Wairarapa

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 »

16 February @ Fernside Gardens Open Days

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I played solo acoustic at the Fernside Gardens Open Day on Sunday 16th February, 11am.

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solo acoustic at the Fernside Gardens Open Day on Sunday 16th February Website: https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2020/fernside-gardens-open-days/featherston Greytown Little Theatre Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February 2020 10:00am – 4:00pm … For two days only, visit one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and historic gardens as part of a fund-raising event for Greytown Little Theatre’s new theatre development project. The magnificent house and gardens were developed by wealthy pastoralist Charles Elgar and his wife Ella. Tragically the first homestead burned down in 1923 and a new one in American colonial style was designed and built by Heathcote Helmore. The homestead is set at the end of a tree-lined avenue, in acres of landscaped gardens. Wander your way through the Scented Walkway, through the Oak Cathedral, passing the Sound Shell to the stunning lake area which played a starring role as Lothlorien in several scenes in the filming of the Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of Rings. The gardens have been developed over the years in a style that reflects both English Arts and Crafts with a layout in rooms but wit with the additional touches of European and Japanese water gardens and Australian and New Zealand natives interspersed. The effect is an appealing fusion of old and new world. The current owners when they bought the property in 2007 recognised its historic importance and have dedicated themselves to the continued restoration of the gardens. #wairarapamusic #newzealandfolk #2020music #banjo #garden #landscaping #wairarapa

A post shared by Dave Edwards (@fiffdimension) on

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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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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.

 

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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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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Seafriends

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4th May 2019 live solo version at the Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon.

This song was originally recorded in June 2001, at Thistle Hall, Wellington. It was the opening track of the album The Marion Flow.

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4 May 2019 – Wairarapa TV Music Marathon

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Saturday 4 May 2019

May Music Marathon

fiffdimension (acoustic set) from 4:47:00, interview from 5:23:30

Radio House 5 Church Street, Masterton, Wellington Region

  12:00pm – 12:00am

The Property Law Service May Music Marathon is a collaboration between Wairarapa TV, Property Law Service and 12 Wairarapa performing artists to bring 12 straight hours of live Music to Television screens during NZ Music Month on May the 4th.

The Property Law Service May Music Marathon will be simulcast on Wairarapa TV (Freeview CH41), ArrowFM 89.7FM and YouTube.

It is as mad as it is ambitious which is exactly what makes it so exciting.

12pm Meiniak
1pm Courtney Naera
2pm NZUMEUS
3pm The Adventures of Mikejoffa
4pm The Holy Loner
5pm Fiffdimension
6pm Mike Rigg
7pm Spank
8pm Grafia
9pm Coral Griffis
11pm Aroha Jacx

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