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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Foulkestone

Now with added colour - and instruments! And on tartan in honour of the 'Talisman Crew'.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Jude Cowan - World News Video - Spanish Guitar.wmv

Jude making music in the wintertime

Richard Tyrone Jones took the pictures of me at Spoonful of Poison at the Urban Bar, Clerkenwell with microkorg, drum machine and little desk.

Super hot have been gardening

And now I'm going to try and edit a video of a plaster man dancing

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hotter day

Hotter than yesterday. I spent it in the basement at work

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Summer time today

Wow, what a hot day. Got some great time for gardening, had some concetrated goes at a large painting which I'm pretty pleased with so far. But failed to do my arts council application for the exhibition in November. Come on Jude, don't forget that's a priority for the weekend. Maybe I'll get time to look at it in my lunch hour tomorrow ...

Reuters BIG picture

So far - plywood back, with muslin and hessian glued on with PVA, oil paints and plaster ...

Sunny days of spring, garden time

Monday, 18 April 2011

Matt, Solly, Jude in the snow

From last December - funny to think of that snow now in this April sunshine.

Erik Bergman

Ah - Max from Late Junction has introduced me and Matt to Erik Bergman and his primitivism. Love Songs for Male Voice Choir I am listening now on Spotify

Reuters sketches

Doesn't this guy look cool? Rebel rebel.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Autobiographical sketches 88 - Tom Allen Arts Centre

Printing out labels, stuffing envelopes. I thought it was a cushy job. You could listen to music while you worked. Heck it was a community arts centre!

Autobiographical sketches 87 - Tom Allen Arts Centre

We used to have a few noticeboards at some community sites round the borough. They were rather falling into disrepair by the time I joined the team.

By the way, Matt came to the Tom Allen Arts Centre to a few parties. I didn't meet him. But I wish I had. He would have seemed a lot younger than me then though, as there's a seven year age gap between us and I was in my early twenties.

Autobiographical sketches 86 - Tom Allen Arts Centre

I worked here as marketing officer between 1990 - 1995 my first 'full time' proper job. The CV doesn't lie!

I've tried to depict my rather questionable garb. Still I guess I look just as bad today. The boots were a bit uncomfortable though, as sometimes I wore DMs. And they didn't agree with my feet, too structured. I have terrible flat feet.

I used to like this part of the job and sought out times I could do it, walking around in the open air, posting leaflets through doors. Time to think. It didn't bother me at all.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Autobiographical sketches 79 - sieve head

Continuing the theme of men with things on their heads ...

We had great parties in the eighties. And I remember this big blond chap putting a sieve on his head pretending to be a soldier.

Studio today!

Hooray, going into Bark Studios today with Brian to record some Reuters improvisations!

Collegium of London blog

I've started the blog that John Biggins our chair asked me to do for the next concert which is Lotti, Vivaldi and Bach. I'm going to draw pictures of the composers to make them more real to me. Started off with Lotti and his wife at home. Have to scan it in now and see what John thinks. He has the powers of veto and edit before posts go online. Wonder if he will exercise his privilege?

I can't scan it in and show you because Matt is on the PC downstairs doing some music. Sounds awesome.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Autobiographical sketches 78 - elastic band man

It was in those days when you saw very vulnerable men who had survived the war wandering the streets. One chap, who was always around the bottom of Burdett Road, by the Seaman's Mission, used to always wear a brown overall tied at the middle with a rope, newspapers poking out of his boots and an elastic band around his head which secured bits of plants arranged around his dome like a natural crown.

Autobiographical sketches 77 - Jesus God of Tower Hamlets

I'd lived in Stepney Green before, in a flat that doesn't exist any more. Oh I was so happy there. I had a great flat on the top floor at the end of one of those four storey, London stock council blocks.

There was a chap who used to parade around the shop parade at Stepney Green, with a sign saying ... well, here he is, in my memory ... outside the butchers.

Autobiographical sketches 76 - Stepney Green

Before I swapped with the family in Clerkenwell I lived temporarily in Stepney Green on the Ocean Estate. The kids had a huge bonfire while I was there. It felt like living in the wild West. That night anyway.

The rats were far too visible there.

Autobiographical sketches 74 - moving house with Anne Marie

When I swopped my Mile End flat with the Bengali family in Clerkenwell who wanted to be nearer the mosque ... Anne Marie helped me, and them, move. Thanks Anne Marie.

Autobiographical sketches 73 - tent poles

When my boyfriend and I went to Ireland we lost the tent poles on the train. A man in a back street of Dublin made us some for our ancient cloth tent. He sawed them to length. The tent never had the same stretch again.

It was too heavy anyway, what's wrong with a modern tent. Nothing, especially when it comes to carrying it.

