Did you know that the letter ‘C’ does not appear anywhere in the spellings of any numbers of the entire English counting system? In combination with the letter ‘a’, however, it proves peculiarly prevalent in its occurrence in the subject-titles of my endeavours this Autumn. As this is the time of year when one wants curl up under cashmere covers with a cayenned cabbage broth and some cardamom cakes gearing up to the customary candle-lit catering of carols and caviar, I hope I can entice you to listen to some recordings of my compositions which have recently been released on the engraved glass label. Or maybe I can draw your attention to an exciting collaboration with artist Harald Turek for which we have combined photographic and musical material based on the Carrigal Farm in County Tipperary, Ireland, and which has been assembled into a one-off book that will be exhibited by A Shoal of Mackerel Publishing in Denmark at the end of October. Or else, can I possibly lure you out of your cosy cottage for a handful of live gigs with my band French For Cartridge or for a performance of my piece for toy pianos and shadow puppets by Kate Ryder at the Cutting Edge Festival?
‘Canvas’ comes in the form of a 3” CD and features interpretations of two of my large-format scores: T-Tree for piano solo performed by myself and Cahiers Trouvés for electric guitars and effects performed by Henri Vaxby. It has been released on Jez Riley French’s engraved glass label as a .point engraved limited edition. Being involved in the artistic side of music as a field recording and sound sculpting specialist himself, Jez declares that “the . point engraved editions releases exist simply to release work by artists who I respect, admire or consider friends. Releases are always small limited editions. It isn’t a commercial venture – thank goodness!” ‘Canvas’ also got a great review by Richard Pinnell on The Watchful Ear http://www.thewatchfulear.com/?p=1620. You can buy the 21-minute miniature CD and find programme notes, pictures of the scores and all other information on http://engravedglass.blogspot.com/. I hope you will enjoy it!
“Carrigal” is an Irish word which stems from carrig [rock] and geal [bright]. Legend has it that there used to be a large stone circle made of a sort of rock which was very bright. At some point it got ploughed under as a local farmer was afraid of people trudging through his land to see it. Located in the heart of Ireland, the farm boasts 55 acres of land on which reside 67 cows and 2 hereford bulls. This collaborative project compiles photos and field recordings from the Carrigal farm by artists Harald Turek and Triona Ryan with my graphic/musical scores based on data and stories from the farm into a one-off book. To complete the 40 pages of collective artwork, my experimental duo with Henri Vaxby, une cartouche, has recorded a 4 minute piece attempting to recreate the sounds of the farm’s milking machines with Henri on acoustic guitar and myself on piano. This recording will feature, together with the original field recording of the dairy farm, on a one-off 7” vinyl included in the book. A fold-out map presenting the concerted efforts of Triona and myself puts the finishing touch to this extraordinary book about herd 41 in Tipperary, Ireland. Published by ‘A Shoal of Mackerel’, Carrigal will be on show in Denmark at Verbale Pupiller, Arhus Art Building from 22nd-25th October. More details on www.verbalepupiller.dk/english.html and www.ashoalofmackerel.com.
French For Cartridge
In the run-up to the release of the new album of my rock band French For Cartridge, we have booked a few live shows in London. We will play some new material as well as a few old favourites and we will be celebrating the official release of our singles Oooh! and Picture Negative which have gotten great reviews already. Artocker.com think we sound like ‘Mary Poppins on acid’ and Organ Magazine feels that we are ‘still as different as ever, still as unique, still as good’. If you want to see for yourself if our umbrellas and sounds are as spellbinding as Ms Poppins’, come and join us at one of the gigs listed below or buy our 7” vinyl single (which comes with a free download of the songs) from us by following this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=7240622 .
October 20th – Monto @ Underbelly, Hoxton Sq
This is a headline show and should be good fun! If you reply to this email with “cheap list” in the subject you’ll get in for a bit less and we’ll make it all worthwhile. Also playing is John Lawrence from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. www.themonto.com/listings_detail.php?listings_id=1323
November 11th – Bloody Awful Poetry @ The Lock Tavern, Camden
This is a great club night and it’s free! And we’ll play a more stripped down set which should be worth catching. www.bloodyawfulpoetry.com
November 25th – Club Fandango @ The Camden Head, Camden
Come and celebrate the official release of our single which should by then be available in all good record shops. www.clubfandango.co.uk
Finally, the illustrious Melusina will once more make an appearance in London, this time, at the celebrated Cutting Edge series of concerts at the Warehouse where pianist Kate Ryder will give an afternoon concert as part of the Sights&Sounds Day on Saturday, 14thNovember at 13.00.The programme includes Siegfried&Melusina for toy pianos, shadow puppets and a musical box, with puppets designed by Ellan Parry, amongst works by John Cage, Roger Redgate and Erollyn Wallen. The fabulous duo Ah! You Sitting Comfortably featuring baritone Peter Willcock with whom I worked on Shadowplays this summer, are also performing later that day. More details on www.kateryder.co.uk and www.soundandmusic.org/activities/festivalstours/thecuttingedge .
Voilà. That’s all for now. As always you will find any updates or last-minute additions on my website and myspace page. I hope you will have a lovely time drinking hot cacao in log cabins under the mistletoe. And if, within the cacophony of contemporary culture you are keeping an ear out for Santa’s four-legged cavalcade, beware the callous cackle of the cacomistle, a carnivourous cat you would not want to carelessly caress.