Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

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:

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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.

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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/

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!

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Mr. Bear – IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!

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bday 3

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All tuckered out.

All tuckered out.

Happy-Birthday-Balloons

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.

 

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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

 

 

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

 

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21
Apr
14

4.21.14 – Music in Nature

I often get a chance to retreat to local quiet gardens – open spaces untouched by human hand or technology.  I use these times to slow down, take stock – meditate.  And I’m always struck, when the sounds of the city eventually vanish, that I think I can hear a sort of music in these natural surroundings.  The wind in the trees, the bird song, the insects buzzing around, a pool of water rippling from a steady stream entering it, bushes rustling from squirrel activity – it’s all rather a symphony of natural improvisation to me.  If you close your eyes – focus solely with your ears – you can almost work out notes and scales being performed – hear the key of the countryside.  The low hum of a low note that grounds the always changing symphony of subtle close chords – a deep murmuring hush … then a fly buzzes by your right ear – a nut is being broken apart by a squirrel just behind your left ear.  It’s a surround-sound Avant-garde, ambient, experimental, improvisational piece that you’re listening to….  always changing, always interesting music of the spheres – spiritual.

Sitting in this nature, with eyes closed, allowing yourself to believe you are listening to a live concert, it really can become so.  We just have to set our brains to that frequency (the “radio of nature”).

I’ve held a long fascination with experimental ambient soundscapes and minimalistic, abstract music.  I’ve followed the work of artists such as Terry Riley, early Tangerine Dream, Eno, Cluster, Robert Fripp, Stockhausen, Sigur Ros, John Cage, David Sylvan, Steve Reich, Popol Vuh (band), and although electricity/synths/technology are involved, in many ways, I think this style of music gets close to the existential feelings we have in nature – and reflects the randomness, the vibrations, the profoundness of the natural world – the unknowable.  Even minimalist artists such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich somehow for me tap into an elemental truth of raw nature – its circular, ever-repeating, yet still random events.  For me, it’s those particular artists’ way of musically representing something elemental and deeply intense – humans’ response and reaction to nature & it’s terrible beauty – again, completely unknowable.  It’s Zen like, and of course, mathematical, as is nature; there’s a profound logic involved – a spiritual science.

If you get a chance, the next time you’re out in nature – away from the hubbub of the city, close your eyes; let your ears do the seeing.  It’s a real concert.

Cheers,

Martin

“Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting

    without being aware that it’s counting”

– Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz – (Inventor of Calculus)

 

“The ear is the way”

                          – The Upanishads

 

“Can you hear the rushing of the river?  That is the way”

                  – Zen Buddhist saying

 

14
Jul
12

7/4/12 – Track Reveal

Track listing of Martin’s upcoming album, “A Temper of Peace” REVEALED!
1. Halo
2. The Washing of the Heart
3. Think of Me (When You Dance)
4. Soulprint
5. Ruby Rae
6. I’ll Grow Old With You
7. When the Harvest is In
8. Hungry Ghost
9. Titch
10. What Did I Do to Deserve You
11. Healing Waters
12. I Can’t Get There Without You
13. You Can Let Go
30
May
12

5/30/2012 – Album Announcement

01
Dec
10

12/1/2010 – Holiday Greetings from Martin

I’d like to thank everyone for your wonderful support over the last year and to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.  See you all in 2011.  Cheers.

– Martin

30
Oct
08

10/30/2008 – The Frankenstein Method

Often during the process of writing and producing a song, I step back for a moment to analyze the construction, to see if the song is well-developed.  To achieve this, I use what I call “the Frankenstein method”, in which I visualize certain aspects of the song in relation to the human body.  For example, in my mind’s eye, I equate the melody (the top line) to the eyes, the windows of the soul.  I then see the chord progression as the heart and mid-section of my imaginary torso.  Finally, I compare the bass line, rhythm and foundation of my song, to the legs of my creation – considering whether these perspectives are harmonically strong and stable enough to support my fantasy life form.  Yes – it all does sound rather Frankensteinian, doesn’t it?!  But this somewhat unusual approach, on innumerable occasions, has helped me study with defined clarity, the working mechanics of a song.  By doing this, I gain a glimpse of the universal in the particular.  It’s my way of freeing the imagination to see the song as organic and natural – a living thing.  That doesn’t mean that every time I finish a tune in my laboratory (Oh, sorry, I mean my studio), I cry out to the heavens, “It’s alive!  It’s alive!”, but if truth be told, the feeling of accomplishment is something akin to that.

