There's treasure everywhere ... http://therestreasureeverywhere.net en Jessica Andrews - Saltwater http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/jessica-andrews-saltwater <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2873.JPG?itok=vA0xBo8p"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2873.JPG?itok=vA0xBo8p" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Saltwater is the debut novel from Jessica Andrews, it was published around 18 months ago and was the winner of the Portico Prize, which champions writing that evokes the spirit of the North of England. </p> <p>The book follows the journey of working class Lucy, from her upbringing in a cash strapped home in Sunderland, her attempts to fit-in with the socially and financially advantaged in London, then to rural Ireland. However, it’s not quite that simple.</p> <p>The book is made up of over 300 chapters, some of them no more than a couple of lines, most of them barely stretching to a page and half. This can lead to exhilarating reading, the only difficulty being knowing when to stop, turn the light off and go to bed. “Just one more chapter, oh that’s interesting” and the pattern repeats. Suddenly, it’s very late and getting up the next morning is more challenging than it should be.</p> <p>The book though doesn’t follow anything like a linear path, nor do we have long chunks in a similar timeframe. Andrews uses a variation of the “cut-up technique” made popular by the Beat writers of the 1950’s and 60’s. Things are not quite as fractured as they were for those writers. Apparently, the pages of the book were placed on the floor, then cut into sections and juxtaposed with other times, themes, feeling to create a constantly shifting narrative.</p> <p>In the hands of a less skilled writer this could have resulted in a confusing mess. Andrews though writes beautifully. Wonderful sentences and chapters rub delightfully against each other. The glorious prose brings forth wonders, as it describes the past and present, with a flowing, lyrical grace which is stunningly atmospheric.</p> <p>Lucy lives a life of many challenges. The financial and emotional difficulties of her childhood and teenage years in the North, are chronicled with love despite the problematic relationships with mum, dad and brother. The escape to London and university life finds her out of step with new friends. The time in Ireland covers both the conclusion of the book and overlapping memories and images of childhood visits and emotions.</p> <p>It’s a coming of age story, where the dawn of new life is often shrouded in a deep murky fog. The fog is often caused by unreliable, unworthy men. Men that Lucy sometimes finds it hard to give up on. </p> <p>The book captures the overwhelming sense of desperation then comes from the need to change that runs Lucy’s life. The need to change her environment, in order to change herself. It’s brilliant on the dislocation caused by the desire to fit in to a world that Lucy doesn’t understand, her confusion is heartbreakingly portrayed. Having moved away, a return visit home makes her realise that she no longer really fits in anywhere.</p> <p>Blimey, this all sound very bleak! It isn’t though, honestly. It’s often very funny on the perils of childhood, the first steps into the world of clubs and music, the vagaries of London life with no money but a head full of ideas. Sadly, ideas that tragically, appear to be out of step with those around her.</p> <p>The sections in Ireland frame the remote, rugged, scruffy beauty of landscape and the people in a very tender way. </p> <p>It’s a book with very definite sense of place, both geographically and emotionally. I found it to be an absolutely fantastic read, poetic, emotional, honest and funny. It speaks of a life from the margins, enticed towards something seemingly more rewarding, whilst trying to cope with being let down by those that mean most to her.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jessica-andrews.com">http://www.jessica-andrews.com</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/books" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Books</a></div></div></div> Tue, 17 Nov 2020 17:49:31 +0000 Tom 167 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Sayaka Murata – Earthlings http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sayaka-murata-earthlings <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2854.JPG?itok=vC4D_Whz"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2854.JPG?itok=vC4D_Whz" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Earthlings is the second novel from Japanese Author Sayaka Murata to be translated into English. Her first, Convenience Store Woman was a huge success in Japan, selling more than 2 million copies there and have been translated into no less than 33 different languages. It has been on my radar for a while, but I decided to jump straight into Earthlings upon it’s recent publication. Having finished this book, I now have a copy of Convenience Store Woman in my “to be read soon” reading pile.</p> <p>Earthlings is an extraordinary book. It details the life of a Natsuki, initially as a child who is completely out of sync with her family and school colleagues. Her introverted world, filled with thoughts and dreams of a different, other worldly life, is a fantastical as she tries to visualise herself at the centre of things, rather than on periphery. </p> <p>Events come to a head with a couple of life changing events, one in her school environment, then another one during a family gathering in the mountains. Uncomfortable topics are raised in a stripped back, factual way, yet the emotion is powerfully compelling and unsettling. </p> <p>We then catch up with her in later life. Still an outsider, though with an ally this time. One who shares her disgusted view of the society that is all around them. Eventually a return trip to the mountains brings about a bizarre and explosive climax to the book.</p> <p>The book often leaves questioning the reality of the events. Are these thoughts and actions simply in the imagination of Natsuki? Or they a defence against the isolation and mistreatment she receives from those that do actually interact with her?</p> <p>The book frequently leaps from the mundane to the fantastical, keeping you enthralled and appalled in equal measure. </p> <p><a href="https://granta.com/contributor/sayaka-murata/">https://granta.com/contributor/sayaka-murata/</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/books" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Books</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/22" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Sayaka Murata</a></div></div></div> Sat, 07 Nov 2020 16:27:00 +0000 Tom 166 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net New tunes for changing seasons http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/new-tunes-for-changing-seasons <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_66f.jpeg?itok=5aNUrXQE"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_66f.jpeg?itok=5aNUrXQE" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><h2>Andrew Wasylyk – Fugitive Light And Themes of Consolation</h2> <p>Like so much music that I have loved over recent years, I first became aware of Andrew Wasylyk through the excellent Gideon Coe evening show on BBC Radio 6 Music. Although this is the third album released under the Andrew Wasylyk (a musical alter ego for Andrew Mitchell) name, it was the first one that properly reached me.