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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Gentle Worm, Float Thee Upward

Andrew Ryan

i'm sitting in a tiny entrance to an old large church in fremantle. there are musicians practicing - a cellist and an organist. it sounds like a record put on a faster speed. it's beautiful and light sound, imagine sometimes if our music shows were set at a smaller volume. nothing in your ears or mind has to push back against the noise, and there's more space for your mind to dwell on the melody. i think perhaps one time i saw that nice young moon puppy blues band the sound was down quite low, and so the nice crackle of the sparkly (literally) guitars came through, and that tall boy's deep voice singing about a worm.

well this is nice, i'm surrounded by wood. that reminds me, as does everything, of doing a wilderness first aid course for two days on the weekend, surrounded by buff teachers from a boys school. i would look at their arms, brown and veining out of their tshirts, and ask what they teach. "science" "politics" "maths", a sea of cut men, a sea of knowledge. it was an all boys school and next week i'll be out in the woods with their teenagers, helping them maybe see into the trees we're walking through, and up into the stars that will reveal themselves, and they can teach me all about fish tanks which apparently is the new craze for the boarders. they feed their fish their worries and the fish respond with puffed up cheeks and open and closing mouths.

i was in a floatation tank last night, as a present from a red head, floating there in a sea of salt, hovering in the water. floating is flying, suspension without effort. something my mind brought up to me, or the water imparted, was that the main great things about us, the things we are, we don't control. The best thing about a person - being - is not connected to doing. In sleep we have all the properties our loved ones want - mainly just the property of living, and we don't need to do anything to achieve this. We achieve being in dreams, our body moving everything around of its own accord, our stilled-from-action mind floating away while everything pumps and moves and chemically changes to do the "being" for us.

without thinking, when i was getting ready for first aid, i said out loud "Yes I can, I can wear a g-string to first aid." this is a symptom of my newfound happiness - talking to myself in the mornings in bed, out of bed, in positive ways but without effort, just a sweet new light being flowing through, decaffeinated.

well, in the float tank my grandparents were there. i spent time thinking about each one of them, and they took me into a forrest and served me tea. they're all dead in the earth sense, but they are somewhere. i got a nice smile from a man in a suit at the funeral director's today, and i thought "Yeah, death is ok. I'm either going into the ground or into the new great planes of existence, surrounded once more by The Big, in a new dimension with new elemental aspects of life to discover, and all the tears wiped away from everyone's eyes." or something along those lines. through those lanes of thinking.

anyway i also went to the bird on friday night. warsame (business partner) was playing and that was one of the main reasons i went there, some hint of mudlark. i'd been going over things in my mind the last few days "identity politics is the lowest form of politics, but it's still life or death." we all know, there's a new construction in syria for cremating masses of people - that's exactly the stories people around the place say "how could they have let this happen!" about germany etc, say if they were there they would not have stood for it, but we all stand for it. at the same time, friends here get raped, and that is life and death too. all of these things deserve our attention, and our leaving our normal forms of life to go out and change everything. how? if you want to know/if i want to know/ we will know.

well warsame was playing and i was out the back talking identity politics, and also life and death feminism with two friends. one was brendan jay, who looked me straight in the eyes with compassion and told me he was really sorry to hear about new assaults on friends, and said it must be really hard for me. that's what i'd been wanting the last few weeks, someone to say "sorry that must be really hard for you too". it's hard, we're hemmed in and if we say something people roll their eyes. someone even pulled on my own arm the other day, trying for something when i was in a vulnerable place - their house. another time i'll tell you.

well, warsame's drumming pulled me in. i knew from sitting out the back and hearing it over the speakers that it was him, because he is one of the great drummers who has his own way. he is captivating. he had a sample pad with all his songs and just drummed along to them, moving his body in a mechanical organic way that he does, sweating, concentrating, making an occasional - very occasional - noticeable error, and creating very simple in number of hits and complex in rhythm drum beats. he is very very good and people stood and watched - one man, drumming over a sample pad. in fact, this is one of my favourite ways of seeing music - the drums put where they should be, at the humble centre of all the action. why not care about every hit of a muted snare? i care, so did the crowd.

then girl played. their drummer was a guy who looked so familiar to me, sweating too, great straight drumming too - straight as in, on purpose, hits with a meaning. i gradually remembered i'd seen him at a barefaced stories night i'd performed at too, he told the story of a song he wrote for a love, played the song on the piano, maybe played it again. it was a beautiful piece and he was an instantly likeable guy. the last first aid course before this one a lady came up and told me she knew me, from when i'd performed 'stand up comedy' and that it had been moving, and i worked out then it was at barefaced stories too, these anecdotes are from the same night. one telling of one story can be memorable for a stranger in the crowd. i was a speaker in one case, and i was the stranger in the crowd in another.

i can't remember who else was in the band. a guy behind decks, so he was in the dark. um. but the singer was electric in a consistent way, like a toaster rather than a lightening bolt - i know what i'd prefer to have in my kitchen, the toaster of course, producing just enough pleasure with each down place of the level, a little anticipation for the pop up, the regularity of making bread into something better. so yes, this guy was great and i'll go see that again i hope, room to hear more of everything in the lyrics, room to spend more time watching what mr on the decks is doing. they got asked for an encore, and i'm glad they did it, some kind of freestyling that had the great element of risk and the great element of skillful execution. missed the main act. had to catch the train, isn't it. will have to see about a mystic fortunes next time they drop down to a stage.

hmm. yes. see you next week, i'll be in the trees and you'll get something i prepared earlier…

 

 

 

PS an older lady saw me and invited me to come and sit inside the church. the organ has a mirror on it, so you can see the person's face who is playing. dark hair, small chin, skill. the cellist was telling him how to play the next piece, her head tilts and facial expressions filling up the background to her words, massaging the practice to fit the mathematically "correct/incorrect" "off/on" "0/1" idea in her mind of what the right sound was. they were going over an over a little introduction, talking about the best volume, as well as the best tone for the organ. nice to watch this practice of two masters, massaging a melody, in a mathematical way (unintentional mms sorry). mmmm.