30
Apr
18

A Kindred Spirit: David J. Knight

Well it’s not every day you bump into someone you think you’ve known all your life.  That happened to me back on November 18th, 2017.  I was visiting a very interesting conference at UCLA called, “Sound and the Sacred” – a conference that was part of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  I often pop in when the conferences spark my interest, and this particular one certainly did, as it was dealing with music within sacred spaces, churches, cathedrals, etc., and I’m a sucker for choral music.  I noticed that one of the speakers had a Southampton University connection – my original hometown.  David Knight was to give a lecture on “Sensory Reflections Of San Vitale; From Sixth-Century Ostrogothic Ravenna, to Dante and Beyond”.  Now don’t ask me what all that means because I have no f—–g idea, but I did sense that I was going to learn something fascinating from my Southampton-connection man – and I did.  I was determined to meet this lad, so, wearing my ‘Saints’ Southampton football-team training jacket, I introduced myself before he spoke.  To say that we hit it off is a huge understatement; we clicked like long lost brothers.  David hails from Canada, but spent a great deal of time in my home town as an Archeologist at the City University; my memories and David’s memories of Southampton and the surrounding rural area, The New Forest, got us chatting away like family members remembering our shared linked past.  And David just happens to be the archetypal Renaissance man; his myriad of great talents touch upon music making, photography, graphic design, book authorship, historian and most everything that falls under the wide definition of Art!

Without making this too long-winded (I could write a book about this gentleman), we decided to stay in touch after the conference and, needless to say, we became great friends. The more I looked into David’s work, the more I was enchanted by it; I had stumbled upon a great creator.  When I saw some of David’s drawings, I was knocked back by his great sensitivity and finesse and feeling, which prompted me to eventually ask David if he’d draw a portrait of me (it had always been on my ‘wish list’).  He graciously agreed.  That’s what you see here:

IMG_0318 2

David’s intimate rendition of ‘yours truly’ – done with pencil (a variety of different grades) and a light water wash with brush!  It now hangs in my little library room.  David then became my official ‘Painter of the Senses’ – a term I don’t use lightly.  He has been regularly providing me with mesmerizing images for my many future albums-in-the-works.  He is a profound creative experimenter and much of what he is providing me with artistically, relates to my music psychologically and emotionally.

I wanted to introduce the prolific Mr. Knight to you all today, and share with you his insightful personal portrait of me – something I’m very proud of.  You will be seeing a lot more of his visions and images in my future album releases, in particular, in my imminent new release, “The Amber of Memory”.

Please check out the links below to David’s kaleidoscope of work and interests, and please feel free to reach out to him … he welcomes inspiration.  And P.S.:  he’s about to release his own solo album of music (I’m fortunate to have been privy to hearing it come together).  The music, like the man, is universal, inspiring and beautifully challenging, and I’m still baffled – what CAN’T this guy do?  But most of all, and what counts is that he’s a generous, caring soul with a massive big heart.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…. David J. Knight – Painter of the Senses.

IMG_0498

Cheers everybody.

– Martin

David J. Knight Links:

David’s artist page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidJohnathanKnight/

Artist/Author/Archaeologist website: http://davidjknight.weebly.com

Academic writings: http://soton.academia.edu/DavidKnight

Experimental publications: Fenylalanine Publishing https://fenylalanine.wordpress.com

Book publications (Vocamus Editions): https://vocamus.net/press/genres/editions-novels/cromaboo-mail-carrier

and (The History Press): “King Lucius of Britain”: https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/publication/king-lucius-of-britain/9780752445724/

Advertisements
14
Mar
17

3/14/07 – First Post

Well, here we are at last — my first official blog.  It does feel good to be reaching out to you (whoever you may be) after all this time!  With the release of my new album just around the corner, it goes without saying that these are exciting times for me….and what a pleasure it is to be finally one-on-one with you.

The new album, “IN THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSE”, was recorded with many of the same musicians and friends that helped me out with my first album, “IN THE HOUSE OF STONE AND LIGHT”:  Neil Taylor (Tears For Fears, and now working with Robbie Williams); Brian Fairweather (my partner from my Q-Feel days); Jack Hues (Wang Chung); and Bill Dillon (of Robbie Robertson, Sarah McLachlan, Peter Gabriel fame) all helped out on guitars.  I was lucky enough to again have Jimmy Copley on live drums.  He’s well known for his work with Tears For Fears, Go West, Jeff Beck and Paul Rogers.  So I had an excellent supporting cast, yet again, to make me look good.  The remaining instruments, and all the vocals, were played or performed by yours truly.  It was a great adventure to play everything from Spanish nylon guitar to 5-string bass to all manor of keyboards.

