Epping Snow

epping snow 1

All this talk of winter trees and William Morris and I realise it’s time I went back to Epping Forest. It seems different every time I visit but today is something special, I’ve never seen it so thick with snow. It’s another world, silent and monochrome like an old movie. Continue reading “Epping Snow”

Frames of reference

William Morris Gallery

001 william morris gallery

The William Morris Gallery is at Water House in Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow. William Morris was fourteen when his family moved here in 1848. They had downsized from Woodford Hall where William’s playground had been Epping Forest. At Water House he played in the grounds, particularly the moated island where he imagined there be dragons. Continue reading “William Morris Gallery”

Frames of reference

Winter Trees

moon tree

First there was this Christmas card from a painting by Mick Moon, made with oil paint & string on board and called simply Tree. Then I heard the three Staveley-Taylor sisters (aka The Staves) singing Winter Trees:

Continue reading “Winter Trees”

Frames of reference

Casals & Bach

August 1954, aged 77, Pablo Casals performs Bach’s G-Major Suite for solo cello at Abbaye Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa near Prades in the French Pyrénées.

In an ancient abbey in the south of France I once heard invisible plainsong. I realised eventually that it came not from speakers, nor from monks hidden behind a screen, but from a fellow tourist who sang as he moved through the building, exploring its rich acoustics. It was surprising and beautiful. How amazing it would have been to discover Casals playing Bach.

Bach Unwrapped is a year long series of over 70 concerts throughout 2013 at Kings Place, London.

Frames of reference

Landfill Harmonic

When these children in Paraguay were given the opportunity to learn music there were more students than instruments. Cateura is Paraguay’s biggest landfill with a resourceful tradition of recycling. It seemed only appropriate to make musical instruments from waste materials. Scrap was transformed into violin, cello, double-bass, flute, saxophone, guitar and The Recycled Orchestra was born.

Frames of reference


Schwitters performing Ursonate, London, 1944

MERZsonata is a homage to Kurt Schwitters’ sound-text masterpiece, the Ursonate…Every sound…has a biographical connection to Schwitters (for example, he wrote a sneezing poem, and he used to bark like a dog each night during his time in the Hutchinson Square Internment Camp on the Isle of Man during the Second World War)…Like the materials of a Schwitters collage, each element is both itself and part of something new.’ – Christopher Fox, 1999. Continue reading “MERZsonata”

Frames of reference