Tiny Boats

A dead puffin on the path
to the shore, steep.
It’s a dry kind of moment
in this unreal autumn, not knowing
whether to mourn or be curious
about the colours.

The shingle, a shell’s span
of time: the brittle crunch
beneath my feet. One tiny boat,
handmade, handpainted,
LV426
run aground on a driftwood trunk,
another further on,
a steamboat, its painted funnel
an exclamation in black, in red,
faint shout across the sound
to a safer haven.

Edinburgh, October 2020
(Following a walk to the beach at Eagle Rock)

Continuing the drift

Some of you will know that for several years I’ve operated a separate project (“Edinburgh Drift”) which has encompassed a sort of semi-fictional, semi-dreamlike notion of walking and wondering. And trying to put all of that into words as best I can.

This project will continue but I’ve decided to incorporate everything here, under my own name. The website edindrift.me will exist until it doesn’t, but any new work on the project will appear on this website, not the original Edinburgh Drift site.

Quite a number of people follow the original site, so if you get to read this and would like to follow this one instead, I’d be very grateful. On the right hand side of this page, there’s a WordPress follow button (if you use the WordPress reader) or you can also follow the site by email. Thanks!

Live in Glasgow, 13 July 1998

22 years ago: a rare Glasgow performance by Richard Youngs and me, put on by the inestimable Liam Stefani as one of his Scatter nights at the legendary 13th Note.

Richard and I performed a bowed bass guitar duo. Also on the bill that night was remarkable saxophonist Tony Bevan. We were lucky to have the opportunity to play a trio with him: bowed bass guitars and Tony’s subterranean bass saxophone.

Both the duo and trio performances are here to download for free/pay what you like on Liam Stefani’s Scatter Archive.

茶 A Quiet Song

A Quiet Song is a new release I’ve been working on for a few months, and which is now available. Call it an isolation hymn; a paean to inwardness and reflection; a song of songs without words.

Sing—quietly—with me to the birds of this strange summer, in ceremony not in cerements.

You can listen to and buy the album here.

Distants

Released today, Distants is a collection of compilation tracks, online pieces (self-released and released by others) and some other oddities. There’s one very short unreleased track, which comes from the same sessions as Suburban Electrification.

There are 28 pieces across more than 120 minutes, and there’s a lot of variety in tone and texturesomething for everyone, perhaps? I’ve set the release as “pay what you like” so you can download for free if you wish. If you do want to pay something for it, today (Friday 5 June) is one of the days when Bandcamp is waiving its fees so today would be the perfect opportunity for a purchase! (And all other releases are set the same way, too, in case there’s anything you’re missing…)

You can find Distants here.

Thanks to you all for listening and I hope you are able to stay safe and well.

A new recording – endecade

I’ve uploaded a long—a very long—field recording piece today, endecade. At 200 minutes’ duration, this is the longest single release I’ve created. Click on the image below to go to the download page.

Click to open the album page in a new tab

It’s a largely quiet and unassuming recording made in a suburban back garden somewhere in Edinburgh in the last few hours of the last decade. The punctuation points are revelry and fireworks, but it mainly just exists for its duration and allows the listener to exist in that duration too. I wasn’t present for any of the timespan of the piece; my contribution to it all is absence.

endecade is available as a pay what you like album—and you can of course download for free if you want.

Thanks for listening.

Psammomancy booklet & CD

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Fine sand is poured from a pouch,
trickled onto a tray or table,
fingertips are used to find figures,
tracing, erasing, effacing, shaping . . .

The mysterious art of sand reading explored in text by Mark Valentine and music by Brian Lavelle, with black and white photography by Jo Valentine.

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This collaborative project is published in February 2018 by Seacliff Press, a small press Mark and I have established. There’s a Twitter account here for occasional news items.

Professionally printed 16 page booklet with professionally duplicated CD. Limited to 120 numbered copies, of which 100 only are for sale. The cost is £8 plus postage (UK £1.50  ·  Europe £4.00  ·  Rest of World £5.00). Please click the appropriate button under your location below.

UK  ·  Psammomancy booklet & CD  ·  £9.50

Psammomancy booklet & CD - UK


Europe  ·  Psammomancy booklet & CD  ·  £12.00

Psammomancy booklet & CD - Europe


Rest of World  ·  Psammomancy booklet & CD  ·  £13.00

Psammomancy booklet & CD - Rest of World


Psammomancy is also available from Mark direct: contact markl [dot] valentine [at] btinternet [dot] com, removing spaces and replacing the words in brackets with characters.
(Note, the fifth character is the letter ell not the number one.)

Alternatively, I’m happy to accept payment by cheque in the UK. Get in touch if you’d like to pay that way.

Alternatively alternatively, click here to order on Bandcamp (at a slightly higher price, I’m afraid, to take into account the additional Bandcamp fees).

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