</p> <p>I don’t really know what genre it us, there are elements of Jazz, Classical, Ambient Electro. Parts of it could have been made at any time in the last 40 years, it’s timeless, genre less and glorious. Beautifully understated yet overflowing with magnificently insidious melodies, that gradually lure you into their magical world.</p> <p>Often when I’m listening to it, it reminds me of the sort of gently overpowering music that used to feature on those old BBC2 shows from the 1970’s. The sort of programme when they would have an unnarrated, 90-minute documentary on the day in the life of a park in West London. The camera gently moving through the day and the environment. The strangest, gentlest things suddenly providing an unexpected emotional punch. Well, it’s the same with album, in fact it would be the perfect soundtrack for a such a show.</p> <p>Further reading around the album reveals that it’s the final part of a trilogy of recordings, based on the landscape of Eastern Scotland (Wasylyk is from Dundee). This makes perfect sense, you can almost feel the sunlight flittering across the water at the end of a languid summer evening.</p> <p>It’s a beautiful record, one that have had on repeat play since it came into my life.</p> <p><a href="https://andrewwasylyk.bandcamp.com/album/fugitive-light-and-themes-of-consolation">https://andrewwasylyk.bandcamp.com/album/fugitive-light-and-themes-of-co...</a></p> <h2>Nat Birchall – Mysticism Of Sound</h2> <p>Nat Birchall is another musical gift from Gideon Coe show. The Manchester base Jazz and reggae musician has been producing great records for over a decade. His Sacred Dimension album from 2011 is a favourite of mine. It’s a lovely expansive spiritual jazz album taking its cue from the likes of John Coltrane and his haunting work of the 1950’s and 60’s.</p> <p>This latest release from Birchall sees him doing absolutely everything on the record. So, in addition to his usual Saxophone work, on this album he plays drums, bass clarinet and much more, He also wrote, produced, recorded the album. Of course, he did the sleeve of the record as well. Whether this was a result of the lockdown or just a new direction he wished to take, I’m unsure. What I do know that is that he has produced a perfect jazz album for these uncertain times.</p> <p>Contemplative and meditative, it weaves its patterns with a majestic grace and soul. Birchall has a rich line in eastern sounding melodies. It’s a richly enjoyable 40 minutes or so.</p> <p><a href="https://natbirchallmusic.bandcamp.com/album/mysticism-of-sound">https://natbirchallmusic.bandcamp.com/album/mysticism-of-sound</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/music" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Music</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Andrew Wysylyk</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Nat Birchall</a></div></div></div> Fri, 23 Oct 2020 17:17:35 +0000 Tom 165 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Autumn Reading 2020 http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/autumn-reading-2020 <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_66a.jpeg?itok=yWJFPtvx"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_66a.jpeg?itok=yWJFPtvx" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>I’m happy to say that as summer slipped gently into autumn, I have still been finding lots of excellent new books to read. A couple of the books below linked nicely into each other due to the theme of females having control over their body and indeed their life. They are though, very different books, which I shall cover in more detail below. The third deals more with the nature of male friendships and the shifting dynamics over a period of time. It also looks at the impact that those friendships have on partners that come along later.<br />  <br /> I’ll cover these books in the order that I read them.<br />  <br /> Sophie Mackintosh – Blue Ticket<br />  <br /> This second full length novel from Sophie Mackintosh. The first – The Water Cure - came out in 2018 but somehow passed me by. This was despite it being on the Man Booker long list and winning a Betty Task Award. My interest in Sophie and the new novel, Blue Ticket was sparked by a great interview with her by Claire Armistead in The Guardian at the start of September. She spoke of the importance of bands like Joy Division and the unsettling qualities of books like Morvern Callar and Under The Skin. Although I haven’t read either of the books, the films that were produced of them, both had a lasting impact upon me. The sense of other worldliness, set in dark yet mundane reality has always appealed to me. The word Dystopian crops up frequently when describing the work of Sophie Mackintosh and upon diving into the novel, it’s clear to see why.<br />  <br /> The premise is simple, as girls enter womanhood, they head off to get a ticket that maps their future. White Ticket grants you children, Blue Ticket means no children for them. They are relieved of the burden of choice. What an appealing idea that is for many of us. The ultimate lottery for a life changing outcome.</p> <p> Yet inevitably this book raises the question of, what happens if fate deals you the wrong hand? We follow Calla on her trip as her feelings change, mapping her uncomfortable journey as she pushes to create her own individuality and future. The cast of the book is small, the tightness of her world building a claustrophobic tension as Calla tries to buck the system. That tension remains in place, even when the landscape of the novel becomes wider. The relationships that she creates along the way are riddled with doubt, anxiety and sometimes outright loathing. <br />  <br /> Although childbirth and indeed children generally, are not something that I have the slightest interest in, the novel made me care deeply for Calla and the traumas that her body and mind go through. Often, we are unsure of time and place, the commonplace and the often uncritical acceptance of this strange world, tell of a compliant populous, content to have their freewill removed. </p> <p>I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the resistance that Calla shows, as she tries desperately to listen to her inner voice, rather than the one that the state has imposed upon her. The writing is tight and controlled, no words are wasted. Often the most difficult emotional episodes are dealt with, in a brutally matter of fact way. Comfort and joy are in short supply here, but when things in the narrative brighten, the tones lift our mood, helping us to feel the joy and optimism of Calla. No matter how much we fear that it may be short lived.<br />  <br /> Certainly, a writer to keep an eye on, I’ll be looking to track down a copy of that debut novel The Water Cure. In addition to which, there are several short stories by Sophie Mackintosh that are available.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sophiemackintosh.co.uk">https://www.sophiemackintosh.co.uk</a></p> <p>Mieko Kawakami - Breasts And Eggs</p> <p>I’ve enjoyed reading Japanese fiction for the best part of 30 years but haven't read anything quite like this novel from Mieko Kawakami. Although well established and successful in Japan, this is her first full length novel to be published in English. </p> <p>It’s actually two books linked together, with a ten year gap in the story. The first part of the book was originally a stand alone novella. It introduces us to Natsuko a thirty year old woman getting by, in a fairly frugal way in Tokyo. We also meet her older sister Makiko and Makikio’s twelve year old daughter Midoriko. Makiko and her daughter have headed from the sisters childhood home of Osaka to visit Natsuko whilst Makiko ponders cosmetic surgery. The relationships between all three are strained especially because Makiko seemingly never stops talking about herself, and her daughter refuses to communicate verbally.