thoughts, stories, journeys, ideas

XX

Just listened to the new XX album on NPR.com – really enjoyed the space they’ve created. Why fill in all the gaps??

Posted in Thoughts |

Paul Buchanan – Mid Air


“You work and work and work and have the life that you have, and once in a while, sometimes once in a decade, you see a few things you’ve got and think, yes, that’s authentic. You try to stay true to that little moment whatever the costs.” Paul Buchanan.

Posted in Music, Thoughts |

Watch This…


St Lucia – Before the Dive

Posted in Thoughts |

Talent vs Character

Talent is innate, Character is formed…
Talent costs nothing – an ability from birth,
Character is born from hard work and sacrifice…

Talent shouts ‘look at me’, Character puts others first…
Talent is over appreciated, Character is undervalued…
Talent can impress a crowd, Character can stay faithful to one…
Talent is a fleeting moment of brilliance, Character is a lifetime of consistency…
Talent deserves a platform, Character deserves a gold medal…
Talent brings delight and amazement, Character brings peace, trust and security…
Talent earns great riches, Character earns great relationships…
Talent is worth developing, Character is worth celebrating…
Britain’s got talent. Has Britain got character?

Posted in Thoughts |

Creativity #1

“I was born out of love, it’s the only way you come into this world”
- Blur, Ambulance

Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging some thoughts about creativity for anyone who may be interested. (Disclaimer: I imagine that many far more intelligent people than I will have written supremely better researched scientific theses on the subject of creativity – I am not trying to join them in the academic stratosphere, nor claiming that any of the following is entirely original thought – rather this is just a few ideas I’ve had over the last few months that I thought I’d share to see what other people responses may be…) Please feel free to participate, to disagree and enlighten me by posting your comments below!

So to start at the beginning – I was struck by the above line from the opening track of Blur’s latest album Think Tank. Damon is on to something! It is my opinion that every time something new is created or ‘birthed’ be it an almond croissant, a programmer’s algorithm, an allegro con brio or Avatar, believe it or not, it is born out of love.

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Posted in Creativity, Thoughts |

Chickens and tomatoes, seeds and surprises (and a bit from back to the future)

On the eve of the release of TEL AVIV, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing this story, which I recently heard from my sister-in-law and her partner. For about a year, they used to keep chickens in the corner of their garden. They used to provide eggs for many a family brunch and in return made a lot of mess and and a lot of noise. The chickens were often fed old or rotten tomatoes by their owners, which formed an enjoyable and regular addition to their diet.

Eventually the chickens ability to make eggs was far overshadowed by the amount of noise and mess they were creating, so their owners decided to pack up the coup and sold the chickens to a neighbour who lived round the corner. They cleaned up the corner of their garden and removed all visible signs of chicken habitation and for a time, new visitors might never have know that there were ever in chickens living in my relatives garden.

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Posted in TEL AVIV, Thoughts |

Tel Aviv – an exploration in miniature

Portrait of the Dutch Governor of Trincomalee by John Bogle (1780) from the V&AMonday sees the release of my new album Tel Aviv. I thought it would be worth sharing a little bit about the the project and what is unique about it. The essence of the album is perhaps best encapsulated in galleries 90 and 90a of the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington. Surprisingly it was only after conceiving and completing much of the album that I discovered the work in these rooms, but the discovery and its timing felt really poignant and poetic.

After making the observations of Spring described in this earlier post, I decided to write a series of miniature songs to reflect the tiny scale of much of the early signs of new life I was witnessing. These songs were to be complete compositions in there own right, not just fragments, but fully formed; just on a smaller scale to what is usual for me. I also felt that these smaller pieces should all run together to form a coherent whole – that rather than a collection of songs, this was a suite of six short movements that make up an expansive musical journey.

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Posted in Music, TEL AVIV, Thoughts |

Four seasons in one year

Sydney ParkinsonA couple of weeks ago I watched Mike “not Spike” Leigh’s new film Another Year on DVD. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s one of those films where the camera doesn’t move much and the characters talk a lot (rather than run around and dive for cover). They also drink a lot of wine, making it definitely a film for adults… Anyway, it reminded me that the events of my first year of living in London in a strangely synchronised way seem to have mirrored the four seasons.

Autumn.
As the leaves fell, my wife and I arrived in London knowing that we personally had let go of a lot. Although there were all the feelings of excitement that accompany major life moves, there was also the shock of no longer being surrounded by the familiar and well established network of care that gets built up when you’ve lived with some amazing people for an extended period of time. Our branches were becominge bare again. As a 4 year told us the day after we arrived: “You two need to go out and make some new friends!” He was right.

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Posted in TEL AVIV, Thoughts |

Tell of Spring 2

From Vienna Dioscorides
Vienna Dioscorides

Spring
Rather bizarrely, the events of my first year of living in London seemed to closely follow the seasons. As Spring arrived I began to notice the blossom on the trees (it felt like) for the first time in a meaningful way.

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Posted in Music, TEL AVIV, Tell of Spring, Thoughts |

September 6th

Photo: Ewan Eason

The boats told a story at Waterloo Bridge yesterday morning.
It was twenty past six in the morning and despite the grey skies, we found our Golden Sunrise… (It’s the one on the left!)

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Posted in Thoughts |