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.
Released today, Distantsis 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 texture—something 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…)
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.
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.
Psammomancy is 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.)
I’ve been listening to the Weather tonight, and for a large part of this week in fact.
By that I mean I’ve been listening to the fruits of the Space Weather recording session last Saturday in Glasgow. The line-up was as it is now and ever shall be, amen: Alistair Crosbie (electric guitar), me (synthesizer) and Andrew Paine (electric bass guitar).
It was another excellent session, full of laughter and joyous camaraderie, and it makes me think that for all we strive to do our solo recordings on our own to the best of our abilities, there is nothing like playing good music with good friends. I begin to see why certain people hate all the faff of studio work and live to play live together, whether that’s in front of an audience or not. There are some moments and extended passages of real beauty in what we did at the weekend, and that’s down to the three of us doing more or less with what we have in front of us.
There were pieces from the session which were just beautiful: understated and contemplative, but slowly burning with that strange SW magic that infects the first album we’ve already done (the cover is image at the top of this post).
There are also moments of pure wonderment at how these tracks come across in their recorded form, when compared to how I remember us playing them. Did we actually do this? It seems hard to believe. But the actuality of the smiles on our faces as we played them, and the memory of those smiles now, are the greater rewards in all of this.
One of the pieces essayed on Saturday was a long floating instrumental, which reminds me quite a bit of the work of a US group called Alien Planetscapes, who were stalwarts of the 80s home taper scene. They worked in a few experimental styles, but this kind of eerie space rock, with brilliant free floating bass (courtesy of Mr. P), was the kind of thing they did best I think.
One more session like last Saturday’s and we will have a second album to contend with before the first is even out. It makes you think…