ICYM — 9:00am, tweeting a short story a day until Friday

Twitter pals, I’ll be tweeting a link to audio of a short story at 9:00 today, Tuesday 18 November and another at the same time each day until the end of this week. Each recording is a collaboration with a different artist or musician.

Video still © Inga Tillere, 2014

Video still © Inga Tillere, 2014

Tuesday 9:00am, ‘High-Lands’ — art school, shortwave radio and The Stranglers at the Roundhouse in Jubilee year. My short story for radio featuring a live soundscape accompaniment by Johny Brown of the legendary Band of Holy Joy. ‘High-Lands’ is due for publication in August next year, but was first broadcast in the summer as part of Remote Performances by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm.

Wednesday 9:00am, ‘A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ — Did Cortés come to LA? A psychedelic parable, Castañeda apocrypha, feat. sound by Steven Hull. My short story which formed the basis of LA artist Hull’s extraordinary Puppet Show at the last Glow Santa Monica, now available on yellow vinyl LP A Puppet Show, with sounds by Gibby Haynes et al.

Thursday 9:00am, ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ — Bournemouth Soul Boys who were so hard core that they were into TG? My short story for SCAN’s Digital Transformations project, this is the studio version of the story as performed with UK Acid House pioneer Richard Norris for the Free University of Glastonbury, at Glastonbury Festival 2011.

Friday 9:00am, ‘Stormbringer’ — My short story for London Fieldworks’ Syzygy project performed in full for the first time in August 2014 with live musical accompaniment from guitarist Peter Lanceley, in a Lochaber living room overlooking the Sound of Arisaig at sunset as part of Remote Performances by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm. Recently repeated in tribute to the late and legendary bass player Jack Bruce.

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ICYM will be tweeted at 9:00 Tuesday to Friday this week.

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Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Some other bloke called Tony White

Some other bloke called Tony White

Now that all but one of my books on Goodreads are correctly attributed to me I have updated my Goodreads author page. Due to some glitch, most of my books had been listed under THIS bloke (right)! My recent novella Missorts Volume II still is.

I have also been testing out the Goodreads widgets by including ‘Add this book’-buttons on the books page of my website, like this one for my novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South.

Shackleton's Man Goes South

WordPress doesn’t seem to like the buttons very much, to use the technical term. Mouse-over them and nothing much happens. It allows you to click-through to find the book on the Goodreads site itself, but doesn’t seem to let you rate the book remotely. Anyway I’m going to try them out for a bit. But at least now that my worst problems with Goodreads seem to have been sorted out, I have updated the profile and added blog and video content on my Goodreads author page.

Tony White, DICKY STAR AND THE GARDEN RULE, publication date 26 April 2012, Forma Arts and Media Ltd.I was going to post Forma’s video of me reading from my novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule at the Free Word Centre on there, but Vimeo and Goodreads don’t speak to each other at all — to use another technical term ;-) — so instead I’ve posted one of the mini-readings from my novella Missorts Volume II that publisher Situations filmed and have put up on Youtube (see the whole playlist here).

Those Missorts Volume II videos were something of a test themselves, too. I thought it would be interesting to see if there were sections of the novella that might have enough depth and velocity to work as one- or two-minute readings, with enough of a narrative transformation for the clip to be worth watching.

These thoughts about brevity and speed, narrative transformation, remind me of a conversation that I had with poet Tim Wells at the launch of pal Stewart Home’s brilliant latest novel, The 9 Lives of Ray The Cat Jones the other day. Tim Wells is currently doing some great research on the ranting poetry scene of the 1980s, and publishing much of it on his excellent Stand Up And Spit blog. Tim was part of that scene, and like many poets he still gigs regularly. Chatting to him the other night, I wondered if the live readings scene for fiction had petered out a little in recent years. Tim’s suggestion was that readings from poetry can have the energy of a 7″ single, while those from fiction can often feel like listening to an LP; that the energy of a 7″ single (by extension) can be more appealing live.