I also took the liberty to engineer and mix the album myself at home.  As always, my demos were the fundamental root of all the recorded songs, and I believe the rough, organic mood in which these songs were recorded shows the songs off in their true spirit.  As the new songs were very personal, I wanted a rawness and spontaneity to be present in the home recordings.  I used a great deal of vintage analog equipment to achieve this.  I’m a great believer that demos are masters, and that the studio should be a church of creativity and pure emotion, and not a sterile factory.  In many ways, that’s why I chose the title of the new album, “IN THE TEMPLE OF THE MUSE” (which, by the way, was the name of a famous book shop in London back, I believe, in Lord Byron’s, Shelley’s and Wordsworth’s time):  Many of the songs were written, and recorded in the studio simultaneously.

Anyway, the release of the new work is, as I mentioned, just around the corner.  Artwork and design, photos, electric press kits, etc., etc., are all being finalized as we speak, so …… we are nearly there.  This is the first release on my own independent label, IRONINGBOARD RECORDS, and I must say, it has been fun doing it myself….a terrific feeling of freedom.  Taking the responsibility to make choices that are usually not allowed the artists by the major (corporate) record labels, has been refreshing and rewarding – something I needed to do at this stage of my career.

Ultimately, it’s all about the songs for me – their emotions and their message.  From as early as I can remember, the song was everything … and still is to me.  Having said that, I’ll finish my first official blog and get back to the home studio, and of course to the all-important cup of tea (I am English, after all).   Thanks for listening.  Speak to you soon.

Martin.

08
Dec
16

12.8.2016 – A Letter to Love

From: Martin Page

‘Hopeful House’

Lake Everywhere

The World

Dear Love,

I’ve been wanting to write to you for some time now, … but you know how it is – busy, busy, busy.

Just wanted to say we miss you.  I know you’re busy too – my goodness, you must be spread so thin … you’re so much in demand these days.  Everybody and their uncle wants a piece of you.

So how have you been?  Rumor has it you still make appearances on special occasions.  Hey, you know that awful chap – what’s his name?  “Hate,” yeah that’s him ….. I do hope you can continue to right his wrongs.  I know it’s a big job – but only you can do it.

Yes, it’s nearly Christmas again – doesn’t time fly.  I’m praying that you’re able to spread your influence a little.  The young and the innocent, the old and the infirm, and of course, the lonely:  I’m sure they all are just longing to say hello to you personally.  And let’s not forget the terrible war zones all over the world; your exquisite acquaintance is most, most welcome and needed there.

And I just have to say, Love (and yes I’m gushing a touch here!), … whenever and wherever you appear, well, you always look so well put together, well attired, elegant – just so damn beautiful!  You never, never age, do you!  When you enter a room everybody notices you; you resolutely, magnificently “shine”.  Such charisma!

Well, I better finish now – the kettle is boiling.  I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know that you are always welcome to stop on by anytime.  An empty chair is always waiting by the fire.  It’s Christmas time, so please don’t be a stranger.

We so, so enjoy your company – need you, and cherish you.

Yours Sincerely,

Martin x

 

Martin Page

05
Feb
15

MR. BEAR CELEBRATES HIS 17TH BIRTHDAY!

Mr. Bear, the last remaining furry member of the Page family, as it were, has just reached his 17th birthday – a landmark achievement. I witnessed his birth – he was the last one of the litter to come out– the biggest and slowest one, and even at his senior age, he remains the sweetest innocent – incredibly devoted and unconditionally loving. With his proud dad and a little company, he celebrated his day with great aplomb!

Birthday-Balloons-1

unnamed

Mr. Bear – IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!

mrbearbday2

bday 3

mrbear4

All tuckered out.

All tuckered out.

Happy-Birthday-Balloons

05
Jan
15

1.5.2015 – Books are Spaceships

I must have inherited my love of books from my mother, who – throughout her life – always had a book by her side.

The older I get, the more I enjoy reading.  As the world gets faster, I’m able to slow it down a little by “getting into” a good book.  It’s like stopping time for me – I can get lost for a while in some other drama, inside some other adventure – stepping back or forward in time – studying, learning, experiencing something other than my own existence – removed from the gravity of my normal daily, fast-paced routine.  As Susan Sontag has said, “Books are like spaceships”; they allow us to travel into different worlds and to escape on so many levels.  Books do that for me.… and, of course, they have also inspired many, many songs over the course of my career.

When I found the confidence to express the deeper side of my nature in my songs, books became the key to my inspiration.  “In The House of Stone and Light” was written after visiting and reading about the Grand Canyon; “The Door” (from the same album) was inspired by a book I read about the Nazi concentration camp in Treblinka; “I Guess I Will” and “Everything You Do” were fuelled by my heavy reading of Buddhist philosophy (both songs were featured in the “In The Temple of The Muse” CD).  In fact, the title, “In The Temple of The Muse” was based on an actual book shop that existed in London during the Romantic Poets period.  From the same LP, “Mi Morena” appeared to me after extensive reading of the great Chilean love poet, Pablo Neruda, and, over the years, many of my love songs have been informed by the reading of such Romantic poets as Keats and Lord Byron (I’m a sucker for the dark, melancholic sadness and sentiment that these great poets invoke).  “I Was Made For You” is a song that also pulls from that era of romance.  I love reading all manner of subjects, but history in particular has always had a tight hold on me.  I revere good songs that also allude to an actual occurrence in history – as many folk songs do.  “Story songs” based on true events (or old, traditional folklore) are not the easiest to compose – especially if you’re trying to keep it reasonably commercial (or contemporary).  Back in the 1900’s, Music Hall and Vaudeville did a wonderful job of creating songs that not only told stories of historical events, but were able to do so while still remaining entertaining and catchy – sometimes even with humor.  What skill those writers had!

