My Dad has a birthday today – he has reached the grand age of sixty four. I went over to the farm to see Mum & Dad and they seemed in good form. I bought Dad a copy of the Dartmoor Edition of the Tolkien Maps – similar to the Yorkshire Dales version I treated myself to the other month. He seems to like it.
Dad has great memories of Dartmoor – he worked there during his time at college and really enjoyed his time whilst over there. There is mention of the place he worked on the map.
When I came home to the flat, Kathryn was there having given it a bit of a Spring Clean – I am a pig most of the time and I don’t really pull my weight around the house. She is amazingly kind to me and I love her to bits. Her parents did quite a cool job packing so much Awesome in to such a small package.
When I go home I set up the MixPre 6 with a JrF Contact mic. I slid the mic between the snow and my metal fire escape and recorded the sound below – it goes on for a while but you can hear the “Crackle” of the melting snow and the plinky plonk goodness of the water droplets condensing and forming drops, dropping down and hitting the Stainless Steel fire escape. I am amazed that the JrF Contact Mic managed to pick up the Blackbird. Maybe the whole fire escape acted as some sort of parabola?
The above photo was sent to me by my sister, Alison – it was labelled “Fieldgate 88.” Fieldgate is the name of the house where the two older people in the photo used to live. I have good memories of being there. I have put the photograph up here, on Ijo Pona, as a way of bookmarking it and ‘keeping it circulation.’ You never know, my niece may look back on this Blog and wonder what Uncle Sponge was doing in 2018. But, probably not.
The chap on the left, as you look at the photo is younger in this snap than I am now – I am amazed that he managed to cram so much into that short space of time; he had a family of three (in the photo) and a full-time job. It looks like summer and, reading from left to right; there is my Dad, my Brother, Grandpa, Alison, Granny and then me. It must have been mum taking the photo – she is camera shy and never in any images.
At that time I was a shy lad from Norfolk who just wanted to ride his BMX and read about Dinosaurs. I wonder what happened to that BMX … Now I am (still) a shy lad from Norfolk who wants nothing more than to play with computers and make music.
This album was composed during the vigil for my grandpa and mastered in the months afterwards. It is still raw to listen to it – so many memories flood back to me when I play this album back on my hifi. What could be seen as a Nazarean howl gives way to the celebration of life – and the loved ones who inhabited it.
I will not embarrass my living relatives by naming names – but this is a piece I wrote – not to stand witness to the man – but to make sense of the emotional turbulence I encountered when I was going through the grieving process.
Am I out of the grieving process? More or less, yes. When I think of the days spent in grandpa’s company I no longer wince at his loss. Instead, I celebrate the life he led. A full life. This album captures a snapshot of a troubled time when I was trying to come to grips with the death of a hero. In this instance, the album has done itself justice – it proved cathartic to produce. Does it bring him back? No. Nobody comes back from the dead. But, the making of this album helped bring me to terms with the fact he has gone.
I really hope I am not stepping on any toes by posting this up here. The album is recorded in Pythagorean Tuning (432hz) and is meant to set adrift on memory. Memory? What of? My hero.