale.
A little robot quartet of strings will play a reprise at the end of the song. A nasty little techno riff that whines and grinds will grow out of the prettiness into the dark. But for now we are simply exploring groove.
Time runs. Time to go back to the metropolis. Time to head back to make the components that will give new voices to the music.
My Train bus rolls back to London. We are overtaken by the Bullet nosed Virgin train. Again I am in no hurry. We stop at station after station. I watch a lively and blooming group of young ones board at Milton Keynes. They are vital and clever. I overhear some of their excited chatter. I think of days gone by. I think of the party in Straford Upon Avon when I was so green and full of arrogant certainty. I think about the road I’ve travelled and how the wheel turns. I drift off some where lovely. The sound of the young ones is a back drop. I come back and reach for my note book. Scribbling new words for another work in progress. I am not sure where all this senior energy and commitment will lead me but the journey has begun.


Sunday, 4 March 2012


you can't evict an idea

I was sad to see the eviction of the OCCUPY demonstrators out side St Paul’s cathedral. I believe their message and cause is one of the most cogent and justifiable and I wish them well. They will not go away and the eviction has re-galvanised the main body of their support. Their arguments are reasoned and clear and must rings massive bells with any one who has an idea of the extent of old school capitalism’s increasing failure to function. The debate OCCUPY invites us to is vital and we should give serious consideration to the issues they raise. Only the other day I heard a 16 year old on the radio speaking so eloquently about the real issues that face his generation and how he had seen OCCUPY as the first group he could identify with. The young man was not just concerned about national / local issues but expressed concerns on a global level. Slowly but surely many young people who have felt un-represented have a voice and they are being politicised through the machinations of politicians and a system no longer fit for purpose.

A couple of other very interesting sites to check out

COALITION of resistance

BANK of ideas

The year seems to be racing by and already I have some exciting adventures to look forward to including some serious bass fishing in Pembrokeshire later in the year.I believe a return to trip to glorious Norway might be on the cards to perform and to explore. Time is running and I still have to go deep into that wonderful wilderness before I am done.
At the very beginning I was not so keen to be so busy this year but it looks like that will be dictated, as usual, by others. I am certainly looking forward to the fair days pay gigs this year. Having played a lot of them last year I am totally hooked on meeting and playing for my hosts and their invited audiences.The weather looks like it might warm up and soften any minute and then it drops back to the cold and grey. A bit like my beloved L.F.C. but we live in hope. I can tell you that as soon as the weather calms a little I will be out on the bike. I have been working on the engine(me) and have lost a stone in the past weeks. When another stone is gone I will be flying, well…. It is all relative ha ha!

I have had a few interesting offers to hook up with various artists and I will be doing some of that for sure. I am working with a colleague at this time towards putting some thing special together in October. It is a long way off but if we can find a suitable church for the venue then the rest will follow. We have some very extravagant ideas for the show and as soon as thing are settled I will reveal all, bit by bit, on here. I think last years Castaway show in York was a kind of prototype for the show I have in mind.

I am currently working on electric things and after a year of acoustic playing I’m loving playing with effects pedals again. I’m programming one of my vintage Zoom pedal boards for acoustic guitar use so that should give some new options. I want to incorporate the pedals and a Boss RC –30 Loop station in solo shows and ensemble gigs.

I am going “home” to the midlands to jam with some old friends this week. It’s not some thing I have done before and that is one reason for doing it and I might find some folks to play with on a more structured and regular basis. While there I will be doing a show on on Thursday 7th between 10 pm and Midnight.

New things is a theme for this year so any body else wanna play?