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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Steve Layton and I make a new album

Steve wrote

On Nov 9th 2012, Jude Cowan Montague wrote to ask if I might consider a bit of collaboration. Jude often sings, but had a bad cold and was wanting to just make some instrumental/sound tracks with her MicroKorg. I said sure, just send along tracks as she made them, and I would process, mix and match them, add some of my own performances in Reason, and we'd see where it took us. By Nov 14th these five tracks were the result of that process.


released 15 November 2012 
Jude Cowan Montague: MicroKorg / Steve Layton: Reason (6.5), mixing.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Scratch Sunday at the Last Refuge

More pictures of Paul Wady as 'The Gardener'
Poem 'The Gardener' by Jude Cowan Montague.
Jude Cowan Montague on the Microkorg.
We had a wonderful performance slot offered to us by the very popular young theatre-comedy company 'Lebensmude' - a special thanks to Ed, Freya and Celeste.
We had a wonderful time - and enjoyed the rest of the bill too. Recommended.

at the Last Refuge, 'The Gardener' Scratch Sunday

Paul Wady and I improvise a piece of Scratch Theatre in beautiful Peckham Rye at the invitation of fabulous new comedy / theatre company Lebensmude.

This is 'The Gardener'.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Rainy London from the car

Found this pictures of sunny-rainy London
from brighter, more summery days, earlier this year.
Inspired to put these up by Jacqueline Saphra's lovely pictures of the sunset in Limehouse.

Red legs

Jo McCormick - poem

A short poem ARROW by my friend the artist Joanna McCormick. Jo has started to write recently and is experimenting with style and mood - I think it it is a natural thing for her to do in association with her visual and performance art.


I felt I'd been struck

By a thousand years' arrow

I felt that our field

Was my home

Your silver Matador horns

Gored me

A brush

A sliver

A trickle

Of wet black

Oil rinsing past my slick





I felt that our field

Was my home

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Patrick Dreux - poet

Patrick Dreux

Alors la belle, comment va la bête ?
Elle dort.
Et comment va l’enfant ?
Il dort tout contre la bête, elle ne lui fait pas de mal, il est sans crainte.
Et toi comment vas-tu ?
J’ai peur de la bête, j’ai peur pour l’enfant. L’enfant s’amuse tellement avec la bête, et la bête est si imprévisible, un coup de langue, mais cela pourrait être un coup de dent.
Est-ce que tu nourris correctement la bête ?...
Je ne sais pas ce que veut dire « correctement ».
Est-ce que tu nourris correctement l’enfant ?
Je lui donne le meilleur, je lui prépare ses repas, légumes, fruits, viande, laitage, céréales.
Et la beauté ?
Quoi la beauté ?
Tu ne les nourris pas l’un et l’autre de beauté ? De la beauté en large part, à déchiqueter, à réduire en morceaux, à dévorer tout cru, à faire voler les miettes, les miettes de beauté partout autour de l’assiette.
Mais ne faut-il pas la contempler, comme ce qu’il y a de plus sacré ?
Non, la beauté se prend, à bras le corps, à coups de dents, elle se partage comme un trésor qu’on jette au vent. C’est bon pour les idolâtres, la contemplation !
Qui es-tu ? Bête ? Ou enfant ?
Je suis la Beauté qui s’ennuie dans son cadre doré, derrière les vitrines, dans les enluminures et les reliures pleine peau, dans les salons feutrés des collectionneurs…
Pourquoi alors m’appeler « la belle » ?
Pour mieux te manger mon enfant, ma bête, mon adorée !

A first for this blog a beautiful poem in French, courtesy of my very dear friend Patrick. I shall be posting an English version shortly. 

Ceri James and Deptford

Thanks to Mr Ceri James, my singer-songwriter friend, I am having a little track outro included on a compilation of music about Deptford. Thanks also to Colin Bodiam, a new musical chum of mine, who is compiling it, and had the clever idea of putting te fragment as an old fashioned bonus outro - makes sense as most of the rest I imagine is more traditional complete songs. I thought it was a very good way to include it.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cathy Flower

My lovelissimo friend Cathy Flower, who so kindly took the very valued pix of Beechings Axe at the Rhythm Factory has sent me a poem, at my request, for this blog. If you get a chance to see Ms Flower in action at a spoken word event, take it, for goodness sake, take it!

She's a very charismatic and confident and unique performer. Yes.

Speak Your Mind

Speak your mind and forever hold your peace

But no! I have something to say!

The grass is always greener if you love it

Am I going to die today?

They hold back secrets

A bleak moment escapade

Another marriage on the rocks

And river don’t stop running

Speak your mind my dear, tea will be served shortly.

But the Banksy should be on that wall

Don’t you see?!

I saw you counting notes

Will it be a symphony?

© Cathy Flower 2010

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beeching's Axe at Vis the Spoon's Wednesday band evening, Let Them Eat Gak

So I am playing my Microkorg and reciting train timetables from defunct lines in the North East. Mark Braby and Kev Younger are playing guitars and effects. Kevin has some beats of steam train recordings taken in the 1950s playing on his phone. Of course, someone tried to ring him at the beginning of the set.

The dress is courtesy of Karen Haines.
The photos are taken by Cathy Flower.

I am certainly not going to be summoned by a magazine to model clothes, like my friend and fellow poet Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick.

Pirenes Fountain

Aha! A poem in a jolly respected American lit mag for me, in their 'Beverage' Anthology. So here I am online, writing a poem about a silent film actually, echoing Tim Smart's practice in the post below, making art drawing on aspects of the early movies.

Unlike Tim's friendly pictures, this is a darker picture and to answer what my friend Alan Savage asked on facebook, yes the last line is supposed to be resentful. We then started thinking about Shakespeare and his depiction of the powder keg of the family. The other side to friendly union encompassing difference.

The poem is called 'Goose Woman and Good Son'

Tim Smart - Illustrator

I have great admiration and fondness for Tim's work. Not only is it very good but it uses silent film narrative as inspiration. These two pictures also show group music making. the pleasure and the community ... the difference and the unity.
A fellow lover of music making and music making, and especially folk music, I relate very strongly to Tim's pictures of these women playing banjo in a group and his more mixed band below. Brass instruments can be hard to depict in pencil, so fair play to him. I love the clarinets - and the faces are so different and beautiful in their expression. Look at their moustaches, their chins, their eyesockets, their cheekbones. These parts of the face are so important for musicians who have resonance, technique, expression to consider. Music making takes over the face.

My granddad was a cello player in the Halle and I grew up with the mystique of photos of him playing in the orchestra, and earlier as a dance band and as part of a quartet. He was 'Uncle Sydney' in a BBC string quartet. So these pictures stir up deep personal feelings inside me. And they make me think, thank goodness I'm lucky enough to be a music maker too and to play with other musicians.

Thank you to Tim and also to all the musicians I have been lucky enough to play with over the years. And especially to those I work with now, I'm thinking of Matt Armstrong, Mark Braby, Paul Wady, Joanna McCormick, Richard Sanderson and to all the singers in the Collegium Musicum of London.