spoken word

After the filmshoot (2002)

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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:

 
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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solitude

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Written in 1856, but timely perhaps?

This poem is the first of 44 pieces in the book Poems & Lyric by John Collie.

It was written by my great-great-grandfather in Scotland. 164 years later, living in 21st century coronavirus lockdown NZ, we’ve all had to bring back solitude. Creating music’s become a solitary pursuit again (or else a virtual one). Adapting this poem gave the chance for a 12-minute acoustic epic whose time had come (again).

lyrics

OH give me near some swelling stream to stray, 0r tread the windings of some pathless wood, For I am wearied of the bustling day, And long to meet thee, gloomy Solitude: That I with thee may climb those shelfy steeps, Which frown majestic o’er the boiling deeps. Read the rest of this entry »

2002: self-isolation before it was cool?

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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!

Wellington, New Zealand

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.

It had nothing to do with a pandemic!

Kia kaha Aotearoa…

It was just me living in Wellington and looking for a way to follow up The Marion Flow (part 2).

I was moving further away from conventional 3min song formats into the avant-garde. Read the rest of this entry »

The Marion Flow (part 2, Wellington 2001)

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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

The Marion Flow was originally a longer album which spanned recordings from New Plymouth in 1999 and Wellington in 2001.

This page is for the 2001 Wellington recordings: produced by Paul Winstanley, & featuring Chris O’Connor (drums), Chris Palmer (electric guitars), Simon O’Rorke (percussion), and more. Recorded at Thistle Hall, Wellington, 2001, and mixed by Joe Callwood.

For the earlier 1999 New Plymouth sessions see The Marion Flow (part 1, Taranaki);
By the time the opportunity arose to finish recording the Marion Flow I’d been thoroughly immersed in the Wellington free jazz and avant-garde music scene, and was very fortunate to have help from some of the top players there. I’d never studied music at school or been in a conventional band, and was out of my depth technically… so working around my limitations became a spark to creativity.

Edwards’ music is often a sculpture rather than a melodic composition. Within this chosen form, amongst all the writings rantings & poetry there’s much difficult pleasure to be had for the musically adventurous.” – Brent Cardy, Real Groove, July 2002

In 1999, aged 20, I’d left New Plymouth, a large rural town, where I grew up, and moved to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, where I’d been born and where my early pakeha settler ancestors had lived in the 19th century. The Marion Flow reflects this journey, geographically, sonically and spiritually.

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I’ve now reissued the two halves of the album separately – to emphasise the sense of time and place, and stylistic evolution, and to re-present them more concisely for the short-attention-span 21st century.

Further listening

Read the rest of this entry »

The Marion Flow (part 1, Taranaki 1999)

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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

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.

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The Marion Flow is 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.

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;

Further listening

Read the rest of this entry »

interview by Nikki King

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Live 2019 includes a post-gig interview with Dave Edwards by Nikki King.

We discussed the origins of fiffdimension (including where the name comes from), 19th century ancestors, life in the Wairarapa, and various projects, collaborators, and influences from New Zealand and abroad.

Nikki is the vocalist and trumpeter for Wairarapa postpunk band Spank, who also performed a set in the Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon that day.

 

A Visit to the Beehive

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A pleasant surprise this week to get a small (single figure) royalty payment from APRA for radio airplay for the shortest track from The Marion Flow, recorded back in 2001!

That goes some way towards recovering the $600 or so I spent recording the album (a lot of money for a broke student back then). I can’t claim it’s a prescient political satire that predicted this week’s news events, but maybe like the album as a whole it’s just timeless…

It’s also, for fans of Wellington avant-garde music, a rare opportunity to hear Simon O’Rorke play a straight rock beat on drums!

The Beehive is the nickname for the Executive Wing of New Zealand’s government building in Wellington .

Ngumbang

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Out now!! the new collaboration with even more legendary & underground NZ artist Snake Beings.

Ngumbang is the first collaborative album by two of New Zealand’s more unusual artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists – performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word.  The album was recorded in and near Auckland, New Zealand in 20142015 and includes live performances at Vitamin S and the Audio Foundation.

