Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August 2012's calendar / wallpaper

August 2012's Wallpaper :: iPad

I love flowers and I love photographing flowers. I make no apology for that and, in fact, celebrate my love by releasing another calendar / wallpaper that features flowers. Not sure what they were but we spotted them in a wee courtyard off Tombland in Norwich (near the Cathedral). It was such a beautiful sight... which lent itself nicely to some photos with a shallow depth of field.

All the usual flavours are included below. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for everyones' willingness to have my photography on their devices... it is appreciated by me.



iPhone with Calendar + iPhone without Calendar
980x800 for Andrew Berry's HTC Desire HD

Monday, July 30, 2012

Loving... "Skylights" by Knate Myers with music from Lowercasenoises

Skylights from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

Wow... simply wow!

I would have loved this video without the soundtrack... but seeing how it IS soundtracked by one of my fave indie musicians... it's simply stunning.

Well done Knate Myers for such stunning footage and for impeccable taste in choosing Andy Othling to provide the music.

The track 'Skylights' is available to download for 99c ... and I doubt you could buy something of more value for that kind of price.


Seven questions... with Andre LaFosse

When someone takes the time to send me their music... I will listen to it. More often than not the music and the musician will find themselves on the ol' nanolog.

Case in point is this chap... Andre LaFosse... someone who found my site through my coverage of the fantastic Matt Stevens and his equally fantastic band The Fierce and the Dead. I was honoured... but I was also intrigued because this is how he pitched his music:

I'm afraid that I'm an oddball musician with a couple of strange new releases - one a retro-synth psychedelic hauntology freakout, one a mid-life crisis collection of prog/noise songs - and was wondering if you might have any inclination to review either one on your fine site?
I mean... how could I resist a pitch like that?

Now the two albums LaFosse refers to are mighty fine and I intend to cover them in due course... needless to say they are the breath of guitar-orientated fresh air that I need every-so-often after I get too immersed in ambient soundscapes.

However before I talk about his albums... I thought I would let Mr LaFosse do some speaking. This is what he had to say in response to my wee blog questionnaire:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
Andre Leopold LaFosse, hipster muso deconstructionist solo (tortured) artist. In my secret superhero identity, I make iconoclastic instrumental music. By day, I teach guitar and music classes to innocent, unsuspecting civilians around Los Angeles.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
Recovering from putting out "The Hard Bargain" and "Do The Math".  Trying to remain diligent about spreading the word re. aforementioned albums. Reveling in giving myself permission to work on new music, noodle with synthesizers, play guitar, etc. without having to stress about getting the albums finished. Teaching music.

3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.

David Torn. I simply wouldn't do what I do musically without his example and influence. Having had the pleasure of knowing him personally, I can also say he's deeply inspiring and influential as a human being.

- Name place that has inspired you.

California Institute of the Arts, where I studied for three years, and where I got my music degree. It's a small campus perched on a hill, with one primary building housing schools in Art, Dance, Film, Theater, and Music. It totally transformed the way I think about things - not just my music making, but a lot of the ways I look at the world in general.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.

The Internet. I don't think I would have been willing to start recording and releasing my own music without the possibilities it offers. I've gone through many different phases of involvement with the Internet, not all of them particularly happy or healthy, but it's difficult to think of a "thing" that's had a bigger impact on my music and life.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
Not so long ago I would have cringed at the possibility of saying this, but: I think anyone who "releases" something to be experienced by a potential audience is looking for communication and connection with other people. It's very fashionable to adopt the ivory tower artistic attitude, and say that we don't care what anyone else thinks about our music, and that we do it for ourselves, etc. But as soon as we choose to make a recording available for listening (let alone for purchase), or find a public space to perform in (let alone to charge admission at), we're implicitly inviting, and even asking for, the attention of other people.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
Ooooooh, that's an interesting question. I don't think I'm trying to convey specific values through my music, in the sense of a concrete set of spiritual/cultural/religious/political beliefs. But there's definitely an ongoing tug of war within myself regarding how my own values affect the creation of my work.

On the one side, I try to live with a good deal of humility, and to have that inform the way that I spend my time and deal with people. On the other hand, I'm increasingly aware of the extent to which ego is a prime ingredient in the creative process, and the extent to which anyone who goes to the time and effort to publish or release something publicly clearly has - and, indeed, MUST have - a very high opinion about the importance and value of themselves and their work. And it's not as if I'm thinking, "Hmmm, must cultivate an attitude in order to justify picking up the guitar" - there's a part of me that's hell-bent on generating a dialog through my music, and convinced that I have something important to say.

