Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for winning the US election. But 75 million for and 70 million against says so much about America. Congratulations to Joni Mitchell on her 77th birthday, that makes her the same age as Joe Biden (until November 20th). Today was also the birthday of Albert Camus (1913) who sadly died in a car accident on 4th January in 1960 aged 46. I just got a book with one of his famous essays, Reflections On The Guillotine, through the post from Rough Trade with my new Flaming Lips album and Carla Bruni’s latest, I know, I told you before but what’s interesting is that this title was available at the record store. The essay written in 1957 describes his position on the death penalty – “Camus states that he does not base his argument on sympathy for the convicted but on logical grounds and on proven statistics”. It’s a fascinating read. The last use of the guillotine in France was in 1977 but the death penalty wasn’t banned till 1981. In the UK the last hanging was in 1964 and the death penalty abolished in 1965. You can read about Camus’ essay here (or just read the essay). When will the rest of the world catch up? Perhaps with a new president, it’s time for a change at least in the USA.
We were in the studio today working on both Ahad’s project and Tony’s Arctic Lake project. We started at midday with the arrival of Becky McGlade who is a cellist. She was one of those super nice, easy to work with musicians that are an absolute pleasure to have in the studio. Her cello is German and from the 19th century, what a sound! She played on two tracks and was done in about an hour and a half. Thanks, Becky.
At 2PM we started with Arctic Lake and adjusted the mix from the second song we’ve been working on. It’s Tony’s song, he plays guitar on it, DC is on bass (and tech in Sydney) and Taman Shud drummer Nigel is playing drums but I’m singing it and playing the solos and the arpeggios amongst other rhythms. Dare is singing the high backing vocals and is in charge of the technical wizardry here. This is the second song I’m singing and playing on, the first Dare sang and I played guitar. The fourth track is an instrumental – but there will be more for us to work on when Tony writes them.
The sessioneers project, the Songwriting & Guitar Guidance sessions, have covered a lot of areas that have led Dare and me to make records with Jed and Space Summit, where I co-wrote the songs, played the guitar and bass and Jed sang. Ahad wrote the songs on his project, sings them and I play guitar and bass but on Arctic Lake, I play guitar and sing. Other sessions are works in progress, helping people with their songs, their playing, their singing. There’s so many angles to this and with three new sessioneer requests in the last 24 hours, I’m getting busy. Bring it on.
We’ve been getting some more Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics requests on the Indiegogo campaign for MOAT’s Poison Stream. If you sign up for them now, we can get them to you before Christmas. Anything on the campaign perks list, like Mystery Boxes, prints, and the first MOAT record, we can send out right away because we have them here in Penzance.
Last but not least, wherever you are in the world, be kind.
As it’s her birthday, music today is from the first Joni Mitchell album that I loved, Court And Spark (1974). There’s so many great songs with Help Me, People’s Parties, Free Man In Paris, I could just list all the songs, so rather than do that I suggest you sit down and listen to it, phone off and if you’d like to read an in-depth analysis of the album, I’ve included a review from Rolling Stone.