ilhas Atlânticas

The last track on Spastic Rhythms vol 1 is a Dave Black solo rendition of a tune by the Electricka Zoo.

It originally appeared on The Electricka Zoo (2017), and on the Other Islands: 2012-2018 compilation. It’s based around a (non-diatonic) Cmaj7 – Amaj7 pattern, with a bossa nova rhythm.

The words are in (beginner) Portuguese:

Eu gosto de falar

no meus ancestrais

de as ilhas Atlânticas

Madeiras e Açores

It’s dedicated to my great-great-grandfather Manuel Bernard.

Manuel José Bernard (1847-1928)

He was born in 1847 in Ponta Delgada, Flores Island, Azores, Portugal.

Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, with its back to it geographically and culturally. It was the edge of the known world for Europeans until the Age of Discovery. The Azores islands are even further west.

As a teenager Manuel Bernard stowed away on a passing American whaling ship.

Continue reading “ilhas Atlânticas”

Campbell Kneale & Dave Black: A Ton of Feathers

releases October 17, 2020

Campbell Kneale – electric guitar, analogue synth

Dave Black – bass, electric toothbrush, key ring

Featherston, New Zealand,
27-Nov-18

(one continuous take, unabridged, no overdubs – the first time we’d played together)

A 3min excerpt appeared on Other Islands: 2012-2018

but you need to hear the full length version to truly enter Campbell’s world.

Continue reading “Campbell Kneale & Dave Black: A Ton of Feathers”

Scotland, postponed

Around September 2020 I’d planned to travel to Scotland, on my first visit. There was to be a family gathering for my sister’s wedding in Edinburgh.

The trip’s now postponed indefinitely, for obvious reasons

I’d planned to visit Boyndie, Banffshire, where my great-great-grandfather John Collie grew up.

In 1856, in his early 20s he published a book : Poems and Lyrics (in the English and Scotch Dialects).

I‘ve started setting some of it to music.

Continue reading “Scotland, postponed”

Articulation Incommunicate (2004)

Previously unreleased! 

Dave Edwards dictaphone cassette recordings 2004, for spoken word and improvised guitar – a trip down a road not taken for New Zealand music.

Bomb the Space Festival, Wellington NZ, 2004

These tracks were primitively recorded, not just obscure but completely unheard by anyone else, and seemed like raw unfinished demos at the time – but in hindsight may be the culmination of my 1997-2005 early period (a fusion of original songs, spoken word and free improv).

By 2004 my style was wordy, dense with allusions, and deliberately flouted not only verse/chorus structures but grammatical convention in parts; the influences here were literary modernists as much as music – eg  Joyce, Beckett, Burroughs, Pynchon, Dylan (Thomas), and New Zealand poets James K Baxter, Alan Brunton and Hone Tuwhare. I was a postgrad journalism student that year, so partly it was spare time relief from the constraints of non-fiction writing.

My guitar heroes included British free improviser Derek Bailey and my Mississippi bluesman namesake David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards – and fellow explorers in the New Zealand underground music scene.

Wellington, New Zealand

The album is rounded out by an abrasive noise guitar, dictaphone and electric razor performance at the Bomb the Space Festival (the youtube clip is one of my few music videos to have over a thousand views… go figure),

and a pair of free improvisations, with percussionists Simon O’Rorke and Simon Sweetman, and Korean bassist Youjae Lee.

Next, needing a change of scenery, having pushed the singer/songwriter envelope as far as I could, and following some last ensemble collaborations with Ascension Band,

and The Winter

the next year I left the country on my OE and took a different approach again….

Continue reading “Articulation Incommunicate (2004)”

Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

“Wellington, NZ composer Dave Edwards with some able assistance from duo or trio the Winter... Guitars, violin, cello, and percussion all stack up… He’s got a persona that’s all his own.”

George Parsons, Dream Magazine #5

All acoustic, with a string section, recorded and mixed on analogue equipment, and originally released on cassette in 2003 – new 2020 remaster.

