I Played Remedy

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Bit of a busy weekend that needs recapping – I will try my utmost to be forthright and not deviate from this promise. It was a vintage weekend – plenty of sleep and maximum fun; a good time was had by all. I partied, people partied and people had fun – there was beer, there was cake and there was good music.

Thursday night saw me radically shift my blogging behaviour. All of the images on this blog are now hosted on my Dropbox account – why is this? Well, the load speeds for Dropbox will be universal around the world. My server is based in Nottingham. This means that when someone logs on to my site from a location distant to Nottingham then it would take quite a while for the image to float through the æther and appear on their screen. The idea behind having all the images stored on Dropbox is the quicker load time will boost my search rankings for this blog – a quicker loading site means higher in the search rankings. So, mammoth blog maintenance has been achieved and I am happy with it.

Another thing I have done is shift the Blog from www.ijopona.org to this domain – I did not really see the point in having a personal, more private, blog as I had publicly “outed” myself as this internet menace who likes to talk about all and sundry to all and sundry – chatterbox really. So, Ijo Pona has died a death.

Friday night saw me ready to go RETRO Bar to play some music. I waited there for an hour until I received a very apologetic text from the Bar Manager saying he had taken ill. Poor lad’d had to be referred to A&E and subsequently been told to take it easy for the remainder of the day – It was a bit of an upset to hear that my friend was not feeling too well after the death of Juna the barkeep. I am a bit worried for him as his blood pressure is down.

So, Friday saw me in Major Tom’s having crashed a date that my good friend Daren was having – him and his lady friend are possibly the funnest, funniest couple I know – more power to them; I believe I told them I think they are ace, but may have hammered home my point a bit too tearfully – cue embarrassing silence.

Saturday was full steam ahead – I woke up in a panic at 8am only to go back to bed until 12pm – rave rest was needed because the destination that night was Remedy at Beaver Works, Leeds. I was taking part in the All Day Party hosted with FIRE before the main rave kicked off. My set went down well – I have rerecorded the set so people can listen to it. Here is is …

There were quite a few familiar faces there – It was great to see Sam & Jason and just chill out for a bit. Allan really enjoyed himself and I found him lying on his back, looking at the evening sky, giggling to himself around 2am – we all decided it was time to get a taxi home – so, booked, talked and travelled we arrived home in H’gate shattered.

Sunday has been a day where I have not got out of my pyjamas – it has been great. I have been gradually drifting to and from bed for a snooze and then waking up for the duration of the day. I managed to record the above mix as a way of try to emulate what I had done the day before. I also recorded my radios how, The Parish News – which can be found on the portfolio section of this site – Forty Fifth Edition of The Parish News. It is a belter.

I start with a homage to Pierre Henry who recently passed away in the week – I admire the man’s music and what he stood for – he was not afraid to try something new and this is how I intend to live my life (except drugs … winners don’t do drugs). He left a fantastic body of work that will be treasured by those that own some of it – and if you do not have any Pierre Henry then I recommend “1st Panorama de Musique Concrete (Remastered)” which is going for 50p on Trunk Record’s shop this week.

In Praise Of Black & White Photography

 

We talk a lot about slowing down our approach to taking pictures but maybe we should also slow down when we take them. So often, people take image on their phones. Shooting 20 or 30 images without much thought in a burst of a few seconds.

It would be nice perhaps to look at one image, to really look at it, to understand it and the photographer behind it. If each picture we take does not have significance why take the image?

We live in a world saturated with imagery and we have become fluent in it’s language, but is it a rather limited language? Is the speed at which we use it, disallowing the depth and complexity it is capable of?

That is why I shoot more in Black and White. Monochrome imagery has a depth of meaning. From a personal point of view there is something almost something disposable about colour photographs (maybe I am doing it wrong).

However, I find that it is easier to convey the emotions of an image if it is shot in Black and white. It adds nobility to the image. It adds pathos.

