Remember last year when I announced the Museum of Dust radio show? I’m still doing it, and now I’ve made a page with archived audio and full track lists, so you can listen to any of them again, any time you want, and attempt to find the identity of that one bit you liked. Over here, look: /museum-of-dust/
Big news: I now have a monthly radio show on CAMP, the broadcasting wing of the arts residency facility high in the French Pyrenees.
This is proper dream-come-true stuff for me – I’ve always wanted an outlet to play whatever the heck I want, all my favourite music, without having to worry about commercial pressure, or people coming up and asking me to turn this crap off and play some Oasis instead.
The first show, Tuesday 11 August, is archived here:
Tuesday 8 September, 8-10pm (BST)
Tuesday 6 October, 8-10pm (BST)
and so on, every 4th Tuesday until I run out of things to play, or they kick me off.
Seems so long ago now, but back in the middle of last year I painted a huge mural onto the side of Pontio, the arts centre in Bangor.
I was given a poem, written in collaboration with some local schoolchildren, and asked to locate it somewhere in the building in an interest and eye-catching way. After some thought, and after a bunch of ideas were rejected for various (legitimate) practical reasons, it came to pass that I hand-painted a gigantic work onto an exterior wall. Here’s an animation of work-in-progress, because I’m sure everyone wants to know which bits were done in which order:
Big thanks to the Pontio team, especially the tech crew, who were all extremely helpful, and without whom I couldn’t have done this.
Here’s a video of me attempting to answer the question ‘If I don’t know how to play any chords, what else can I do with this thing?’ in front a live audience, with my pal Ash on the other side of the table answering a similar question, but in his case he does know how to play chords, he just chooses not to.
My friend Ash and I have recorded an album of guitar duets, and the album is available to buy on CD or digital formats via Linear Obsessional Recordings. It’s not your usual Live Forever / Wonderwall-inspired acoustica, but we’re proud of it and had a lot of fun recording it. Gwrth-gitâr is a term we coined – it means anti-guitar, because although it doesn’t reject melody outright, it rejects the need for it. It’s inspired by the question ‘we all know what an acoustic guitar is normally used for, but what else can it do?’.
As middle-age sets in, I continue to churn out music. You can download this one for free, or you can buy a limited edition CDr in a beautiful wooden (teak veneer) case, or you can do neither.
‘Spraingksths’ is a word invented by Bambos, to whom the album is dedicated. It’s the longest possible single-syllable word (in terms of standard English phonemes).
Ebbw Vale has a very photogenic multistorey car park.
I spent a couple of days over the Christmas break messing around with an old 6-chord JubelTöne zither that I found at a car boot sale. It’s seen better days, and has not been tuned. This is what happened:
In preparation for a new project I recently went through my archives of field recordings, fragments of various sound bits collected over the years. I’ve recorded a lot of pointless audio, it’s true, so I ended up deleting a whole bunch of stuff that was badly recorded, or just boring, but in amongst it all were some things that were worth keeping. So I thought that with a bit of editing, some of them might be interesting for other people to hear. I’ve compiled them into three volumes, because no-one wants to be presented with a single, huge archive dump, do they? Plus, of course, creating three volumes means a more impressive discography (and more entries on discogs.com).
I’ve recently been messing around with an old three-quarter-size guitar I found at the car boot sale. It was £2, had no strings, saddle or nut, so I added those myself, and given that it’s quite difficult to play properly (not that I actually have much interest in doing so), I’ve been figuring out what else it can do. Here are the results of some of my investigations. Preparations include fidget spinners, paper clips, sandpaper, wool, suction cups, a cactus and roll-on deodorant. It some of it seems a bit ‘warts and all’, well, that’s the nature of research.
and here’s the third and final part of the acoustic guitar trilogy, recorded on a full size with steel strings.