I can rarely, if ever, have vocal music on whilst working in the studio. More often than not I’m inclined to jazz. I know lots of you probably hate it but I like to think that jazz is a bit like abstract painting…as the great Dave Hickey once said “those who care about it know where to find it but no one else gives a shit…” But of course what makes it helpful is the central importance of melody played off against improvisation. That, for me at least, makes it powerfully resonant with the way I engage with the working process. “Oh enough of this arty bollocks” I hear several of you say. And as it happens today I’m rather agreeing with you.
A decent painting is, after all, just like a good tune…take, for example the CD that just dropped through the mailbox this morning. It came about from me sitting at the breakfast table one morning a few weeks back and suggesting we got up off our bums one Saturday evening and go and see a live bank again. We don’t do it often nowadays, some large venue experiences with ‘big’ acts having put us off. But this was different – a smallish room in the back streets of Derby city centre – but with a great acoustic and a warm vibe (as us old jazzers call it). The gig was Corrie Dick’s band and it was excellent. I guess you could call it a kind of fusion jazz…some poppy, folky and world music sounds into the contemporary jazz mix. Lovely. But something made me a little sad.
I’m a bit crusty now, and apart from my missus, a fella sitting just behind us and the terrific Corey Mwamba (now the “musical Director’ or some such of the marvellous Derby Jazz), the rest of the audience (forgive me folks!) were similarly on our way to ‘knockin on heaven’s door’. Nowt wrong with that of course – we deserve to be serenaded on our way I reckon. But where were the young people – aha! of course they were the band! Now this is surely a shite state of affairs (apols to Renton) that the younger generation aren’t getting out to see what other extremely gifted young people are making. Maybe its just Derby…but talking it over with my 28 year old son…it seems a lot of them just don’t go out to gigs much, preferring their web connected devices. If so, sad.
Anyway I bought the CD and it arrived today…not only that but with a handwritten note from Corrie. Well worth it and I’d say do the same and if they’re in your neck of the woods go check ‘em out live..
Whilst on the subject of music…two other recommendations.
Firstly I got followed here recently by musicophile. Goodness only knows why s/he was attracted to this place, when I discuss music its only ever “I don’t know much about it, but I know what I like’, but their blog is very rewarding.
As is Dave Whatt’s – its one of the few things that often makes me laugh out loud – but today I’m suggesting you dip into his Soundcloud account. It has its fair share of Dave’s wry and affectionate take on the human condition (that reminds me a bit of the legendary Derby trio of Kevin Coyne/Paul Warren/Ian Breakwell) but it is also really really good musical fun too. Damn these multi talented people I say!
So the net then. Good and bad really…just as always!
I’m sitting in on Carnival of Monsters today (18 Oct.) from Noon till 3pm and tomorrow from 4:30 till 6:30pm. if you’ve time to pop along and have a chat about the Conversation series (showing alongside HMS colleagues). When I’m not there I’ll be working on the catalogue for Happy Little Fat Man – Art by Kevin Coyne on at various locations around Derby in November, December & January – more details to follow shortly!
Over the past four days I’ve been travelling again – this time to Nuremberg to collect the work of Kevin Coyne for the Happy Little Fat Man exhibition we are planning for Deda and Derby Art School from November to next February. I love travelling but this trip was rather testing…some 1500 plus miles over effectively two days with an all too brief stopover in Nuremberg in the middle. It was fortunate that my pal came along as it really wasn’t a wise trip to do solo.
Sometimes its possible to really savour the places you visit but sadly this wasn’t that kind of trip – there was a job to be done and the timeframe was tight. Not that there weren’t moments that were a real pleasure. The city is delightful and given the unseasonable weather…it was more hot midsummer rather than autumn…it looked a treat.
In the wonderful and spectacular Neues Museum the Amish Quilts and James Turrell show was a stunner. I’d really no idea of the stark simplicity of the quilts and quite how modern they look. And it was good to see the early Turrell works. Now begins the hard work of cataloguing the material collected, getting photographs done and sorting out the press material and merchandising…here’s a first – I think rather amusing – image from the stuff collected…
So despite all the patronising blather the Westminster elite can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to their core business of placating and sustaining the international financiers and no doubt ignore the Scots and the rest of us… Moving right along I’m looking forward to being a part of Salon 6 in a couple weeks time…and although I know a fair few of the artists showing there will be new pieces that will surprise and delight. Coincidently the selection of works that Rachael made of mine comprised the Full Metal Jacket series…though we both acknowledged that she couldn’t show all eight…and it is one of the images from that series that I took my detail for (detail) that opens tonight at Transition Gallery in London.
I’d have been there but for the really nasty cold that has settled on my chest and, since my heart bypass seven years back, I tend to take these things quite carefully nowadays. So at home for me I’m afraid. It’s a triple blow really as I had hoped that my wife and myself could have taken in Late Turner and also showed up if only for a few minutes at the last ever Lion + Lamb opening.
The loss of any gallery is sad of course but for us painters the Lion + Lamb is particularly devastating…it has been a beacon of light for painting over the past two years and the curation (and I use the term advisedly unlike as is often the case nowadays) has been of the highest order. It will be very sorely missed.
So…moving on again…with Salon 6 and (detail) my wife Sarah R Key and myself will have shown together twice recently. Now its Sarah’s turn to have another solo show – at the New Court Gallery at Repton.
This opens in October so we are full on with preparations for this now. The New Court is a smashing space so it should prove to be quite a show. Also coming up fast is Beeston’s Carnival of Monsters…where I’m hoping to show several of the large Conversation pieces…though I haven’t as yet managed to resolve all of them (note to self best get my finger out!). And of course following on not so far ahead from all this will be the Happy Little Fat Man show featuring the work of Kevin Coyne. As I type this I’m also thinking that I’m feeling a little better today…and when I think of all the foregoing its probably just as well!
can sometimes overtake the best laid plans. The initial Crowdfunder pitch for our upcoming Kevin Coyne exhibition in Derby, ‘Happy Little Fat Man’ didn’t make its target so we are having to go again. Instead of being in the studio my day is being devoted to online activities to try and raise the £1250 that was pledged last time around…and maybe find a little more!
This is my first time in fund raising through social networking and its proving quite tough! The initial target was a little ambitious so we’ve scaled it back and are going again…if you pledged first time can you ‘go again’ and if you are coming to it new then please consider doing so. There’s a new link and we have ten days to raise the figure…or we get nothing!
Our Crowdfunding pitch goes ‘live’ at 12noon GMT tomorrow – Tuesday 1st July Get on board and help me, Doug and Paul achieve our ambitions to make this exhibition (and the associated events and material) a reality!