The last episode of The Newcomers ties it all up and ends with a birth. It’s shorter than the first 2 episodes and comes in at just over 40 minutes. The ending I have is a bit abrupt but I’m not sure what you could have followed it by anyway. Ultimately it’s all I’ve got and if there was any more only time will tell as far as I’m concerned. Sorry I can’t be bothered to capture any stills and add them to this post, sheer laziness on my part. It’s not that I don’t care, I’m just tired that’s all. Too many bortsch parties.
Anyway after about 40 or so seconds into the film there’s some good shots from the top of Clifton Heights which at that time must have been under construction. See here for a bit about the history of that building. Nothing much has changed in those 50 years except for the vehicles.
At 7:12 the advert on the bus reads
Butlins Minehead Open-Day Visits
And at 12:10 you can watch a man with a cigarette terrify a child so that she disappears outside a telephone kiosk that is there no longer.
At 25:34 some of the newspaper headlines read
BRITISH CLUB IN CYPRUS WRECKED
OLD TIN BEEF STARTED TYPHOID
and then immediately afterwards a woman with 7 dogs only one of which is on a lead walk across a street. Ah those were different times. I like to think that back then the ladies all studied the rules of verse and the poets rolled their eyes.
it’s been a while since i put up a poster for a gig. it’s not that i haven’t been doing any gigs i just haven’t really worked too hard at either producing posters or even if i’ve done that posting them on the internet. but rosie’s sent me this one tonight and so i thought i’d represent it for the good of the community because this is a good cause gig. i’ll say no more. i will be playing with rosalind moreno-parra. she will be singing, i’ll play guitar and carola hengstenberg will play violin. it works pretty well. carola’s only been playing improvised music for the last 6-8 months but she’s a very accomplished violinist with a beautiful tone and actually she’s a natural improviser as it turns out – very good ear and sense of melody – so if you can make it to see us (about 9pm i believe though i can’t guarantee that’s right – from experience these multi-act events can be chaotic) it will not be in vain.
Here’s something I recorded on Christmas Day this year. A 5 minute guitar improvisation looped. It’s my final comment on the year but tells us nothing new.
I happen to be reading a book Lives of Roman Christian Women at the moment. For my seasonal offering this year here is the prayer of a remarkable woman, Macrina, which comes from the day of her death in about 380 CE.
You O Lord have freed us from the fear of death
You have made the end of this life to be the beginning of our true life.
You allow our bodies to rest for a time in sleep and wake us up again at the last trumpet.
You have given in trust to the earth our earthly bodies which you have shaped with your own hand.
You have restored what you have given, transforming what is mortal and shapeless in us by means of immortality and beauty.
You have redeemed us from the curse of the law and from sin, becoming both for us.
You have crushed the heads of the dragon which seized us in its jaws, dragging us through the yawning gulf of disobedience.
You have prepared the way for the resurrection, smashing down the gates of hell, and have destroyed the one who had power over death.
You have given as a token to those who fear you the sign of the holy cross so that we can destroy the enemy and bring stability to our lives.
God eternal, at whom I threw myself from the moment I left my mother’s womb.
You whom my soul has loved with all its strength, you to whom I dedicated my flesh and my soul from my youth until this moment, give me as companion a bright angel who will take me by the hand and lead me to the place of refreshment where flows the water of repose in the bosom of the holy fathers.
You have cut through the flame of the fiery sword and allowed the man who was crucified with you and who threw himself on your mercy to enter paradise.
Remember me, too, in your kingdom when I am crucified with you, I who out of fear of you have nailed down my flesh and have feared your judgements.
Do not let the terrifying chasm separate me from your chosen ones.
Do not let the jealous one block my way.
Do not let my sin be revealed before your eyes, if I have sinned in word or deed or thought, led astray by the weakness of my nature.
You who have power on earth to forgive sins, forgive me so that I may draw breath.
Grant that I may come into your presence when I shed my body and that my soul, holy and without blemish, will be received into your hands like incense before your face.
The 2nd episode of The Newcomers is again well worth a watch for a number of reasons. One of the main of which for me is the ability to see the streets I wander round today as they looked 50 years ago. The sequence that starts at 1:20 passes at 1:33 the house where I live. If you pause there a small boy is just going past the house at that point. The milkman is about to deliver. As the car drives along the road there are a total of 5 cars parked outside houses. Any time of the day now that you drove down there now there would be over a hundred. For a couple of minutes the camera takes us past the streets that I walk sometimes of an evening. Here’s a still which shows one viewpoint where I often pause to look over to Dundry hill and ponder on the distance and the weather fronts that usually come up that way. Once I took tripod and camera and filmed at night for quite a long time. I believe a moon was involved. Sadly I’ve never found and looked at that footage. This is one of the sightings of the building that I currently work in. In fact I spend a frustratingly large number of hours there at the present.
