A Windy Day

Friday 19th January § 2 Comments

After having done almost nothing for the last two weeks, I’ve
tried to compensate by two weeks worth of activities in the space of two days.

Yesterday was really spent on borrowed time, after having not slept that evening. About 5:30 in the morning I decided that I was going to write(code) a fullscreen image viewer, which is really useful for previewing images.

There was a fantastic open-lecture by the sudo-client (who’s name I promptly forgot) for the Performing Arts centre designed by Raphael Vinioli. It’s a really interesting project: two theatres, setup in such a way that either can make use of an extended central stage, or even to open up the whole space to include both spaces, the idea was that the workings of the stages would be revealed to the public. What was really interesting was hearing from a clients eye view on such a huge project. This guy was so pashionate about the project and the possibilities, this is Stage 1 of an idea he’s been pushing for 8 years now. Really crappy on the eco front, and 3 times over it’s initial budget, it’s still quite brilliant architecture. (Apparently, being environmentally friendly costs approximately 5% extra)

Today was a bit slow to start. Missed the last of the moisture ingress laboratories because I slept in. Spent 2 hours messing about in Sketchup. For our first model we’ll be copying Mies Van De Rohe’s iconic Barcelona Pavilion, originally designed in 1929 (The current pavilion is a 1970’s replica, because the original got carefully dismantled, but then they lost. They lost a whole building in the post!). The roof of the CAD-lab was groaning ominously in the storm-force winds. The courtyard of our building was roped off because but’s of the Fletcher building where falling off.

Then Rose, Chris and I went house shopping ‘round lunchtime but discounted that property because it didn’t have a double bed. But later saw a house at 5 and came out and within half an hour we’d each withdrawn a £250 deposit so hopefully that will go through in the morning – in my absence. It couldn’t be closer to the campus.

In between the house hunting I sketched a small doodle that I instantly saw in 3D. No inspirations, no process. Miraculous conception.

It’s more like walk through sculpture than true ‘architecture’. Blurry lines I know. General themes that I was pondering at the time: wind 🙂 waves, texture and puzzling about what makes an idea worthy of scaling up into an all out concept. How do you chose what to develop? Why? How should that choice be made? But in the end this idea turned up out of nowhere, complete, and perfectly formed and so I’m just going to go along with it. It’s not as if I can forget this idea, so I’m stuck with it, no matter how hard its going to be to draw/model/construct. Anyway, next Wednesday shoud see inductions into the Metal Working workshops which will be brill.

Then there was climbing (glowing tinglyness throughout), followed by a brief spell in another pub, but I left before the pub quiz got started because my head aches.

Apparently the ‘place to be’ for live music in Leicester is a tiny pub called The Twisted Toucan, with open mic sessions with talented people and live Reggae and cool stuff like that.

Right now I’m enjoying flipping between ‘The Trial Of Tony Blair’ and the realities of Newsnight. Fiction and reality merging. There are moments when it’s . Switch from a fake Gordon Brown patronising likqwl kiddies in a classroom to the real Gordon, being even more patronising to a group of kids on the starting block of a school race, cut to him chewing the cud (in reality). Meaningful TV.

Oh, and tomorrow I’m going to gawp at the glossy glass losenge starchitecture of Manchester as part of the Uni. 10 buildings within the course of the day.

And for those in the loop, I think I’ve lost my mobile phone.

One huge plus-side, in my rather manic search for my mobile, I happened to look behind my bedside cupboard where I discovered my tiny Fuji digital camera that I thought I’d lost about 2 months ago. In the mean time, believing that the Fuji was well and truly vanished I treated myself to a fantastic Pentax digital SLR. Techno-gluton that I am, I’m tempted to keep them both. Photos will be forthcoming.
If I mention that Irn-Bru is a godly drink which would be ideal accompanied by a shot(glass) of lemon(juice) then I’ve manged to tick off all of those pesky category thingies down the side in the one post.

Love to all & noswaith da.

The Other Side Of Another Weekend

Monday 13th November § Leave a comment

I’m back on form. Life is good. Life is beautiful- kinda stylie.

Finished the dreaded (at least by me) Construction Assignment #2, with what, all of 8 hours to go before the deadline. I’m happy and a tinsy bit impressed with myself for not going insane. I might even forgive the tutor and admit that I’ve learnt quite a lot, but only after some serious therapy.

I’ve been measuring my mood by the music I listen too for a few weeks now. If you freakishly happen to have exactly the same taste in music, you can live my emotions along with me in a spooky stalkerish kind of way. This morning it was ‘Not Ready Yet’ by The Eels. Check the lyrics. Very, not happy. As compared with now. I’m in a more Mr Scruff kinda funkadelic monkey-madness mood. Hyper as a bunny rabbit on speed, one crazed scientist might plausibly comment.

It will have happened, someone will have tried this somewhere, at some point in recent history. I saw a video of a rat once, that scientists dosed up, just to see how it affected it’s reactions. It looked like a zombie junkie rat, with the red staring eyes that never focused on nothing.

