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.
Dave Edwards dictaphone cassette recordings 2004, for spoken word and improvised guitar – a trip down a road not taken for New Zealand music.
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.
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),
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.
The difficult third album – recorded during a time of intense introspection in 2002. I locked myself in my room in Wellington for all of November with an analogue 4-track cassette recorder.The results rapidly put an end to my promising New Zealand music career!
In 2002, a year whose digits are an anagram of this one’s, I locked myself in my room for a month of self-isolation.