Quite recently, I’ve been able to build a home library – one of the true delights of my life.  It has become a resource for many of my new songs – a laboratory I visit daily to stir the brain into creative activity.

So, in short, reading a book does a multitude of things for me:  it slows me down, focuses me, takes me away, informs and teaches me, broadens my horizons and turns me on to new song ideas and concepts.  And turning the pages of a book – with great anticipation of what the next page will reveal – is like reaching for the next chord on a guitar or piano/keyboard…. you’re never quite sure what magic awaits the eyes and ears.

Cheers.

 

– Martin

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.

 Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”.

                                         – Groucho Marx

 

“Books are solitudes in which we meet.”

                                         – Rebecca Solnit

 

 

18
Dec
14

Christmas wishes and footie pics

Hello there everybody – thought I’d share with you some candid pics (and 2 amateur video excerpts) from the Remembrance soccer game in which I recently played.  It was a special day.  Just before the match, all of the players stood in a circle and I was asked (as were a few of the other players) and honored to read an excerpt from a poem written by England’s Poet Laureate about the First World War armistice, followed by us all observing a minute of silence in memory of the fallen.  My grandfather, Arthur Richard Page, had fought in the trenches during WWI and eventually lost both of his legs from gangrene due to “trench foot” – commonly contracted then from standing for long hours in water-soaked trenches.  So, the game held special meaning for me remembering my grandfather, who, incidentally, shared the same birthday as me.  It was a 4-4 draw, which was a perfect result – a contest keenly fought with great (albeit competitive) bonhomie.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year.  Thank you for your solid support and friendship.  I hope to have a new album out in 2015 (fingers crossed!) – that’s my goal!!  So, once again, let me wish you all a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season.

Cheers, Martin.

 

mpFootie2014GroupCircle

Reading the poem and observing a moment of silence before the game.

 

Page with opposing team's Goalie after game - photo-bombed by Jim Piddock, British comedic actor

Page with opposing team’s Goalie after game – photo-bombed by Jim Piddock, British comedic actor

 

 

mpFootie2

 

mpFootie6

With Barry Venison, former English International, at end of game

 

mpFootie13

mpFootie7

12
Dec
14

12.12.14 – Football unites Business, Hollywood and Royalty in remembrance

Originally posted by Dan Rutstein on 12.10.2014. Click here for the original article.

Figures from the US and British creative scene, Business, Hollywood and Royalty came together to play football, and to remember

Only in Los Angeles would you get a former Gladiator, a TV presenter, actors and musicians on the same football pitch as venture capitalists, bankers, tax advisors and a member of the Royal Family.

But that’s what happened here on a special day that saw football bring this disparate group together to commemorate the centenary of the Christmas Truce.

With at least half a dozen of the players losing a grandparent, or great uncle in the First World War, it was poignant to be gathering on the other side of the world to pay our respects.

On a day Prince William, the president of the Football Association who are spearheading the Football Remembers campaign, touched down on the East Coast, we gathered together on the West Coast.

Our match, which began with a reading of excerpts of the Poet Laureate’s Christmas Truce poem, was a chance for a BAFTA-backed team to join the business and diplomatic community in remembering those that fell and the power of football to unite.

The story of the Christmas Truce, thanks to matches like these and the campaign more widely, is now being told and retold to a wider audience.

The message of peace and goodwill that was generated when the warring sides left their trenches for carol singing, football matches and to trade gifts not bullets is a valuable lesson in history.

Dan-football-coin-toss

Embassies and consulates around the globe have organised events – football matches and educational seminars – to promote these messages of unity and goodwill, and of remembrance.

We did it in California by having a BAFTA/Hollywood team take on businessmen.

The game ended 4-4, giving former England international, and now California resident, Barry Venison plenty of choice from which to select his goal of the match.

Normally I spend my time working with exporters to the US and with American investors in the UK.

And I use my blogs to write about this.

And as, technically, BAFTA are involved with creative exports and the tax advisor on my team advises potential investors in the UK, I think this still qualifies.

Sport is many things to many people but today it brought a cross-section of LA society together to remember something important. Our small contribution to a global message of unity and of commemoration.

 

To view a poignant reenactment of what happened that extraordinary day in 1914, view the video below: