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Many things appear to Live in my Psyche

This album is important for me because it represents the end of a four-year process of releasing my entire catalogue (10 albums including this one) via bandcamp and on CD. It’s also the first band album since Will died and to be honest, probably the first thing I’ve released which actually sounds the way I imagined it should. It has involved a lot of duplication of material, for which I apologise but also have to defend, in that (I hope) all the alternative versions are worthy of themselves and different enough in interpretation and arrangement to warrant release.

This is what I was trying to do with The Invisible Opera, but never really pulled it off. Jim’s aurision of psychedelic music was very much based on the west-coast sound of the Beach Boys and CSNY; I don’t think he was ever comfortable with my atonal space-crash punk tendencies. I loved what he did with my songs, it just wasn’t necessarily how I heard them. Maybe one day those recordings will get released.

It’s been incredibly liberating to play with Willow and Richard for the past year. It’s like being in a three-pronged no holds barred or punches pulled rock berserker squadron. I’ve been playing with Willow for something like 30 years, both in solo projects and with Invisible Opera. This might be the first time we’ve actually sat down and properly rehearsed a set. I think the world has really yet to hear what an awesome drummer Willow is, I’m hoping this new set we’re rehearsing will give him the platform to do so. Although a seasoned singer-songwriter and performer in his own right, this is the first time Richard has been The Guitarist in a band. His general musicality is a joy to work with, when the song calls for a solo he rips into it, when it needs pinning down he’s on it. Andy’s synthesiser wizardry similarly provides the kind of classic sound textures that I’ve always wanted to hear on my songs. When he’s not working with us he makes soft synths for ipads. Laura is our secret weapon; apart from her enchanting alto tones lifting us gently out of the boyzone, she also adds multicoloured glitter icing from her synchronised glock and handy hand percussion. Normally I dissuade vocalists from joining in on the shaky egg, but Laura just seems to intuitively know where to kick in with the tambourine.

We have 9 new songs in the set since recording this, including two of Richard’s tunes and one more obscure classic from the dawn of psychedelia. I know it’s very rock’n’roll to say so, but this really is the best band I’ve ever worked with. Finding people you can harmonise with I now know is a rare and wonderful thing, particularly if they can hold it together in the middle of some crazy space rock jam. It’s just magic. The band also shares a great commonality around why we’re doing this and wider ethical issues, so there is a combined consciousness when we’re playing. That’s another part of the magic. The third and possibly most important part of the magic is the way you (yes you) have supported making it happen, buying CDs and coming to gigs. I just wouldn’t have done this by myself.

So this album was the second gig with this line-up and after a handful of rehearsals. It was so well recorded by Pete Wibrew that mixing it was relatively simple, so it’s pretty much the gig as we played it with a couple of discreet edits. It’s the first recording of my songs that I can actually say I’m happy with. Finally actually getting a decent band album out there may be a small step for mankind, but it’s a giant leap for this man.

Archetypes live dates

kozfest2016_archetypes15At summer solstice I reformed The Archetypes with Rich Mason (gtr/vox) and Laura Tupker (vox/perc) from Tantric Panic. I’ve been having fun playing bass with them over the last year, so I pitched the idea of doing some amped-up psychedelic rock, which they responded to enthusiastically. Sadly communications with Jim Peters broke down earlier in the year. I’m going to cite personal and musical differences here, you know the story. So I invited synth wizard Andy Bull, who has previously worked with Nukli and Will Greenwood amongst others, to come and add his cosmic harmonics to the mix. A week before the gig we still had no drummer, but Greg Willow came to our rescue with a huge barrel of enthusiasm and sat in on the first gig. It went down so well that Dave Hatfield has asked us to cover the solstices and equinoxes at the King Arthur for the foreseeable future – We’ve confirmed Dec 21st and March 20th 2017 so far.

kozfest2016_archetypes27The fact that we all live fairly close to one another has meant that this line-up has been able to practice regularly. This definitely reflects in performances and as a result I’m much happier with what I’m hearing than ever before. The combined energy of the band, particularly between me, Rich and Greg, is pure rock’n’roll; I’m loving it! Since Lemmy’s passing I’ve turned up the gain and started using a pick on some numbers; I’m finding this rather liberating too.

kozfest2016_archetypes21Our Kozfest performance got recorded this summer by Pete Wibrew (Gentleman and scholar), so some of that will get released in some form fairly soon. Is that vague enough for you? I seriously can’t wait for you to hear it … because the songs are actually sounding like they do in my head at last. Greg, Andy, Rich and Laura are a phenomenal team to work with. I’m loving the way everyone makes a uniquely strong contribution to the sound and I’m impatient to do more.

Sadly there isn’t much on the horizon for the band before solstice. This is in part due to Rich being in chronic back pain for the last few months, which makes touring unthinkable right now. Hopefully in the new year. Meanwhile we shall be working on some new material for the solstice gig and some old stuff that you won’t have heard like this before! Mwahaha! And I’ll work on getting this Kofest recording in front of your lugholes. From here on in it’s a scorched mirth campaign, leaving no left turn unstoned. Love this planet or get lost …

Big Love

Uncarved gets released

mellstock_cover It gives me great pleasure to announce that Uncarved :: Live at Mellstock is now officially a thing. It represents a small step for mankind, but a huge step for me in crowd-funding. The entire production has been financed on goodwill and donations. I neither have a day job, trust fund or savings, nor do I claim benefits. I survive literally on what I earn from music, every month I struggle to pay the bills … I’m not complaining, it’s a good life, but it does get tricky when you need to come up with chunks of money all at once.

I’ve been particularly inspired by Amanda Palmer on the “Art of Asking” and although I don’t have anything like the fan-base she has built up, I thought I’d give it a go. What I have learned is that there are a lot more people than I had imagined who are prepared to support my music. If that wasn’t amazing enough, along with financial support came heartfelt messages, constructive advice and feedback. By asking for help I have got a really strong message back that you lot want me to keep on writing, playing and recording music.

So this album was recorded at a little festival in Mells. Mells is the ‘plum’ that Jack Horner pulled out of the pie, so the album was recorded in the church that Jack built. The festival was put on in order to raise money for Help in Action and the whole thing was recorded by Sam Welbourne. Sam persuaded me that the recording was releasable and in the final analysis I decided to release the whole performance, nothing added or taken away, as the set had a really nice coherence to it. I had wanted to put out something that represented me busking and for my birthday last year, Earl Bramley-Howard had given me a wonderful pencil drawing of me performing on the street, which seemed the perfect piece of artwork to use for he cover. All the pieces came together really smoothly once I decided to do it.

Sam has given his time and expertise largely on trust, and this is now the third album he has facilitated in this way. I put out a cry for help in August and was overwhelmed with the responses, pulling in enough to keep the website running and produce an initial run of CDs in just two days! Despite all this support it is still slow, going. It’s taken me two months to get round to updating the site. Hi Dad. And I still have a few pre-orders to dispatch. This is partly because I’m an ultra-distractable creative person, I have just completed a series of maps showing language families and dialect continuums across the world and I’m writing a comedy screenplay, oh and the book … , partly because I’m working with such a limited cash-flow and I’m also just really rubbish at posting things. In an ideal world I would have someone do deal with the mail order. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for me as you can now download it from Bandcamp. So thank you all for your patience, I hope it has been worth the wait!

So here is Uncarved. I really couldn’t have done this without you.

Thank You!

Spring releases (boing!)

Continuing the story of getting this backlog of recordings released:

We’ve just released Mandala Mother an archive recording of me and Jim Iz around one microphone at Dave Goodman’s in 1997. The first few copies will come with unique hand-made covers. Please give me a few more days to get the ordering system in place. It’s been rather hectic of late.

Close on its heels we intend to release Crazy Horseshoe Resurrection a recent band jam session; and Live at St Dunstan’s a live record of our semi-acoustic set and the last gig Will played with us.

In the longer pipeline is the long awaited Invisible Opera album Open for Isness; a live Silver on the Tree album and we’re also intending to remaster and digitise Eye of the Aeon / Mystic Spiral at some point.

Then there’s my solo album, working title The End of Words which I hope to be able to release during my own lifetime.

They will all be made available via bandcamp and on CD when the time comes.

RIP Will Greenwood

We’re still reeling from the death of our guitarist earlier this year.
http://www.centralsomersetgazette.co.uk/Tributes-paid-Glastonbury-musician-Greenwood/story-20766145-detail/story.html published a great obit so reprinting here as words still fail me.

Will Greenwood

FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to talented musician Will Greenwood, following his sudden death.

Will, who was born Stephen Worley in Greenwich, South London, on June 13, 1959, and was raised in Deptford.

His dad, Reg, died when he was 11 and after that he was brought up by his mum, Vera, and his uncles – They were a proper close knit London family.

His mum and dad met when she was working in the Co-op in Deptford and his dad came in to buy some corned beef, she gave him extra and the romance bloomed.