How much of this comes through the music itself, I don't know - I have some theories about how this stuff has impacted the two new albums, but I kind of want to see what people make of it themselves.

I also tend to feel that, much of the time, creative people may not fully understand what's being expressed through their own music - sometimes, not until many years later. So I'll probably have a much better sense of what my just-released material is "about" after I've got some distance from it, and can come back to it with a (quasi-) objective point of view.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
I've found that the way I think of myself, and perceive the value of what I do, can vary tremendously based on the environment I'm in. Just in the various musical communities I'm a part of, there can be a huge variance in the types of attitudes people have, the way I'm regarded or treated within that community, and how all of this makes me feel. I guess the most obvious ambition would be to surround oneself with like-minded individuals who make us feel good about ourselves, and reinforce the images of ourselves that we want to have…

…except there's a part of me that's a little suspicious of that. For one thing, one of the whole reasons I make albums in the first place is to stir dialogue and debate about certain aspects of music, and I know that there's a part of me that revels in a certain amount of artistic confrontation. Another consideration is that, as reassuring as it can be to have a nurturing, positively reinforcing community, I do feel there's a danger in immersing oneself in an "echo chamber" - an environment where one's own beliefs and values are always reflected and shared by those around oneself.

And I guess I feel like that danger is about insulating ourselves against ideas other than our own, acknowledging the shortcomings of our own knowledge and abilities, and getting a sense of how to connect (artistically, personally, whatever) with people who are coming from a different point of view than ourselves. Indeed, if a creative person is fortunate enough to have their work heard in any significant capacity, they'll inevitably get reactions that are different from what they might have intended, or wanted. (I'd go so far as to say that such a thing is one of the whole points of doing it in the first place.)

So I guess I'm looking for a balance: One the one hand, not getting so comfortable in a community of like-minded people that I get complacent and self-satisfied in my existence as some sort of fundamentally "correct" way of doing things. But on the other hand, not getting too mentally or emotionally invested in an environment where my own values and accomplishments don't hold any relevance, for whatever reason.

7) What is next for what you do?
Making new music! Promoting the current releases. Trying to sequester myself in the metaphorical practice room enough to address some aspects of my guitar playing that are bugging me. Listening - serious, focused listening - to more music, by more artists.


Thanks Andre!!! I've embedded players for both the albums below... take some time out to listen to his retro-synth psychedelic hauntology freakout and mid-life crisis collection of prog/noise songs... and come back soon to read what I thought of both albums.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Loving... "The Calling Whisper" by Transcend with Time

There are many different genres of music in my collection... from country and folk through to electronic and even death metal. I do not have anything that goes by the title of “new age”.

I recently was asked to review an album that the artist described as “new age” (along with progressive and ambient) and I was initially sceptical... I’m not into Yanni and wasn’t sure what I could add to build the release up. If I don't like something I will either say so (if I have to) or not publish... the world is full of negativity and I don't want to add to it.

The release was “the calling whisper” by a chap called Mark Mendieta from Brownsville, Texas; who uses the moniker Transcend with Time... and I was pleasantly surprised at how good his release is.

Mendieta is part of a prog rock band called ’Subject to Thoughts’. ’Transcend in Time’ is his side-project... you could call it a self-imposed challenge to write music for a different genre... influenced by Dream Theater, David Arkenstone and Symphony X... to name a few.

Basically think of a soundtrack... with music from piano, synths and percussion... and you’ll get close to the music presented by Mendieta here... music that straddles both the fore and backgrounds as desired.

I found the release to be wonderfully relaxing... it is beautiful bubble bath music that uplifts the soul... reawakening and reenergising my inner self... rebuilding it through the power of rest. I know this may sound vacuous and a bit airy-fairy but there is nothing more beautiful to me than music that promotes relaxation and rest... and this is a beautiful body of work.

What I particularly enjoyed about this release is how the tracks blend into each other... there are no gaps or unnecessary disruptions... just the flow of sound. I like that... it's why I love mixes and why this release really captured my attention.

To be fair, there is nothing new here... “the calling whisper” will not break new ground... Mendieta hasn’t gone out his way to define a new sub-genre of music that wasn’t there prior to the release of this album... but I doubt that was ever its intention. This isn’t about new but about the tried and tested. The sounds presented here are familiar and this adds to the warmth and delight of the listening experience... rather than detracting from it. It’s as if you are spending time with an old friend rather than working to make a new acquaintance.

