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Had some lovely, and as always, quirky gigs in 2017, so far. All in the UK, for a change. London. Brighton, Croydon, Sheffield and Nottingham gone , Edinburgh and perhaps Louth to come, along with some others which I’ve yet to announce. May takes me to Toulon (FR). July brings Sieben and 7JK at Castle Party, Bolkow (PL). August I’m back in France, with the lovely Rosa Crux. And a lovely night at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom in May, where I’m on the bill with some fabulous bands. See Concerts section for details.
Our Solitary Confinement came out as a vinyl re-release with previously unheard material, The Sound Of His Horn. 30 or so minutes of the most ambient material I’ve written as Sieben. A few copies still left in my shop. 6, in fact. I’ve also reduced the prices on much of my merch, including Barley Top (hardback book and CD, my father reading his poems, set to music by myself) now at £10.
I’ve barely written or recorded a thing since the release of 7JK’s Ride The Solar Tide. Principally because I’m building my new Redroom recording studio. I’ve put ‘sawing away at the violin’ to one side in favour of sawing away at wood in general; wooden floor, I figure its always handy having something to stand on; wooden ‘picture frames’ for acoustic panels to ‘temper’ the acoustics in my new room. I’m smugly satisfied by how my panels clip together to make a vocal ‘booth’.
Whilst sawing away, my brain has been secretly plotting my next musical move for me. “Sparse, dirty, quirky loops and strange melodies” it whispers whilst I’m measuring a piece of 2 x 1 (that’s 4.2cm x 2.1cm in metric, PSE). And “sonically odd and striking like never before” it opines whilst I’m drilling a wall. Or “try looping six beats on x6 setting, or with unrelated loops”, though I’m sanding with ear protectors on. I hear it. “Finish sawing sodding wood and make some music”. I hear it. Will do…
Matt Howden -March 2017