His mum never remarried after his dad died and she always said she was her one true love. This made Will a real romantic.

Will moved to Glastonbury in the mid-80s and after arriving he quickly joined the music scene.

He became the musical director of Glastonbury Town Players for eight years in which he staged seven pantomimes and regular seasonal shows and cabarets.

He lived on boats for some time in the 90s and bought another boat in 2009 with money left to him after his mum died. He then began to partially live on the boat, mainly on the Kennet and Avon Canal but also venturing onto the Thames, the Avon, and the River Wey in the summer.

Will’s partner Jacqui Woodward Smith said: “He was a real wanderer and lover of the land. He also loved science, especially physics and astronomy, and had been studying for a degree with the Open University. His love of space comes out a lot in his music.”

Will, who leaves a daughter named Gaia who is in her early twenties, was part of the peace convoy at the Battle of the Beanfield on June 1, 1985. Although he wasn’t with the group when they were attacked, he witnessed the devastation of it the following day.

Will was a talented artist, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, but his main love and talent was the guitar. He is widely acknowledged as being one of the best guitarists on the festival scene.

Will formed his first band in 1974 playing his first gigs jamming on the South London blues pub rock scene. He has also been a regular on free festival stages since the mid-70s.

Unable to study music at school, Will taught himself guitar and attended electronic music classes at Goldsmiths College.

In the mid-80s Will started the original Space Pirates. They played gigs and festivals throughout the 80s and 90s and they supported bands such as Here and Now, Hawkwind, Radio Mongolia and Cardiacs.

Will was also involved with many other bands and projects over the years including Blue Cheese From Space, Splatman, Glass Unicorn, Spannerman, Titanic Dance Band, Will Greenwood’s Impossible Stress Factor, Medicine, Kemunnos, Hubba, Indivisible, Invisible Opera, The Kaputniks and The Glissando Orchestra.

Will’s first recordings were with Joie Hinton in 1986 and then on his own equipment from 1987 onwards, during which time he developed as a multi-instrumentalist arranger and songwriter. His first album Half a Dozen of the Other was released in 2000, followed by Lament to a Space Pirate in 2004 and The Endlessness of It All in 2009.

Will also arranged one last outing for the Space Pirates recording Avast Beyond in 2007 and performing a few gigs, notably at that year’s Eastern Haze event.

Will’s most recent performances included performing as part of The Glissando Orchestra and at Kozfest 2013.

Will was due to play this year at both Cosmic Puffin and Kozfest, both festivals that were very close to his heart.

This year’s Kozfest will be dedicated to Will’s memory and the Top Field at Kozfest will now be named The Will Greenwood field.

Mrs Woodward Smith added: “I thought that he was a brave and intelligent man, who never lost his kindness and humanity despite his illness and the lack of support he received. I think that his alternative way of life is something that the authorities find it hard to handle in terms of offering healthcare. We had a very difficult time.”

Unfortunately, he suffered from poor mental health throughout most of his life and that was made much worse when he began to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the early 90s.

Since his sudden death on February 10, there have been several tributes to Will on the radio, most notably on Radio Caroline and an hour-long tribute by Starship Overflow.

His funeral will be held in Glastonbury on March 7 followed by a woodland burial close to Stonehenge.

His funeral has been entirely funded and organised by family and friends so that it will be completely about him.

Read more: http://www.centralsomersetgazette.co.uk/Tributes-paid-Glastonbury-musician-Greenwood/story-20766145-detail/story.html#ixzz30xPyI3Ll

Midwinter’s Day release

Sam Welbourne (MD of Mindful Sounds) had this brilliant idea. Let’s record this gig, mix it in a matter of days and put it up for immediate download.

1512259_250360861794568_1429213836_o
Through love and music, we make history!
The Silver Twiglets, Frost Fayre 2013
The Silver Twiglets at the Frost Fayre, Glastonbury, earlier in December.

So I now have a glorious new bandcamp page with two albums available – the original Carols for Solstice, recorded in 1997 and the new live versions recorded on the 22nd December 2013 at St. Dunstan’s House.

Not only that but we recorded the semi-acoustic set afterwards with Jim Peters, Harmony, Laura Iseley and Will Greenwood, which is taking a little longer to mix, but should be out in some format soon.

I’ll put the back catalogue up on bandcamp in the New Year.

Blessings of the Season!

Summer festival report

July saw a major and rather sudden reshuffle of the Archetypes line-up – the usual interpersonal band relationship stuff, if I’m honest, probably mostly my fault and I accidentally ended up sacking half the band. Whoops. And we had festival dates lined up for the next two weekends. Double whoops.