All in... “the calling whisper” is a welcome addition to my collection and will become, I have no doubt, a well-played album for the times when rest is the order of the day.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Loving... "Respire" by Swartz et

When I received an offer to listen to and review “Respire” by Swartz et I was both intrigued and sceptical... it was, afterall, a release based on recordings of the artist’s breathing... something that fascinated me and, if I'm honest, horrified me in equal measure. Ambient music has a tendency towards concept... with the end result not always living up to the initial aspirations expressed at conception.

I am delighted to say that “Respire” works for me and Swartz et’s execution, in my opinion, has delivered. This is a deeply engaging release... that uses the natural ebb and flow of the subject matter with great effect... creating music that is, at times, noisy... moving... languid... and it is a delight to listen to.

The standout track, for me, is the second one: “yours mine ours”... it is the most languid of the tracks... it has an illusory stillness to it... because there is movement... the hypnotic ebb and flow... but it is less apparent than in other tracks. The use of synths to build upon the breathing is inspired... as is the brief sounds of piano keys ringing like the bells of buoys in the sea.

I would reiterate that point with the 313 version of “Ocean Breath” (the fourth track) which benefits from additional electronic manipulation and backing... making the track more than the breathing or the tidal ebb and flow... creating something wonderfully delightful... a synergistic collaboration of the various parts.

I like the comparison between breathing and the tidal ebb and flow of the sea... and I love how Swartz et has brought them into the world of droning ambient... a world that has its own ebb and flow. Bring the two together is a genius that I am inspired by... and I congratulate Swartz et for that inspiration.

A further stand-out and a fitting close to the release is the last track: “breathe out the sea”... which eloquently combines the recordings of breathing with the most delightful synth drones.

Some of the sounds featured on this release are definitely an acquired listen... this is ambient at it’s more dissonant and noisy. There is also a sparseness about the release with the focus, quite rightly, on the concept of breathing... which may make the recording too minimal for some. I, for one, prefer the second, fourth and fifth tracks to the others... because they have something more to them than simply the ebb and flow of Swartz et’s breathing... but that said I have still thoroughly enjoyed this release. I think Swartz et has realised his vision and delivered a recording that he can and should be proud of... and this makes me happy... happy that someone can pull off something like this... happy that we still have artists out there who are willing to look beyond, see things others can’t and, most importantly, take the risks and chances necessary to fulfil their dreams.

“Respire” is available via links on Bandcamp and I have embedded a player below to let you listen to it.


Seven questions... with Bilian

I was really grateful to John LaSalle for facilitating the series of 'seven questions' interviews with his Foreshadows / Very Us gang. While I was away he managed to score an interview with one of my fave musicians from the soundtrack... Bilian. I was delighted when John pointed it out and am pleased to present this interview.



  1. Who are you and what do you do? My name is William Ian LaFauci, and the moniker of my creative endeavors is Bilian. I do a lot of things, but mainly I am a musician, singer/songwriter and music producer. For Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero, I shared the production duties of putting together the soundtrack with fellow Very Us Artists creative director John LaSala. I also wrote, performed and recorded several tracks on the album, and helped copy-edit all of the stories as well.
  2. What are you working on at the moment?
    At this moment I am answering nine interview questions cleverly disguised as seven, while intermittently converting analog video of various past live musical performances of mine to the digital realm for public release. In the moments surrounding this one I have been promoting
    Foreshadows on a fairly regular basis. I am also in the process of writing and arranging the music for a composition to be released in three parts as a free Webshadows installment at www.foreshadows.net, which will accompany and share the name with a new story and new artwork.
  3. Who inspires you?
  1. Name an artist who has inspired you.
    There are so many artists from all different mediums that have inspired me. It's difficult to choose just one from the lot. When I was a teenager, early Skinny Puppy had a big influence on the way I perceived sounds used within song-structured music. It was so different from anything I had been listening to at the time—synths and electronic drums sounding so hard and edgy, with such angry, processed vocals. Of course, that kind of thing is a lot more common now, but I had certainly identified with and been inspired by the feel and mood those records created.  
  2. Name a place that has inspired you.
    There is plenty of inspiration to be found where I am living here in New York, and in its people. There is a nice dynamic in that the external stimuli is there when you want it, and there are places you can go to escape it without needing to travel too far.
  3. Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
    I keep the severed head of one of my old enemies in the freezer in a black plastic bag. Sometimes I'll take it out and kick it down the stairs before I start to work on a track. There was a serious answer to this question, but it wasn't nearly as interesting.