</p> <p>The second, and more lengthy, part of the book sees Natsuko in a more successful position from a career perspective. She is now an author, so moving in different circles, yet she is struggling with a gap in her life due to the lack of a partner and rather more pressingly, the lack of a child. We look on as Natsuko wrestles with the ticking clock that lies within her and the impact that has on her ability to work and move forward with her life. </p> <p>Although her sister and niece still feature they are joined by a supporting cast that play an important role in the book. I really like the way the story deals with the internal moral dilemma that Natsuko battles with. Also the input from the supporting characters is brilliantly handled as they have sharply conflicting opinions on the best way forward for her. </p> <p>Two of these characters had a particular impact on me. The opportunistic Onda, is brilliantly drawn as an individual hard wired to take advantage of women such as Natsuko. Then a fairly late passage in the the book, with an older lady called Yuriko, who sets out a few home truths when she an Natsuko encounter each other in a park. It is a very powerful part of the book.</p> <p>Whilst not exactly on the margins of Japanese life, the impact of having a working class upbringing, combined with the options available to single women in Japan, make for some powerful and, for me, enlightening storytelling. There is also much humour in the book, particularly in the interplay between the two sisters. They deal honestly with the impact that the difficult financial circumstances had on the older female members of the family and the bonds that those hard times created amongst them all.</p> <p>I found this a compelling read, and raced through it with glee and fascination. After reading the book I looked up a few articles which mention, that in it’s Japanese form much of it is written in the local dialect of Osaka, rather than the more formal style that is commonplace with the majority of novels. Maybe the excellent translation by Sam Brett and David Boyd misses out on that, then again that is one of the few downsides to reading translated fiction. Hopefully further works by Mieko Kawakami will soon be translated into english.</p> <p><a href="https://www.mieko.jp/mieko-kawakami">https://www.mieko.jp/mieko-kawakami</a></p> <p>Andrew O’Hagan - Mayflies</p> <p>Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan has been on my must investigate list for a while. It was a tweet by the musician and writer Tracey Thorn that finally nudged me towards buying a copy of Mayflies, his most recent work. She commented that she had started reading it on a kindle but had to stop and buy a physical copy as she was enjoying it so much. Time to get on board, I thought to myself.</p> <p>Andrew O’Hagan is a novelist and essayist with a rich body of work behind him. Mayflies is another book of two half’s. The opening part focuses on the friendship of James and Tully, two young men who inspire, educate and enthral each other with a love of music, films and books. They support each other and a wider network of friends through challenging domestic circumstances in Glasgow.</p> <p>We join them in 1986, just about to enjoy a life defining weekend away, as they head to Manchester, their musical Mecca. The guiding lights of their (and my youth) coming together for a never to be repeated or forgotten experience. The Smiths, New Order, Factory Records, The Hacienda come together to provide the cathedral that these young men worship in. Enough religious references from me, well maybe, but I can certainly empathise with so much of this book. </p> <p>Although I was born in Bristol, rather than Glasgow and didn’t attend the The Festival of the Tenth Summer gig in Manchester, The opening chapters of this exhilarating and moving book made me think that someone had been looking over my shoulder during the 80’s. They had then decided to reimagine my life and, as would happen with a film, altered things like location and a key moment. Think of when the book High Fidelity was moved from England to the U.S.A. and you get my point. </p> <p>It’s wonderful to see how well these two central characters are portrayed. Although their backgrounds and home lives are less than privileged, their innate intelligence shines through. Sometimes cultural commentators these days only appear to have an opinion if they come from an Oxbridge background. This was never the case, artistic stimulation and engagement doesn’t have class boundaries.</p> <p>The joyous sweaty mess of gigs it perfectly captured. Finding and losing your mates in the chaotic maelstrom of an enthusiastic and ever moving sea of a crowd is made flesh in this novel. There are, of course, scrapes and mishaps along the way but the group of travellers have the weekend that defines them.</p> <p>Thirty years later James and Tully are reunited, though in very different circumstances. There is big news and once again these two are thrown together as emotional and practical support is needed. The complexities and difficulties caused by friends disagreeing on things, yet being able to move forward are perfectly captured. These two don’t always agree but they do value each other.</p> <p>Sometimes the closeness of that relationship can cause problems for the respective partners, Again this is superbly handled, as we head towards the climax of the book. Without giving too much away, I don’t think I have ever been as moved by the ending of a book, as I was with Mayflies. Maybe that’s because there were so many touch-points that I could directly relate to in the story? Then again, when you have direct experience of something, you can sniff out the phoney at a thousand yards, All of this book rang true,</p> <p>After finishing the book, I understood why. It is based on Andrew O’Hagan and a friend and it’s brilliantly done. </p> <p><a href="https://andrewohagan.com">https://andrewohagan.com</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/books" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Books</a></div></div></div> Sat, 17 Oct 2020 16:58:55 +0000 Tom 164 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Lockdown reading http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/lockdown-reading <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2288.jpg?itok=h2Q7hXnd"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_2288.jpg?itok=h2Q7hXnd" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Well although I have been able to carry on working, during the lockdown period, there has been much more time spent at home during the spring and summer than usual. At least part of that time has been spent ploughing through some fairly substantial books. Normally I turn instinctively towards fiction from the past 100 years or so. Oddly of the four books I’ve recently read, only one of them falls into this category. I guess it’s good to change some old habits from time to time.