Don’t know where to start really, seems like a long time since I was in Cushendall and even longer since Todmorden. Thinking about coming home a bit and that seems like a nice idea. Not that I’ve not had an amazing time here of course.
It’s been bizarre how these two residencies with different people in different places have informed each other in ways I never imagined they would. Today Delphine and I made some music for an improv. dance class in Cork and it really opened my mind to chance. I’m not that convinced by improv. generally, I like my tunes, but – seeing these people moving to our sounds and hearing our sounds moving to the people was inspirational (not Rainbow Rhythms). I thought about Dial-a-bone from last week and developed the idea with Delphine tonight. We have the occasional lost in translation moment between us and it leads to strange places where we are happy to hang out for a while.
Greywood Arts is a special place and we’re honoured to be the first “proper” (Jessica said that, she’s the owner) guests. A fabulous building with more rooms than I’ve ever seen.
three new bits for ya –
dunno what was going on here really, channeling The Ghost Orchid / The Ghost Busters:
the classical channel hour:
massive pop jam, DD sounds like Nico!
Extremely happy to have this coming out. I love making music with Julian so much. Cheers to Justin at Front and Follow records for releasing ‘The Blow Part 3’ for us, out on the 19th May. We’ll be playing in Sheffield that night, will post details when I know them.
I came to the end of my stay in Cushendall this Friday just gone, what an eye opening week. The surroundings around the tower were deeply inspiring, do I need to live by the beach now? Possibly. I could see Scotland from the sand when I stood on the sand!
Willie, Natalia and Albie all joined me on the Wednesday and we spent time out recording on the shore. I was thinking about La Monte Young’s piece ‘Oceans’ and allowed the trombone tones to drift in and out with the tide. What a hippy. We threw a little get together at the tower on the Thursday inviting the locals (actually it was mostly tourists who joined us) in to see what Sandra and I had been up to that week. Good times were had. I have an instagram account you can have a look at some pictures on – https://www.instagram.com/sofingsofari/
I left for Athlone and played a house gig at Yasmin’s place. There were maybe 8 bands on the bill and the majority were trying out new ideas so I felt at home and performed the ‘Dial-a-bone’ idea live which I think went ok. There’s an audio diary coming after I get back to Tod of all this stuff I’m talking about so will be able to share the experiences further.
Now I’m just outside of Cork with Delphine Dora. The studio is set up at Greywood Arts and good to go – better get on with that.
I arrived at Cushendall’s Curfew Tower on Saturday night and met my fellow residency artist Sandra Bouguerch. Spent the evening getting to know Sandra at the local. Made friends with a butcher and watched the Grand National so VERY out of my comfort zone in terms of animal welfare. Didn’t realise quite how strongly I felt about this before. Really missing the dog.
Been walking around this area, such wonderful natural beauty. The beach is perfect and there’s a red squirrel sanctuary overlooked by a fairy hill nearby. If you told the girl from Stoke in me that she’d have an affinity with nature later in life we would both laugh. The town is so noisy which is a challenge for writing music in but I’ve decided to embrace it rather than fight against it. Room recordings are the way forward and barely any EQ.
I’ve been slightly obsessed with EVP recordings for some time now and perhaps it seems like an obvious thing to do in a 200 year old tower but I’ve been thinking a lot about ghosts. Space inbetween thoughts is often occupied with unwanted presences, I use a distraction method to counteract these but here the silence is too infrequent to need to. The mind is full of sounds and it’s hard to think. I’m reminded of a film I watched last year which was set in Hebden Bridge (forget the name) but I wrote a line down – “If I wanted to I could fill this room with ghosts, but I won’t” and I think I’ve just understood what it means. Fighting natural instincts.
Made some really weird music. Taught Sandra what wild garlic is. Been in bed really early every night.
 Dell’Universo Assente – Luciano Cillio, The Well-Tuned Piano – La Monte Young, Music of Morocco recorded by Paul Bowles 1959. The Slumber Party Massacre, 1982.
Just realised I’m playing two gigs in a row next week… really looking forward to coming back to Ireland again, third time in three years.
I’ve made a playlist of stuff that might inspire this trip to Ireland – enjoy!