Q. Does he have a point?

New: audiobook playlist for Shackleton’s Man Goes South

There is now an audiobook playlist for all three of my readings from my Science Museum novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South.

The readings were all recorded in the studio of my occasional, long-time collaborator, the composer Jamie Telford. Pals will recall that Jamie used to play live keyboard accompaniment to my readings from the novel CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO, and that he composed the Portwall Preludes (a series of works written specifically for St Mary Redcliffe’s church organ) that provide the compelling musical soundscape for Missorts,

For Shackleton’s Man Goes South, Jamie Telford composed the sea shanty-ish ‘Going South Theme’, which bookends and punctuates these audiobook extracts.

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Download the FREE ebook of Shackleton’s Man Goes South direct from the Science Museum website.

Shackleton’s Man Goes South is the Science Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery commission for 2013, published exclusively as part of the Contemporary Arts Programme.

© Tony White, 2013. All music © Jamie Telford, 2013. Recording engineer Andrew Phillis.

A display charting the literary and scientific inspirations behind Shackleton’s Man Goes South in the Science Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery runs for two years, from April 2013 to April 2015.

Shackleton's Man Goes South

Making Conversations

I am pleased to be talking to Dr Sanja Perovic of King’s College London, Chris Shaw and Bronac Ferran for Bronac’s Making Conversations programme on Resonance 104.4fm, 12 noon Tuesday 4 November. Pals will know that I chair the board of Resonance 104.4fm, so it makes a nice change to be on the other side of the microphone, as it were.

Michael Moorcock, ‘A Twist in the Lines’, POPP.027Among the things that we may discuss are my artists’ book project Piece of Paper Press, which gives this website its name, and which I began twenty years ago in 1994. You can read posts about recent Piece of Paper Press editions by Michael Moorcock (left) and Liliane Lijn elsewhere on this site.

We will also discuss the ‘loose collaboration’ that Perovic and I have been conducting with the artists Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu over the past year or so. One output of which is ‘Into Day One of the Revolutionary Period’ [Opens as PDF], an edited and annotated transcript of a conversation between the four of us, which was published as a pamphlet by DOMOBAAL to accompany Brisley’s November 2013 performance work Before the Mast.

As well as discussing Sanja and Chris’s respective current projects, conversation will touch upon artists’ residencies, stories about climate change — including my recent article ‘Wanted: A New Kind of War Artist’ — and a thread of experimental publication that runs through my work, including my most recent novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South, which was published by the Science Museum, and can be downloaded free in all ebook formats from their website, or via the specially developed touch-screen ‘ebook dispenser’ that is part of the display about the novel in the Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery.

Listeners will be invited to send in a stamped-addressed-envelope in order to receive a copy of The Holborn Cenotaph, a new short story of mine that was first performed as a public reading as part of (and is being published to mark) The Cenotaph and the Public Sphere, an event by Balcioglu, Brisley, Perovic and I that was held in the Sir Gilbert Scott-designed chapel at King’s College London as part of their recent Arts & Humanities Festival 2014 (seen here in preparation, with Stuart Brisley at left).

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resonance web logoMaking Conversations, 12 noon, Tuesday 4 November 2014, Resonance 104.4fm across London, or via the Resonance webstream.

To receive a copy of the forthcoming Piece of Paper Press edition of The Holborn Cenotaph, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope (standard first- or second-class postage) to:

Tony White, c/o DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, VIRGINIA WOOLF BUILDING, 22 KINGSWAY, LONDON WC2B 6NR

Stormbringer — for Jack Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014)

Image © 2014, Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks

Image © 2014, Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks

My short story ‘Stormbringer’ will be broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm at 4pm today, 28 October 2014. Here’s what it says in the Resonance 104.4fm schedule:

By way of tribute to the late Jack Bruce, a special broadcast of Tony White’s short story first broadcast as part of Remote Performances in August 2014. ‘Stormbringer’ was inspired by talk of a period in Jack Bruce’s life when it seems he was entitled to be formally addressed as The Much Honoured Laird of Sanda. Voice: Tony White. Guitar: Peter Lanceley.

