One Dog Clapping – Glitterheads on the Loose!

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Glitterheads on the Loose! is the fifth and final instalment in the Meeting the Changing Landscape series I’ve been bombarding you with this year. I’m going to have a bit of break from all of this shenanigans for a bit and listen to some music made by other people for a while.

But first, for those interested, this is what it’s kind of been about. Bear in mind that the descriptions below are radically simplistic because that’s what happens when you have to use words for 4D concepts. I make no apologies for jumping between first and other persons willy nilly.

To give some context, I drew you all a picture:

meeting the changing landscape

Aren’t I nice?

The picture didn’t turn out quite how I intended – I had more of a kind of 3D spiral in mind but had to give it up when my lack of ability at drawing actual things made the futility of the effort all too apparent. So I went for more of a directional thing. But when I say directional, I don’t mean linear. This was not a linear thing.

The Castle is Burning is in the north. The north is associated with cold, restrictions, a harsh mistress, so it is naturally the obvious place for a burning castle.

Hills to Die On are naturally in the east. I shouldn’t have to explain that one.

Alternarratives are in the south. This actually works on several levels (hence why I wanted a spiral) but for the purposes of trying to make this seem a bit easier, these are the foundations and they are also a damn sight warmer.

Internal Route Fury has to be in the west, the land of death.

Glitterheads are on the loose above all of those places, and link them all together. They are both all of the preceding stories and something altogether more different.

The way I got to be a Glitterhead was by examining the Burning Castle for what it was, discerning it and not judging it, examining how I was reacting to the landscape it provides. It is quite one thing to say that this is what I don’t want, however, so I had to ask – what do I want? Hills to Die On were and are the answer. The tl;dr summary is that on those Hills you will find love, authenticity, your true voice, and the courage to express all of those things regardless of how you’ll look since the person you ultimately have to answer to is yourself.

To get to those Hills, I needed an alternative narrative, a better story – some Alternarratives. They have to take into context of where you are so that where you are going makes more sense, and most importantly, helps you want to buy into the journey.

There’s a reason we ain’t on them Hills, however. So I had to take these Alternarratives into the void where my demons lay waiting – they are actually rather active demons and don’t need much prodding; nonetheless, I felt that I had to take the fight to them this time.

This was the Internal Route Fury. In truth, this has been going on the whole time. I think it’s a feature of the human condition, rather than a bug. But if you can’t test your Alternarratives here, they ain’t worth telling.

Come out the other side, my friend, and you are invincible. You are a Glitterhead and you can be set loose. This does not mean perpetual gravy, far from it. You will still have to operate in a Burning Castle for the duration whilst you build the foundations of your Hills, but you have Alternarratives and you can survive the Internal Route Fury. Of course I don’t mean literal invincibility, I mean fundamental invincibility. Bodies may come and go, but we will continue.

Any further questions should be sent by the ghost or on a broomstick, to meet me here at sunset when the tide has washed away. But don’t think you’re alone here. You’re a piece, not a fragment.

I offer this story and this series to Saraswati in perpetual and ongoing thanks for the continued flow of music through me.

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One Dog Clapping – Internal Route Fury

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Madness!

In many ways, but not all.

So I attempted linearity… actually, scratch that. I did no such thing. What I meant was that I attempted to make sense, but again, it’s just possible that I actually did no such thing.

So what happens when you purposefully take yourself through the void? Internal Route Fury, that’s what. You have to test these Alternarratives against your demons, after all, otherwise they’re a waste of words.

There is actually an overarching plan to all this. And if you believe that, you might just believe that it’s me that’s behind it. And one or more of those statements may only be a half truth at best.

The final instalment in this series will probably be called Glitterheads on the Loose! Because, ladles and gentlespoons, that is exactly what we are.

One Dog Clapping – Alternarratives

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It is 9/9/18, and 9.09 pm (BST) when I click the publish button on Bandcamp. We have entered the time of the new moon. Fittingly, I have ‘Ritual‘ by Fire! Orchestra playing.

