Saturday, June 15, 2013

Same Old Drones

Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: does watching 'Game of Thrones' count? If so, about EIGHT.
Level of conviction in own genius: a humble 6; my brain has melted slightly through watching too many horse decapitations, tongue removals and deaths-by-having-molten-silver-tipped-over-your-head
Reading / Listening / Watching: Back on the very-meaningful-to-me Vera Brittain / Melt Yourself Down, our new punk-skronk-jazz saviours / 'Game of Thrones', to which I have become woefully and predictably addicted, having got through Season 1 in about 6 days. WINTER IS COMING, etc (forgive any hints of GoT in this blog. I really have watched an AWFUL lot of it).
Hair day: unstyled, post-bath. HIDEOUS.

Much work has been undertaken in the shadow of Kerry Towers: rehearsals for Wigmore Hall's 'Woodwose' have started (premiere: July 19th), with brave Borough of Westminster folk aged 9-80 starting to get their chops around my music. Meanwhile, I'm halfway through my second chamber h'opera of the year, a lovely commission which is rounding off the annual Tête à Tête Festival. Auditions are now done, and I'm excited to see how the singers - a mix of operatic and more folky, grounded voices - combine. Dart's Love: a wild-swimming-themed chamber opera is for five voices and a four-piece band, hopefully will include a LOT of swimwear, and has mostly involved me making wine glasses ring, trying to play the electric guitar, and working out the time signatures for my swimming strokes on my hallowed visits to Brockwell Lido. It's being performed in two months' time so is pretty skin of the teeth stuff - I'll probably just pop a load of drones in for the last ten minutes...

Meanwhile, it's up to the North, home of wildlings and direwolves and unexpectedly lovely small jazz venues for the Metamorphic tour, which is Jazz Pick of the Week in the Guardian Guide. We're promoting the release of our second album, Coalescence and on the road with us is wicked Norwegian jazz-pop-experimental vocal trio Royst. Our first date was up in the desolate wastes of Morecambe (truly! The pub, the church, the shops - EVERYTHING was up for sale), with the great arts venue The Hothouse nestling on a street behind the sea front. They looked after us beautifully and it was a cracking start to the tour. Next: have at you, Sheffield, Derby, Leeds, London and Liverpool, and genuflect before our Hendrix/Wheeler/P Diddy-inspired proggy folkjazz majesty!

It was up to the North again a couple of weeks ago, where the noble Lord David Thomas Broughton of Otley Vale, a magically artistic world where basically every other darkstone manor houses a print-maker, illustrator, pianist or studio engineer, most of them Broughtons... DTB had invited the Three Screaming Queens of Juice to come up and record some semi-improvised songs with him. We first ventured up to the drizzly Chevin Forest Park, found ourselves a spot surrounded by sentry-like trees, and sang around some of David's lyrics whilst he meandered through his tunes and picked delicate guitar arpeggios. Thence to Otley's arts venue and a studio in an attic, and somehow we recorded five songs, which - having heard the pre-mastered sneak previews - sound BLOODY AMAZING! Read more about the day at juice's blog by Sarah, and await with BATED BREATH the vocal-folk-guitar-looping wondrousness that will appear at some point as an EP. If you don't buy it when it comes out, it shall be a lifetime at The Wall for you! Etc.

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