Chop / Change / Change / Chop

 

Exciting times here – as readers of my online presence may be aware, I had a personal Blog at www.ijopona.org. I have since closed that down and moved all of the posts over to here, www.andybackhouse.blog

The reason behind having an anonymous personal blog was due to reasons beyond my control – however, I am Andrew Backhouse and this is my Blog.

There has been a gradual “Outing” of my self – but, I am Andy Backhouse & I write about a heap of nonsense.

The old blog on this another site, my Arty Blog, has been amalgamated into the monster that is the old Ijo Pona Blog but eventually left out.

There are vestiges of Ijo Pona on this Blog – I will not attempt to correct or change the text.

So then, other than that, I have not been up to much – Kathryn is out at a Rock night supporting Doctors Without Borders and I had a nasty dream involving Carol Vorderman. Apart from that, all is Groovy.

CREAO Studio Shoot

 

Creao Studio Shoot :: I am mates with Allan. Allan owns a recording studio called CREAO Studio. Me, Allan and Scooby meet up there every Thursday (there abouts) to record Scoob’s radio show, The Sound Of Wonder.

The Sound Of Wonder is a weekly radio show that plays some pretty out-there music and it is a right laugh to do. We meet up in 10 Devonshire Place around seven thirty in the evening, have a few pints and then go and do the show.

Well, what type of music gets played on The Sound Of Wonder? The music that gets played on The Sound of Wonder can only be called eclectic: there is Vietnamese Folk Songs and Bollywood Horror Film Soundtracks to DnB and trad jazz. All sorts.

Of course the real highlight is hanging out with Allan, Stewart and Daren when they are there.

The Wednesday before this week’s Thursday’s session, I received a new lens in the post. A 16mm Wide Angle Lens for my SONY A6000. I took some good BnW images. Here is the slideshow

BBC Shouty

New Release :: Dornoch

 

I had the good fortune to spend the middle of June in the Highland’s of Scotland – I ate my own body weight in cake and visited my Granny. I affectionately call her Granny Dornoch – the whole family does – quite how she started to be called Granny Dornoch is a mystery; but she doesn’t mind.

Whilst up there I recorded over fourteen hours of sound from Dornoch Town and surrounding countryside – the amalgamated sound map is written up in my portfolio and released for sale in my shop. In the portfolio page you have the opportunity to listen to the recording – quite how long this will stay up there is a mystery … but, hey.

There are recordings of various wildlife, cathedral bells, shorelines and even Granny Dornoch makes an appearance – quite what she would make to being in the opening of a Sound Map I do not know.

Has Much Changed?

 

On the 16th of August 1819 the huge open area around what’s now St Peter’s Square, Manchester, played host to an outrage against over 60,000 peaceful pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters; an event which became known as The Peterloo Massacre.

An estimated 18 people, including four women and a child, died from sabre cuts and trampling. Nearly 700 men, women and children received extremely serious injuries. All in the name of liberty and freedom from poverty.

The Massacre occurred during a period of immense political tension and mass protests. Fewer than 2% of the population had the vote, and hunger was rife with the disastrous corn laws making bread unaffordable.

PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY

On the morning of 16th August the crowd began to gather, conducting themselves, according to contemporary accounts, with dignity and discipline, the majority dressed in their Sunday best.

The key speaker was to be famed orator Henry Hunt, the platform consisted of a simple cart, located in the front of what’s now the Manchester Central Conference Centre, and the space was filled with banners – REFORM, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, EQUAL REPRESENTATION and, touchingly, LOVE.

Many of the banner poles were topped with the red cap of liberty – a powerful symbol at the time.

You can see where all this took place on these two maps of Manchester.

Local magistrates watching from a window near the field panicked at the sight of the assembly, and read the riot act, (in)effectively ordering what little of the crowd could hear them to disperse.

THE MASSACRE

As 600 Hussars, several hundred infantrymen; an artillery unit with two six-pounder guns, 400 men of the Cheshire cavalry and 400 special constables waited in reserve, the local Yeomanry were given the task of arresting the speakers. The Yeomanry, led by Captain Hugh Birley and Major Thomas Trafford, were essentially a paramilitary force drawn from the ranks of the local mill and shop owners.

On horseback, armed with sabres and clubs, many were familiar with, and had old scores to settle with, the leading protesters. (In one instance, spotting a reporter from the radical Manchester Observer, a Yeomanry officer called out “There’s Saxton, damn him, run him through.”)

Heading for the hustings, they charged when the crowd linked arms to try and stop the arrests, and proceeded to strike down banners and people with their swords. Rumours from the period have persistently stated the Yeomanry were drunk.

The panic was interpreted as the crowd attacking the yeomanry, and the Hussars (Led by Lieutenant Colonel Guy L’Estrange) were ordered in.

As with the Tiananmen Square Massacre, there were unlikely heroes amoung the military. An unnamed cavalry officer attempted to strike up the swords of the Yeomanry, crying – “For shame, gentlemen: what are you about? The people cannot get away!” But the majority joined in with the attack.

The term ‘Peterloo’, was intended to mock the soldiers who attacked unarmed civilians by echoing the term ‘Waterloo’ – the soldiers from that battle being seen by many as genuine heroes.

AFTERMATH

By 2pm the carnage was over, and the field left full of abandoned banners and dead bodies. Journalists present at the event were arrested, others who went on to report the event were subsequently jailed. The businessman John Edward Taylor went on to help set up the Guardian newspaper as a reaction to what he’d seen.

The speakers and organizers were put on trial, at first under the charge of High treason – a charge that was reluctantly dropped by the prosecution. The Hussars and Magistrates received a message of congratulations from the Prince Regent, and were cleared of any wrong-doing by the official inquiry.

LEGACY

Historians acknowledge that Peterloo was hugely influential in ordinary people winning the right to vote, led to the rise of the Chartist Movement from which grew the Trade Unions, and also resulted in the establishment of the Manchester Guardian newspaper.

According to Nick Mansfield, director of the People’s History Museum in Manchester, “Peterloo is a critical event not only because of the number of people killed and injured, but because ultimately it changed public opinion to influence the extension of the right to vote and give us the democracy we enjoy
today. It was critical to our freedoms
.”

Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy – which was banned for 30 years …..

“Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold.

Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free.

Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses’ heels.

Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many – they are few.”

Letter #12

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I am worried. I am worried for the people of Great Britain and the people who have travelled here to make it a home. So, I did all I can do at the time of writing and sent off venom to Andrew Jones MP – Member of Parliament for Harrogate. The issues in this letter affect everyone. I will type up his reply in the comments section.

Dear Andrew Jones MP

First of all, congratulations on attaining your new position – you have the authority to make life a lot better for your constituents from all backgrounds; could this be the dawn of a golden era in British Politics? General elections are as surprising as they are frequent these days. And whilst (at the time of writing) the frenzy of speculation continues as to what will happen next, they are also the opportunity to ask ourselves what type of country we are or want to be.

Andrew Jones, when did we become a country that boasts about being a “hostile environment” for migrants? Or one that shamefully abandoned it’s international responsibilities in the refugee crisis? Why are there 30,000 people locked up indefinitely in immigration detention centres on our shores, having committed no crime? When did it become okay for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to threaten to scrap Human Rights Laws that “get in the way” of draconian and ineffective counter-terrorism powers?

For too long, and increasingly since the 2015 election, I’ve seen politicians exploit fear to create laws that divide, discriminate and and disregard human rights.

In a desperate bid to look tough on immigration and strong on security at any cost, border controls have crept in to every part of life Schools and doctors are forced to pass sensitive data to the Home Office to support deportation. Landlords face jail if they let a home to a “wrong” person, and homeless charities are forced to flag up vulnerable rough sleepers. A new criminal offence of “driving while illegal” will lead to racial profiling on our streets – risking major damage to police/community relations.

These laws have made life worse for all of your constituents, Andrew Jones – spreading racial profiling, fear and division in our community at a national level. It has turned private individuals and trusted public servants in to unwilling border police.

We are all collateral in this misguided hope of looking tough on immigration at any cost.

Yours sincerely,

Andy