Alternarratives is the third album in the ‘Meeting The Changing Landscape’ Series, and the halfway point. It is about, broadly speaking, telling ourselves better stories so that we can head towards the Hills to Die On.

The next album in the series takes a turn back into the void as these better stories wrestle with the demons that would have them remain unspoken, and will be called Internal Route Fury.

 

Celtefog – A Faded Wisdom

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The Knights Under the Round Tabel, version II

The Knights Under the Round Tabel were on a mission to discover the unknown. Like all members of their generation, they went about it with a curiously apathetic zeal, which meant that any ideas put to them may well get absorbed and acted upon, but self generated ideas were curiously lacking. And all the while they stared into the distance. Roughly about approximately a thousand yards into the distance.

They maintained the illusion that frontier pushing was somehow connected to altering states of consciousness, and they were not totally wrong in this regard. However, consciousness altering can occur in a myriad of ways, one of the least significant of which is imbibing synthetic chemicals. Sadly, this path was the one they travelled the most. They sometimes saw previously unseen colours and visionscapes that may have otherwise been denied, but any earth-shattering insights that may have occurred were kept to themselves, and then forgotten.

It is fairly easy to regard the Knights with derision. I do it regularly. But this self appointed sect were actually more representative of their society than they would be pleased to realise.

They were not averse to token mysticism, without really knowing what it was, and there was a certain amount of conventional cultural experimentation. They would psychically swallow much that would have been otherwise unpalatable had it been presented conventionally, but the result of all these outside influences was something of a homogenised mess which gave no discernible sign of having learned anything significant from the experience. They were a fiercely individual collection of sheep who all thought in remarkable similar ways, whilst revelling in the idea that they were amongst the first of their kind to be really ‘pushing it.’

At the age of 18, I graduated. I thought it was an honour, not realising that the Knights were not always choosy about who they admitted.

Some few nuggets of wisdom came about, some even from me. They were usually derided, sometimes loudly, sometimes by me. Yet future conversations would often find the mocker advancing the same view that once they had scorned, as if it had been their own idea all along.

Ultimately, the Knights Under the Round Tabel foundered, being casualties of their own incoherence and lack of determination. They were victims of their own self-hatred, undone by their disrespect for who they were, where they came from, and why they were here. Hence, their name. They became permanent residents under the table, unable to articulate the few coherent thoughts they were able to have.

Now I find I can reside under several different tables. It seems that membership of one clique makes it easier to become a member of others, as long as the table is a broadly similar shape. When I started residing under different shaped tables, however, then I found myself being sought by fewer and fewer knights.

One Dog Clapping – Hills to Die On

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I could write a whole essay, nay dissertation, on the travails of getting this thing over the line due to PC breakdowns, temporary patches, surprise findings of old pcs in a cupboard, etc. I’m not going to, as it would be of very limited interest.

So this is the yin to The Castle is Burning!‘s yang, or vice versa, I’ve currently forgotten which one is which. I call this my positive album, whereby we find the pockets of light in the darkness that are worth living for, and thus also dying for. The tl;dr summary is: love, authenticity, dreams, banishing fear, and variations on those themes.

Once I’ve adapted to changed settings (for which credit and huge thanks go to my friend Chris Hall), I will get on with the next in the series, which will be Alternarratives.

Ulaan Markhor

Sometimes you simply should not trust a musician to label their own music.

I mean, I really like the self titled album by Ulaan Markhor, who is also known as Steven R. Smith and has also done other stuff with other people, though he is solo here. However, I would not call it ‘experimental’ or ‘avant-garde’ as has been listed on his bandcamp page. I’ll just about stretch to ‘psychedelic’ but even that is debatable – it passes because that word itself has gradually lost all meaning over the last couple of years, and is now no more descriptive of music than my other favourite genre descriptor, ‘alternative.’ (Alternative to what? Foghorn music?).

Without being overly reductive, let us instead call this rather pleasant instrumental guitar music featuring rhythms and percussion, and one or two sweeeeeet basslines. I like a good bassline.

I also like the album called ‘Spiral Horns, Black Onions, et al.

He’s even done a video: