acoustic

The Marion Flow (part 1, Taranaki 1999)

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A pre-millennial fusion of warm acoustic pop, spoken word and postpunk discord.. An almost-acknowledged New Zealand classic from Taranaki – of its time (the ’90s!) yet timeless.

Produced by Paul Winstanley, & featuring Steve Duffels, the Digitator, the Dadapapa Magickclone Orchestra and more. Recorded at the TFC Lounge, New Plymouth, 1999 – with special thanks to Brian Wafer.

It’s lo-fi, organic and about as eclectic as one could manage. Kind of reminds me of Nick Cave if he had grown up in Timaru. No pretentious American accents or catch phrase choruses, just a bunch of people making music. A little beauty!” – NZ Musician, August/September 2002

In 1999, aged 20, I left New Plymouth, a large rural town, where I grew up, and moved to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, where I was born. The Marion Flow reflects this journey, geographically, sonically and spiritually.

The Marion Flow was originally a longer album spanning recordings from New Plymouth in 1999 and Wellington in 2001. I’ve now reissued the two halves separately – to emphasise the sense of time and place, and stylistic evolution, and to re-present each more concisely for the short-attention-span 21st century.

This page is for the 1999 New Plymouth sessions;

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Further listening

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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.

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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The Land of My Youth (by John Collie, 1856)

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Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),

 

from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Banffshire, Scotland in 1856

Performed by his great-great-grandson Dave Edwards on banjo at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand, 4 May 2019.

John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.

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아리랑

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Live 4th May 2019 at Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon

Banjo rendition of a Korean folk tune 아리랑 (“Arirang”).  The banjo is not typically found in Korean music – this would normally be played on a gayageum.

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Summer Skin

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Live 4th May 2019, at Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon, in Masterton NZ.

Solo guitar & harmonica version of track http://www.fiffdimension.bandcamp.com/track/summer-skin

Originally recorded in Wellington NZ, September 2003, for the album ‘Loose Autumn Moans‘, with a mini string section of Mike Kingston on cello and Sam Prebble (RIP) on violin. It also appears on the Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 compilation.

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The Marion Flow, March 2019

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Since last year I’ve been getting back into playing solo acoustic. Here’s a 6 March 2019 version of ‘the Marion Flow‘:

Originally recorded in New Plymouth in 1999, it became the title track of my second album.

The 1999 recording had quite a different vibe – spoken word delivery, electric guitars panned left & right, and Paul Winstanley playing a cymbal through a pitch shifter, turning it into a deep sea gong sound.

On other occasions it became a rock riff, based around just an E note and its octave.

I was surrounded by wider & weirder music too. I moved to Wellington and found a  kiwi avant-garde scene with free jazz, noise, and theatre gallore. We eventually finished The Marion Flow album in 2001, after recording sessions at Thistle Hall.

The lyrics are some of my favourite. They were scribbled in a notebook sometime in the late 90s. I was digesting the influence of literary modernism (eg lines like ‘yea take in that wake’ a shout out to James Joyce, using nouns as verbs and vice versa, and other general flouting of grammatical rules).

Taranaki and its coastlines inspired much of the atmosphere.

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The Land of My Youth (by John Collie, 1856), January demo version

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January 2019, looking for a new sound and a new project – after completing Other Islands: 2012-2018.

It’s a poem by John Collie (1834-1893), my great-great-grandfather

from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Scotland in 1856

John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.

In May I performed it live on Wairarapa TV.

 

Lyrics

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