in a wildflower state is a lost album – recorded in Perth WA, 2012-2014 – unreleased at the time.
The music here is rustic, reflecting the vast ancient arid landscape, overlaid with touches of Nyoongar and bogan sounds. It also includes appearances by Nat da Hatt,Cylvi M, and Renato Salvador.
Known as the Wildflower State, Western Australia covers an enormous area – the size of India, but with a population of under three million. Metaphorically, to be a ‘wildflower’ can also mean a wandering spirit or traveller (such as a kiwi expat on an OE).
águas brilhantes (or ‘glistening waters’ in English) is the Portuguese translation of Wairarapa, the Māori name of the region where I live. Several of my pākeha ancestors arrived here in the 19th century.
Much of the music is inspired by two of my great-great-grandfathers – John Collie (1834-1893), a Scottish poet, who helped build the Remutaka incline railway; and Manuel Bernard (1847-1928), who left the Azores islands, as a teenaged stowaway on a whaling ship and ended up in Masterton. It’s also a torch-passing to the next generation – recorded with nephews Hans and Rhys, and niece Celeste.
Also ft literal garage rock with Antony Milton and David Heath (the Troubled Times); duos with James Robinson, Dr Emit Snake-Beings, Campbell Kneale, and Nat da Hatt; side trips to Fiji; an interspecies duet with Oscar (a huntaway); and solo instrumentals and live reinterpretations of oldies.
Includes previously unreleased recordings, download-only bonus tracks, and excerpts from the albums
It’s dedicated to my great-great-grandfather Manuel Bernard.
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.
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’).
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:
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.
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.
– 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