MESHMASS performed under the auspices of 'ceremonial laptop' at the rose hill in brighton on 1.11.2018. they were on at about 10 and played for nearly an hour. they used birdsong recorded at dawn in spain, 3 Strasser-Marigaux-LeMaire saxophones, a yamaha electric guitar, an i-pad, a laptop and some nervous energy. the other acts on that evening were 'undoing' and 'ninit'. it all went rather well, no-one knew what to expect (of course) but somehow ceremonial laptop had filled the place up with largely young people and they were attentive and appreciative. people clapped. people moved about as if they thought they might dance. people said they liked it, and it may have been true. the sound was great, not too loud and admirably clear. the rose hill is a splendid place. it has green tiles all over the front and is tucked away near preston circus where the fire station is. there's a great pizza house on the corner, called 'fatto a mano' (which doesn't mean 'fat bloke', incidentally, but 'hand-made'). they book creative and unusual entertainments and generally behave far too well to both audience and performers. we recommend them to you. we hope to go again.
in sensational news MESHMASS are going to play a gig, or make a live performance, perhaps, at the rose hill (formerly the rose hill tavern) an alternative arts space situated not far from preston circus in brighton on the coincidentally-named rose hill terrace. this performance will take place on THURSDAY 11th of january and is arranged under the auspices of 'ceremonial laptop'. MESHMASS will play the last set of three. i can say from personal experience that the rose hill is a pleasant and welcoming place run collectively and not a rabidly commercial venue which seeks to charge performers, audience and bar-staff for the privilege of using their facilities. as for normal behaviours, or behaviours previously demonstrated, MESHMASS managed to make a november release without undue difficulty, and rather good it seemed, at least to them. however there were 5 sessions in december and the prospect of reducing that to between an hour and two hours looms large in the future, like a big, erm, simile. in other recent events, peter was playing one of his 2 SML gold medal mark 1 tenor saxophones at the last MESHMASSSESSION of 2017 when the neck crook became detached from the collar which seats the neck into the body, rendering the instrument flabby and useless, and making a comedic noise. (this was of course indistinguishable to the untrained ear from the other noises peter made in the course of the session.) luckily enough this has now been repaired by the splendid jim at ackermann music in hove. thanks jim. so, and in short, a happy new year to all our reader, and good wishes to all.
MESHMASS at last get round to sorting out their october release, now that we are (all of us, just imagine) halfway through december and heading rapidly towards christmas. there are various reasons (or excuses, as we like to call them) for our unusual tardiness in this instance - firstly and above all there was a distinct lack of october in these parts, the little-known october shortage being caused by members of MESHMASS suddenly leaving the country and staggering about in the increasingly distant reaches of europa. there is nothing wrong with october per se - it is a useful month, separating september from november and containing many birthdays belonging to people we know. and it can be very attractive - indeed, in france, spain and portugal (we are told) it was BOILING HOT. as for the music, which to be honest we retrieved from abandoned bits of september we found down the back of the sofa and stuck to the side of the cooker, it's probably not our best release to date. unless you think it is, in which case we are wrong, as so often before. september was already struggling due to the infamous 'adjustments' made by our highly-trained technical department which resulted in underwater saxophone effects and a general feeling of queasy distance. however, this has now been entirely cured, november was really interesting and december is shaping up to be something rather special. in other news richard has reformed his effects rig, resulting in a greater clarity of sound from that particular region also, and peter has retrieved 2 saxophones from headwind music in bristol, where they were repaired by the excellent john pratt. they are an extraordinarily rare SML 'superluxe' alto, built in 1941 and a precursor of the SML 'super' series, his favourite saxophones - or alto saxophones, because the other was an SML gold medal mk 1 tenor which is like some sort of smoky dream. the 'superluxe' has 2 extra trill keys, very rare on SML saxes and plays a lot like a super 45 or 46. how wonderful it is.
