New Sounds

I always liked the Mellotron flute in this track. It must remind me of those sixties psychedelic songs that combine lightness and heaviness in unique ways. It would have been a little too gloomy without it, I think, and it weaves beautifully round the guitar.


The Audio Page is here: http://heda.org.uk/?page_id=35 with complete lyrics.

Bus Stop

 

There are well-written songs and there are great-sounding tracks. I’m obsessed with the idea of aiming for both at once. This is one of the more traditional recent songs in the sense that it is about as close to a ballad as I really want to go. Lyrically it’s a little melancholy existentialist scenario rather than a narrative but it has a classic verse/chorus/middle-eight song structure. This one’s in Em if you want to play along.

New Music

I’ve settled on the final masters for the new tracks. I’m using Soundcloud to make streams of songs available and hopefully get some feedback. The songs will be on rotation with a few available at a time. To get going and blow the cobwebs away, the first track is the awesome in-your-face Parasite which is a sort of abstracted protest song.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214831190″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

The audio page: http://heda.org.uk/?page_id=35

Recent digital photography

15-06-23-02

 

Some of the images on the Alternative World Collages page at www.heda.org.uk/?page_id=907 are not actually collages at all but sit nicely in the company of the others. The one above is a good example. It may look like it has collaged layers but Photoshop was only used for cropping and adjusting the contrast. It comes from an ongoing series of images found in, or at the edge of, shallow water. I have become a bit obsessed with the soft, delicate textures and fine details that can be cropped into abstract compositions. Here, most of the image comprises forms on the bottom of a pond while the darker, sharper features such as twigs, leaves, insects and debris were on the surface of the water. The real coup was the inclusion of the flower blooms. They look like impossible shadows but, because the image is in negative, were formed by the reflection of tiny white flowers on the nearby bank. A lovely find.

Spring awakening

28-4-15-02

I’ve been hard at work on a new album. The website will get busier in the coming weeks! In the next few days, as the final masters are approved, I’ll post new songs on Soundcloud and then they can be streamed from the Audio pages here. If you follow Heda on Twitter you will have seen recent square art images which may feature as CD artwork. Watch this space…

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis CharliePlease click the ‘Audio’ tab to hear the song and read the lyrics.

I spent most of the month wrestling with this issue. I’ve been shocked and moved by atrocities before, of course, but this hit hard because I felt included. That’s why people say “Je suis Charlie” because the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on all of us who believe in the right of free speech or self-expression. This despicable, cowardly, sickening act by a twisted, unrepresentative few who feel threatened by debate, who, through desperation and inadequacy, cannot countenance difference, cannot tolerate dissent, was met by a dignified but defiant response from the French, people of all walks of life, young and old. Freedom of speech, of self-expression, is a vital right. If we are less than unequivocal about this, there will be a slide towards an obsequious tiptoeing around for fear of treading on toes or, worse, reprisals. Terrorism will have had some success. You can be respectful without compromising your truth. I’ve been shocked by some articles by seemingly intelligent writers who felt the need to announce that, no, in fact they were indeed NOT Charlie because one ought not to be rudely offensive about the ways and views of others. I’ve heard people say Charlie Hebdo wasn’t justified because they weren’t funny! That is not the point. It doesn’t matter how unfunny, puerile or offensive they were. The fact is they had the right to express an idea without fear of anything more than counter argument, argument as derisive, scathing and vitriolic as you like but counter argument, the life-blood of a healthy society open to new and evolving ideas… not a death sentence.

So I’ve wrestled, not because I’m unsure but because I never wanted to use music or art to preach. I like the song, the words probably do a better job than this rant. It just came out, as all songs do, as a response to life and the world at the time, not forced into being as part of some personal or political agenda or to jump on a bandwagon. This one is too important for that.

 

Recommended reading:

Polly Toynbee: “Yes, free speech has always had its limits – but verbal provocation is never an excuse for violence.”

On Charlie Hebdo, Pope Francis is using the wife-beater’s defence.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/16/pope-francis-free-speech-charlie-hebdo

 

Look after each other.

Exhibition

Grantham Journal Kindle This is a full page spread in the current Grantham Journal. That’s Kindle in the middle. It’s been used in a lot of publicity and on social media to promote this contemporary photography exhibition at the Blue Owl Gallery. Six full-sized (18″) prints from The Alternative World are on display. The show is packed with a wide range of impressive images. Pleased to be a part.