</p> <p>DOLCE VITA CONFIDENTIAL - Shawn Levy</p> <p>I’d picked this up a month or two before lockdown, in the excellent, “The Last Bookshop” on Park Street in Bristol. A veritable goldmine of brand new books at ridiculously low prices. This hardback beauty set me back the grand total of £3, which amazingly is the top price in the shop. Not that long ago, Park Street was overflowing with book shops and records shops, it was a street that was designed to separate me, from my money, yet it provided so much in return. Sadly, The Last Bookshop is exactly that (although Radio/On a few doors sells a fine selection of books, in what is primarily a music store. The staff in these two outlets tend to flit between either location, which can be a little confusing sometimes) on this much changed street. </p> <p>Anyway, back to the book. Another use of my time during the enforced period of staying at home, was to catch up with some classic Italian films, the likes of La Dolce Vita, L’Eclisse. La Strada, I Vitelloni and 8 1/2 and, from more recently, La Grande Bellezza (which is a perfect counterpoint to La Dolce Vita from 55 years earlier). The book charts the rise of the post World War Two film industry, as Italy dragged itself out of the disastrous effects of the war. It’s also incorporates, the almost unstoppable rise of the Italian fashion industry and the links between these two potent creative forces. Somehow, thanks in-part, to these influential enterprises, the Italy of the 50’s and 60’s became one of the coolest places on the planet.</p> <p>There is much talk of the legendary Cinecitta, the Rome studio complex that was the epicentre of film development in post war Italy. Heavyweights such as Fellini, Mastroianni and Loren rub shoulders in the book with the sleazy, cut throat world of the paparazzi and less talented actors and directors, willing to do anything to achieve fame and fortune. If you have any interest in Italian cinema or Italian culture in all it’s forms, then this book is, much like the Lambretta scooters that weaved around the streets at the time, a fun, noisy, chaotic ride through a country that is changing at an incredible speed. It is though a book that cares deeply about cinema and the legacy that that was formed from those golden years.</p> <p>ABIGAIL - Magda Szabo</p> <p>The lockdown was fairly recent when I read a piece in The Guardian by Catherine Taylor. It was on books that could broaden your horizons, at a time when everything had become very, very local. There were several interesting suggestions and after some email chat with the people at Max Minerva’s, our local bookshop, I plumped for Abigail, the one work of fiction on this list of my recent reading. A couple of days later they had delivered a copy to me. I’d never heard of Magda Szabo before and that was part of the attraction. Often, I’m guilty of having preformed ideas in my head about certain writers, musicians, artists and the like after years of reading about them. Sometimes these are good guidelines, on other occasion they can restrict what I engage with. Sometimes I keep persisting with things that I feel I “should”like. Also I reject some things that don’t sound “very me”. Only to find out much later than I really enjoy them.</p> <p>Magda Szabo was a Hungarian writer and this book from 1970, is apparently her most widely read book in her native country. The book takes a risk by having central character who is far from pleasant or sympathetic for large chunks of the novel. It’s set in 1943 and as war is surrounding the country, Gina, the central character, is sent away to a boarding school by her her concerned father. He is in the army and is aware of the way things are developing. The daughter is furious about this turn of events. </p> <p>The journey here is us watching her development, we wonder if she will ever be able to move on from her arrogance and entitlement. The school is a very tightly controlled environment, in some ways mirroring the seldom mentioned fascist controls that are hovering around Hungary at the time. Compliance and the rejection of the value of the individual are as important in the school and they are in the developing situation outside. It’s a novel that builds a tension as we wonder how people can change themselves when faced with overwhelming odds. An interesting read and I will look out for the other novels by Szabo.</p> <p>BROKEN GREEK - Pete Paphides</p> <p>Pete Paphides has been a music writer and broadcaster, that I have been aware of for as long as I can remember. It would be wrong to call him a music critic because he makes a point of sharing things that he loves with us. Whilst some people who write or talk about music, want to make themselves the focus of any piece, he is the complete opposite. He sense of love, awe and respect for the people who make the music that he enjoys, is always palpable. </p> <p>This autobiography about the early years of his life, had been getting some excellent reviews and feedback before the lockdown was something we had even contemplated. The book emerged with a dreadful sense of timing, for those of us who like to head to a shop and pick up a book. Luckily though, those lovely folks at Max Minerva’s sorted me out and got it to me in quick time.</p> <p>You may have already guessed from Pete’s surname (and the title of the book), that his family are Greek. This book talks with a beautiful honesty, about the difficulties he encountered as a child of parents who were desperately trying to make their way in their adopted country. </p> <p>It’s a book that is often fantastically funny as we see the world through Pete’s eyes, trying to make sense of the world and the differing lives that he see’s around him. It’s staggering to read of his difficulties with communication, given his wonderfully conversational broadcasting style. He captures brilliantly the dilemmas of a person who choses not to speak, whilst being intensely aware of the problems that this causes for those around him.</p> <p>Given what we know about Pete now, it’s no major surprise that music plays a huge part in opening out his world. He was fantastically obsessive about music and completely baffled by the fact that some of the music he would was not widely admired. There is so much to enjoy in his writing about the overwhelming importance of music in his world during those teenage years. </p> <p>There are also wonderful sections on his mum and brother. His relationship with his father is more complex and is covered is a very honest away. There are, eventually, some friends. Through them the world opens up though there are, inevitably, some mishaps along the way. </p> <p>The writing is so evocative, that the personal story becomes universal, we thrill at his triumphs and are hit hard by his setbacks. The writing about music is incredibly good. I was never a fan of Abba, but his unbridled enthusiasm, almost won me over! Another band they we both love though are Dexys Midnight Runners and one piece on them, almost gave me the physical sensation of being at one of their unique gigs. </p> <p>It’s a book that deals with confusion, alienation, inspiration and obsession. It does so in such a captivatingly inclusive way that you are placed right that in the centre of those confusing young years of his life. A wonderful read. I hope there is a follow up volume planned.</p> <p>WALTER GROPIUS - Fiona MacCarthy</p> <p>Recently there has been a great deal of coverage of the Bauhaus design school, as the centenary of this remarkable institution was celebrated last year. This is an excellent biography of it’s founder Walter Gropius. It’s actually nice to read about his life both before and after those Bauhaus years. He was only directly involved with the Bauhaus for ten years of his life, so there is much else to learn about.</p> <p>Given his now legendary status, it fascinating to hear how volatile and financially challenged his life was. Up until his move to America, his professional and personal life was often in various degrees of chaos. The supporting cast in life is overflowing with fascinating and volatile characters. Often those that you would hope, to be the most supportive of him and his work, were actively undermining him. The turmoil in Germany following the end of the first world war is well captured. Political affiliations come and go, leaving him and his work very exposed to changing loyalties of civic and national authorities. His first wife Alma, is a remarkable individual, it pretty safe to say that their relationship provided a huge number challenges to him during and after their marriage. There was greater stability with his second wife, Ise. She undoubtedly, was a crucial part in his success . This relationship was not without it’s stresses either though.