Listening to Small Craft on a Milk Sea

I was listening to this album for the first time today and it wasn’t what I was expecting really. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I did, but I guess I thought I was going to get something a little bit more like Another Day on Earth which I really loved, or maybe like Everything that Happens will Happen today.

Anyway. I’ve still enjoyed it a lot, but I think I need to listen to it some more. In fact, a lot more.

Listening to myself

I’ve mentioned before that I’m currently going through a process of moving all my old cassettes to digital. It will take a long, long, long, time. I assure you.

But part of the process is listening to music I haven’t heard in years. Mostly things I’ve recorded myself, some great, some terrible, some embarrassing, and all enjoyable in one way or another.

It is a good reminder of why I love music, why I love the creative process. A reminder that software and hardware are just tools for doing something creative and should be looked at as that.

I think it can be really easy to get lost in tools you’re using to the point where you focus so much on what the tool can do and can’t do that you forget what it is you’re trying to achieve. That’s the danger and listening to my old stuff made with simple hardware and usually no software at all made me realise that perhaps I need to think long and hard about where my music is going, or more importantly the fact that it isn’t going anywhere at the moment.


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Getting to the end of Dune

I’m a big fan of audio books and have been for ages. I used to have a lot of walking to do on my journey to work every day and it was a good way of listening to more than just music.

I’ve listened to all sorts of things from fiction to history to music theory, and over the last few weeks I’ve finished listening to one of the biggest stories. Dune.

I’ve listened to:

  • Dune
  • Dune Messiah
  • Children of Dune
  • God Emperor of Dune
  • Heretics of Dune
  • Chapterhouse Dune

It feels kind of odd to have finished listening to the books now. A bit like there’s no where left to go.

I know that there are the prequel books and a few others in the franchise too now, and I’ll probably get around to listening to those at some point, but for now it feels like an ending, and it is.


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Listening to Laurie

I found this tape the other day when I was clearing out old cassettes (a job that’s going to take me a while I think).

I’d forgotten I even had this, so it is great to listen to Laurie Anderson as I’ve been a fan for many years now, and interesting to hear her talk about her work in the present tense from so long ago.


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Sleepwalkers

I’ve only just bought this album as it only came out today. It’s the first album from David Sylvian since his difficult Manafon album.

Although this is a compilation people have already been saying good things about it, so I’m really looking forward to giving it a thorough listen. Probably tomorrow now.


Record Store Day 2018

Last year I skipped record store day as I’d been queuing at Sister Ray Records in Soho for about 3 hours and at the end of the process I’d got 1 7″. That was all. I wasn’t terribly happy about that at all, as you can imagine. So I said to myself that I wouldn’t…

David Sylvian as a Philosopher

I got this book a week ago and as it’s so short I’ll probably read it very soon. I’m looking forward to it to see just what kind of arguments are made for this. We’ll see.

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Remembering Bands from a long time ago

I decided to start digitising my huge collection of old cassettes. A daunting task. I’ve been putting off doing it for years. Really years and years.

But it needs doing. I started off with a tape of a load of bands that I put on in the nineties at an open mic type event in South London that I used to run once a month.

It is fantastic to listen to some of these bands and their songs again. Songs that have been forgotten by most of the people that heard them.

I don’t even know most of the people who played at those gigs. I wish I hadn’t lost touch, but it is a fact of life that we move on and people drift and do different things and stop being in bands. A shame, but that’s the way it is.

I suppose in a way listening to all this old stuff is a way of reliving the past, but there’s nothing terribly wrong with that. Also you start to remember why some of those songs never got anywhere!

It’s fun to do, and who knows if I’ll get through all of those tapes?


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Little Girls with 99 Lives

I bought this CD EP without ever having heard Ingrid Chavez before. I knew very little about her music I just knew that David Sylvian was on it and I am a long time fan of his.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how beautiful this EP is. It starts of in a fairly conventional form and gets progressively more experimental with each track, which is fine with me. However, it never gives up any of the lyrical elegance that struck me when I first listened to it.

Since listening to it several times over the weekend I’ve bought a few more Ingrid Chavez tracks, and her music is really growing on me now.


Ingrid Chavez, Little Girls with 99 lives, signed copy
Ingrid Chavez, Little Girls with 99 lives, signed copy

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WOMAD: A Musical Buffet

My last post was about going to WOMAD, and since then I’ve been thinking about why I like festivals so much, especially ones like WOMAD, in fact, especially WOMAD.

A lot of UK festivals are just too big for me. I like smaller festivals like WOMAD where I can wander around easily and go from one stage to another quite quickly. That’s one of the things I love about festivals I can check out lots of different acts during the course of a day and stay for 5 minutes or watch the whole show.

It is like a kind of musical buffet where I sample some things and don’t get on with them, and others I have to eat the lot. If you know what I mean.

In some ways this goes against what I’d said before about listening and consuming music. I guess that this buffet approach to must is further along the consumer path then the dedicated listen. However, in many ways it is different from that argument.

I always enjoy coming away from WOMAD with a few new things to listen to, and this year they were.

I really enjoyed these three for very different reasons. They were the best bits of my buffet!


WOMAD memories 1: Mitsoura

As I was thinking about WOMAD I started remembering some of the high points over the years and I thought I’d share them. One such high point was when WOMAD was back in Reading, before it moved to Charlton Park in Wiltshire. I remember seeing Mitsoura for the very first time there. They were amazing.…

A day at WOMAD

I wasn’t able to spend the whole weekend at WOMAD this year, I was only able to go for the day this year. Which was ok. The weather was pretty awful on the Friday, so the Saturday was a good option in the end. So as always here’s the obligatory photo of the flags. I…

I miss Mitsoura

They only released two albums and the last was a long time ago. Dura Dura Dura (their last album) was excellent as was their first album but it’s been years since they did anything. It’s a shame. I wish they’d done more. I’ve checked their site occasionally and there’s never anything new. I suppose it’s…

Real World 25

I felt compelled to get this nice little box set at WOMAD this year. I’ve got quite a lot of the tracks already, but it’s really well put together and it came with a load of bits and pieces like postcards and stuff, most of which have actually survived the weekend and trip home. I…

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