Video from “This is where it starts” launch

2010/03/28

For those not fortunate enough to be in Berlin for Eric Eckhart’s album launch, despair ye not!   For there is electric video of the show.   And look!   Here it is at Eric’s electric internet house!

Photo by Kusi Okamura

"This is where it starts" launch - Eric Eckhart

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Please help me see the Ben Eaton Trio in Germany!

2010/03/21

(And do yourself a musical favour in the process)

The Ben Eaton Trio has entered the worldwide band comp the Emergenza Festival. This is a competition that runs all over the Australia with the finals judged in Germany at a major European festival in front of 100 000 people, and to get us started we are calling on everyone to help out.

The first heat is Tuesday, April 6th at the Hi Fi Bar in West End, Brisbane and as it is a comp that is judged by the audience they need Bums on Seats! Your support would be great and to sweeten the ticket price of $15 the Ben Eaton Trio will give anyone who buys a ticket a free copy of their first EP, “Life gets in the way” (either by CD on the night or via iTunes download voucher).

If you wish to purchase a ticket please check out their Facebook page and sling them an electric e-mail (address on the “info” tab); Ben will fill you in on the details.  (If you’re not on Facebook, click on the “mr oCean” tab above for my e-mail address, and I’ll put you in touch.)

If you haven’t heard them yet, get thee immediately to MySpace!

Support some independent original local music and have a great night with The Ben Eaton Trio! They get a very large mr oCean endorsed stamp!


“Addicted to growth”

2010/03/17

Here is Dick Smith talking about population and how it’s being actively avoided as an issue for debate. Important stuff and well discussed here. This is the first part of seven.

The talk was co-hosted by The Australia Institute and Sustainable Population Australia, ACT Branch.


Gig Ahoy!

2010/03/13

After last night’s delight of Eric Eckhart‘s album launch (fabulous musicks and an honour to be amongst it), my appetite for a spot of performance is well regenerated.  Although the temptation to run off and join the circus is strong, I shall content myself with a wonderful substitute: I’ll be performing a few poems – perhaps with a little magical musical accompaniment – at PhoneyIsland on Saturday evening, the 20th of March.  As I’ve mentioned before, these shows have been consistently amazing so far, and I’m very much looking forward to it.  For details, scroll down to my earlier post, or wander over to my Events page.

In the meantime, and for those not in Berlin, I highly recommend a visit to Eric’s electric website, where you can hear previews of the album, see video clips and order the electric album for your very own.  Great darts.


Winter Fading

2010/03/11

I may be many standard deviations from the normal when it comes to Winter – one of the few who are sad to see it go. It has been a truly gorgeous one here in Berlin. And being sad at its departure doesn’t mean I don’t love Spring, just as my sadness at leaving Brisbane last time doesn’t mean I don’t love Berlin. There is a peace in Winter and I think that’s where this poem is coming from.

A riverbed or seashore between grey monoliths
Crunching weary through Winter’s withdrawal
Sleep, a rumour; dreams, now ghosts
Still hanging from trees like gallows
Dawn, held fast in gossamer

A few late drifting snowflakes
Lost and lonely, out of place
The straggling searching sympathetic souls
The last lost angels falling from
Their grey abandoned heaven.

mr oCean, 10 March 2010


Thaw

2010/03/01

Ruth’s diary is the new novel by Fiona Robyn (whose lovely blogzine, A Handful of Stones, you’ll find in the links to your right), called Thaw. She has decided to blog the novel in its entirety over the next few months, so you can read it for free.

Ruth’s first entry is below, and you can continue reading tomorrow here.

These hands are ninety-three years old. They belong to Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. She was so frail that her grand-daughter had to carry her onto the set to take this photo. It’s a close-up. Her emaciated arms emerge from the top corners of the photo and the background is black, maybe velvet, as if we’re being protected from seeing the strings. One wrist rests on the other, and her fingers hang loose, close together, a pair of folded wings. And you can see her insides.

The bones of her knuckles bulge out of the skin, which sags like plastic that has melted in the sun and is dripping off her, wrinkling and folding. Her veins look as though they’re stuck to the outside of her hands. They’re a colour that’s difficult to describe: blue, but also silver, green; her blood runs through them, close to the surface. The book says she died shortly after they took this picture. Did she even get to see it? Maybe it was the last beautiful thing she left in the world.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to carry on living. I’m giving myself three months of this journal to decide. You might think that sounds melodramatic, but I don’t think I’m alone in wondering whether it’s all worth it. I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes. Stiff suits travelling to work, morning after morning, on the cramped and humid tube. Tarted-up girls and gangs of boys reeking of aftershave, reeling on the pavements on a Friday night, trying to mop up the dreariness of their week with one desperate, fake-happy night. I’ve heard the weary grief in my dad’s voice.

So where do I start with all this? What do you want to know about me? I’m Ruth White, thirty-two years old, going on a hundred. I live alone with no boyfriend and no cat in a tiny flat in central London. In fact, I had a non-relationship with a man at work, Dan, for seven years. I’m sitting in my bedroom-cum-living room right now, looking up every so often at the thin rain slanting across a flat grey sky. I work in a city hospital lab as a microbiologist. My dad is an accountant and lives with his sensible second wife Julie, in a sensible second home. Mother finished dying when I was fourteen, three years after her first diagnosis. What else? What else is there?

Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. I looked at her hands for twelve minutes. It was odd describing what I was seeing in words. Usually the picture just sits inside my head and I swish it around like tasting wine. I have huge books all over my flat; books you have to take in both hands to lift. I’ve had the photo habit for years. Mother bought me my first book, black and white landscapes by Ansel Adams. When she got really ill, I used to take it to bed with me and look at it for hours, concentrating on the huge trees, the still water, the never-ending skies. I suppose it helped me think about something other than what was happening. I learned to focus on one photo at a time rather than flicking from scene to scene in search of something to hold me. If I concentrate, then everything stands still. Although I use them to escape the world, I also think they bring me closer to it. I’ve still got that book. When I take it out, I handle the pages as though they might flake into dust.

Mother used to write a journal. When I was small, I sat by her bed in the early mornings on a hard chair and looked at her face as her pen spat out sentences in short bursts. I imagined what she might have been writing about; princesses dressed in star-patterned silk, talking horses, adventures with pirates. More likely she was writing about what she was going to cook for dinner and how irritating Dad’s snoring was.

I’ve always wanted to write my own journal, and this is my chance. Maybe my last chance. The idea is that every night for three months, I’ll take one of these heavy sheets of pure white paper, rough under my fingertips, and fill it up on both sides. If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through. No-one can say; ‘It makes no sense; she was a polite, cheerful girl, had everything to live for’, before adding that I did keep myself to myself. It’ll all be here. I’m using a silver fountain pen with purple ink. A bit flamboyant for me, I know. I need these idiosyncratic rituals; they hold things in place. Like the way I make tea, squeezing the tea-bag three times, the exact amount of milk, seven stirs. My writing is small and neat; I’m striping the paper. I’m near the bottom of the page now. Only ninety-one more days to go before I’m allowed to make my decision. That’s it for today. It’s begun.

Continue reading tomorrow here…