I am a Spam Magnet

This is what passes for spam these days in my email account.  Did I sign up to a “quietly domesticated home-owner interested in becoming a keen gardener” discussion list? Did I once give B&Q my email? Are sheds the new black market?

Whatever the reason, whatever the source, I can’t help but feel faintly insulted.

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A.R.C. Live At Last

A.R.C. Live At Last

Barry, Saul and I are making our live début as ARC at long last.  Well that’s what I thought until last night at this event when Saul reminded me that we’d played one of Barry’s Listen… nights in the Menagerie a couple of years back.
But still, that was a long time ago and we’ve changed our approach and our aesthetic quite a bit since then so I’m still thinking of this in terms of début.

ARC are an improvising trio based around drums, double bass, bass guitar and handmade electronics.

We’ve played in public two three times before. The first second time was as a three-piece to demonstrate the work of ceramicist Andrew Cooke:
Here’s some YouTube footage of that event.
Not a full ARC gig, as we were there to explore the instruments Andrew had made.

The second third time was just Saul and I, performing at an art happening (it really was) called Fresh Meat in the Crescent Arts Centre.
Barry was performing at a festival in Brazil at the time but he was there in spirit in the guise of a light-controlled synth right at the front of the stage.
So, again, not a full ARC gig.

This time though, we’ll be kicking it old-school.  Barry will be providing instructional/motivational projections and video and we’ll be accompanied by Martin Byrne, one of Belfast’s more prolific sonic artists.

So yeah, roll up roll up for ARCLight at OpenSourceNI, 3-5 Commercial Court, Belfast from 2-3pm on Sunday 4th of May 2014.

By Silverfish Imperetrix

By Silverfish Imperetrix whose incorrupted eye
Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By Salamander Drake and the power that was Undine
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes closed
You’ll know me by my black telescope

Your green tree mantle from which these things derive
A lens of quartz and refract scope
That crystal lens whose crystal rope once
Bound me to those doctors and wives
When my vision was oh, so cloudy
And I saw things through two eyes

I am a sailor on the raging depths
And I know a thing or two
Back to the corner, mates, and over the side
Yes, I know a thing or two

By Silverfish Imperetrix whose incorrupted eye
Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By Salamander Drake and the power that was Undine
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes closed
You’ll know me by my black telescope

Before my great conversion when the ridge was closed
Before my visit to the workshop of telescope

By Silverfish Imperetrix whose incorrupted eye
Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By Salamander Drake and the power that was Undine
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes closed
You’ll know me by my
Black telescope

Kick in the Pants (one please)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The four elements that compose
cocaine are the same as those that make up TNT, caffeine, and nylon:
hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. The combinations and
proportions of elements are different in each substance, of course. But
the point, for our purposes, is that the same raw materials lead to
different results. I foresee a similar drama unfolding in your own life,
Sagittarius. How you assemble the ingredients you currently have at your
disposal could produce either a rough and ragged high, a volatile risk, a
pleasant stimulation, or a useful resource. Which will it be?

A Curious Case

I’ve spent an afternoon relearning a short piece I wrote three or four years ago.
I came up with it the usual way, a chord pattern turns up under my fingers, then a second chord that I like, then a kept poking until I find a complete set.
A bit like collecting bubblegum stickers for a sticker album.
I recorded a quick and dirty sketch mainly to work out some harmonies but ended up with synth backing instead.
We used it as one of the pieces we performed with Shane & Terry until that fell apart, but I’ve hardly even thought about the piece since then.
Relistening to it last night I was a little irked at the sloppiness of the playing but mostly I was confounded by how obtuse I’d been in my note choice. I know my ear is a bit rusty and this just underscored that rust before going back over each letter with a biro.
I was deliberate in using chord fragments that don’t play to the usual major or minor & root configurations, and I think this piece is better for it even if the hand positions, the changes and the rhythm of it are awkward to play convincingly.

I tried to rerecord of to a click track once and failed completely, so I may try it again. If I can ever play it right.

SAGITTARIUS

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You have both a poetic and a cosmic
license to stretch yourself further. It’s best not to go too far, of course.
You should stop yourself before you obliterate all boundaries and break
all taboos and smash all precedents. But you’ve certainly got the
blessings of fate if you seek to disregard some boundaries and shatter
some taboos and outgrow some precedents. While you’re at it, you
might also want to shed a few pinched expectations and escape an
irrelevant limitation or two. It’s time to get as big and brave and brazen
as you dare.

From Rob Brezsny
http://FreeWillAstrology.com

Things may escalate quickly.