Huis Clos: 17 July 2017

My first night in London after the conference I went to a much anticipated show where I finally got to meet Richard Sanderson of Linear Obsessional Recordings and hear him play. It was great! We had fun chatting before and after the performance (Mr B’s ears must have been ringing burning 😉 heh). The performance was utterly absorbing and the space, Iklectik, was really terrific and completely unexpected–goats in central London! Also, there were unexpected Blake mosaics. I was chatting with a friend of Richard’s after and it struck me why I find this kind of music so appealing at present: it requires all your attention without words. Anything that quiets my overbusy brain is good. More pix on FB of course.

Huis Clos: an evening exploring the subtleties of larger group improvisation (first as a whole, then as two ensembles)

Ed Lucas: trombone
Antonio Acunzo: piano
Joe Wright: saxophone
Jordan Muscatello: double bass
Richard Sanderson: Melodeon
Dan Powell: electronics
James O’Sullivan: electric guitar
Chris Prosser: violin

 

 

Out Now: Utterances

Out now from the biggest little label of love, Linear Obsessional Recordings, it’s Utterances, a whopping 112 tracks & 53 page booklet downloadable now for free!

If you look down to #21 it’s me reading an amended version of Blake’s Auguries accompanied by the John Cage prepared piano app. The mood of the moment, you might say. Here’s hoping for sweet delight and not endless night — at least for the holidays.

That’s my listening for the day sorted! Check out LO’s other recordings and find out why The Quietus calls them ‘a whole world of strange sounds and interesting ideas’ (totally agree!)

Free Love from The Pigeonhole

heartheart

Yes, that gif has been designed just to hypnotise you! Or at least it’s there to get your attention. I think. Sign up for this free multimedia event which takes place both online and on the Southbank and you will be rewarded with many musings about love — including a song by me. That’s right. I am full of surprises.

Don’t you need a little extra love?

P.S. If you like the song, it’s available on this Linear Obsessional recording:

Save

Letters on Love

lady-love-arrow
Coming next month from The Pigeonhole: Letters on Love, a multimedia extravaganza on love letters. Here’s the scoop:

This September, we will be teaming up with writers, artists and musicians to create the first multi-faceted, mixed-media message on the vagaries of our most fascinating emotion – love. Over two weeks you will receive love letters, some from strangers, some from familiars, but all will teach you something important. Read with others from around the globe and join in the love discussion. With a collaboration with the Southbank Centre to boot, this promises to be one of our best Pigeon books yet. Sign up now to be part of something brilliant.

Of course I’m telling you about this because I will be part of it! Guess what? My contribution is not a story but a song. The thing I never dared to do when I was much younger because I was so afraid of looking a fool — sing! Of course now I’m old enough to not care what people think (mostly, heh). And there’s more coming whether you want it or not. Details anon — but thanks to Richard Sanderson at Linear Obsessional Recordings for first opening the window of opportunity.

Sign up for free here and you’ll get updates from The Pigeonhole in your mailbox. Check out their community reads for other ongoing books and have fun.

The news cheered me in the midst of the season of bells, balls and bulls. August always has that touch of melancholy, for this Proserpina must soon return to the underworld. In the mean time I shall continue on as Johanna Factotum with tiger-heart (what kind of hide wraps it, I cannot say).

Out Now: Open the Window

open the window
For the third year in a row, Richard Sanderson has put together a FREE compilation of recordings from people around the world. Isn’t it wonderful he’s willing to go to all that trouble? This year’s proposal:

This compilation will be both more focused conceptually and yet freer. I would like you to open the window of your home (or your workplace etc) and record two minutes of what you hear. You can choose, if you wish, to use your open window sound as a backdrop to something else – music, song, words, other domestic sounds, but the window must be open and something of the outside world must be audible.

I joined in by opening my window to the midday traffic on State Route 23B and then singing a jazzy little song ‘Intoxicate Me’ with some hand percussion. I’m using my stage name, Victoria Squid, because I enjoy pretending to be someone else (and why not?). Clever folk will know where I got that name.

So check out all the fabulous recordings from Linear Obsessional Recordings because they are all interesting and widely various in styles from the experimental to the popular. You can listen to them all before ordering them, too. Here are my previous efforts:

Out Now: Two Minutes Left

Out now for FREE download from Linear Obsessional Recordings:

“Two Minutes Left” contains 87 tracks by a wide spectrum artists – each track exactly two minutes long and using a microphone in their creation. Free Download only- including a 25 page PDF booklet of notes and images. Happy Christmas and thanks for all your support!

Includes my crazy attempt to be a Deutscher chanteuse, “Kinski Butterfly” (click that link for the story behind it). I can hardly believe I did this. Thanks to Richard Sanderson for being such a terrific wrangler and irrepressible experimenter (and doubtless a member of my karass). Check out all the cool and experimental music at LOR, including last year’s Button Box, which I was also able to be part of 🙂 — listed under things I never thought I’d do!

Always do the things that frighten you!

In the accompanying booklet (chock full of atmospheric photography), Richard writes:

I really am delighted with this compilation, it seems to me to be ultimately a celebration of being human, and a celebration of friendship and collaboration.

Oh yes.

Behind the bar!

Behind the Kinski bar!

Kinski Butterfly

Richard Sanderson is doing another one of his free-for-all projects Two Minutes Left over at Linear Obsessional Recordings (Submissions open until December 15th). I took part in last year’s Button Box with a spoken word piece from my story “Carlos” that appears in the second Fox Pockets anthology, Shapeshifters. That recording is free to download:

So I thought I’d do another piece, which came about in the usual sort of odd way. There was visiting the Kinski Bar, which I loved so very much and which still fills my head. There’s Fitzcarraldo and its mirror Burden of Dreams, or what you might call the magic and how mad the magic making is. And there was this video of Kinski with a butterfly, which comes from Mein Liebster Feind, Werner Herzog’s singular tribute to his frequent collaborator. Then I found that the German for ‘butterfly’ (der Schemetterling) according to the Wicktionary (well…) comes “from Schmetten (‘cream’) due to old belief that witches transformed themselves into butterflies to steal cream and other milk products.”

Well, that was irresistible.

So I came up with a submission–and in German! “Kinski Butterfly” is more of a poem than a song, I fear. It stole a bit from thinking about opera because of Fitzcarraldo, and from Marlene and Weill — trying to do something in that sort of vein with my, erm, very limited abilities. But that’s how my brain works (if it does). Once I see a thing in my head, I want to make it real. Every random thing that’s caught my attention might show up. It’s all part of the process. Everything, however seemingly random or insignificant (or immense and significant), that goes in my head becomes part of the creative process. And I end up doing rather frightening things that I never thought I’d try — I know it’s not exactly leaping from a tall building, but sometimes the little braveries have a big impact on one’s own life.

We’ll see how it turns out once Richard releases the collection on Xmas Eve.