My month in unsolicited advertising material

Rosa Pascoe has a gallery/workshop in Leura and I think this creation of hers is brilliant.

Wishing you a happy festive season

Last Christmas by bassling

On the remote chance that you haven't heard my cover version of George Micheal's Last Christmas, here it is.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2012.

Waipukurau Park

Previously I posted a video of the bowing on a slippery slide and here's how it sounds in the track I produced from sounds recorded at Waipukurau Park.

You can see and hear more of my Leeton park remixes on my bassling blog.

Chemical Brothers movie?

There's a bit of speculation around the internet that this is the trailer for a film from The Chemical Brothers. This excites me a lot.

Arnott's Shapes

Maybe it's a coincidence but I've noticed Arnott's Shapes biscuits being sold at heavily reduced prices lately, down from around $2.70 to around $1.50, and also notice they're shrinking the weight of these products.

Slide and glide

I've mentioned the Leeton park remix project I'm developing for the centenary of the town in 2012.

The short video above shows me playing a slippery slide with a bow, a technique first shown to me by Alan Lamb when we worked together as part of the 2006 Unsound Festival.

Bowing the slide sounds very much like bowing 'the wires' -- except for the length of the decaying note. The video linked in the preceding sentence reminds me that my partner Jo is much better at bowing than me.

Aside from adapting Alan's technique for a slippery slide, I've been experimenting with changing the pitch while playing by adjusting the tension on the line. The other source of variation in the sound comes from the friction of the bow, which can squeal like a harmonic.

Sons of Anarchy

I've been catching up on the TV show Sons of Anarchy recently and, while it pales next to the best stuff from HBO like Deadwood and The Wire, the show has given me a bit to think about.

The pitch for the show must've been something like Hamlet on a Harley, as the lead character Jackson Teller discovers a book written by his late father outlining his philosophies and where the motorcycle club he founded went wrong getting into gun-running and other criminal activity. Jackson's mother Gemma Teller has married Clay Morrow, the current president of the club called the Sons of Anarchy. This drama between the son and the father figure forms a backdrop while each season establishes new threats to the club (government departments, rival gangs, etc.) and each episode works in a few relationship dramas and fight scenes.

I suspect producers Art Linson and his son John were influenced by Hunter S Thompson's book on the Hells Angels, particularly since the elder Linson made his directorial debut with Where the Buffalo Roam, a 1980 comedy based loosely on Thompson's writings.

One thing that fascinates me about the show is its warped sense of morality. The setting is a little town called Charming and the Sons of Anarchy are portrayed as crusaders for justice, since their rivals are drug-running neo-Nazis and an Hispanic motorcycle gang. With such competition and their joie de vivre, the Sons look like liberals and often the show seems to vindicate their criminality because the gang are following their own moral code.

Anyway, I know I'm reading too far into this escapist entertainment but if I were at uni I'd be thinking about making it the subject of an essay.