And here’s a distant glance of another house I once lived at which is in the film at 7:39. That was between the years 1999 to 2001. You hope all your years are good some better than others you might hope I think those were good years in retrospect.
The other sequence that grabs me most in this episode starts at 34:25 and is a panoramic sweep taken from the topmost point of The Paragon which pans right to left from Clifton Suspension Bridge to Clifton Wood again passing the place I work which is pictured below. Now I come to think of it, it does certainly look like a prison. Well originally it was a prison for dried tobacco leaves I suppose, but let’s face it they weren’t sentient enough to know that it was prison, life had already lost its savour. I can get to that though. You know there are different types of reality and sometimes the paler, blander ones are fundamentally better.
The final quarter of the episode features heavily the building I worked in before the current one and there’s a still of that below. Actually they’re both pretty decent places to work in. They’re both historical buildings which counts for something to me. You get that element of history that doesn’t come with a modern building unless it’s a top design modern building.
And finally here’s the episode itself – it’s nearly 50 minutes long.
Here’s a couple of tracks from the new neureille album surd rime. I meant to do a lot more with it but sadly I’ve not felt that I had enough time and space to do all those things such as…
Promotion, distribution, dissemination, application, phosphorence, stability, strata
In particular I was supposed to organise an album launch party that could have been a starting place a building block foundation or something of that sort. Instead just 2 tracks from the thing. 2 bits of stuff which I can no longer judge. That’s how it should be I suppose.
Firstly Caspian Gates which is a potted history of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). It doesn’t tell you a great deal about him sorry about that. But if you’re interested it’s fairly easy to find out. One of the interesting things about the Caspian Gates – the gates that is and not the song – is that nobody is sure exactly where they are geographically or at least where the mythological site of the gates is.
And the other song is called Love On A Moving Platform which is a song about moving platforms and love. Adolf Hitler had a dream about leading his country. It came true. So not all dreams that come true are good things. Surely some are but possibly not.
Love On A Moving Platform
If you’d like to buy either of these tracks or indeed the whole album or other albums come to that you can do so by going to the Buy Stuff page which is on the menu at the top of the page. I can’t say fairer than that can I?
The 2 songs feature as well as myself Paul Wigens on drums Mike Mulholland on bass guitar Rosalind Moreno-Parra and Jane Thomason on backing vocals.Thanks again to all those musicians and the fantastic work they put in with very little direction from myself.
the next episode of the rock ‘n’ roll years covers 1957. i’ve put together a list of some of the classic films of that year. the choice is fairly arbitrary and it could well be that i haven’t actually seen some of those that i’ve listed. only one of them i think is mentioned in the programme. it’s not difficult to guess which. i only have dvds for 3 of them. at least i think i have. if i don’t have them now i once had. you can have a look through and guess which those are.
||throne of blood
||the seventh seal
||the bridge on the river kwai
||gunfight at the ok corral
||3:10 to yuma
||12 angry men
||the admirable crichton
||the incredible shrinking man
||a king in new york
||nights of cabiria
||wild is the wind
ok i’ll put you out of your misery though if you knew me well and knew your films you might have got that. it’s the kurosawa the bergman and the fellini. 3:10 to yuma i remember watching with my brother on tv it was a great film. i haven’t watched the remake to be frank i’d rather see the original again which i don’t think i’ve seen since that time on tv which was probably back in the 60s.
Posted in birds, film, rock n roll years
Tagged akira kurosawa, alec guiness, cecil parker, Charles Chaplin, david lean, delmer daves, doc holliday, elvis presley, federico fellini, fred astaire, george cukor, giulietta masina, glenn ford, ingmar bergman, jack arnold, jack hawkins, joan of arc, john sturges, lewis gilbert, luchino visconti, macbeth, otto preminger, richard thorpe, sidney lumet, stanley donen, van heflin, yasujirō ozu
Earlier this year I wrote in a post that I was determined to write a song in Esperanto before the end of the year. I haven’t done so yet, but I’ve gone a certain way along the path in recording another improvisation in which I make heavy use of numbers 1 to 10 in the said language and I’ve given it an Esperanto title. I mentioned a couple of months earlier that I was reading a certain book by Mr Wells and the Esperanto language does feature to a certain extent in the book where it is used as a symbol of a posited future where peace is a possibility.
