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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Studio day

Had a fabulous time in Bark yesterday with Brian. Did 7 or 8 songs, and that folks, is the end of the Reuters improvisation recordings, for now anyway. Next I start work on the 'beautiful album'.

A little Victorian girl

I'm collecting bits and pieces for 'a little Victorian girl' picture book - a little ill child who decides to make her own magazine to make herself feel better and feel she knows the world. Any suitable images, words and thoughts for inspiration, please send them to me. It's going to be a picture book for 5 - 10 year olds.

Cinema Thoughts

Am thinking about what cinema pieces to submit for Bus Stop Cinema in Swansea. If anyone has any favourites out of my video art, please let me know. Any thoughts on this would be really appreciated

Monday, 30 May 2011

Blanaid's A level photography

Back in Bark

Tomorrow I'm back in Brian's studio in Walthamstow, Bark Studios, to finish off the recordings of my World News Vision project, at least for a while. And I will make a little beginning on what I have called 'the beautiful album', a collection of songs and recordings that I aim to make a luscious sonic experience for the listener, the kind of thing that will make you want to put on the headphones and lie in a darkened room.

Making a video with Richard

Just been filming in my shed with Richard Sanderson, our first Foulkestone video. When you watch it (it's not posted yet), look out for The Foulke Stone, my little two-faced pot I made of Richard and myself. It's not there for long, don't miss it! The video is to the sea shanty Shallow Brown.

Blanaid's A level pictures

Another wonderful one from my daughter.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

World News Vision logo

Whaddya think?

I posted it to the World News Vision blog.

Some folk have said it looks hairy, and messy, and that suits the world as the world is a mess. Another friend said when it is blown up it looks like wires which is really appropriate for a news logo.

Alternative International Zine Fair at Conway Hall

Took the afternoon off work and went there. Got some good inspiration for packaging up future CDs and self-published illustrated work. Really quite excited. A good tip was to sew the pages together on a sewing machine. Works ever so nicely and looks pretty wonderful.

World News Vision logo

Been working on this on the train. Considering a real change of plan. Have scribbled one up in biro on white. Will it make a good logo, and a nice T-shirt? It's inspired by the kind of work I've been doing in my children's illustration class. That really is a good class by the way.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Montague Arms - Game Show

Just home from Frog Morris's Game Show night at the Montague. Lots of fun and games including Jo McCormick's Generation Game and Daniel Lehan's Art or Cheese!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Scaledown - Fri 24 June

A lovely gig is coming up next month at the King and Queen, Foley Street, in the shadow of the Post Office Tower. My Foulkestone colleague, Richard Sanderson is also on the bill, promoting his solo melodeon CD. I will be performing new improvisations from the World News Vision project, perhaps using my new analogue synth so long as I can work out how to use it.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Lamb & Tyger review - extract

Less joyfully bawdy, more music hall meets ghostly choir, the arrangements are subtle and ludic, never overshadowing the original work Cowan so clearly enjoys. Out of time and place, Lamb & Tyger’s bitesize ditties (the longest is under four minutes) are like scattered pearls. Strange and soothing, and a great way to get into Blake’s work.

The CD will be available on CD Baby from July 2011. Working on the Commune album just now!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A lovely review for Lamb & Tyger

Jude Cowan - World News Vision - Three Arms illustrated by the aftermath...

An old fashioned ghost story

Hello everyone, yes I wrote and posted this this morning on the Collegium home page. I'll copy it to the main blog later. Do have a look and tell me if it's very cringe-worthy, trying to pass muster with the old spooky tale-telling.

Friday, 20 May 2011

An old fashioned ghost story

I'm trying to write one of these as a nice surprise for the choir blog. Think it may take me a few weeks. I'm basing it on the style of Rudyard Kipling and Robert Graves so it's coming out with a fake 'olde' style, and I'm enjoying it so far. But as usual I have no plot. I really acquire get a better approach to plotting. Maybe I'll do a short story writing course at some point to get myself on the ball in this respect.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Blanaid's A level pictures

Clever Blanaid has done this lovely scene with origami of a paper crane hatching from an egg during breakfast.