Tony White, explains:

© Anthony Oliver, 1999

© Anthony Oliver, 1999

In 1999 I had been invited to be part of an art project that was to take place on the remote Scottish island of Sanda, off the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre. Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson of London Fieldworks had invited a group of artists — including composer Kaffe Matthews, writers Steve Beard, Jenni Walwin and myself — with former members of Airkraft, the then world champion stunt kite team, to collaborate and explore connections between mind and weather. The kite team would be bolting themselves to the mountain and sending up stacks of kites that dangled meteorological kit, and both Kaffe and Steve ended up using those data streams to drive their respective compositions. I was to contribute by exploring these ideas in a work of fiction and had been casting around for some sort of visionary voice with which to explore the place, but had drawn a blank. Luckily, on the boat from Campbelltown, it was mentioned in passing that a previous Laird of Sanda had been Jack Bruce. That’s Jack’s tractor that you’ll see, Dick told me, still stuck in the marsh.

Well, here was a true visionary, and musical colossus: the mighty Jack Bruce. But what, I wondered, would a rock star in self-imposed exile from the fallout of that first-generation London R&B scene on a tiny island at the gateway to the Atlantic do all day? This was the music of the Black Atlantic, after all. So how might he assuage the ‘postcolonial melancholia’ (to borrow another of Paul Gilroy’s phrases)?

On Sanda Island © Bruce Gilchrist/London Fieldworks, 1999In my story (which is called ‘Stormbringer’, after the Michael Moorcock novel of that name) my fictional bass player makes a cloak out of curtains and plays psychedelic games whilst pretending to be a character from a Michael Moorcock novel; and not just any character, but Elric of Melniboné, the Eternal Champion. Within hours of arriving on Sanda I found the skull of a small cetacean washed up on the rocky beach and made a ‘moon staff’ by lashing it to a tall, straight stick, then I set out to explore the island, perhaps to devise some lysergic ritual to tune in to those old Atlantic frequencies.

Strangely, the ‘moon staff’ — or its bony head, at least — became the focus of a real superstition, and turned me into a sort of Jonah. It was a wind curse! Whenever it and I appeared, the kites would come tumbling out of the sky. Don’t bring that thing near us, the kite team pleaded. By the end of the stay I was starting to believe it myself, and was relieved to return both staff and skull into a decidedly choppy sea rather than risk taking them on the already perilous boat journey back to Campbelltown.

Image © 2014, Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks

Image © 2014, Jo Joelson, London Fieldworks

Back on the mainland, I immediately made contact with Michael Moorcock, who very graciously granted me permission to use Elric and elements of the Eternal Champion cycle of novels in the story, and I acknowledge that support again now. Chatting about the period, Mike wondered whether it hadn’t in fact been Ginger Baker rather than Jack Bruce who was the Elric fan.

‘Stormbringer’ appeared in the Idler magazine and then was published by London Fieldworks a couple of years later, but has never been performed in full, and certainly never in Scotland. So when I returned to the Highlands this summer with London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm for Remote Performances, we decided to correct that. ‘Stormbringer’ is here performed as a live reading with musical accompaniment from Peter Lanceley of the Resonance Radio Orchestra on guitar and effects, in front of a small audience gathered in a Roshven living room that looked out over the peaceful waters of the Sound of Arisaig at sunset.

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‘Stormbringer’, will be broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm, 4:00pm, Tuesday 28 October 2014. Listen at 104.4fm in London, on the Radio Player app or via the Resonance 104.4fm webstream.

You can listen to archive audio of the Remote Performances broadcast of ‘Stormbringer’ on the Resonance 104.4fm SoundCloud page here.