The sea at night is black, black as an evil soul. Even when surrounded by light, illuminated by the bright moon rays, it only reveals the intensity of the blackness. Tonight I went down to the beach late to see the angry tide galloping towards the shore. Standing on the pebbles in the darkness as the waves got closer, taking one, then two steps back to avoid getting my boots wet. A man and his dog were also on the beach, the man had a torch so he could see where the dog was running around (the dog was brown). I stood there for a while growing accustomed to the darkness but it wasn’t the pitch black of a cloudy night in the countryside, there were the lights of Newlyn, the string of bulbs along the promenade and the street lights from the parallel road. There were clouds in the sky but they were moving fast and although at one point a black cloud obscured the half-moon, other translucent clouds floated by intermittently dulling the moon’s light until it was cloud-free and leaving a coruscating flash across the bay.
Higher in the sky tonight, a bright orange, was Mars with millions of Martian microbes, dead armies of the past, losers of forgotten wars in an ancient galaxy before the Earth saw life. This and a thousand sparkling eyes staring down on a troubled planet. One wonders if there is anybody out there, can they help or are we a lost cause? When you’re standing alone on a beach in a sleepy town on a peninsula, a dot, a speck of dust in infinity, the big questions seem as insignificant as Earthlings do in the universe. There was a cosy glow emanating from the windows of the houses near the shore, the occupants awaiting their fate on a comfy couch and to think that in a little over a 100 years everyone that is living on the planet today will be gone, replaced by new blood with new visions and new existential problems.
In the pool today I carried on the routine of swimming a mile (No.24) on a wet and windy day that had me fighting the rain all the way up to the leisure centre. The glade was drenched, the mixed green and brown leaves had a shiny film and I trod carefully to avoid slipping. It was then that I realised that this might not actually be a glade. A glade is an open space in a forest, this isn’t that, I think this might actually be a grove, a small wood – I’m glad I cleared that up.
We were in the studio today, Dare was editing piano on Ahad’s songs but in between, we did some backing vocals as we get to completing the recording of the album. There’s still the mix to do but we are also working on the Arctic Lake EP, one song mixed, two vocal and guitar songs and one instrumental track to augment. When these are complete we will be waiting for new material from all three artists we have worked with – Ahad, Tony and Arctic Lake and Jed and Space Summit – and more material is coming, I see it, I feel it, I know it, it’s approaching fast so we’d better get on with finishing what we have to make room for the new songs. But when do we continue with the next Noctorum album?
It’s Saturday so it’s football day, Manchester United drew 0-0 with Chelsea and Liverpool beat Sheffield United 2-1 but it was on Sky Box Office and £14.95 for 90 minutes seems like a lot when so many of the games come with the subscription anyway. Sadly it was the Liverpool game that was charged today. Man City drew 1-1 with West Ham, a great result for the Hammers and Fulham managed to lose again 1-2, this time at home to Crystal Palace, a late goal was way too late. On Friday, Leeds won 0-3 away to Aston Villa with a Bamford hat-trick that must have had them reeling after whooping Liverpool 7-2.
Music today was chosen at random by Olivia and she happened upon Stomu Yamashta’s East Wind. He is a Japanese percussionist who has made some wonderful Jazz-Rock albums. From Wikipedia: “He is best known for pioneering and popularising a fusion of traditional Japanese percussive music with Western progressive rock music in the 1960s and 1970s”. Freedom Is Frightening (1973) featured Gary Boyle from Isotope on guitar and Hugh Hopper from Soft Machine on bass with Brian Gascoigne on keys and if you like this kind of thing…One By One (1975 – cover photograph by Mick Rock) is the soundtrack to a film about the deadliness of Formula 1. It’s the same lineup except for Sammi Abu, vocals, congas and flute, and Nigel Morris on drum kit.
Olivia stayed on the percussive connection and dug out Bill Bruford and the Swiss virtuoso Patrick Moraz and the album Flags from 1985. It sounds like it was recorded in the eighties with some of the choices of sounds made by this famous drummer (Yes, King Crimson) and keyboardist (Yes, Moody Blues) but generally, it’s an interesting intellectual romp through pre-planned improvisations, that covers jazzy flourishes with experimental piano lines and precise percussive passion.
In 1987 Bruford instigated the Earthworks project which was another intellectual jazzy instrumental project. The band: Iain Bellamy on alto, soprano and tenor sax, Django Bates, tenor horn, trumpet, keys, Mick Hutton on upright bass and Dave Stewart from Uriel, Egg, Khan, Hatfield and the North, and National Health as producer and sampler. The music is smart and will only appeal to a certain audience, I’m not that audience but like it anyway.