Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hard to believe but apparently - at least according to the 'stats' - this Blog has received 704 visits today.

Presumably some kind of auto-generated search engine or someone who must be severely bored ...



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S T A L K S

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I fear that this one slipped through the cracks. The texts were worked on earlier in 2015 & then the retirement of two colleagues prompted me to draw everything together into a volume. Three copies were stitched & then holidays intervened. 

Three more sets of pages remained to assemble - the usual excuses as to why I never got round to finishing the job.

While I make no great claims for this little project, the very business of folding the pages, cutting & gluing the outer band, then leafing through ... all give a strange satisfaction. 

2015 - I am acutely aware - was not a very productive year in terms of actual finished work. 2016, I hope, will see more volumes rolling off the Sticky Pages Press. 




Saturday, January 23, 2016


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New Year's Resolutions melt like snow ... 

... Having made a determined effort not to buy any more CDs after the 2015 splurge (all of which were utterly justified for one reason or another. But still ...) this morning I - or as they say in French - je craque

By way of an excuse: earlier in the week I had been listening to Philipe Baron's excellent jazz programme at 6pm on Musique 3 (Belgium's equivalent to BBC Radio 3) and there was an interesting interview with Tord Gustavsen & Simin Tander. They were in Brussels for a concert which - of course - I had failed to notice. You can hear the interview at:

http://www.rtbf.be/musiq3/emissions_jazz?programId=1582   (the 20th January programme)

the majority of which is in English. So the CD is some kind of consolation for not managing to get to hear them live. 

I really must be more attentive to what's going on around me. 

Evidemment, c'est bon


Friday, January 22, 2016






A little before 8am & the sun just beginning ...

Sunday, January 17, 2016


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shinrin yoku

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Saturday, January 16, 2016





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To collect today ...

  • Arvo PÄRT / IN PRINCIPIO 
  • Nik BÄRTSCH'S RONIN / STOA 
  • Nik BÄRTSCH'S RONIN / LLYRÌA 
  • Keith JARRETT / SACRED HYMNS OF G.I. GURDJIEFF 
  • Keith ROWE & GRAHAM LAMBKIN / MAKING A 
  • Keith ROWE / THE ROOM
  • Peter TSCHERKASSKY / FILMS FROM A DARK ROOM 
  • Peter TSCHERKASSKY / ATTRACTIONS, INSTRUCTIONS AND OTHER ROMANCES 
& returning ...

    

LITANY/ Arvo PÄRT
    

ADAM'S LAMENT/ Arvo PÄRT
    BREAM EDITION VOL.18 - MUSIC FOR VOICE & GUITAR 
 

    

CHIAROSCURO/ Arve HENRIKSEN
    

CHRON + COSMIC CREATION/ Arve HENRIKSEN
    

E.E. TENSION AND CIRCUMSTANCE / Keith ROWE & JOHN TILBURY
    

DIFFERENT RIVERS / Trygve SEIM
    

IDA / Pawel PAWLIKOWSKI 
- DVD
    

SOUNDS AND SILENCE / Peter GUYER & Norbert WIEDMER - DVD

Tuesday, January 12, 2016





Home unexpectedly at midday to look after the younger Sprout (down with the bug going around).

Lunch becomes an occasion.

Monday, January 11, 2016

There's a kind of unreality and deja-vu about the death of David Bowie. One 'member of the public' interviewed on the streets of London claimed that she had never imagined it would happen. Really? You're kidding. And then it dawns on you that this is part of the whole Bowie effect. Someone who second guessed the media even as it was coming into being. In a sense, its perfect child.

I never 'got' Bowie. There's not one of his CDs on my shelves. I borrowed a 'Gold' collection a few years ago & found nothing that held my attention. Essentially, I don't go for glam rock (too effete, too much posture, too bought in to the pop machine). Yet I'm aware of his enormous influence & the way he inspires devotion. (A colleague admitted today that she still hoped he'd marry her). But for Bowie, no Iggy, no David Byrne, no Nick Cave, no Jarvis Cocker ... his name is Legion.

Watching the clips and tributes on the BBC I had the impression that I was watching a Don Dellilo novel in the making. Or maybe the rights have already been sold - one of Bowie's last projects: to script his own demise? That's the clever thing: already fashion your own disappearance, anticipate the vultures. The release of that 'latest' album so finely judged. He knew what he was doing. Recording as a form of self-embalming.

So perhaps it's fitting that - for me at least - the Bowie I'll remember is his performance as Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel's 'Basquiat'. Ever the chameleon and art world aspirant, here Bowie was himself an 'other' who was, in turn, a self-confessed mirror self. (Those sequences where Schnabel intercuts 'actual' cine camera footage of Andy with the Andy-bewigged David). David is Andy and Andy is David reflected to infinity. All surface. Which is why - and here we inevitably cast a glance over our shoulder to Oscar Wilde - his superficiality is the profundity of our times. What could go deeper?

Ground control, indeed, when there is no longer any ground beneath our feet.


Sunday, January 10, 2016


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A few last things ...

On Christmas Day I sat on the bed and we talked about old radio comedy - Tommy Hanley, Round the Horne, Hancock. 

Normally, you said, you'd start with a Sancerre and then open a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. An excellent choice, I said. "Have a glass for me, boy" you said. 

You complained vociferously about the doctors, the NHS, the fact that no one knew what they were doing. 

You asked me if I had a nail file - the kind of request you hear from prisoners in films. Funnily enough, I did. One of the blades on my little pen knife. You smoothed down a nail - an oddly feminine gesture - explaining it caught in the threads of the dressing gown. 

We talked about politics, the immigration crisis, my old car and the new. Renaults were good cars, you said. 

We pulled a Christmas cracker. I read the joke: "Q: How do make a pair of trousers last? A: Make the jacket first." We agreed it wasn't bad. In the circumstances. I thought of Nagg's joke about God making the world in Endgame

We shook hands and you said something in Welsh. Happy Christmas? And thanked me for coming. 

I said I'd see you again. And walked off down the corridor. 

Later that day, I took down an anthology of Coleridge and it fell open on a page from his Letters. 'To John Morgan, 14 May 1814'. Of all the pages, of all the names. These things happen, of course. 

Here's to you - and your soup will always be the best. 






Tuesday, January 05, 2016



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One thing leads to another. Glancing at the Sight & Sound list of outstanding films for the year gone by, I realise that I have - once again - missed them all. Dutifully I go down to the library & ask for the actual copy of the magazine, start leafing through & hit upon a review of the new film by ... Peter Tscherkassky. Who? Never heard of him but his methods & approach seem to be interesting (Brakhage-style interference with the actual film stock, Cornell-like appropriation & deformation of existing footage, etc. ...). 

Once home I sit down & watch Outer Space the first of what's on offer via Youtube. It's only 9 minutes long or so but fascinating & confirms that this really is someone I need to explore further. Amazon doesn't seem to have much available on DVD & so it will be a trip to the Mediatheque at the weekend. 

If anyone knows of other sources please let me know. 


Friday, January 01, 2016