July 21, 2017 § Leave a comment
A new shakuhachi improvisation recorded today
July 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
I drove home last night under a dark lowering sky, happy to be reaching shelter before the storm broke over Baan3ongs. The birds were doing the same, rushing back to their nests. A moment and feeling to capture.
Ive been working at trying to play the shakuhachi zen flute for a while, one made from pvc plumbing pipe which was given to me by my friend Mehdi.
If I never play another tune I would be content with this one.
August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
I’m currently re-reading, or rather listening, to the monumental novel ‘Underworld’ by Don DeLillo. A magnificent piece of writing, having waste and our relationship to it as one of its strong underlying themes. Mr Delillo has the gift of being able to write about a landfill site and make the hairs on your body stand on end with the sheer beauty and lyricism of his prose. That’s how it affects me anyway. I don’t want to write any more about that – read it for yourself, it may do nothing for you.
What I do want to bring to your attention is this – an image that presented itself to me this morning as I pulled up at the lights in Bangbuathong.
What??? Is that a man in there? – sitting in the crushing jaws of a rubbish truck? It can’t be.
It was,… but no ordinary man…not to me.
Take a closer look.
He is not just sitting there at all. I obviously don’t know anything about him and don’t presume anything either. I sat behind him for about 4 minutes, observing him in my air conditioned car, behind my darkly tinted windscreen, waiting for the lights. He transfixed me.
He sat there like a rock star in a mincing machine, amongst someone else’s rotting waste, in the tropical heat, and dragging on his cigarette in quiet contemplation.
I would just like to ask you (and no need to answer) – When was the last time you were comparably so at peace with your world? When were you last this cool?
July 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
I was very kindly asked a couple of weeks ago to contribute a guest posting to Anne Fallas’ blogspot on the importance of art:-
The Importance of Art?…. Hmm
A friend posted something on facebook about art this week:-
‘When times are hard, art is a luxury’…discuss….I found out later that this was in the context of art lessons being cut from the school curriculum due to financial constraints .
I replied that art is indeed a luxury and added that it is one available to us all. That ruffled a few feathers at first, I think, from one or two who considered it essential. Personally I don’t put it up there with being healthy, having clean water and a safe environment. I’ve had a life in art and I might add a very lucky one, but I don’t think anybody is going to die without art. Let’s not be…
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July 12, 2015 § 1 Comment
Driving home from the farmers market at K Village in Bangkok last night – stuck in traffic on Ratchaphreuk there was a beautiful golden sunset and this old Bing Crosby tune came to me.
It had been a long day and sales were low as all the local international schools are on holiday.
I guess the art of happiness lies in seeing the special moments in the everyday.
…and by the way…that is not a typo… Som is my wife’s name.
June 20, 2015 § 2 Comments
I set out this morning with a bit of a headache. The cistern in the bathroom has started to leak and a wet trail is snaking across the bathroom floor to the drain. The little rubber washer that until now has held its own and done its work is starting to give up the ghost. Another little job to do that turns my mind to entropy. I live in a tropical climate where the jungle is only over the wall and always trying to get in. The tamarind tree is resisting our attempts to domesticate it and is lifting the decking boards I only readjusted a few months ago around it. The screws are rusting, the paint is peeling, and my skin is losing its elasticity.
A tide of bad news washed around my feet this morning, the water dark and dirty.
When you have a headache these things can get to you. I’m driving into the city on the freeway, taking the goods to market, contemplating these things and wondering how we all cope with it. A few of us don’t. Some of us do terrible things because we don’t, but the vast and overwhelming majority of us do cope. If we didnt, we would have disappeared as a species long ago. I look across the cityscape as I sit in the jam and see countless construction sites stretching into the murky morning haze of Bangkok. A guy in a crane lifting steel, raising the city out of the mud. I wonder what time he got up this morning and climbed into his tower?
My thoughts drift out a million miles away to a tiny damaged lump of metal sitting on a comet waiting for the sun, and to the men and women who put it there, listening for its ‘good morning’; who put it there in the hope of fathoming out where all this is going and where it all came from.
I dont know… just go home and fix the washer.