  1. What drives you to do what you do?
    The need to discover, challenge, define and express myself and the world as I see it.
  2. What values do you wish your creativity to express?That we are the same at a core, living-entity level. That creativity and beauty can bloom from even the darkest chapters of our lives. That music can bring us together, overcoming the obstacles that separate us.
  3. What role does community play in what you do?I think community is important. It's good to be connected with like-minded individuals that seek similar goals. For example, I've found that our Very Us Artists community to be a forum through which to meet a lot of friendly and creative folks I otherwise might not have met, and the energies and creative ideas that form from a group will usually shape up to be bigger and better than any from a single individual ever could.
  4. What is next for what you do?Besides the Webshadows piece I mentioned, I've got a four-album concept piece which has been in the works for a long time. I'll also be supporting and promoting Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero, of course. We'll have a big, snazzy booth (#1749) at GenCon Indy 2012, August 16-19, so check it out…in person, if you can!

For more on Foreshadows... go here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Loving... the music of Twice Removed (1 of 2)

Prior to going on holiday... I was approached by Gavin Catling, the chap behind the fab Australian micro-label Twice Removed Records, to see if I would be interested in reviewing their back-catalogue. I jumped at the chance because I’ve wanted to explore their music for a while but never had the money to invest... always finding other places to put my meagre resources. Gavin was gracious enough to give me MP3 copies of all his content and I was, quite understandably, like a fat kid in a sweetie shop.

While I was off... I scheduled features on each of the albums with their Bandcamp players. Not sure if anyone took the time to listen to them... but if you did you’ll have tapped into a vein of rich, succulent talent. I appreciate you may not have had the context I provide to the music... so via this and a subsequent post I intend to provide that context to you.

The first album I jumped at was “I have become overcome with thoughts of you” by Tim Bass which is 32 minutes of the most delightful ambience. Words like subtle, sparing, elegant, and gracious come to mind when I try to describe this album... it is something to be savoured while it is consumed like a delicate tea. Nothing is overdone or out-of-place on this release. It just is... and I absolutely love that about it.

Like all great ambient soundscapes, Tim Bass’ release provides moments of calm and gives me the opportunity to zone out... to find space in the busy-ness of life for contemplation and deeper thought. I am grateful for this and would highly recommend this release... it is a work of greatness!

Another wonderfully deep ambient soundscape released on the label is the dark and atmospheric “Roeblin” by Bengalfuel (a name I was familiar with through the Sequence4 compilation) a release that comprises 11 tracks that are relatively short for an ambient release (each comes in at less than 7 minutes with the majority coming in at less than 5 minutes) but in no way less powerful or evocative.

I love the space great ambient music affords me and this release continues this trend... granting the space I feel is necessary to escape the busy-ness of my world. That is, in no way, an insult to the music... but a compliment because it has been created in such a manner as to be something beautiful to focus on and cherish... or something that aids dreaming.

The only track that, in some small way, deviates from this path is the closing track “cells” which complements truly gorgeous drones with some seriously lovely percussive rhythms. It is a delightful combination that reminds me of Boards of Canada in approach and craft.
“Roeblin” by Bengalfuel is a delight... especially for grey days... the kind of days that need time out in.

The third release that jumped out at me was “Otherworld” by a young chap from Perth (Aus) called K.Wilson. It is a three track 25 minute EP that presents some truly engaging guitar-orientated ambient drones: ambient expressions that are gently interspersed with percussive elements and found-sounds.

When I listen to this EP I get caught... transfixed... in the swirl of movement and the natural ebb and flow of the rhythm presented. It is in this natural earthiness that I find my joy... enamoured as I am by the hypnotic power of K.Wilson’s guitar playing and attention to detail.

Lastly... for this post... is “the cartography of shifting planes” by piano & laptop duo Cycle~ 440... a 5 song, 41 minute piano-orientated release that is a wonderful visual collection of ambient sound. The tracks are sparse and yet paradoxically dense... such as the opening track: “rumination” where manipulated found-sounds provide the percussive backing for a haunting, minimal melody... played sparingly on the piano. This idea continues throughout the release albeit the manipulation becomes more noisy and glitchy... to my delight but this may not be to everyone's taste.

As is the wonderfully creative yet a bit annoying vocal samples on the third, and longest track, on the release: “aida”. I think at 12 minutes long they do push things with their use of the repetitive vocal samples on this track but I do recognise creative expression when I see/hear it and this track is wonderfully progressive in this regard.

That said... don't let the third track put you off... because the final two tracks are belters. Similarly sparse piano works... with subtle electronically-manipulated backgrounds. Truly exquisite.

I have another four releases to discuss... but I'll leave that to another day.

The Twice Removed microlabel is an excellent demonstration of what can be done within the realms of ambient and post-rock... and I would heartily recommend you check them out.


Monday, July 23, 2012

My holiday in Norfolk remembered


Looking back on the time we had in Norfolk... I don't think we had it bad at all. That said... I don't think we had it that good either but we made do... and in doing so had a relaxing time.


It became apparent on the first day in Great Yarmouth that this wasn’t to be a beach and pool break... whilst the sand was lovely on the Norfolk coast the wind wasn't. I think the wind farm just of the coast at Great Yarmouth was a clue. However, we adapted. We went to the sights... spent time playing crazy golf and walking round the model village. We did get a couple of days where we could spend time on the beach at nearby Caister... which was lovely... but this wasn't Northern Italy.

030712_ 30

Whilst there is a lot going on in Great Yarmouth I do not think it deserves it's “great” status anymore. The majority of shops were either chains or rundown gimmicky stores for the tourists of a bygone age. There was nothing really different... nothing really unusual... we even struggled finding places to eat... albeit the Lemon and Green Pepper on the front was an utter delight and is highly recommended. That said... the old cinema on the front was fab too... getting to see “the Avengers Assemble” for £1 each was pretty special and made a welcome change from the European Cup Final.

030712_ 51

Don’t get me wrong... I found some cool stuff: an Unwin copy of the Silmarillion... a Star Wars belt-buckle... a cool Star Wars parody tee... a Stablio Smartball pen/stylus... but we had to sort through all the dross to find these gems - Dayna found an Elmo belt-buckle and a ’big band theory’ sweatshirt... Olly found a Wonder Woman belt-buckle... and Miriam... well she was in heaven... she likes her junk. We also ate well... albeit we did eat in more than we may have preferred. We did find a great cafe for afternoon tea on the front... one that wasn't Starbucks. All in… Great Yarmouth should be renamed Good Yarmouth… at least for me.

030712_ 69

Now... it was in our second week that the holiday came alive. Our accommodation was first class:  a four-star two-storey apartment in a Country Club 10 miles outside Norwich... bit of rural as well as city... with plenty of space to walk Pippin amongst fishing lakes. I saw ducks, geese, swans, coots and moorhen while out and about... and that made the grounds very special indeed.

060712_ near our apartment

There was an outdoor pool there too... but only Miriam was brave enough to take a dip.

Norwich was an amazing city and we had a blast... we ate well... shopped well... and saw the sights.

100712_ not sure how they get away with this

For food... we visited Nando’s, Wagamama, Yo Sushi, Starbucks and Frankie & Benny’s. We found a fab burger joint called "Captain America's Hamburger Heaven" which was… heaven! We also found a sweet wee indie coffeeshop called “marmalade’s” who offered some delicious coffee and cake.

For the shops… Norwich had everything: the secondhand bookshops were a particular blessing as well as a curse to me... and Miriam as well... she’s become a real book collector too. The girls enjoyed some good clothes shopping and I found a fab shop that sold old DVDs and CDs... allowing me to pick up some older content that had languished in the “someday” list including “Kid A” and “Amnesiac” (to my shame).

120712_ stationery excitement

I also found a great wee stationery shop where I discovered 'Leuchturm 1917' notebooks (like Moleskine but cooler) and bought a sweet Rhodia notebook with cover... it's a beautiful shade of orange. We also found a fab bookshop that sold some wonderfully progressive theological books like “the other Jesus” by Greg Garrett or “Sabbath” by Dan Allender... I was a pig in poo!

100712_ Norwich Cathedral_ 25

For the sights... well, we didn't see everything on offer: managing to take in the Cathedral and the Castle mostly... both which are well worth seeing although their charges made me appreciate the great museums in Glasgow that are free.

100712_ Norwich Castle_ 4

I was delighted to catch a Cecil Beaton exhibit that focussed on the Royal Family. His portraits are simply first class and it was great to spend some time in a very well curated exhibit. The other galleries in the Castle are brilliant too... with space for Modern Art, water colours and some beautiful landscapes from Turner and others.

