2005 has so far been a year of weighing up options and re-assessing the past (the recent No-Man re-issues), so sadly, other than Lord Chilvers transformation from the Nutty Professor of contemporary Electronica to the man-shaped nano iPod of the looping scene, there seems little conclusive that’s worth writing about.
As an informed warning to any prospective professional musicians who might be mad enough to be reading this, Robert Fripp has suggested that I write about No-Man’s recent dealings with two of our former record companies, but for now, I’ll keep the incompetent and cruel internal workings of the industry at bay. After all, I don’t want to get sued just yet!
Work has continued on a variety of songs and projects that are yet to establish a satisfying final shape, with the positive side of this being that it’s enabled me to contemplate what I’ve done and consider where I’d like to go.
My feeling is that as much as I think that My Hotel Year contains some of my best songs and lyrics, I also believe that it marks an end to a certain way of doing things. This is in terms of its mood and the extreme intimacy of its arrangements, as opposed to its emotional commitment.
My personal desire at the moment is to create something more expansive, communicative and emotionally ambiguous. Having said that, it’s unlikely that I’ll re-emerge in 2006 as the musical equivalent of Wallace And Gromit.
Comfortingly, the undercurrent of suicidal melancholy is bound to remain!
Two solo tracks (one entirely self-produced and one in collaboration with Terry Stamp producer, Alistair Murphy) have perhaps been the most distinctive and promising of the recent projects I’ve been involved in, although prospective writing sessions with Markus Reuter and Giancarlo Erra could also work out well.
Additionally, I’ve participated in a couple of highly enjoyable low-key improvised performances that threw up some interesting future possibilities.
There are worse things you can do of an evening than becoming a mobile ‘Music For Airports’, I’ve found!
Robert Crumb/Peter Poplaski – The R.Crumb Handbook
Roger McGough – Holiday On Death Row
H.G. Wells – The Island Of Doctor Moreau
The Third Man