Music video from the album ‘South Island Sessions‘, set in 19th century New Zealand with an ecological theme. ‘The Ballad of William Knife’ was the name of the show we took to the Dunedin Fringe Festival in 2006.
A companion to The Marion Flow, recorded in 1999 by the same lineup who provided that album’s longest (and least conventionally song-based track, pointing the way towards the increasingly radio-unfriendly Mantis Shaped and Worrying), “Lucifer Directing Traffic (at 3AM)”
Recording engineer Paul Winstanley, head of the excellent, now San Francisco-based avant-garde music label Eden Gully recalls it thus:
“after recording tracks for The Marion Flow at Wafer HQ in New Plymouth an ad hoc group of associated locals assembled to record for several sessions of improvised rock/noise deconstruction. really, the only rock references here come from the guitars, with the sputtering synth, air-sucking turntables, didgeridoo and sundry toys providing layers of surreal abstraction. throw in some spoken word and a special guest appearance by N.P. record mogul Brian Wafer on vacuum cleaner and the dAdApApA nova had blazed and fizzled in the blink of an eye.
“it wasn’t until several years later after the master mixes had been lost, partially recovered and then rediscovered intact again that “Waiting for the Drummer’ was given a final mastering and released as a CDR on EdenGully. it’s been a long strange journey…..”
Fiff Dimension Dave – guitars, spoken word and furbie / Speed Cook – turntables and recording / Pal Diddly – synth and pithy observations / The Digitator – guitar, didgeridoo / BWafer – vacuum cleaner and coffees
My approach became less introspective and more journalistic – thanks to new influences from years spent living abroad in Australia, South Korea and Japan. New elements include the banjo, electronica, field recordings, multimedia performances, and touches of traditional Asian music. I also adopted the moniker Dave Black, to differentiate from my earlier works.
A third volume, Other Islands: 2012-2018 will be out in the next couple of months and include my return to NZ and more recent works.
1861 revisited – my first pakeha (European) ancestors, Totara Jack and Mary, arrived in the South Island of New Zealand on board the Olympus and settled in Nelson.
When I lived nearby a century and a half later,
I found the address where they’d lived, just below a spot on a hill that marks the geographical centre of NZ. To the north is Tasman Bay, and south are the foothills of the Southern Alps.
I jammed with South Island musicians; studied at the Nelson School of Music; played in Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Lyttelton and Dunedin (as well as Brisbane, Australia); and recorded the sound of tui and makomako (native birds) in Nelson Lakes National Park.
Dave Black – acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, harmonica, laptop, field recordings, tenor sax, and vocals
Cylvi Manthyng – vocals & phat beatz
Hayden Gifkins / Matt Thornicroft – electric guitars