120712_ 6

All in… the best part was spending time with my wife and my girls. Afterall that's what it's all about… not the books… not the music… not the sights, food or whatever… it's about taking time out… and any time with my Olly, Dayna and Miriam is time well spent.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Last of my pics from my Summer break

120712_ 7

That's the last of my photos uploaded to Flickr... go here to see them.


040701_ 2 (crop)

100712_ Norwich Cathedral_ 26

110712_ Pippin_ 1

120712_ 3

Welcome to the Anthropocene... with music from Earlyguard

Welcome to the Anthropocene from WelcomeAnthropocene on Vimeo.

I got sent a link to this video earlier today by my dear friend @earlyguard... whose music is used within the feature.

It's a great video... thought-provoking and well presented... demonstrating the power of clear graphics.

Well worth watching.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Inspiration: a Yarmouth Stadium Greyhound Racing poster

030712_ 73

I saw this poster in a number of locations in and around Great Yarmouth. I really like it. It is visually attractive with such vibrant colours whilst being an effective communicator.

Yes... it uses too many different fonts... and the image of the greyhounds could be larger... but it works for me.


Some more photos from our trip to Norfolk

030712_ 65

I've uploaded some more pics from our trip to Norfolk... go here to see them.


030712_ 3

030712_ 13

030712_ 27

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loving these posters from Tompop

I really love these posters from Tompop... a chap I featured a wee while back on the blog. I wish I had the surface space to hang more posters... because if I did these would be going up.

Support independent artists... buy direct!


Photos from my break to Norfolk


I have a couple of hundred photos to upload from our wee break to Norfolk... photos of flowers and of landscapes...


of family members...


and birds...


oh and more flowers...



Go here :: flickr :: and watch the set expand over the next few days.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

waag_rel004 aka 'Ghost Drones' by Wolfgang Merx has dropped

waag_rel004 is here... an experimental album from Wolfgang Merx. More details are available over on weareallghosts.


A photosafari near the Clyde in Glasgow City Centre

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 21

Before I left for my summer holiday... I managed to nip out on the Friday at lunchtime with my colleagues Sam (above) and Euan (below) for a wee photosafari along the Clyde in Glasgow's City Centre.

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 26

We took in the garden of the Metropolitan Catholic Church while we were there... the mirrored sculptures are awesome... well worth a visit.

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 14

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 8

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 18

290612_ photosafari near the Clyde 11

It was a very pleasant way to pass an hour... and was very inspiring. It's great to spend time doing something you love in the company of likeminded and supportive individuals. I find being with Euan and Sam very encouraging... and hope to do it again soon.

The rest of my photos can be viewed on Flickr.


I'm back

120712_ blow drying causes cancer

I saw this public service announcement in Norwich and had to snap it... the funny thing is my youngest daughter thinks 'Eraserhead' is 'Jedward'. One is a 1977 American surrealist film written, produced and directed by David Lynch and the other is equally surrealist pop act from Ireland... unfortunately Miriam got the two mixed up... albeit maybe it's not so strange... hmm.

Anyway... I'm back from two weeks of rest and relaxation in Norfolk. I didn't get everything read or everything listened to that I wanted... the weather meant it wasn't that kind of break. I did, however, eat well, see different things, buy loads of books and CDs... and generally have a fab time.

I'll recap in due course. Need to upload my photos to Flickr first.

Anyway... it's nice to be back. I hope you enjoyed the Seven Questions interviews from the Foreshadows team and the music from Twice Removed? I intend on doing more with both parties in the future... including some thoughts on each of the albums on Twice Removed.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seven questions... with Ruth Lampi

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
    Ruth Lampi, I'm a writer, illustrator, and con nomad
  2. What are you working on at the moment?
    My current project is an ongoing series of adventure stories set in the Victorian era of a fantasy world, about an unusual family of archeologists.
  3. Who inspires you?
  1. Name an artist who has inspired you.
    Alan Lee
  2. Name a place that has inspired you.
    1800s cemeteries
  3. Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
    Chuckanut sandstone formations