Yup, sleep is not going to happen for quite a long time. Did I mention that I’m ludicrously happy right now? Which is a good thing right?

DJ Yoda

Thursday 2nd November § Leave a comment

Another plug- this time for a gig. DJ Yoda plays at The Charlotte (Leicester) on the very Friday that I go home to see my darling sister in the MPYT (Mid Powys Youth Theatre) production of Nicholas Nicholby. Be there or be boring elswhere.

The Winter Kids

Wednesday 1st November § Leave a comment

By chance a band called the ‘Winter Kids’ played in this rather awkward space underneath Mosh. Watching them play I got the feeling that they were playing well within their abilities and that they could perhaps be so much better. I’ve seen worse on the main stage at Glastonbury. Whether it’s an act or not, I intensely disliked the main singers affected dancing. I have the feeling that their being groomed for stardom. After visiting their myspace I can vouch that keyboard player looks far more gorgeous in real life than in photographs. Not a band that I would particularly care about, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make it big.

Green Music

Saturday 22nd July § Leave a comment

In my growing anticipation of this years Big Green(I be a stewarding) I stumbled across the musical line up. It’s in the nature of these things to change, but I want to highlight a few bands. Mainly the ones I’ve heard of, I guess. It’s nice to see a few of the coolest acts from the Small Nations will be performing.

Ember
Charming folky Americo-Welsh harmonizing. One of my top three acts of the Small Nations. The drummer has the most elaborate drum kit I’ve ever seen. Drum solo please. Listen to them as a duo over on their myspace.
(Wednesday 7pm, Croissant Neuf and Friday 12pm, Green Forum)
(Their also playing at the Stonecroft in Llanwrtyd on August 26th)

The Rub
Unfortunately the brilliance of this guy is impossible to put into words. But you lucky people don’t have to wait to see how damn good this funk sounds. Grab a listen over on the myspace machine. George Bush Is An Islamic… gotta be one of the best sing-along songs ever! At the Big Green ther’l be collaborations with United Vibration and Excentral The Tempest. If you climb out of your tent to go and see one thing make sure its these guys.
Excentral The Tempest & The Rub
(Wednesday 8.45pm, Green Forum and Thursday 9.15pm, Small World Solar Stage)
United Vibrations & The Rub
(Saturday 2.30pm, Croissant Neuf and Sunday 10.45pm, Henry’s Beard)

Martha Tilston & The Woods
Relax, breath in the atmosphere. Avoid analysis of lyrics. Check out another myspace.
(Friday 8.45pm, Green Forum)

The Wraiths
Poetic modern folk at it’s most melodic.
(Sunday 1.45pm, Henry’s Beard)

A few old faithfuls I fear, but there are so many other acts that look tempting.

Rhayader Festival

Saturday 22nd July § Leave a comment

Just spent a lovely evening with lots of friends on the Gro in Rhayader at a mini-festival organised by CARAD as a pre-lim to the carnival tomorrow.

There was some excellent music. My favourite acts were a duo called Heaven Knows who were a duo comprising a singer/guitarist and a fiddler and ‘The Hostages‘ who were the headlining act, a Llandodian trio of drums, guitar and bass. They were at their best when the ginger drummer guy took on the roll of singer and lead a vicious rendition of Scummy by The Arctic Monkeys.

To round off the evening there was a theatrical display of fire poi, staff and sticks but it was the company that really made the evening although I still feel stunted in conversationalism, damn-it.

The Appraisal

The band in the picture are called ‘The Appraisal‘, previously known as ‘Blackout’. Accomplished musicians and good friends, but not my kind of music. Verging on screamy-emo. Definitely worth a listen. In-fact I think they suited the outdoor acoustic.

Small Nations

Thursday 29th June § Leave a comment

The last few weeks seem to have vanished in a haze of laziness. I don’t seem to have done anything more constructive than play music.

Today I received my ticket for the Small Nations, which is a tiny festival of around 800 people located on a farm outside Cilycwm which promises to combine everything from African rhythms, jazz, blues, modern folk, full on rock, electronica and drum ‘n bass and even comic opera. The really special thing about the festival are the international acts that it hosts who come from all over the world. We went last year as a family and it was superb.

To my joy I only recognise two of the acts in the brochure (I know this sounds counter intuitive but I love hearing music that I’ve never heard of before): Fflur Dafydd, who’s one of Welsh folk’s rising stars (and has previously played support act to Gruff Rhys of the SFA) and Dylan Fowler who is a friend of my parents (my mother plays the viol with his partner).

This years highlights for me look to be Nuru Kane(Senegal), Justin Vali(Madigascar), Chimanimani(Zimbabwe), Buddug Verona James with “Knife At The Opera”, The Strand(Cardiff) and Evi Vine(Irish) and a Jack White(presumably not THE Jack White).

Sorry if I sound as if I’m reading it of the leaflet (which I am) but it’s going to be such good fun.

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