Stems

Stop motion animation by Ainslie Henderson in collaboration with Poppy Ackroyd.

“Poppy would send separate ‘stems’ — that’s where the film got its name — of each track of music. I would make characters and instruments that looked like they might make each of the sounds she’d given me and we’d go from there.”

Frames of reference

Cool For Cats

The Rowley Gallery window is cool for cats. They like to meet here. The collective term for a group of cats is a clowder. So there’s presently a great multi-coloured clowder of cats gathered together on parade in the window of the Rowley Gallery. All looking cool, calm, collected, present and Corr-ect. Read more

Frames of reference

Ravilious & Co

We detoured from the M6 via the M42 to the M40 and a few miles south of Warwick we arrived at Compton Verney to see the exhibition Ravilious & Co: The Pattern Of Friendship. There’s an echo of William Morris and Morris & Co in that title. It had been snowing when we arrived and the gallery was closing early. We only had an hour to look around. It was a mad rush with far too much to take in and too little time. I took this photo as we left, since photography was not allowed inside, and this tangle seemed a suitable souvenir of all the various artistic connections explored in the exhibition, not to mention the miles of twisting roads to get there. Read more

Frames of reference

Cakes & Ale Press

I went down to visit Jonny Hannah recently at the Cakes & Ale Press, a deceptively humble garden shed strategically located at the heart of Darktown, its inspirational source leaking pervasively up through the floorboards and onto the drawing board. Sited with the aid of dowsing-rods, it serves to trap the hidden force within. The door opened with a howl and I rushed in, cameras blazing. Read more

Frames of reference

Coppard

It was Easter Sunday and April Fools’ Day, an auspicious coincidence and ideally a time to be full of the joys of spring. But the day was wet and gloomy, and I was down with a heavy cold. The space between my ears felt clogged with cobwebs and glue. My brain needed rewiring. There was nothing else for it but to visit my favourite tree and unwind my head. The resulting photos might be stitched together like a ribbon of investigation tape, but really they record a circuit of mutual embrace. A step by step two-way revolving observation, the tree’s branches like the spokes of a wheel. Read more

Frames of reference

Bonifacio

This drawing of Bonifacio by John Minton is one of his many illustrations from Time Was Away: A Journey Through Corsica by Alan Ross, and it was pretty much the same view that greeted us when finally we inched our way into town. The queue of traffic snaked down the hill to the harbour, known variously as the Port de Commerce, Port de Pêche and Port de Plaisance. We crawled our way along the narrow street, passing parking complet signs at every turn, climbing steeply beneath the walls of the Haute Ville and up to the ancient citadel, past the multi-storey tenements and beyond the empty barracks to the last car park at the end of the peninsula, a windy harbour high on the Bosco. Read more

Frames of reference

Remaking Landscape

We just received a wonderful gift in the post. A message from beyond the grave. Before his death in January last year, John Hubbard had been putting together what he liked to call his self-curated retrospective; a collection of images with commentaries from his diary gathered together in a book celebrating his lifelong devotion to painting. Remaking Landscape is a thing of beauty. Read more

Frames of reference

For Geri Allen

I first knew Geri Allen when she played with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. She was referred to then as the new Keith Jarrett, a lazy comparison just because he also played with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. But she always played her own piano. She and Charlie and Paul made some great albums together, all three of them now sadly departed, and then I discovered this performance with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette from 1993. And I’m so glad it exists, she is absolutely radiant, she shines with confidence and generosity and beauty. Play it again and again. For Geri Allen, 1957-2017.

If you liked this you might also like to see – Perfection.

Frames of reference

Standards

00:20 I Wish I Knew 08:50 If I Should Lose You / Late Lament 28:25 Rider 42:20 It’s Easy To Remember 50:10 So Tender 1:02:40 Prism 1:17:18 Stella By Starlight 1:27:50 God Bless The Child 1:44:50 Delaunay’s Dilemma – Koseinenkin Hall, Tokyo, 1985.

Prompted by the previous post, I was reminded of Keith Jarrett (there’s a live recording of him playing Still Life, Still Life, a lovely free-form ballad from 1973 at The Village Vanguard in New York with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian) so I went searching for concert videos. I couldn’t find Still Life, Still Life but I found two beautiful recordings of the Standards trio. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette first recorded together in 1977 for an album of compositions by Gary Peacock called Tales Of Another. Six years later they came together again to record a set of “standards”, which proved so successful that the trio went on to make another 21 albums, most of them recorded live in concert at venues all around the world. Read more

Frames of reference

Still Life Still Life

A selection of chalk-pencil drawings by Aaron Kasmin displayed in the Rowley Gallery window together with the objects that inspired them – the depictions and the depicted. The objects are not for sale but the pictures are; they’re souvenirs, simulacra, tokens of affection. Read more

Frames of reference