</p> <p>It was interesting to read in some detail of his time in London, as he tried to forge a professional career here. Sadly it seems that Britain was not quite ready to fully embrace the modernist approach that Gropius took. So despite some very enthusiastic support from a few individuals here, he time here would ultimately be a frustrating one.</p> <p>Some of the greatest figures in 20th century culture pass through the book, resulting in a journey that is never dull. All in all, Fiona MacCarthy does a brilliant job of pulling together a complex story in a very readable way.</p> <p>THE MACHINE STOPS - E.M. FORSTER</p> <p>This is something rather extraordinary, a short story by E.M. Forster that eschews his normal style of witty and literate dissections of class and manner in early 20th century. This is, as far as I am aware, his only work of science fiction. Written in 1909, it provides a ridiculously accurate portrait of the the world that we live in now. </p> <p>The sense of isolation experienced by so many during the lockdown provides the story with even greater relevance. The future that the story is set in, see’s people there own bubbles with audio and video on demand, even a form of video calling features. Amazingly prophetic. It’s available in a collection called Twentieth-Century short Stories and is well worth tracking down.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/books" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Books</a></div></div></div> Wed, 19 Aug 2020 20:40:46 +0000 Tom 163 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Autumn listening 2019 http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/autumn-listening-2019 <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_0665.JPG?itok=GUVXYfcF"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_0665.JPG?itok=GUVXYfcF" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>It’s been a very busy year for us, consequently, updates here have been somewhat lacking. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t been enjoying things though, far from it. Here are some of the albums that have provided particular enjoyment for me, over the second half of this year.</p> <h2>Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains</h2> <p>This is such a bittersweet triumph. When news emerged, that the laconic, former Silver Jews man, David Berman was going to be releasing new music there was a sense of genuine anticipation. The lyrical genius and provider of classic deadpan vocal delivery matched with killer tunes, was ready to put a 10 year musical silence behind him.</p> <p>The new project was entitled Purple Mountains and the self-titled album did not disappoint. Caustic, bleakly honest lyrics, beautifully display the torments that Berman has been going through. The hope was, that this brilliant collection of songs would be a cathartic release, the start of new era of creativity and maybe even, joy, in what has obviously been a challenging life. </p> <p>Sadly, it wasn’t to be the case. Although the record is a huge triumph and interviews indicated that Berman was optimistic about the future, his reality was sadly different. Plans were made to tour the record, but it wasn’t to be. </p> <p>We found ourselves in Barcelona, in the unlikely situation of waiting to go on The Boaty, an incredible music festival on a cruise ship sailing from Barcelona to Sardinia and back. In our hotel were listened to this enchanting but sometimes bleak record again and again, whilst reading on twitter that most of the bands we were excited about saying were stranded in England, with a good chance that they may not reach the boat. The record sustained us, it’s bleak, skewed belligerent optimism providing the perfect soundtrack. </p> <p>Then the news broke that David Berman had died, seemingly at his own hand. Such tragic news. The clues were there, the lyrics made it clear that life was not good. The hope that the love the record had already produced, would sustain him, was dashed away. </p> <p>If you are coming to the record without knowing the back story, it’s simply a great record. If you know the details, it could put you off buying it, it shouldn’t. The record sparkles with beautifully observed takes on his condition, many peoples condition. It’s funny, smart and overflows with great melodies. It’s record that can inspire a warm glow on the coldest of days.</p> <p>This video, has a gently meandering couple of minutes at the start before the song kicks in. When it does, those words strike with a punch that can you leave confused as to why anyone was surprised by the ending to this particular story. </p> <p><a href="https://www.dragcity.com/artists/purple-mountains">https://www.dragcity.com/artists/purple-mountains</a></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XvUBbROsXBw" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><h2>The Lovely Basement – Just Because You Can</h2> <p>One of the pleasures of 2019 has the been the lovely surprise of hearing songs by The Lovely Basement coming out of the radio on BBC6 Music. It shouldn’t be a surprise as these songs rightly stand next to anyone’s but, their just our mates, they play in pubs to small crowds, they could easily be overlooked, but maybe this terrific record is going to change things.</p> <p>Musically it’s midpoint Velvets meets Country, with a tad of indie jangle thrown into the mix. Lead singer Katie Scaife has one of those “my new favourite singer” voices. Understated yet, poignant it’s a gem. The perfect voice to deliver some deliciously constructed tunes. The lyrics are witty, clever and often with a great story to tell. </p> <p>These songs quickly worm their way in to your head with their great melodies and hooks. The live sound of the band is enhanced of this record by the addition of local Cornet king Harry Furniss on a few tracks. This expands the sound nicely, just keeping on your toes with his inventive playing. Oh, and there is some beautiful pedal steel on the record from the mysterious “Buns”.</p> <p>The album really deserves to be heard and it’s pleasing to see that it’s picked up some excellent reviews over the last few weeks. I’ve been trying to pick out a few “favourite tracks” to mention, I can’t though, I love the whole record and the wonderful moods that it creates. </p> <p>One of our most played records of this year, and probably next year as well.</p> <p><a href="https://thelovelybasement.bandcamp.com/album/just-because-you-can-2">https://thelovelybasement.bandcamp.com/album/just-because-you-can-2</a></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fSA61uy8uHE" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><h2>Carwyn Ellis &amp; Rio 18</h2> <p>Another album that may have slipped under the radar. Carwyn Ellis is one of those unassuming musicians that crop up all over the place, subtly making thing better for whoever he plays with. He also makes some lovely records of his own, this one being the one that I’ve enjoyed the most.