Rethink, U-turn, reassessment, or indecisive grasshopper… call it what you like.

In a previous post I said I had some unfinished songs, waiting for me to find a way to use them, then they will get finished. I think I’m going to change my mind and finish them, the thinking being, how will I know how to use them if I don’t know what they are yet?

It’s like saying that an idea of something in my sketchbook won’t get made because I don’t know what it will look like. I always just keep going, just make it, and think about it later. I have confidence in my making process when it comes to the visual… so why not this?

Last night’s circle was great… another collaborative session with Nicki Kelly… she writes great songs, and she seems to be quite pleased with me not following the rules, because I don’t know they exist! Last night I just wished I could sit up to the piano and show her what I meant, what I heard. I patted the rhythm on my leg, and sang. Actually, what we get as a result is something totally unexpected. She didn’t play what I could hear, but she came up with something completely different, dark, moody and magnificent! I am very inspired by her. I am thinking I should learn to play the piano, but part of me quite likes the fact that I can’t, and that these weird things happen in translation because I don’t know about the “should”…. My voice, which isn’t anything to write home about, goes to places that I see. I do “see” a song, feel where it is going. In the blurb for this blog somewhere it says I use songs as images. I wrote that three years ago… It seems a little prophetic when I read it now. Maybe I can’t see the wood for the trees… it’s been staring me in the face for three years and I’ve been ignoring it?

Anyway, the upshot of this rambling is, I have decided to dedicate some time to this. If I finish the songs and record them in a half decent fashion, with a mic at least, rather than singing in the vague direction of my macbook, I might more clearly see how I can use them.



I feel a little disheartened really…

This blog is 3 years old now. I feel that I have changed a lot over those three years. But in a fit of nostalgia I decided to read over my first few posts. I don’t think much has changed at all! I’m doing the same stuff, listening to later albums by the same bands. Still writing bits of poems and lyrics. Still embroidering. Still thinking about children and adults. Even embarking on repeat surgery on the same knee, for the same problem.

Thank God I’ve stopped reading Deleuze.

I don’t know what I’ve learned. I don’t know that my opinions have changed much.

Is the change I feel just an illusion caused by the passage of time?


At the end of March I wrote about performing, and singing and songs.

I feel that there is a shift happening with regard to this part of my work.

I’m not looking to be on X Factor, God forbid! And to be honest, I don’t think I’m one of the worlds greatest performers, as I am always paranoid about forgetting the words – even the ones I have written and sung a thousand times, so have to have them printed out in big writing so I can see them without my glasses, on a stand in front of me.

But I think I can deliver a song, one at a time, for a particular reason. I think I am gaining in confidence too. But the bit I love doing, is the making of it, and the recording of it, the piecing it together. It feels like magic to me.

My question is, how can I make this part of the work that I exhibit? Will it just sit online on Soundcloud waiting for someone to wander past?

The subject matter doesn’t always sit with that of the visual work. That doesn’t bother me, but unless it is part of the same thought train, I won’t want it to sit with the pieces I hang/install.

So what is the alternative?

I’m probably only ever going to perform at the end of term Songwriters’ circle show. But I have recordings in various stages of completion… and I think they stay incomplete, many of them, because I can’t yet decide what audience, or environment I will finish them for.

Any suggestions gratefully received!


Guitars: Chris Cleverley and Dan Whitehouse, and the bit at the end isn’t a mistake, I asked them to do it on purpose!



…and tomorrow is my third blog anniversary! (thanks for sticking with it!)