In the studio today working with Arctic Lake with Olivia and I singing and Dare and I playing rhythm guitars. We are working on two projects at the moment, a couple of days on Ahad and then a couple more days on Arctic Lake trying to get them finished before we leave for Portugal. But, it looks like the drive to Portugal is not going to be possible as France is going into lockdown from Friday till December 1st. At this point, we don’t know if England will go into lockdown. Spain has also declared a lockdown situation that could go on for six months. We can only hope that we are allowed to fly.
Today I got a package in the post that had a $100 value and the customs want $32 in duty and admin charges before I can pick it up. So please if you send me anything to the In Deep Music Archive do not put a high value on it. I suppose that from January 1st this issue with duty is going to be the same with anything received from Europe. Postage is already so expensive, when you start adding duty on top it becomes painful – should I buy the record or eat?
After the studio today we had to rearrange the live room which means putting all the amps on one side of the room, the reason, Kev the drummer is coming in! Kev is originally from New Zealand and his drum kit is so massive that I think he must have sailed it to England, I thought I saw an oar. So Dare will be working in the studio with that project tomorrow and I’ll be in the archive hearing drum takes for hours, so what can I listen to that will compete – Black Sabbath? Metallica? Judas Priest? I guess it won’t be Nick Drake.
Outside it was windy, it was rainy and then it was sunny but it was still rainy, it’s October. Here in a small town hidden in a corner of an island with early darkness, unable to move too far, we wonder as we wait for change. It’s difficult whoever you are but for musicians, we were already fighting the loss of record sales due to the internet and streaming and now we’re fighting the loss of venues and the ability to play live. But we have our music inside of us, an appreciation of the music of others. If we don’t get sick we can listen, we can read, we can watch films and hopefully earn. For me with the sessions, the projects with other people, the campaigns, all we can do is try to do our best work and then hope you like it.
On that subject, Olivia has been sending out Mystery Boxes, the debut MOAT album and Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics and we will continue to send out as much as we can in the time before Poison Stream proper is sent out. I can’t wait for you to hear it. On the subject of projects in general, I’ve already started with new songs for the Space Summit project working with Jed in Minneapolis before most have even heard the album we have already made. The only issue is when do Dare and I get to continue to work on the next Noctorum album that we have already started? As if the pandemic hasn’t made things difficult, add Brexit into the equation and you realise that it means that I will be spending less time in England but then again I was only in England sporadically before the pandemic and we still managed four Noctorum albums. It’s amazing working on so many different projects but you have to make room for all of them, there’s only so many hours in a day.
Last but not least I hope the short stories that I’ve been writing are not confusing you. Merfolk, exotic Finnish queens, journeys into the couch and descending glowing moons, it seems to me that some fantasy might be enjoyed at this point in our lives, a welcome break away from reality. I’m trying hard to stay away from the politics, the conspiracy theories, the who’s right and who’s wrong, the vitriolic arguments of opposing sides.
Music, books, film, travel and some observation of the universe, playing the guitar and the bass, singing, writing, teaching, sharing, loving and hoping that the world can rise out of its current hateful spiral, that’s where I want to live.
Music today comes from June Tabor whose last album in just her name, Ashore (2011), arrived today. If you don’t know her and you love British Folk music she is one of the queens. There is so much I could post about her, there are so many records so all I can suggest is that you look her up, see some videos and listen to any of her many albums.
The video today is an odd one from outside Cologne cathedral in 1990 with two violinists which Olivia and I watched the other day. If the live thing doesn’t do it for you, keep on searching, you won’t regret it.