Also enveloped within the music-scape is the traditional song Scarborough Fair. I will be performing on Saturday at Lance and Libby Cross’s wedding anniversary party which will be a pleasure. My good friend Ant Noel and I will be running it in an open mic style. Including ourselves there should be also appearing Jane Thomason, Franny McGirr, Dan Ashby, Everton Hartley, Rosalind Moreno-Parra and probably some others. Whether I will get round to doing something like this piece is not definite. All I know for sure is that I will be playing my song Wishing Well at some point because it’s a particular favourite of Lance’s.
Then on Monday I’m supporting Jane for her album launch. For that occasion I will be doing a set accompanying Rosie with me and Everton on guitar. The 1st song on Jane’s new album was written after seeing a gig Rosie and I did last December just before Christmas at a tango milonga. I’m so pleased she did that it’s beautiful as is the whole album.
Here’s the latest improvisation. It’s the 3rd in a series and it’s a bit over 20 minutes long. Everything was recorded live.
Posted in gigs, music, Uncategorized, wells
Tagged ant noel, dan ashby, esperanto, everton hartley, franny mcgirr, hg wells, jane thomason, lance cross, libby cross, mr britling, rosalind moreno-parra
About 15 years ago somebody my next door neighbour I think lent me a VHS tape which contained the 3 episodes of a documentary set in Bristol in the early 60s. It was directed by John Boorman who was working for the BBC at the time. Having 2 VHS machines I took a copy for myself then nearly a decade later I transferred it to DVD and decided to put it up on youtube in a series of episodes each about 10 minutes long. It took me a number of years to get the whole thing done. There was a particularly long gap about half way through when I thought that hardly anybody seemed interested and it was too much trouble to sort it out but I persevered and eventually many people thanked me for doing it and I even corresponded a bit with one of the grandchildren of the 2 main protagonists of the documentary. So when I decided to drop out of youtube I was a bit sorry that it would be no longer available for those who were glad of the opportunity to view it.
I’ve no idea if anyone has reinstated it on any social network video sharing platform but it seemed a good idea for me to host it on my own website. Nowadays it’s more practical to place films of some length on the web so I’m going to post it in the 3 original episodes. Here is episode 1 and I think it is possibly the best of the 3.
Please note that because it’s about 49 minutes long it may take a little while to load.
You can find this now on Youtube, I don’t know if my version is better but here it is anyway I hope you like it. I have most of this series from the 80s and I will try to work my way through it. For me it starts a couple of years after I was born so it is pertinently particularly poignant for it is the story of what was happening during my life and when it gets to the 60s sometimes it still seems a bit of a shock when you go through it all. It was impossible to make sense of it then and is maybe even more impossible to make sense of later.
One thing that is clear in this first episode of the series is how white-centric the early popular breakthrough of the music was although it was essentially the elements of black American music that made the whole thing so exciting to people. It’s not until near the end of the episode that the first black artist (Little Richard) features and the division between the all black band and the well-dressed white couples who make up the audience shows clearly that a crossover between the two worlds could not possibly be depicted on a popular film.
i like the way in my cd collection that my music nestles between different artists depending on which name i categorise myself under. with neureille i’m there between meshell ndegeocello and nico which seems pretty cool and then with robert vasey i snuggle between sharon van etten and ralph vaughan williams. so if i have to come up with another band name i’ll go for moling. that’s not too bad really. it’s easier to pronounce than my current effort,
one of the things i learnt today is that ralph vaughan williams set a number of verses by walt whitman to music dona nobis pacem for example. i also learnt that rvw fought during world war 1 having initially enlisted as a private/stretcher-bearer although he was old enough to have got dispensation. i’m reading 2 books at the moment 1 about ww1 which is hg wells’ mr britling sees it through which i’ve read before and is a good way of getting in to the mindset of what it was actually like back then and then there’s william t vollman’s book europe central which is reaching back to ww2 from the future but wtv is good at doing that.
if you look at certain factors leading up to 1914 and similarly to 1939 then both of these events seem inevitable. but at the time it was easy to have an optimistic faith in human progress that was unable to believe in the latent possibilities of horror. hopefully we’re not right now just entering a phase like that. all the 60 years of my life it’s seemed like it could happen pretty much just any time.
having also just finished reading philip k dick’s the man in the high castle which is about what would have happened if the axis powers had won ww2, i hope that this is not an omen but if it does happen then you read it first here, or if not i wrote it first here.