Monday, 27 February 2012


So what about music, they ask, didn't you once Do that, in one of your former incarnations? Was that not you I once saw play on the same cruise ship on the same night as both Boney M and The Sweet? Did not handsome men with the insignia of The Evil Bunny embroidered on their jackets in threads of gold once fawn and fetch and carry for you in The Same Hotel That Paul Daniels Stayed In though not at the same time? Did you not once play a gig for £2 and a slice of pizza (mouldy)?  Do I not recall you teaching the tin whistle to convicted serial killers in Hull Prison? Did you not fritter away your youth on airport floors and dirty pillows and the sound of people counting up to two in dusty and windowless rooms? How could you walk away from such glamour?  And what did it leave you with?

Well yes, my friends, it is all true, every word of it, and now you know why you won't find a formal c.v. for me anywhere online.

But the music, once it gets in you, never gets out again, knocking your electrons forevermore like some kind of spiritual herpes that you can express, but never get rid of. And for me, it's the polyphony that's the thing, not that tedious static Western stratified hierarchical pyramid where there's a place for everything and everything in its place but an older, fatter polyphany of a glorious textility where everybody has a voice and everybody talks to each other and the story is woven together out of life being lived. Clearly it is African diaspora musicians I have to thank for bringing about this marvellous structural thinking-change, and thankful I am, even if I make a poor show in the expression...

See, you take the top line and you stick it behind the bass line and everything in the mids wandering in and out wherever they need to go and then you get the whole damn thing and put it behind the backline altogether.

And you take the high and the thin and the bright and the linear and you let it slip under the deep and the dark and the fat and the white noises and thunder and silence so the dark can do its own shining. Whatever's in front, let it sit in behind sometimes, or off to one side.
So you let each of the voices tell its own story and each voice talk to one another. And it's you, who listens, who joins in, who will make of this the big story which is all the stories, according to your focus, according to your lights.

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