well ! meshmass played the 'spirit of gravity' at the green door store in brighton, englistan, last night (thursday). by the time i had driven the 7 or so miles to this distant and romantic location it was possible to see through the windscreen of the little white van, something which had been rendered if not impossible then at least unlikely by a combination of frost and condensation. even my electrically powered driver's door window was frozen shut. windscreen wipers had no effect on the tiny crystals which had formed in an impenetrable sheet over the road ahead view, but i succeeded in scraping a little slot through which to peer and proceeded with a certain degree of caution (naturally, a degree or two below freezing.) it was warmer, or at least less frosty in brighton, where i had the usual excitements about parking, but promoter geoff reader kindly informed me that there was a parking permit behind the bar which i exchanged for my driving license. richard was already set up before i got there and a table and chair had been prepared for me, so i set up the laptop and then discovered that i had forgotten the mouse. after a minute or two i realised that i could not operate the computer without a mouse as i had disabled the touchpad 'pointing device' due to that fact that i kept doing unexpected things by touching it accidentally with my wrists, and i could not work out how to switch it on again without a mouse. geoff reader tried to help us and we were partway through examining the contents of the windows control panel - ho ho - when once again the staff at the spirit of gravity/green door store came to my rescue by digging out a mouse from some back room and we were able to play. we started more or less as the doors opened and it turned out that we were going to be LOUD. it's a while since we played through a P.A., and the temptation to be LOUD was irresistible, resulting in a floor-wobbling and trouser-flapping inferno of distorted guitar, squealing saxophone and sub-human bass through which the outlines of some marimba samples could dimly be discerned. at one point the guitar became so loud that i felt there was a great wind behind us, blowing us forward. we played for about an hour and despite everything people seemed to rather like it - they're tough, these brightonians. so, many thanks to all those who came - i recognised dave tribe and chris parfitt at least among them, and we all hope to see you again in the not-too-distant future.
due to some hideous blockage in the ancient pipes which we use to transport meshmass to the orifice the november 2016 release is not yet available to the world. SHAME! (i hear you cry) - and right you are, we are ashamed, ashamed and disgusted. mostly we are disgusted because we have had to use wire coathangers straightened and then bent into hooks to cut through hideous clouds, crusts and gobbets of dried, congealed and rotting meshmass encrusted in our tubes. dear lord, the stench! but anyway, that's christmas for you, we mustn't grumble, everything will turn out lovely, just ask boris. november is so startlingly overdue that it has become next year already and we are nearly 2 months behind. if the meshmass backs up any further here we will all be drowned, or something. latest research indicates that despite extensive efforts to burn and otherwise destroy excess meshmass november still weighs in at a thoroughly swollen 2 hours 35 minutes and is hot and painful to the touch. we have diverted teams of technicians towards solving this problem without apparent success, and what is more we have to play a gig, this one at 'the spirit of gravity' in brighton, somewhere under the station in something that resembles a disused sewer. and on a thursday, too, in the middle of winter. there is no mercy for us. but we do not deserve mercy, only contumely and novelty headgear. eager (nay, desperate) subscribers must wait. november is postponed.
Help, help, we are terribly late! The augustmass has not arrived in September, and all the little birds are a-twitter with amazement and chagrin. Or some sort of grin anyway. It is already October, and raining, and there is a hurricane on its way and we have not even sent out august yet. Heroic efforts by gangs of startled rodents, chewing desperately at the ancient mastertapes handed down through the generations have led to the new meshmass monthly clocking in at a mere 2 hours (or so). ‘praise be’, cry the poor porters and carrier pigs of the internet, whose thankless and entirely wage-free task it is to convey brimming barrels of meshmass over the invisible waves to your computer. But this will in the end avail them little – more meshmass is being prepared in bubbling vats and arising spontaneously in noisome pools. so do not fear, dear reader, meshmass is coming, enough meshmass for all..... more than enough! and this month we even remembered to include the lovely cover photograph we always promise and often forget.
desperately sprinting on our milipede legs towards the end of august we realise we have to release JULYMASS 2016 before the boiler explodes and huge gobbets of MESHMASS are deposited hither and yon. teams of carefully trained lunatics have been chiselling away at the piles of material we have accrued but despite our best efforts it seems that there will be no less (indeed, there will be very slightly more) than 3 hours of meshmass this month, for which we do not know whether to apologise or demand extra money - perhaps we will do both. in line with our policy of constant redefintion this monthly edition will include not less than a couple of pieces based on saxophone improvisations recorded in churches across sussex, england. i think of 'slow action in the science lounge' and 'translated from the gibberish' in particular, but there may even be others. i think the longest pieces are about 13 minutes and that there are 4 or 5 duets. there are 20 pieces in all. other innovations include richard's new guitar, a yamaha mg-k which features a 'sustainiac' pick-up and unlike most of his guitars is tuned in the 'standard' or 'spanish' style. peter is playing more tenor saxophone than before, mostly because he has got one he likes at last, a 'king marigaux' which was made by SML in paris, so now he plays SML soprano, alto and tenor saxes. the 'king marigaux' saxes are identical with SML gold medal mark 2's. meshmass are due to play the closing of sabine portela's exhiition of abstract canvasses at 3 fisher street, lewes, east sussex on saturday 3rd of september at about 7. we hope that next month's selection will be shorter (and easier to edit).