I did have short hair then. It didn't suit me.

Talking Rhythm

Went to play at Bernadette Reed's and Jazzman John Clarke's lovely poetry night at the Prince of Greenwich - I was the musical interlude. I decided to improvise Reuters stories with my ukelele so that was a first. Sung about a Russian Racoon, a message in a bottle, little Italy in New York and a barber that suffered the tsunami.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Reel Rebels Radio jingles

Tony Fletcher

Thanks Tony for my favourite presentation at the British Silent Film Festival today. Whole music films to which John Sweeney played piano.

Reel Rebels Radio jingles

Matt and I have just made a series of radio jingles for Reel Rebels Radio. I think they're so lovely.

I wish you could upload audio files to blogger as simply as you can upload videos. I think I may have to make a video out of them and upload them to youtube so I can share them!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Odd Girl Out

I have to thank Val Phoenix for playing my tracks on Odd Girl Out, a radio show which airs on Thursday evenings at 19.00 BST and repeated on Sunday afternoons at 13.00 BST on Optical Radio.

It's a great show, and I like being played alongside Patsy Cline and Laurie Anderson ...

I'm going to be on live this Thursday 14th April, can't wait

ø -Herring book

A couple of years ago I made a little picture book. It's called 'ø' - I'm scanning it in and I'm going to find the right software - maybe just a little blog - to present it online.

Here's the first page.

The Windsors and Edward Munch

Have been rehearsing downstairs in the studio. Poor Matt has a horrible headache though. I'm cooking a chicken for later.

This is an incredibly mundane post, and not really worth blogging, but a blog is a diary too.

On the more interesting side I'm now going to carry on watching Peter Watkins's docu-drama series on Edward Munch. It's a winner for me, being a massive Peter Watkins fan and also very interested in expressionism. Grey Norwegian coughing, close ups of consumptives, melancholy, bohemia and suicidal ideas.

British Silent Film Festival

Just been to the Barbican to catch Matthew Sweet's lecture on gossip and the silent film. A salacious time was had by all.

I almost forgot I have a PhD in silent cinema. One day I really have to mix my silent cinema knowledge with my poetic and writing explorations.

Matt doesn't read my blog

as a matter of principle. I think that's just as well.

Dangerous breakfast

Matt made a nice omelette with ginger. We went to sit on the taxi bench by the duck pond to eat it. Sharikov, our Muscovy drake looked a bit posey, doing his neck bob and opening his gob right in front of us. We ignored it as best we could. Then Matt got up and walked to have a look at the lettuce in our homemade greenhouse. Sharikov attacked and got his trouser leg. Matt ran through the gate back into the other half of the lawn, jettisoned his coffee, trapped Sharikov in the gate by the neck, shouted 'Help!' But I needed help, having climbed onto the bench and wanted Matt to lift me back into the garden over the picket fence. I didn't want to be bitten by that beak on my bare legs. Meantime Solly is launching himself at the wood and chicken wire like a self-propelled battering ram.

Breakfast was still nice, the sun was shining all the while, and the dew is shining in the light. Going to be a hot day. Will have to go and rescue the plates later from the back of the garden, when Shari's calmed down.