Mercury went direct on the 20th and Jim Viz got in touch, enquiring about the possibility of playing at the Green Gathering. Synchronicitously, Nick Harrison had reappeared out of nowhere (well obviously he thought he was somewhere) and offered his services, so I messaged him back to say yeah we needed a drummer, despite the fact that I didn’t know whether I actually had a band at that point. I knew Will Greenwood was going to be at Kozfest – the first date, so I asked him if he would be prepared to sit in on guitar. Suddenly we had a band (in theory) comprised of ex-Invisible Opera members. Interesting. We had never quite all played in the same line-up together and that was at least ten years ago, oh, and there was no time to rehearse. Brilliant. So we picked half a dozen songs that we thought we could all remember and found ourselves on stage together again. Four and in then? said Nick from behind the drums … and so it began.

Kozfest was gorgeous, wall-to-wall space rock and psychedelia, I loved it. I haven’t danced so much at a festival for years. Jim and I made guest appearances with the actual Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, which was suitably wild. Ron Tree‘s Sunday morning set was an experience I’m glad I lived through, for completely different reasons! It’s fascinating to have real-life experiences with people you’ve got to know through online social networks and make new friends in the process, the Kozfest crowd are real gems with exquisite flaws! Shine on! And hopefully see you next year.

We repeated the trick on the Triban stage at the Green Gathering with Laura Iseley joining us on vocals. The Green Gathering is on one of the most beautiful festival sites I’ve seen, lots of mature trees, a slightly creepy ruined house, oh, and a racecourse next door. It is the one festival I put myself out for every year, because I love it and believe in it. We play for minimal expenses and actually made a loss this year but WTF it’s worth it just to get to play with wonderful musicians like Feliks Tabis as Jim and I did on Sunday evening on the Floating Lotus stage.

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Next I did a shamanic retreat for a week. I’m not going to go into details because much of what happened was deeply personal, but I did get to experiment with story-telling around the fire, in fact I told the whole of Math ap Mathonwy from memory, which I don’t think is bad going. I came out of the week with a very clear vision of the role of the bard in public ceremonies and the idea of creating a portable bardic lodge to take to festivals. So that was nice.

1236512_10151877493897755_1846060068_nIn the last week of August I travelled down to Wadebridge for Cornwall Folk, where I did a couple of solo shows in the acoustic tent. I also got to see Wizz Jones, who I’ve been raving about to anyone who will listen ever since. He really attacks the guitar, getting every ounce of musical juice out it and sings like a bird. And he played The King of Rome. Other highlights included Dalla, Mike O’Connor and Barabara GriggsReturn to Lyonesse and Pete Berryman. While I was there I learned some more Cornish dances, found a couple of people to exchange some words of Kernewek with and spent some quality time at Folk Towers. Hurrah!

Then when I thought I couldn’t possibly have any more fun Laura and I went to Rest Fest. It did for me what it said on the tin. Really nice intimate gathering. I love festivals that are small enough that you can actually meet people and have proper conversations. My highlight was another Sunday morning performance by a young band from St Albans called Know Your Hill, they are delightfully odd. I did a laughter yoga workshop and totally ‘got’ it. No really, laughter yoga showed me the way! So I’m adding that to my somewhat irregular workout routine.

The downside: sorry to go on about this, but basically the summer left me personally over 200 quid down, which has really messed up my finances. I understand fully that most of the events we want to support don’t have big budgets, but we are going to have to ask for realistic expenses next year. This is ultimately what has pushed me to start blogging. I really want to be able to do these small intimate gatherings and make my music freely available to all who wish to listen, so I need to work out the cash-flow equation so I can still afford to pay the rent when I get home. Answers on postcard

Tim Hawthorn and The Archetypes to record new album!

archetypes20110319_1Tim’s long awaited solo album, tentatively titled Origami of the Soul is planned to start recording this autumn. Rehearsals with The Archetypes are going well with drummer Lydia Lyte, Bassplayer Amber Moon and guitarist Phil Stretch firmly in the saddle, bringing a much rockier edge to the line-up. Vocally Oshia DruryLaura Iseley and Dreow Bennet provide rich harmonies to complement tim’s melodies.

Archetypes Green Gathering 2012The only thing holding us back now, is basically money. I’m working on a plan to fund the necessary equipment so I can record and produce it myself, more about this soon. If you’d be interested in helping to fund this next album or pre-ordering a copy, contact me via this website and I’ll send you the details once I’ve figured it all out. You can also make small donations immediately using the Donate button on the left.