2010s music

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.

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Huia Vortex

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Animated visuals, with electric guitar loops, one-stringed bass, and drums – the opening track from the ‘Ngumbang‘ album (get the free download) – w/ Emit Snake-beings & Nat da Hatt

The title ‘Huia Vortex’ refers to the location where the track was recorded, in Huia, a small village on the outskirts of west Auckland.

Dave Black & Emit Snake-Beings

It’s not necessarily related to ‘Swansong (for the Huia)(2004), the second album by The Winter, an electro-acoustic trio improvisation in tribute to the extinct New Zealand bird the huia by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman. Its 19-minute final track remains an underrated fiffdimension epic. [send us your review]

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

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978-1-877448-59-1

A few years ago I wrote a chapter of Jazz Aotearoa, a book about New Zealand jazz music history, discussing the free improvisation and avant-garde jazz scene in Wellington at the turn of the millennium.

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway is a collection of improvised instrumental music with some of the musicians in that scene, from the point of view of my own attempts as an untrained outsider to fit in with these advanced jazz players.

with

Simon O’Rorke – synthesisers

Blair Latham – bass clarinet
Julie Bevan – acoustic guitar
Michael Hall – alto sax
Chris Prosser – violin
Dave Edwards – bass, electronics, tenor sax (8)

These sessions were recorded in 2014. I’d just returned from living overseas, 15 years after my first exposure to Wellington free jazz.

The first volume was recorded in Wellington in 1999

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Spotify playlist – fiffdimension & friends

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Here’s my first Spotify playlist… a mix of my own tracks and by other artists who I’ve had the privilege to meet and be inspired by, in several cases played gigs alongside and/or collaborated with.

Thank you all for the journey! And some great music here.

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Spotify playlist – fiffdimension / NZ underground

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A playlist of music by myself and fellow travellers I’ve met along the way.

It includes the Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005, Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012, Other Islands: 2012-2018, and Live 2019 albums,

and tracks by Chris Knox, Peter Jefferies, Jeff Henderson, Orchestra of Spheres, Bond Street Bridge, Alastair Galbraith, Sticky Filth, Leila Adu, Jack Body, Gareth Farr, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, and many more.

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Live 2019

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An acoustic solo set, live at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand

– which took place live on the internet. This was simulcast on Freeview CH41, ArrowFM 89.7FM and YouTube.

The set was part of the Property Law Service May Music Marathon – 12 straight hours of live Music to Television screens during NZ Music Month on May the 4th 2019.

Living in a small town I don’t get to as many gigs as I used to… so here using 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, eschewing dissonant improv, multitracking, live backing musicians or electronic trickery.

I kept my half hour minimal and acoustic (the discord and electric noise I’m saving for another time soon) and updated my past – with

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logistical torrents

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31 July 2019

electric guitar and video by Dave Black,

Featherston, NZ.

One in a series of quickfire improvisations with video effects. Rather than finish an album before releasing anything in 2019, I’m opening a curtain on some of my demo ideas in progress.

11 through the viewer 7

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11th July 2019

Improvised acoustic guitar and video effects by Dave Black,

Featherston, NZ.

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Solstice Shards 19

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I spent the longest night of the year at home and improvised this:

.

As I’d been doing mainly solo acoustic songs recently this was a palette cleansing electric improvisation from the other side of my coin.

I think of acoustic as yin and electric as yang forces.

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2018

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The main project for 2018 was Other Islands: 2012-2018;

 

The last five (of the 20) tracks were recorded in 2018 – each in a different genre:

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