Friday, 8 April 2011

For the Messengers, Jude Cowan

Beatnik Chicks - a review by Pauline Sewards

Beatnik Chicks (in The Beats - a Graphic History, published in New York, 2010, by Hill and Wang)
This graphic story by Joyce Brabner is an intriguing account of the lives of women in of the Beat scene, which is better known through the male protagonists –Kerouac, Burroughs, Cassidy and Ginsberg. Brabner writes ‘I found Kerouac and his cronies loathsome, they drive, roll joints, roll around with women, fascinate their buddies with stories … told in jazz jargon, amphetamine argot … self styled odysseans whose abandoned children grew up angry’.
The chapter opens with a sketch of a Mad Magazine cover from 1961, described as a year of great changes: ‘Turn the numbers upside down and they still read the same, turn a culture upside down and everything is different - squares versus hipsters...’
Brabner gives a personal perspective of the ways Beat culture has influenced her own life. She describes how she was inspired, as a child, by a comic strip narration of ‘Suzuki Beanie - the adventures of a Beatnik Girl’. There are two charming, near identical, drawings of Brabner as a young girl and today, she is now in her fifties, in both she wears the Beatnik uniform of ‘blunt cut bangs, black dresses and black tights, heavy framed glasses and all black clothes. They (Beat Chicks) were something to laugh at – many were too serious and too smart.’
One of the main drawings of the chapter puts the female associates of the Beat scene centre stage as it shows a fantasy gathering of Carolyn Cassidy, Diane Diprima, Hettie Jones, Joan Kerouac and Joyce Johnson. Brabner notes that ‘these women were not absurd ornaments, they and others ‘made much possible for women like me.’
Brabner is not indiscriminately admiring. She confesses that Diane Di Prima’s invented erotic adventures made her yawn. She found her later work, which focuses on motherhood, more appealing.
Brabner recounts some tragic stories including that of Elise Cowan. Elise was a poet who had a brief affair with the ‘seductive, young charmer Alan Ginsberg’. The couple posed for photos whimsically pretending to be twins. Elise typed up the 112 long lines of Ginsberg’s epic poem, Howl. ‘It takes a while for Elise to realise there have no future together,’ Brabner writes, ‘Allen is queer’ . Elise suffered depression and went on a journey across America characterized by narcotic stimulation and bizarre behaviour. Brabner draws this dramatically and effectively as a downward spiralling vortex. This particular road trip was not celebrated, even by the Beats. Brabner notes, in a comment which acts as an inditement of the beat scene, ‘Elise was outsider to the outsiders.’
This is a tantalizing introduction to these women’s lives. The Graphic format is a vivid and economical way to present information and opinion and matches the subject matter.
The book as a whole is beautifully produced to a high quality. It is well worth attention and is particularly topical with the release of the film Howl. The chapter on Ginsberg was drawn by Harvey Pekar (Brabner’s late husband; the couple are probably best known through the film American Splendour). Several artists contributed to the book, including the singer- songwriter Jeffery Lewis. The variety of drawing styles adds visual texture. While featuring the giants of the scene most prominently lesser known associates of the scene are also portrayed. All the authors celebrate the Beats while acknowledging their faults. Brabner is the most forthright in her portrayal of the ways hipster culture often perpetuated the misogyny of mainstream society.

Spoonful of Poison

Sketch done at Spoonful a little while ago. I really like performing at Spoonful, Vis the Spoon does a great job. Here's the DJ and a performer.

Colour sketch, walk to Eltham

Colour sketch, walk to Eltham

Colour sketch, walk to Eltham

Sketch of walk to Eltham

Autobiographical sketches 72 - Getting Married

Here's me getting married. This was the first time I got married. The second time was just very stupid. As was the first. But I shouldn't have bothered the second time as there was no point at all in that. Anyway, I was very happy the first time as you can see.

Autobiographical sketches 71 - Hong Kong

On the way back from South East Asia I went through Hong Kong. Stayed at Chungking Mansions.

My boyfriend at the time tried to smuggle watches into South Korea for some dosh while I went swimming on a roof top pool. They set off the alarms at customs and he only got a bit of money. I spent that in Hong Kong during the time he was there so it wasn't a living wage.

Anyway, we all decided to go home. I didn't like the urban life of Hong Kong after Thailand and Sumatra, I'm more of a country girl. Which is why I live in London????

Autobiographical sketches 70 - trumpet lessons

I used to learn trumpet with this brilliant player from Ghana. He was a big fan of Booker Little, who I still like enormously. I don't play the trumpet now, but I could if I wanted - just give me six months to get my embouchure back.

Because my bottom teeth are so wonky he said to me to put the trumpet against my top teeth as they are straighter.

I was always so itching to sing that the trumpet was never going to totally stick with me. It's a great thing, a great instrument to play but nothing beats the voice for me, the sensation of singing, the use of words ...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Autobiographical sketches 66 - burning the dead rats

This was when I lived in Cassland Road in Hackney in a Patchwork Housing Association shared house. The woman downstairs had kept rats and being a bit of a flake, they had died when she forgot to give them water and food. Being traumatised by what she had done she just covered up the cage and put it in a corner. A few years later, we moved in and found it. So we burnt it, being a bit freaked out, rats and cage, in the back garden.

I see I have imaginatively located the Georgian architecture of Cassland Road back in some kind of nineteen seventies land, which was the domestic architecture of my formative years. Shame I wasn't brought up in a palace or in some kind of shabby chic Victoriana.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Art Exhibition

I'm going to be talking to a wonderful bookshop, Woolfson and Tay, about having an exhibition in their gallery space, I really hope that you will come. I'm hoping it might be early 2012.

Budapest 2011

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Autobiographical sketches 65 - dog tries to get ducks


My foot's feeling better! Yay! And Matt and I have replanted the lettuce, roll on the leaves of summer.

My foot

... and now my left foot is bruised and I can't put my weight on it. I don't even know how I hurt it. Oh dear, we're all in the wars.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Matt hobbling down the road

Matt goes very slowly this spring. The animals and nature seem to almost be laughing at him. I can laugh too because he's really starting to get better now.