2019 roundup

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At the end of the decade, and looking for a way to follow up the eclectic Asia-Pacific Odyssey of Other Islands: 2012-2018, I stripped things back down to the solo acoustic format of my early years with Live 2019.

The set, at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand, was streamed live on the internet on 4th of May 2019.

For the past couple of years I’ve been living in a small town and don’t get to as many gigs as I used to… so here was an opportunity to use 21st century technology to play ‘virtually’ everywhere.

On the other hand musically this was closer to a traditional folk/singer-songwriter set than I’d done for quite a while. I eschewed dissonant improv, multitracking, live backing musicians, field recordings, or electronic trickery this time, and used just acoustic guitar, banjo, and harmonica (and a few seconds of wah pedal on ‘Eastern’).

The set was followed by an interview.

I also released a companion album to Live 2019 its stroppier lo-fi postpunk ‘official bootleg’ predecesor Live 1999. This was recorded on cassette 20 years (or half my lifetime) ago, when I opened for Chris Knox at Bar Bodega in Wellington NZ last millennium:

Live 1999

I started and finished both live sets on the same two songs, to show continuity and evolution.

It’s been quite a journey in between!

Other projects

My other 2019 works in progress included

* experiments with animated visuals and electric improvisations (the ‘yang’ flipside of the deliberately toned down ‘yin’ Live 2019)

* a duo with Emit Snake-Beings, for an as-yet-untitled sequel to Ngumbang, coming in 2020 (we had a recording session in Suva, Fiji, of all places);

* a couple of informal jam sessions with the Electricka Zoo (which has otherwise been on hold since last year); ( http://www.soundcloud.com/darrel-hannon/jamming-with-dave)

* and I continued to adapt the 19th century book ‘Poems & Lyrics by John Collie’, which I’d learned was written by my Scottish great-great-grandfather in 1856 before he came to NZ. Three of his poems featured on Live 2019, with more in the pipeline.

A visit to his hometown of Boyndie, in Banffshire, Scotland, perhaps to make a documentary about him, is on the cards for 2020.

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Reissues

In 2019 I started to reassess and reissue some of my older albums that were recorded in separate sessions at different times. I split The Marion Flow and In the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway up into two shorter albums each, to emphasise the time and place of the recording sessions and to make them easier to digest in the short-attention-span 21st century.

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (part 2, Wellington 2014)

Free (in both senses) jazz from Wellington, Aotearoa, by Dave Edwards and Simon O’Rorke with Blair Latham, Chris Prosser, Julie Bevan, and Michael Hall (2014)

The Marion Flow (part 2, Wellington, 2001)

Electric and acoustic songs, spoken word and instrumentals with an urban jazz/punk feel – an almost-recognised New Zealand classic, by Dave Edwards with Chris O’Connor, Paul Winstanley, Simon O’Rorke, Chris Palmer, Joe Callwood, and Dean Brown (2001)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (part 1, Wellington 1999)

Free (in both senses) jazz from Wellington, by Dave Edwards and Simon O’Rorke with Paul Winstanley, Jeff Henderson, Blair Latham, Daniel Beban, Bridget Kelly (1999)

The Marion Flow (part 1, Taranaki 1999)

Electric and acoustic songs, spoken word and instrumentals with a rural alt-country/punk feel – an almost-recognised New Zealand classic, by Dave Edwards with Paul Winstanley, the Digitator, Steve Duffels, and Brian Wafer (1999)

Conclusion

As we enter the new decade I’m entering middle age (compare this page to what I was doing 20 years ago), and further removed from the Wellington and wider New Zealand music scene than ever, but still plugging away doing my own thing.

Honourable mentions also to some great new albums this year by my fellow travellers and occasional collaborators Julie Bevan, Campbell Kneale, Jeff Henderson, and Joe Callwood.

And special thanks to all the new listeners who’ve followed fiffdimension for the first time this year.

See you in the new decade…