I can’t remember exactly what I wrote last time, or even when I wrote it, but I feel like I’m in a very different place now. I have started thinking more outwardly. Maybe this is in tandem with the world opening up. I was quite reluctant for a while because I got used to my cocoon. Should I see a butterfly when I look in the mirror? Hmmm.
Anyway, I’ve been recording a lot more drums and I seem to have gone deep into klezmer, which is music that has always been close to my heart. I don’t think I told you I got the DYCP award from the Arts Council. That has been amazing, even though I still have yet to do a lot of what I planned to. It feels really great to be validated and also admit that I wanted to feel validated. So often it feels like I have to do it all alone and be tough and resilient, but when help comes along I feel it. Maybe I am opening up to receive.
I have been REALLY enjoying playing gigs again. Some private and some public. I think pre-pandemic I made more distinction between the different contexts in which I played music. I think my identity and ego were more tied up in it. Now I’m just so happy to play music for people, whether it’s for people to mill around to or for a wedding party to dance to or for people listening and drinking. It feels great to play again and there’s a sense that everyone, not just the musicians, isn’t taking it for granted any more.
I have been working on making my own music and getting advice and guidance from Joe Murgatroyd. I have so much respect for him. When I’ve had the opportunity to book musicians I have been trying to be more inclusive with who I ask. This is not just ‘to do the right thing’ but because it keeps things moving forward. For me and for the music. I have been really enjoying experimenting with recording. I have been recording piano onto cassette and then manipulating it and re-recording it into computer. Then I’ve been cutting stuff up into samples and triggering this with midi. As part of my DYCP I’ll be working with Leafcutter John and learning more about programming and DIY electronic music. I like things being tactile and I like tweaking and building things. I’ve been doing similar sampling with recordings of guitar, accordion and found percussion.
We are still doing Fake Management. Maybe sh*t is getting real? I think I’ve had some break throughs in therapy too, about owning and taking up space. I sometimes react to other people taking up space by shrinking away, but the reality is that there is abundance in our world, and there’s enough for everyone. I am near the end of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein, which my friend Hannah Marshall gave me to read. It is talking about undoing the narratives that we have absorbed from agricultural and industrial culture and remembering that we do not need to suffer and that scarcity, which is a necessity of capitalism and consumerism, is a construct in many ways.
I’ve been playing accordion and getting inside Jewish music in this way. Not only can I then play the tunes on my little Weltmeister but also it helps when I go back to drums as I’ve absorbed the music so fully. I also bought some old dictaphones that I need to fix up and then start experimenting with making noise with these.
Alright that’ll do for now!