The Bird Effect Diaries

22 May 2016 // The Bird Effect

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An update from Ceri Levy

Saturday April 30th

This has been such a year of change. Having given up the London life for a rural existence, I sit back and wonder at the simple enormity of what we have done by moving. We have just celebrated our anniversary up here by deciding what courgettes to plant this year and who knew the decisions that were possible. Black Beauties, Supremo or Dundoo? In the end we’ve gone for the Venus F1. Sounds kind of sporty. Away from the veg patch, I have been getting into discovering my new birding patch and even with the wonders of Rutland Water on our doorstep there is somewhere even closer to explore. The Eyebrook Reservoir. On a busy day you may see ten or fifteen people bird watching or walking around it. (more…)

Chris Watson: The Town Moor – A Portrait In Sound

21 May 2016 // Chris Watson Watch

News of a forthcoming Chris Watson happening reached us today. As always, we suggest that you go along if you’re able – witnessing anything that Chris does is a deeply enriching experience.

Keep an eye out for some words on the matter from Chris, but for now, here’s the press release:

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The Gallery, Tyneside Cinema, is proud to premiere a new exhibition by Chris Watson, one of the world’s most esteemed and influential sound artists.

Opening 21 June 2016, Chris Watson: The Town Moor – A Portrait in Sound, has been a collaboration with BBC Newcastle and is an acoustic picture of the Town Moor – an ancient and vast grazing common located in the centre of Newcastle. (more…)

Caught by the Reaper: Guy Clark

21 May 2016 // Music //Remembrance

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As storytelling songwriters go they don’t come much better than Guy Clark, the Texan master of the artform who died this week aged 74. Fellow fanboy Jerry David DeCicca pays tribute:

I was a 19 year old that felt like an 85 year old. Belly full of ulcers, lots of bad habits, multiple prescriptions. Then mononucleosis got the best of me, and I dropped out of school. I was shipped back to southern Ohio and onto my parents’ couch while the life I couldn’t handle moved forward. I spent that spring bedded down in the basement, watching TV, listening to the radio, and playing guitar. The second day I was home, Kurt Cobain took his own life. I’d flip between MTV and VHS tapes, falling in and out of sleep for the next month. (more…)

A British History in Weather

20 May 2016 // Radio

Alexandra Harris, author of Weatherland (out in paperback in July), teams up with producer Tim Dee for this fascinating look at the British weather, recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Listen now on the iPlayer.

Tim and Alexandra will team up again this summer on the Caught by the River stage at Port Eliot festival, where talk will turn, once again, to the weather.

From the BBC website:

Alexandra Harris tells the story of how the weather has written and painted itself into the cultural life of Britain in a history of a country and its culture told by its weather from the earliest days to the present, come rain come shine.

We begin indoors looking outside. But the weather finds us everywhere. Inside, we are out of the weather. That’s the point. But when we shut the front door with relief we do not entirely shut the weather out. (more…)

Rain Crow by Tony Joe White

20 May 2016 // Music

Out today via Yep Roc Records. Review by Jeb Loy Nichols

Rain Crow –
I saw you walking on a rainy day
Nothing over your head
You were smiling just like a sunny day
Was there something in the thunder being said?

Every couple of years it happens. Often in the spring. When things are on the change. The trees and shrubbery and untended lengths. Those things planted and not planted that sprout and then sprawl. Wherein live a multitude of wordless beasts. That fly and crawl and dash and burrow. At unlikely angles. This thing that is in no way a part of that world and yet, in some unsayable way, belongs there.

A new Tony Joe White record. Every time it happens the world is made just a little bit better. A bit more strange, a bit wilder. A bit less dull. I’ve been looking out for them, and welcoming them, since I was a teenager. Since I was living in Texas nearly forty years ago. Listening to Tony Joe White has made me, in some large way, who I am. (more…)