Resonance Open

I'm cooking up an 'object' for the Resonance Open exhibition. The theme is 'Gone with the wind'. I have used some video I took at Coney Island of seagulls being fed, and of along the boardwalk taken with a camera action that echoes that of the famous Cyclone roller coaster and have put this to my Reuters improvisation about the Australian cyclone warnings earlier this year. I have put this already on you tube. Now I have put it as an mp4 on a Sony Walkman which plays the video fine. I'm now waiting for the speakers to arrive. I then have to make an object in which it can be suspended from the ceiling, and drop it off at Resonance before the end of the month. At least this call for submissions requires no entry fee. I would like to enter some of my sketches for the Threadneedle Prize but it's £12 each which is a lot of money if you enter three. It can be expensive to enter for prizes. Poetry prizes are expensive to enter too. And of course you have to expect to get nothing or it would drive you mad and you would be thinking about it. And then you would get nothing anyway as that's usually the way it goes. So I think I'm going to look for the calls for artists that don't insist on payment up front. I have two other little ones in mind, maybe I'll manage to progress with one of them today.

Collegium chat

Wot I wrote for the choir blog this week ...

A short meditation on the dialectics of this week's rehearsal


1) Singing Bach
2) Standing next to Liz and Judith
3) New rehearsal arrangement - better acoustics for some maybe?
4) Singing Lotti and some rather jolly sections
5) Cups of tea and biscuits - thank you Mona
5) Learning music which I hope will influence my composition
7) Margaret saying positively after the break 'Back to Work' - I feel 'Right, let's go'
8) Russell winking at me - feeling included and input acknowledged in friendly way
9) Learning a little German from so many articulate conversationalists


1) Singing Bach
2) New rehearsal arrangement - where do the chairs go back? Arrrgh
3) Singing Lotti to dah, ooo, mah, mmm - very confusing for the brain
4) Consuming sugar in the vain effort of creating more energy
5) Too many members called Judith/Jude (parents' fault)
6) Margaret saying positively after the break 'Back to Work' - I feel 'Oh dear, can't I have another biscuit'
7) Russell winking at me - feeling embarrassed and that I must be doing something wrong
8) Didn't learn German at school - inadequate language skills - 'nein, wass ist das? das ist uberoffentittengeil' ... remembering very unsuitable boyfriend from Dusseldorf who taught me that a long time ago
8) Not being able to go to the pub, so slinking off home. Cheers everyone!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Reuters sketch - Niroz 2011

This is the aftermath of an explosion after a missile hit a chicken farm in Israel. Sorry they are dead chickens all killed in the blast.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Moon Stallion

My old children's TV viewing is now going downhill into myth and magic - now I've just watched The Moon Stallion. It's going to be Follyfoot next, I can see it now ...


Thanks to my good friend Richard Sanderson I'm now wasting time watching Timeslip. Beginning at the wrong end of time. The first building looks like Buckston Browne where I recently went to do some filming with Blanaid, you can see the results on the youtube channel of Solaris Q Scuddamore who kindly helps me out with maintaining both a youtube and a soundcloud presence.

Z for Zachariah

Watching Z for Zachariah now. The score and the way it interacts with the movement and drama is fabulous. Love it.

Blanaid's origami boat

This is a photo from my favourite series of pictures which Blanaid has done for her A level.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Windsors, Club Integral at The Grosvenor Pub, Stockwell, 13th. May 2...

The Changes

I'm watching the television series adapted from Peter Dickinson's book 'The Changes'. Really good and inspiring. I love the synth incidental music. Incidentally his daughter Philippa was my 'monitor' at Colony holidays when I were a lass.

Matt's enormous painting

Matt keeps disappearing into the garage to add another piece to his enormous painting! I like him working in there. I can go and admire it every now and then.

Now I'm going to plant out the coriander and basil seedlings.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Duck eggs

Polygraph, the Muscovy duck, is laying her first clutch of eggs. There were five this morning, five!

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

Have just done the score for a little animated film - final tweaks with Matt adding an extra bass line from the guitar.

We're going to be credited as Jude Cowan and Matthew Armstong.

We're so happy because the filmmaker really likes it - well he is very enthusiastic and it's so great. He seems a really nice fellow and he's a pleasure to work with. Hope to see the film at a decent screening soon. How exciting! Matt and I found it a great thing to do and we'd like to do some more!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Soundart Radio

My new radio show WORLD NEWS VISION which consists of improvised songs and words on the subject of the stories that I process as an archivist for Reuters will be broadcast monthly on Tuesdays at 8pm on Soundart Radio 102.5FM. The first show will be Tuesday 7th June.