</p> <p>The record is a beautifully connection between Wales and Brazil. Initially recorded in Rio de Janeiro then tidied up in Caernarfon and London, with musician from all of those nations, it’s a truly international record. The vocals are predominantly in Welsh, with the occasional bit of Portuguese thrown in as well. The tunes have a wonderfully light touch, lovely melodies fill the album. It’s important to state that this isn’t a pastiche of those 60’s and 70’s records that many of associate with Brazilian music. The record moves gracefully through many styles, even edging towards krautrock on tracks like Gwên and Ymosodwyr Anweledig. </p> <p>The overall feeling though is undoubtedly more Rio than Risca or the Rhine. It exudes warmth and positivity, so although summer may have long gone, this is a perfect record to warm you, on these cold winter days.</p> <p><a href="http://carwynellis.com">http://carwynellis.com</a></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OZPhTQ2QfOc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/music" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Music</a></div></div></div> Sun, 08 Dec 2019 16:58:12 +0000 Tom 162 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net The Lark Ascending - Richard King http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/richard-King-the-lark-ascending <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_358.jpeg?itok=lI6vwWfj"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/fullsizeoutput_358.jpeg?itok=lI6vwWfj" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The Lark Ascending is the third book from Richard King, once again music is a key ingredient in the narrative that unfolds before us. In his last book, Original Rockers, the starting point of the journey was the virtually windowless couple of rooms, that made up the legendary Bristol record shop, Revolver Records. This time Inspiration is taken from the wide open spaces of the British countryside over the last century or so. He looks at the relationship between the public and the space around us, using music as the bridge to guide us on this journey.</p> <p>It’s a trip that takes us through many differing forms of music. The etherial beauty of the Vaughan Williams piece that gives the book it’s title, to the notorious “repetitive beats” that saw the countryside become a battleground in the 1990’s. Indeed one of the main themes of the book is the continual way the public have needed to challenge the powers that be, in order to access this landscape of ours.</p> <p>It’s a heavily researched book, that still retains the feel of a conversation with a friend. It’s fascinating to read of the mass trespass by the young people of Kinder Scout in the Peak District in 1932. We see the rise, and potential fall, in the ability of the wider population to share the splendour of the natural world which surrounds us. </p> <p>I must admit that when I was a child, my parents would occasionally send me out of suburban Bristol to stay with grandparents in the small village of Oldbury-on-Severn. At that stage in my life my relationship with the country side was not great. My Grandfather would take me on early morning walks across the fields to the edge of the mighty River Severn, often collecting mushrooms to have for breakfast and carefully avoiding the horses and cows which would occasionally take rather more than a passing interest in us. To me though, it was a dull and lifeless place. Where were the other kids that I could play football with? Why was the grass always too long or too muddy. What was the point of it all? My sister on the other hand, loved her trips out there, forming a bond with nature that burnt intensely through her life. </p> <p>This passion, and a healthy disregard for conventional life, resulted in her spending time in the communal world of mid 70’s West Wales. It’s an area that is covered extensively in the book with lots of space devoted to John Seymour and his back to the land revolution. This coincided with an influx of people looking to to escape the structured uniformity of much of Britain at that time. The amusement and bemusement of the locals, desperately looking to modernise their lives, had for people like my sister who lived in the Gwaun Valley area of the Preseli Hills for a rustic life, was never far from the surface. King’s book captures this brilliantly, linking it with the movement of musicians like Donavan, The Incredible String Band and McCartney to far flung areas of the country.</p> <p>As you you probably expect the influence of folk music is noticeable and often political. There is a truly head spinning chapter on the breakaway scout movement from between the wars called Kibo Kift, bonkers and eventually over nationalistic, they revered native and patriotic music to a potentially unreasonable degree. There is also a lovely section of the wonderful jazz score created by Stan Tracey for Under Milk Wood, a key part of the British jazz scene in the mid 1960’s. Truly atmospheric and engaging. Delicious music for a place that never really existed, other than in the mind of Dylan Thomas.</p> <p>The later chapters of the book are, for me, the most thought provoking as King covers the 80’s movement to the countryside of the inspirational Greenham Common Women and than the new age travellers and the free festival scene. The Greenham story is remarkable, all the more so as it feels oddly unheralded. That this floating group of women, who refused to have a spokesperson and play the normal media game, were able to win against the might of the British government and the USA military. There is talk of the songs they sang to confuse an occupying force that were ready for conflict. The festival scenes section does not end well, the truly grim Battle of the Bean Field, shows the state flexing it’s muscles against those that dared to love and live, a different type of life.</p> <p>This is also the cue for the start of the process to take back control of access to the land.A process that comes into sharper focus with the birth of the rave scene and thousands people heading to the country, with no control during increasingly tense months of summer and beyond. It’s interesting to note though the crossover between the pastoral progressive music of the Canterbury scene in the 1960’s and early 70’s and the gently seductive post rave music from the likes of Ultramarine. The link to countryside remain stong and potently inclusive.</p> <p>As with Original Rockers, King takes an key incident, be it a place, a song or a person and skilfully weaves a story together. Not many books about the countryside come with a discography at the end, but it’s a lovely addition which truly gives a sense of time and place. This is a beautiful piece of social and cultural history about two of things that define the shape of the British identity. Landscape and music, belong to us all. Sometimes we need to fight quite hard to remind those who the rule the nation of this simple notion.