Emit Snake-Beings, who over several decades has travelled intensively in Spain, Holland, the Middle East, Mexico, America and Japan, is a New Zealand / British experimental filmmaker and musician who has produced over 40 independently released film soundtrack CDs and made a number of short experimental and narrative films in Spain, U.K. and New Zealand. www.snakebeings.co.nz

Dave Black, originally from Taranaki and active since the late 90s on the NZ underground music scene, began by fusing acoustic songs, noisy postpunk, spoken word and avant-garde improvisation – and has diversified further from there. Notable performances include the award-winning 14-piece Ascension Band, appearing as an international artist at the Liquid Architecture Festival in Brisbane, Australia, and teaching a thousand Okinawan school students to perform a haka. www.fiffdimension.com

Dave Black & Snake Beings
Dave Black & Snake Beings

‘Ngumbang’ is Read the rest of this entry »

Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

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“This is something that he has to do, that he will do, come fame or oblivion” –Chris Knox

Now available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Deezer etc

fiffdimension vol2, a sequel to Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005, sees increasingly wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, from New Zealand and beyond to Australia and East Asia, and a reinvention as Dave Black.

Whereas Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 showed a youthful kiwi fusion of songs with  avant-garde spoken word and instrumental pieces, Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012 documents me in my late 20s and early 30s moving beyond these parameters.
My approach became less introspective and more journalistic – thanks to new influences from years spent living abroad in Australia, South Korea and Japan. New elements include the banjo, electronica, field recordings, multimedia performances, and touches of traditional Asian music. I also adopted the moniker Dave Black, to differentiate from my earlier works.

The third part of the trilogy, Other Islands: 2012-2018, documents my return to NZ via other Asia Pacific countries, and more recent works.

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Featuring tracks from the albums

Ascension Band: Evolution (2005)

After Maths & Sciences (2005-2006)

South Island Sessions (2006)

First Time Around: East Asia (2008)

The Winter: 2011 (2011)

The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (2010-2015)

and previously unheard tracks

by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, gayageum, vocal), with

Mike Kingston (acoustic guitar),

Simon Sweetman (percussion),

Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards),

Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi),

Hayden Gifkins (electric guitar),

Nigel Patterson (hammond organ),

Ryan Prebble (tone generator),

Matthew Thornicroft (electric guitar),

Jeff Henderson (drums),

Noel Meek (vocal),

Clever Hansel (ukulele)

and field recordings from Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, and Japan.

If you enjoy this, try the first volume Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and the third, Other Islands: 2012-2018

Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005

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“Whilst shopping from fiffdimension make sure to get hold of ‘Gleefully Unknown’, a best-of compilation of Dave Edwards’ music from 1997 to 2005.   Rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, dissonant rock textures, electric and acoustic improvisations…

“Edwards strikes me as one of the most overlooked musicians from the fertile lands of New Zealand and if you need a fresh start this might very well be the place.” – Mats Gustafsson, The Broken Face

Now available from Spotify, Bandcamp etc

A compilation of songs, spoken word and instrumentals from the first half of my gloriously unsuccessful career to date:

by Dave Edwards (acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, bass, banjo, vocal)

with

Mike Kingston (cello, acoustic guitar),

Paul Winstanley (fretless bass, turntables),

Simon Sweetman (percussion),

Nigel Patterson (hammond organ),

Cylvi M (percussion),

Simon O’Rorke (percussion),

Francesca Mountfort (cello),

Jeff Henderson (clarinet),

Blair Latham (alto sax),

Sam Prebble (violin, percussion),

Chris Palmer (electric guitar),

Chris O’Connor (drums),

Antony Milton (violin, keyboards),

Frey (laptop),

Dean Brown (drums)

and more…

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Featuring tracks from the albums

Scratched Surface (1997-1998)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)

The Marion Flow (1999-2001)

Mantis Shaped and Worrying (2002)

The Winter: Parataxes (2003)

Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

Live 2004 (2004)

After Maths & Sciences (2005-2006)

… if you enjoy this, try the sequels Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012 and Other Islands: 2012-2018