  1. What drives you to do what you do?
    Getting to see what my characters do next, and telling the kind of stories I love reading.
  2. What values do you wish your creativity to express?A big theme for me is exploring how characters and places can recover from serious devastation. Transformation through love, or even just through stubbornness, appeals to me, and I want to share a kind of grounded hopefulness that can face the bitter and the grim, and overcome it, whether that involves hugs or punching.
  3. What role does community play in what you do?
    I like disparate families of strangers who come together into ensembles. Family is great, but its the travelers you meet, get stuck with, fall in love with and adventure with who make the best unexpected communities. I do a lot of my brainstorming with very close friends, and enjoy working collaboratively. Seeing what you love all over again through diverse viewpoints is startling but I think important. Its easier then to see what and why others love what they do, and appreciate it all more.
  4. What is next for what you do?
    Next I'm writing about body snatchers and a World's Fair, which you can read serialized online at
    www.worldofshandor.com. ;)

My thanks go to Ruth for completing my wee blog interview. For more on Foreshadows... go here > http://foreshadows.net/index.html

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Seven questions... with Jeremy Simmons

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
    Jeremy Simmons. I create stuff: Music, fiction, screenplays, art, bacon sandwiches.
  2. What are you working on at the moment?
    A radioplay for the BBC Radioplay competition 2012.
  3. Who inspires you?
  1. Name an artist who has inspired you.
    Paul Klee
  2. Name a place that has inspired you.
    Ault Park
  3. Name some "thing" that has inspired you.

  1. What drives you to do what you do?
    I love creating things, expressing ideas, creating and telling stories. More than loving it, I feel more like I have to, or I'll go mad (in the bad way).
  2. What values do you wish your creativity to express?I wouldn't know how to distill that into any kind of simple answer. Humanity? The melancholy of the human condition?
  3. What role does community play in what you do?
    Not a lot, to be honest. I don't feel that where I live is any more my community than New York or Seoul or the Australian outback. I've never really felt a warm and fuzzy “hometown love.” Although, Cincinnati chili is pretty sublime.
  4. What is next for what you do?
    More. Try and make the next thing better than the last.

My thanks go to Jeremy for completing my wee blog interview. For more on Foreshadows... go here > http://foreshadows.net/index.html

Monday, July 09, 2012

Seven questions... with Jaleigh Johnson

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
    My name is
    Jaleigh Johnson, and I’m a writer.
  2. What are you working on at the moment?
    At the moment, I’m working on a young adult steampunk fantasy novel that I hope to sell for zillions of dollars. I’m willing to consider smaller offers. Or cake. I’ll sell a lot of things for cake.
  3. Who inspires you?
    My family. They give me the extra push to do what I do, they support me when I fall apart, and they cheer me on when I succeed—and they’re also completely squirrel-brain crazy, but that’s okay because mostly I am too.

  1. Name an artist who has inspired you.
    Ed Greenwood—for his talent, work ethic, and most importantly for compassion and kindness.
  2. Name a place that has inspired you.
    Walking around Paris with my husband was awe-inspiring, but creatively, I’d have to say my backyard deck has been a source of endless inspiration. I’ve piled more words into my laptop while staring out at the bean field behind my house than I have in any city in the world.
  3. Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
    I’m terrible about not throwing things away, so I’ve kept almost all the notebooks I used to scribble stories in when I was in high school, college, and throughout my twenties. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a project and don’t feel like working, I flip back through the pages of almost illegible writing and think that if I managed to fill up all those notebooks with (mostly bad) stories, I must have learned something along the way. And then I go back and start working on my project again. If that doesn’t work: coffee.   

  1. What drives you to do what you do?
    It’s hard to break it down sometimes, but mostly, I do what I do because stories feed me, whether I’m writing them, reading them, watching them on a screen, or acting them out at the gaming table. They have been a constant at the best and worst times of my life.
  2. What values do you wish your creativity to express?I want it to feel true. I want to make people believe in the possibility of dragons between the book covers. Not literally between the covers, though, because then the dragon would probably light the pages on fire. So a little true.
  3. What role does community play in what you do?
    It’s funny; I’ve always been a pretty solitary creature, but in the past several years, this wonderful community of creative people gradually started coming into my life. First it was writers and editors I got to know through my publisher, then people I connected with at conventions, and then a local group of writers that got together and formed a critique group. They all help me to remember that I’m not alone in this game. I am very blessed to have them as friends.
  4. What is next for what you do?
    More writing.  And more coffee.  Wait, switch that.  There you go.

My thanks go to Jaleigh for completing my wee blog interview. For more on Foreshadows... go here > http://foreshadows.net/index.html


Related Posts with Thumbnails