Soundart Radio is 'an art radio station, providing space on the airwaves to listen, play and experiment with sound'. It has its own podcast which you can donload for free monthly. When the studio door is left open the sounds of birds, passing conversations and steam trains feeds into the shows. It's broadcast from the Gallery, Dartington Hall, Totnes.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Filming trip - in Higham

Just got back from Higham / Cliffe where Matt and I have made a little film for the call for artist movies by Sarah Sparkes, subject 'Haunted Sea'. Have to view it now and see how it came out. We found a beautiful little spot in a very strange, spooky part of the estuary and I wore my black crinoline in a 'Piano' homage to Holly Hunter and Jane Campion.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Choir rehearsal last night - it was tough

... so I wrote a poem

Buckston Browne - a photography day out for all the family

The abandoned house at Downe where Blanaid said we had to go for a photo shoot. They used to be vivisection labs - eurgh! Was actually a lot of fun going there. Creepy.

Viking Sagas

Enjoying thinking about the Viking Sagas again with these new programmes and reruns in the Saga Season on BBC. Pleased to see Oliver Postgate's 'Noggin the Nog' as part of it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Gigging with Isolda Hawkes-Tan

Last night played a lovely gig at the Library, Upper Street, Islington with my friend Isolda Hawkes-Tan. I did some improv on the keyboard, including a nice song about Lady Gaga and her Judas video. In the middle I started clapping to illustrate a section about Lady Gaga and her fans. Then everyone started clapping too, and I was able to go on with the theatre. It seemed to bemuse everyone. Isolda thought it was funny and said it worked. And Donal the soundman was keen. I thought it wasn't a bad spot, you get 20mins or so for your act so it's a good place to practise a new set.

Isolda performed and she's sounding really confident and tuneful. Beautiful. Some of her songs are amazing, I really loved the first one about the innocents, and would love to hear it again. I might pester her for a copy. I hope she'll come and duet round at the home studio sometime soon.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Jude Cowan - World News Vision - 'Australian Cyclone' filmed at Coney Is...

Writing an animation score for a friend of a friend

I'm writing a little score on ukelele for an animation film to a brief. It's fun. Hopefully Matt will help me record it later.

Children's Illustration with Dee Shulman

One more sketch from the new 'picture book' sketch book! Need to work on accentuating that movement.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Children's Illustration with Dee Shulman

Here's another quick sketch from my first attempt at a children's illustration book. These are rough when I have it mapped out I may try and do it with paint or differently anyway. Will probably do one sketch version of a book and one finished version.

New plants - sweetcorn

Here's the row of four sweetcorn

New plants - two tomatos

Two varieties - a beefsteak and the classic moneymaker

New plants - mint

The mint came in a green plantpot which I have now 'tidied' away - but I quite liked it. How green these shots look I must have it on a funny setting but I can't work out what. I might fiddle with the menu in a tick.

New plants - runner beans

Children's Illustration with Dee Shulman

I've started doing a children's illustration course with Dee Shulman on a Friday evening. There's lots of animators and artists and people who work with children on the course. It's really great.
I think she's nice and she has lots of energy I really like her. She's got a great smile.
Her work is nice too.
I'm starting by drawing some ideas about Solly the dog.
Here's my first drawing. I'm doing a series of drawings taken from Solly's everyday life first, then I might see about adapting his character to a narrative a bit later.

First coffee and planting more veg. The ground is dry.

Friday, 6 May 2011


Thank goodness! I'm going to buy some runner beans and tomato plants today from the market, summer veg here we come. Both very 'giving' plants.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Waterstones - Piccadilly

Nice one! My book is recommended in Piccadilly's Waterstones, with a card that quotes in full one of the poems in the book. Apparently the poetry buyer at Piccadilly knows his stuff - I am told that by others who know this stuff better than I do.

Ruth Barnes - the Other Woman

Hurrah for Ruth Barnes. She's written a wonderful bit about me in her blog. I'm honoured.

Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied

Wow this is really hard. But I'm trying.

Jude Cowan - World News Video - Ukraine Aids Medication - filmed at Buck...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Full choir rehearsal

Yes, that was really knackering but good fun, singing through the Bach in particular!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sopranos and Altos

Tonight we have our SA sectional rehearsal for the Collegium, in the Welsh Chapel in Borough I believe - have never been there but sounds interesting. I shall take some pix.

Jude Cowan - World News Vision - Canvas Missus (The Waste)


I think I might start calling my Video Doodles Videoodles because it's nice to coin a word every now and then. I like portmanteau words, thanks Mr Carroll.

So long, Shed Fellow - but hang on ...

I have wiped Shed Fellow off Youtube. His dancing appeal was just too irritating. However he has pestered me to put it up again so I've agreed. Yours, Solaris Q Scuddamore.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Tom Robinson - thanks to Ruth Barnes

I'm on Tom Robinson BBC Introducing this week thanks to Ruth Barnes - thank you Ruth. Here's the listen again link ... with us for a week!