I admire the writing and thought of 19th-Century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, who believed music to be the highest art form.  He had a most intriguing outlook on music.  He held true that music articulates the inner-nature of all things.  He wrote, “The ground-bass is in harmony what inorganic nature, the crudest mass on which everything rests and from which everything originates and develops, is in the world.  Further, in the whole range of notes that produce the harmony between the bass and the leading voice singing the melody, I recognized the whole graduation of the ideas in which the will objectifies itself ….”  He adds, “Finally, in the melody, in the high, singing, principle voice, leading the whole and progressing with unrestrained freedom, in the uninterrupted significant connection of one thought from beginning to end, and expressing a whole, I recognize the highest grade of the will’s objectification, the intellectual life and endeavors of man.”  Wagner also believed music to be strongly connected with the true nature of all things in the world when he wrote, “Instruments represent the primal organs of Creation and Nature; their expression can never be clearly defined and formulated since they convey the primal feelings as they first issued forth from the chaos of the Creation; perhaps even before there was any human heart to hear and feel.”  I find it thrilling and fascinating to think that the essence of music is none of man’s doing, that it was built into the world long before we arrived.  Pythagoras was the first to show that the basic intervals on which Western music is constructed inhere in the world, independently of man.  To demonstrate this, he most famously plucked a string to sound a note, then halved the length of the string and showed that plucking it produced the same note an octave higher.

Every time I attempt to write a song, I try to allow my gut instincts and raw emotions to lead the way.  It amazes me that, behind this simple human outpouring of expression – this humble communication of sound – lies a complex and profound mathematical mystery born of nature herself.  Amazing too, that when we hear a song that we like, we, in general, don’t know why we like it – we just do.  We feel it!  It’s as though it was just meant to be, inherited somewhere deep within our human nature.

And so to finish:  Thank you Mary Shelley, for writing your masterpiece – and for inspiring me to look at my songs-in-progress from within a weird and wonderful framework, hopefully enabling me to animate some little melodic monsters of my own.

“Feel is all”

Goethe

Thanks for stopping by.

– Martin

16
Jun
07

6/16/2007 – Podcasts, Soccer and Bloody Noses

Hello again, all.  Well, a few weeks ago, we held the one-year anniversary show of the Podcast in which I am regularly involved – that being www.audionowcast.com.  The show was recorded in front of a live audience of friends and followers, and was, by all accounts, a great success.  The Podcast (organized by my good friend of many years, Mike Rodriguez) brings together myself and three other resident music pros and a guest speaker, to talk — to discuss, comment and debate the state of today’s music technology.  I am the token songwriter amongst the technical heavyweights.  I am told I’m there to add my penny’s worth regarding the songwriter’s perspective in this age of the digital revolution.  Check out the Audionowcast website and the Audionowcast Myspace page (www.myspace.com/audionowcast).  We have completed a year’s-worth of shows talking about a wide range of subjects, and believe me, the shows are not just about technology, and they contain a great deal of humour and irreverence.  Check it out (it can be found on iTunes as well).

In my spare time, I’ve been indulging in one of my other passions besides music – soccer (“football” to us Brits).  When I was a lad, I was signed as an apprentice to Southampton Football Club (“The Saints”), and all I wanted and hoped to be was a professional player some day.  Alas, that was not to be, and music eventually came along to steal my heart.  As a 16-year-old, I represented my city, my county (Hampshire) and the South of England, as a schoolboy player – and the passion for the game has remained with me ever since.  I regularly still play games with ex patroits, x-professionals, and friends on the weekends in the Los Angeles area.  I’m lucky enough to join Robbie Williams (whom you may also know as a soccer fanatic) for games on his very own soccer pitch!  Robbie has been a very gracious host on and off the field of play, and is a gifted player with an educated left foot!

I often get asked to play in celebrity games, and just recently I played a charity game for the Hollywood Allstars team.  It was great fun playing with friends from the Entertainment Industry for a good cause.  The Hollywood Allstars regularly features celebrities like Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Rod Stewart and Gary Richards (Fox Sports T.V. commentator).  I was enjoying this particular game in which I was involved (beautiful day, good crowd, party atmosphere), until, in a goal-mouth scramble for a highball in the penalty box, my nose was punched and smashed by MY OWN GOALKEEPER!  (As a defender, I have had my nose broken many times in the past – so I’m used to it).  As a result of this clash, I am told, my nose was pushed back into a straight position!!!!  Unfortunately, I had to retire from the match because of the nose bleed I had acquired, but at least I have a reasonably straight nose again – o lucky me.  Only a week earlier, I was nursing a black eye for my troubles on the field….. I suppose I must learn not to be quite so competitive on the pitch these days.

Before I sign off, I’d like to continue the trend of telling you about the books I’m enjoying at this time:-  “The Friendship — Wordsworth and Coleridge” by Adam Sisman – a study of the relationship between these two great writers; “Solitude – A Return To The Self” by Anthony Storr – a profound exploration of solitude and its role in the lives of creative individuals; and “Here, There and Everywhere” by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey – the inside story by the innovative engineer who recorded The Beatles’ greatest albums.

Well, there we are – thanks for the indulgence.  Until next time, live lightly on the Earth.

— Martin




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