</p> <p><a href="https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571338795-the-lark-ascending.html">https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571338795-the-lark-ascending.html</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.therestreasureeverywhere.net/richard-King-original-rockers">http://www.therestreasureeverywhere.net/richard-King-original-rockers</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/books" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Books</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/18" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Richard King</a></div></div></div> Sun, 30 Jun 2019 19:43:01 +0000 Tom 161 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net A Life In Colour: The Art of Doris Hatt http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/doris-hatt-art-taunton <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_0212.JPG?itok=xxDZ-2oJ"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_0212.JPG?itok=xxDZ-2oJ" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Until a couple of weeks ago, we’d never heard of Doris Hatt (1890-1969). When you consider that she spent most of her life as a painter in Clevedon, just a short distance away from our home in Bristol, that now seems very surprising. Then again, it appears that we weren’t alone in our ignorance, somehow this hugely talented artist had just slipped away from the consciousness of the art world. Well, luckily that has just been rectified, thanks to this really vibrant and fascinating exhibition. </p> <p>If one were being flippant, you could say that Doris Hatt made three key mistakes, when it comes to becoming a recognised as an important figure in British 20th century art. Firstly she chose to stay in the West Country, rather than head off to the bright lights of London. Secondly she was an avowed Socialist and apparently wasn’t very bothered about making money. Thirdly there was the cardinal error of being a female artist, in a time when for some reason art was primarily the domain of men. </p> <p>She didn’t appear to let that worry her though, she just concentrated on her work, and what brilliant work it is. Drawing strength from the Woman’s Suffrage movement, she was an avowed Feminist. Together with her lifelong partner Margery Mack Smith, they forged their own world, which burned brightly with artistic endeavour and revolutionary thought.</p> <p>This collection of around 70 pieces takes us on a colourful and enchanting voyage through the 20th century. We see her use of colour, form and style develop in a very literal way. Hatt was fond of revisiting scenes, painting them anew in an array of differing styles as the years roll on. The pictures leap from the page, still oozing a contemporary modernity and vivacity.</p> <p>Not content with being a painter she also designed her own magnificent house in the Bauhaus style. Apparently the house and it’s grounds became a centre for gatherings of left wing thinkers, gathering together in attempt to forge a more equal society. She even stood for election in Clevedon as a member of the Communist party. Clevedon wasn’t ready for Communism then (or now), so her ideas failed to find a larger audience. </p> <p>Although widely travelled, she loved to paint scenes of her native West Country. It’s refreshing to see glimpses of Somerset, Bristol and Cornwall scattered amongst those of France and beyond. The work of Braque, Leger and Picasso inspired her to create her own form of British modernism. She continued to produce wonderful work into the 1960’s, always pushing forward and developing new ways of showcasing the life around her.</p> <p>It would be lovely to think, that more of her work will come out of the shadows following the publicity that this exhibition has received from the national media. Just in case it doesn’t. try to get along to the Museum of Somerset in Taunton before June 29th.</p> <p><a href="https://swheritage.org.uk/events/a-life-in-colour-the-art-of-doris-hatt/">https://swheritage.org.uk/events/a-life-in-colour-the-art-of-doris-hatt/</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/art" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Art</a></div></div></div> Mon, 03 Jun 2019 20:08:26 +0000 Tom 160 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Il Cinemino - Lovely little cinema in Milan http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/il-cinemino-milan <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_1050.JPG?itok=SelIoZrR"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_1050.JPG?itok=SelIoZrR" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>When on holiday, we always love trying to find a nice cinema to visit. After a hard day walking the streets of some interesting city, it’s great to sit and relax in comfortable surroundings to watch a film (hopefully in English!). We been fortunate to find fascinating cinema’s all over the world but Il Cinemino in Milan, was one of our favourite experiences. It’s located in a side street of a residential area, with good access to public transport.</p> <p>The cinema itself is a small one room affair, holding around 75 people in the basement of the building. It’s comfortable with good sight lines and excellent picture and sound quality. Upstairs is a delightful small bar, that also provides some food. The decor is simple and stylish, even including a small Twin Peaks inspired area, which you may, or may not, find relaxing! There are a small number of tables set up outside the building, allowing you to enjoy your drink whilst watching the locals moving around.</p> <p>The programme here, is a that of a classic arts centre. Interesting films (in their original language) both old and new, themed festivals and talks. It’s obviously an important cultural hub and is friendly and welcoming. They also have small gigs from time to time, which I would imagine are fun in this intimate space.</p> <p>Not long after we visited the cinema itself was closed by the local authorities for some odd technical reason. It was great to see the way the cinema community of Milan, and beyond, got behind the place, lobbying for it to reopen, which it successfully did in February this year. </p> <p>It’s worth mentioning that in order to see a film, you have to become a member. This can easily be done by filling in a brief form and paying a small membership fee. If you enjoy visting The Cube in Bristol, then you will feel very at home in this lovely place, which feels like it’s rather more refined cousin. </p> <p>A real treat for film fans.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ilcinemino.it">www.ilcinemino.it</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/travel" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Travel</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/film" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Film</a></div><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Milan</a></div><div class="field-item odd" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/taxonomy/term/19" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Italy</a></div></div></div> Mon, 06 May 2019 15:01:17 +0000 Tom 159 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net Winter listening 2018-19 http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/winter-listening <div class="field field-name-field-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="og:image rdfs:seeAlso" resource="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_1186.JPG?itok=7DcNEgGy"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://therestreasureeverywhere.net/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/IMG_1186.JPG?itok=7DcNEgGy" width="480" height="288" alt="" /></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>So, as Spring begins, it’s time for a little catch up of some of the music that I have been spending my time with, over the darker months of the year. Pleasingly quite a lot of the material is from Bristol based musicians. So let’s investigate.</p> <h2>CUTS - A Gradual Decline</h2> <p>We first wrote about CUTS back in January 2014, when we spoke about some intriguing videos that had emerged during the previous year. We now know much more about the project then we did then. It’s the brainchild of local composer and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr and it’s clear that both of these disciplines are mutually important when it comes to informing, and driving forward the creative impulses that find form in the CUTS project.</p> <p>Nature, and the insane battle that humans are forging against it, sets the emotional heartbeat of the album. The music veers between the contemplative and the impactful, broadly electronic and instrumental in form, it also features sound samples form nature itself alongside piano and some etherial vocals. As you would expect from a filmmaker the sounds are cinematic though subtle. It’s clear that simmering rage and sadness, at man’s carelessness towards it’s greatest asset, is within all the dynamic soundscapes that make up the 13 tracks on the album. The films that CUTS had made alongside the record are both beautiful and depressing. Many of them can be viewed on the Village Green website and are worth investigating.</p> <p><a href="https://villagegreenrecordings.co.uk/releases/a-gradual-decline">https://villagegreenrecordings.co.uk/releases/a-gradual-decline</a></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_zqvPCMIP7c" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><h2>PHONSECA - Between A Dream</h2> <p>Phonseca are another local electronic music project that we have written about before. Back in March 2017, we spoke about the debut EP Afterglow, happily we now have a full length album to spend some time with. Phonseca is the name used by Bristol based keyboard man Matthew O’Connor. The tracks are mainly instrumental and have a warmth that make them very engaging. Subtle melodies abound, and they gracefully envelope you. This is particularly evident on, I see Stars, which is my favourite track on the album. There are also 3 tracks with vocals, these are provided by Kristina Sheppard. Her voice is used to gorgeous effect, on the shimmering beauty of Wait For Me, an understated yet poignant, lament. Fans of New Order will enjoy the bass driven track Maybe Tomorrow and there is a cheeky cover of Bizarre Love Triangle on the album as well. </p> <p>Lot’s to enjoy here if you are a fan of Craig Armstrong, Brian Eno and the aforementioned New Order. Things take a more fractured turn on the final track where there is a remix of I see Stars by Scanner. Tracks from the album have already picked up quite a few plays from BBC 6 Music and it’s good to know that more music is in the pipeline.</p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PO7rTJguFrA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="https://soundcloud.com/mocphonseca">https://soundcloud.com/mocphonseca</a></p> <h2>Davey Woodward and the Winter Orphans - Self Titled</h2> <p>Our third offering is also from a local musician. Davey Woodward has been making music in Bristol for as long as many of us can remember. He first came to prominence in The Brilliant Corners who made big waves in the 1980’s indie scene both in the UK and and around the world. This was followed by his time in The Experimental Pop Band who also made some fine records which didn’t quite get the success they deserved. </p> <p>So here we are with one of two projects that he has been involved with recently (the other being Karen), pleasingly he and the Winter Orphans have some lovely songs to share with us. The sound could maybe be compared to his earlier work with The Brilliant Corners, basically guitar driven songs (although piano, cello and trumpet make some pleasant appearances) with the benefit of a few decades of weary realism. Plenty of local and autobiographical reference points, give the album a real sense of place. </p> <p>We learn of Davey’s formative years in a suburb of the very edge of Bristol, dealing with racism and shopping in legendary local shop, Uncle Sams. There is a mournful, contemplative air to many of these songs. However the final track Dylan’s Poster has a skip in it’s step and maybe a nod to a classic tune with it’s joyous little guitar riff. The album is on German label Tapete Records, home to many good indie records over the last few years. It’s been around since the end of last summer, we were just a little slow to get to it.</p> <p><a href="https://shop.tapeterecords.com/kunstler-1/davey-woodward/davey-woodward-and-the-winter-orphans-preorder.html">https://shop.tapeterecords.com/kunstler-1/davey-woodward/davey-woodward-...</a></p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RlgYbxzHtW8" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><h2>Robert Forster - Inferno</h2> <p>Talking of Tapete Records, our next choice is also from that fine label and much more recent. Robert Forster is still probably best known for being a key component in the Go-Betweens, one of Australia’s finest bands. Since then, he has written a couple of great books and made many solo albums. His latest record is a real joy, with some of his finest work upon it. </p> <p>As ever with Forster it’s brilliantly engaging. Often funny, sometimes touching, it’s a record of charm and grace. It was recorded in Berlin last summer with Forster as part of five piece band that all bring something to the record. I particularly love the vocal pairings with Karin Bäumler. Their work together on The Morning and Life Has Turned A Page is so beautifully sung and arranged that it lifts these already wonderful songs toto higher level. Just lovely.</p> <p>The songs are full of wit, verve and energy in addition to the wisdom of life experience. It’s a life that hasn’t always worked out the way that it should have done but this helps the record rather than hinders it. The record is a beauty and what’s more he’s even coming to play a gig in Bristol, should be quite a night. Until then here’s the splendidly daft video for the title track.</p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TRlOskUcH70" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="https://shop.tapeterecords.com/robert-forster-inferno.html">https://shop.tapeterecords.com/robert-forster-inferno.html</a></p> <h2>Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs</h2> <p>I first encountered Jessica Pratt in the most unpromising of circumstances. The ATP arranged Nightmare Before Christmas was taking place (for the final time as it subsequently emerged) in the frankly bleak surroundings, of an out of season holiday camp, in a storm battered North Wales town, which had seen better days. The weather and murmurings of impending financial doom for the organisers and the impact on the bands, made for a very downbeat mood.</p> <p>It was here that we saw Jessica Pratt edge onto a small stage and sing her songs of gentle, tender, other worldliness and for 30 minutes or so we were transported to an entirely different place. </p> <p>Somehow, I lost touch with her and her work. Luckily that that his been corrected with her new record. It’s short, just nine songs but those songs create a mood that lasts well beyond that. Her voice and the arrangements are fragile, yet beautiful, sparse and simple arrangements but that seemingly timid voice is at the centre of things and lets the beguiling magic take you over. </p> <p>This Time Around, is typical of the mood that the record creates. It the perfect record for listening to, in front of a roaring fire in the dark. It will be the perfect record for sunset on a warm summer evening. A voice this tender and gentle must come from a person of great strength, who else could so bravely put their soul on display? A fascinating record.</p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FDi6C8AeTVI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><p> <a href="https://cityslang.com/releases/jessica-pratt-quiet-signs">https://cityslang.com/releases/jessica-pratt-quiet-signs</a></p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" rel="dc:subject"><a href="/music" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Music</a></div></div></div> Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:09:56 +0000 Tom 158 at http://therestreasureeverywhere.net