Sunday, February 18, 2007

back from Dhamma Dippa

I just spent almost two weeks up in Herefordshire at a meditation centre with no music (apart from the beautiful birdsong, the rather unmusical chanting of S.M. Goenka and the songs rattling around in my head - mostly Radiohead this time, for some reason).

In the meantime, my saz had been left with Dave Oddy, a local luthier, as it had developed a nasty crack on my way back from the States recently. I picked it up this morning and he's done a fantastic job. The sound is now closer to the original sound when I first bought it, although I think I preferred the 'cracked' sound - I'm sure I'll get used to the way it now is, though. I intend to spend the rest of today playing, to loosen up my fingers and generally get back into it, as there's a Dub Magnitude gig at The Globe Inn this Wednesday.

Yesterday evening round at Vicky's she mentioned having listened to the very last episode of Radio 3's Mixing It (I remember hearing it in a tent near Canterbury, back in 1993...AND they played Children of the Drone last year, our only UK airplay to date). One track that really stood out for her and Thomas was by San Francisco-based Deerhoof. My friend John Pearson had mentioned them when I was over in Wisconsin, as the guitarist turns out to be John Dietrich, the younger brother of my old schoolfriend Dan (formerly bass player with Ted, Abu Temple, Clip the Daisies, Mad Trucker Gone Mad and currently playing with Brainerd down in Madison). Vicky's subscribed to The Wire and seems to be getting deeper and deeper into experimental music. We were listening to some rather wonder Four Tet stuff last night.

And I just found another couple of positive Ail Fionn/A Tiny Window reviews here, this time from someone in Glastonbury (who I somehow have managed to not meet yet):

The Spring []
"Some brilliant psychedelic/acid and normal folk-type jams and pieces by saz player 'A Tiny Window' in the form of a blog. Some really beautiful stuff."

Ail Fionn homepage ] []
"Excellent low-key folk music; accomplished mandolin and saz playing - and free, free, free! (Lots or possibly all of their music is released on the Open Source Internet Archive)."

...and someone else seems to be enjoying the Dongas field recordings:

[from here]

"The already-blogged-about group Dongas Tribe has several albums worth of material available on the Internet Archive. The tunes themselves are, in my opinon, universally excellent: spirited, rockin' folkish fiddle tunes, for the most part. But these are field recordings, so the quality varies. The best set by far is Rainy Night in the Bell Tent. My top three tunes:

Welsh Pipe Tune
Man in the Brown Hat
Buttermilk Mary

Screenshot of Druid Soccer Screenshot of Druid Soccer Screenshot of Druid Soccer
Druid Soccer screenshots - click on them for bigger versions

Google also has informed me that a 54-year old blogger called Susan in Asheville, North Carolina was listening to the Dongas on the 3rd of February (see here, and scroll down a bit if you're in any doubt), that someone called Uwe has included a track on one of his podcasts and, best of all, that our version of "Farewell to Erin" got used as the background music for a little computer game called "Druid Soccer" included on the blog Kloonigames belonging to someone called Petri in Helsinki! [I just spent half an hour playing, first computer game I've played in years - determined to win - it's very amusing, trying to push a megalith into the opponents trilithon. I wonder if Petri was aware that the Dongas were often found making music at megalithic monuments. He's chosen the perfect piece, it's a too-hectic version of the tune, I almost didn't include it in the collection as it sounded a bit rushed and sloppy - but in this context it provides the perfect cartoonish zaniness for a soundtrack.]

[added April 2009:] Someone's added this comment to Petri's Druid Soccer page:

"It's HILARIOUS to play. There's something just so inherently funny about two little guys running around like crazy, headbutting a giant boulder. I played a match with my sister (not a gamer), and after a couple of goals she was laughing so hard she could hardly breathe. Then towards the end, the infamous shooting boulder bug hit. At first it looked like one of the tiny druids had suddenly kicked the boulder so hard it went into orbit. We were nearly on the floor, from laughing so hard. Surrealist comedy, I suppose. :-)

One thing I realised about this is that the music REALLY contributes to the humour. The fast paced Irish jig feel of it really compliments the madcap antics of the druids dashing around. It's almost feels like a Celtic version of the Keystone Kops. If the music was slower-paced, it wouldn’t be nearly as funny. Similar to good (and juicy!) sound effects, it's amazing how much effect good or bad music can have on the game experience.


Blogger gummikana said...

Wow, thanks for blogging out my Druid Soccer. I'm glad to know that I managed to break your habit of not playing computer games.

And I had no idea that Dongas have made their music at megalithic monuments. I actually didn't even know that the "goals" where called trilithons :) Thanks for enlighting me.

And even bigger thanks for creating and releasing such a great music. I still have many Dongas Tribe's songs in my WinAmp playlist.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

4:32 AM  

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