Featuring

Sam Prebble (violin)

Mike Kingston (cello)

sam & san

and Simon Sweetman on percussion.

simon w newspaper

Wellington, New Zealand

Bats Theatre, Wellington NZ 2003

Sam Prebble RIP, 2014

Loose Autumn Moans is dedicated to Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge), who died in 2014.

Further listening

Loose Autumn Moans consists of five acoustic ensemble tracks:

1.

Summer Skin 06:20

2.

3.

4.

5.

The album is structured as a progression from summer (with a NZ pohutukawa tree in flower on the cover) through autumn – a time of harvest, preparation, shortening daylight, and the shedding of old dead layers – and finishes with an extended live version of ‘O Henry Ending’, recorded at the Winter’s first gig.

The original C60 cassette (and later online) release included solo interludes recorded in 2002. The collaboration with these guys followed on from

After the Filmshoot (2002)

By focusing on the 2003 sessions Loose Autumn Moans becomes concise, emphasising the lyrics and the jazzy acoustic instrumental interplay – a mini orchestra to bring colour.

oose Autumn Moans is dedicated to Sam Prebble (aka Bond Street Bridge), who died in 2014.

Further listening

The collaboration with these guys followed on from

The Winter: Parataxes

The Winter live at Photospace Gallery, July 2003 (photo by James Gilberd)

The Winter‘s debut: electric and acoustic trio improvisations for guitars, cello and percussion, by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman (2003)

“A strange sonic brew that includes dissonant rock textures, rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, electric and acoustic improvisations and a considerable part of tasty feedback. Imagine equal parts Derek Bailey, New Zealand’s Pumice and classic ’60s blues/folk and you’re in the right ballpark.”The Broken Face

Continue reading “Loose Autumn Moans (2003)”

After the filmshoot (2002)

Dave Edwards solo cassette tracks, in Wellington NZ, 2002.

Wellington, New Zealand

 

Hey so the new (2020) album Ruasagavulu is out!

(go there, like, share etc)…

 

& in the meantime, until the next new project, here’s one from the vault:

 
1.
 
2.
 
3.
 
4.
 
5.
 
6.
 
7.
 
8.

In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s,  I was living in Wellington (New Zealand’s capital, and my birthplace), looking for a way to follow up the almost-success of The Marion Flow (part 2).

But I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde.

This is the second largely solo album I made in 2002.

Continue reading “After the filmshoot (2002)”

Ruasagavulu

Out now – the new album

by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

Made in Fiji

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Indo-Fijian inspired tropical devotional avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

 

Snake Beings & Dave Black in Fiji

This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended… it’s got nothing to do with the pandemic.

It was recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd and 4th of November 2019.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade optimistically.

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Further listening

Our first duo recording wasNgumbang‘  (2015) –

a fusion of several genres and a DIY manifesto – “Pick up the pieces and make them into something new, it’s what we do…”

Continue reading “Ruasagavulu”

Gar mar par da nee sa

the opening track from Ruasagavulu

by Dave Black & Snake-Beings

recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd November 2019

Snake Beings and Dave Black in Fiji

This short warmup improv is based on an Indian scale, inspired by Dr Emit Snake-Beings‘ travels to Kerala in India, and harmonium lessons in Suva.

There’s an Indian influence throughout the album, as several sections are based on drones and modal improv (rather than the chord changes)… though this is not a traditional Indian album, we’ve borrowed ideas to inform our own experiments.

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The temple in the photo is Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi. It’s built in the Dravidian style from southern India, which is also found in Singapore and Malaysia.

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In contrast to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has a large – almost half – population of Indian descent. Indians came to Fiji in the 19th century, as indentured labourers to work the sugar cane plantations.

The following videos are made in India, courtesy of www.snakebeings.co.nz

Continue reading “Gar mar par da nee sa”