Inspired by justin hopper’s failure to update his blog I have decided that we must share our latest schemes and notions with the world, which is to say you, since you are the only person who will read this. We (that is to say MESHMASS) have been working away as usual on the monthly subscription releases, and sent out an e-mail circular seeking subscribers with the opportunity to download ‘maymass 2016’ free. some might think that 2 hours of meshmass is enough for a year – or indeed a lifetime – but some might not, and it is to these rare few we sought to appeal. But apart from this entirely normal behaviour we have also engaged in playing live at the open house in brighton and in remote internet collaborations with European poets Karin Tarobochia (austria), Henry Koek and Catherine Estrade (france) and scots exile Dave Migman in italy. Similarly, we have a sort of song made remotely with ‘crayola lectern’ supplying words, piano and vocals. this acts as a sort of response to the national vote against european co-operation which we have just been through. They have all been surprising and worthwhile, and we may seek to make a release out of them in due course. Further spoken word/vocal collaborations are planned. In terms of our own production we have embarked on a new phase of using saxophone improvisations to generate ableton material to use as the basis for yer actual meshmass, a process which is quite labour intensive, time-consuming and messy (messymass?) but rewarding. It’s time now that we should turn our attention to the ‘junemass 2016’ release: as usual we have no idea what will be on it or how long it will be – except that there will definitely be more than an hour of it and it will be provided to subscribers through the auspices of aural witness and ‘WeTransfer’, a very useful free service I truly recommend. There we are now, I almost feel better.
MESHMASS played at the regular improvised music night 'on the edge' organised by the safehouse collective in brighton, england. this happens on the last wednesday of every month and is often at the 'good companions' pub near 7 dials or at 'the verdict' more or less opposite the law courts, police station and american express building, a triumvirate or even trinity of holy powers. they played in support of the excellent 4:33 and what they played was an entirely improvised duet lasting 30 minutes or so which can be heard at the moment on soundcloud in its entirety. it went surprisingly well. the evening started with the 'wildcard quartet' drawn at random from the membership of the collective and then it was us. we were followed for no reason that could possibly justify such a thing by a duo who played what they described as 'standards' and which included the pathetic jingly earworm 'i don't know why i didn't come' made famous by ravi shankar's most anodyne daughter. standards! (my, but how they have slipped.) at an improvised music night. no bottles were thrown, which is a testament to the patience and good humour of all concerned. anyone interested in improvised music in the brighton area is hereby encouraged to come to the safehouse's regular improvising night hwen quartets are drawn at random from the attendees and they then perform for 10 minutes or so to the rest of the group. there are many good players involved and i think the event the best entertainment in brighton. it happens on the first wednesday of every month, again either at the verdict or at the good companions.
the mighty and frankly disturbed meshmass played at ZU STUDIOS in lewes, england last night (and this morning). ZU is part of the complex of abandoned warehouses and factory sites in the so-called 'phoenix quarter', which was once lewes' industrial estate. now of course there is no industry in lewes apart from retail outlets and a bit of distribution, the harveys' brewery and a builder's merchant or two. it should have been easy, of course for meshmass to play there since they live within honking distance, but despite having just passed its MOT the little van's power steering failed on the way there and the resultant vehicle was less easy to steer than an old volvo, which is to say that it was like wrestling a water bison round corners using the horns. (a thing i do frequently but only in dreams). nevertheless we got there at about half-past eight and poor richard had to lumber all the stuff in. we set up when the very friendly and positive martin had cleared us a bit of space in the chill-out room and erected a table for us, and then we sat around talking for a bit. at about 10:30 martin told us the dj hadn't turned up and asked us to play early (we were booked to play our usual 2 hours from midnight). so we did, and played for about an hour. around about midnight we started again, and this time played for the allotted period or even probably a bit more. all in all it went very well. ZU was occupied as usual - packed, indeed - by indescribable people, mostly young, dressed up in unlikely costumes and enjoying themselves. this shouldn't be allowed and probably isn't. indeed, so popular is ZU that the developers Santon who have ownership of the site are determined to evict them, raze the area to the ground and build nasty new dwellings all over it to sell to people from London and probably chinese russian arabs as well on the hong-kong property investment market. this is how creativity is supported in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. anyway, MESHMASS are delighted to have played there, it is an exciting and entirely worthwhile place run by dedicated people with a real understanding of their audience and their culture. we even have a recording of the event which extends over 3 and a quarter hours.... more if you count the soundcheck. subscribers may get to hear more of this recording......