MESHMASS have got a bit of a sulk on with soundcloud because it takes so much work to keep up with everybody who once listened to you up there and we in any case have no time in our crowded schedule for listening to music which does not emanate from the frothing vats in our bleak industrial cellars. we cannot remember the last time we heard any music. certainly not in october, of which there was a complete absence round here, making the selection of OCTOBERMASS 2017 a question of finding something to select rather than casting out vast bucketsful of the stuff and sorting around in the remaining entrails as is usually the case, when we are in danger of drowning in the resultant tidal waves. there will not be, and has not been, so much MESHMASS on soundcloud in the future - we used to post something nearly every week but now we can't be bothered. in unrelated news peter has been moonlighting in an improvising group called THE BARE SPRINGS which has even played a gig or two and specialises (it seems) in a region of high volume. it is a four-piece with guitar, bass and drums and him squarking away on various saxophones.
juddy and the months..... we are assailed by more than the usual measure of confusion, as certain of our membership chose this juncture to disappear into the increasingly distant reaches of the european continent, returning weeks later bearing only honey, bagasso and blurred memories. this has placed us in the invidious position of having to release a septembermass only in november (an effort we are shortly to make) and also to be rather alarmed at the prospect of octobermass at all. we realise this will not worry our overburdened subscribers (many of whom have failed even to download the augustmass we so carefully prepared for them - and which is rather good) but it is after all in breach of our contractual obligations, which is a matter we take very seriously. not only that but many of the recording we made in september (upon which we rely because of the almost complete lack of october in these parts), due to certain 'adjustments' made by our highly-trained technical team have been revealed to feature a saxophone (or possibly two or three, it is impossible to tell) recorded apparently underwater at the far end of an enormous cavern populated by echoing ghosts. woe. oh, woe is us. however we are delighted to announce that Justin Hopper's book including sussex myths and legends (among whom or which we certainly are and reside) is about to be published (and i quote):- "The Old Weird Albion is a creative non-fiction <(book, work, piece of writing)> exploring memory, myth and the landscape of the South Downs by American writer Justin Hopper. Published by Penned in the Margins..... this poetic essay <(tells)> of encounters with forgotten histories, eerie suburbs, eccentrics and visionaries." as for our various instrumentalisings, Richard has procured a wonderful new guitar made by Parker, or Parker-Knowles, or Parker-Bowles, possibly - i belive it's called a 'nightfly' - and Peter has 'invested' in a number of SML tenor saxes, mostly gold medal mk 1, with rolled toneholes and switchable g# linkage. some of them even work. he also now proudly displays for the amusement of drunken passers-by a borgani macerata curved soprano saxophone as once played by dead blokes. so, fear not, september soon!
australian netlabel NEW LEAF INC has released a MESHMASS collection called 'september songs'. the release features 'indogsnagnautovic', 'flutterhat', 'instigated', 'laminant', 'spindly' and 'started off so well', all tracks recorded in september 2016 by aural witness. 'flutterhat' and 'spindly' are pure improviation, 'started off so well' includes parts of a saxophone improvisation from the series 'isolated churches' and the rest are 'typical' meshmass using preprepared parts in ableton live from the laptop with saxophone, guitar and keyboard-phone. the longest track is 15:48 and the shortest 1:17.
unbelievable but true, certain things have been happening to MESHMASS which might actually be considered favourable. among these, REBECCA ASKEW attended our regular weekly meshfest at meshmass world central and contributed vocals to a session that also featured the return of the stick - richard played the chapman stick again with the mass for the first time since he destroyed one of the 1950's tannoys we used to monitor through. now we use headphones, so it's fairly safe - if confusing to singers, it transpires. REBECCA struggled womanfully with the unfamiliar conditions and process, she was i think perfectly shocked by the contributions of the machine and we all suffered a full gamut of inexplicable technical difficulties. nevertheless we emerged at the other end with just over an hour of new MESHMASS, one piece featuring a soulful vocal and another few with strange grunts and squeaks, which to be honest were mostly me. NEXT, i suppose, is the acceptance and release of a selection of pieces from september 2016 by the Australian netlable NEW LEAF INC, which will be turned loose into the world through their bandcamp site: Meshmass "September Songs" / April 10th - NLI004. we recommend it to you - it's wonderful, of course. and not content with that (for when have we ever been content?) MESHMASS were played on the BBC, the beloved programme 'LATE JUNCTION' played the improvised duet 'OH MOTHER', and despite all that the world has not ended.