The Smith's Journal - March 2005

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Solaris at NFT

Watched Solaris at the Andrei Tarkovsky season at the NFT with Bizia and Ian. It was awesome to see this new print on a vast screen after only ever having seen his work on television and video. Afterwards, we were truly spaced out as we wandered through the cosmic corridors of the NFT, their retro-tech decor easily convincing we were still on the space station.

Driving home with Ian, I played him some of my Night Studies on tape, including the Satie-inspired piece "Repetitions". Then I fast-forwarded the tape to "Jewels", whereby the radio cut in, with a perfectly timed quote from this week's repeat of Composer of The Week (Ravel's "Stephane Mallarme Poems", that I'd heard last week, when I'd also similarly turned on the radio by chance): "That song was dedicated to Erik Satie" Amazing!!! :-)


DJ Spock at The Monday Club

I made a brief appearance as DJ Spock at The Monday Club's Pick'n'Mixture night. Sadly I had some technical issues (a dark stage, unfamiliar mixer with dodgy controls, bad workman always blames his tools... ;-) which got me off to a shaky start, but I pulled out all the stops with a revolutionary remix of Joyce's classic Brazilian song "Feminina" played simultaneously with the pumping house groove of "Jump Start" by dbx ;-) You can be pretty sure that nobody on Earth has heard this before!


Drumming at Nine Ladies stone circle

Ian drove Tina and I up to Stanton Moor in Derbyshire, following Guy's invitation after my TV appearance to join his drumming posse up there, to spend Easter Sunday drumming at the 'glorious and rhythmical' Nine Ladies stone circle. After being introduced, we walked over the misty moors, our hosts showing us the beautiful scenery of this strange landscape, much of which had been gouged out by ancient quarries creating twisty pathways through bizarre small valleys rich with curious flora and fauna. There is a threat that a nearby quarry will take over the land and destroy it, not using the old ways but massive industrial-scale open-cast quarrying; luckily a campaign has been mounted to preserve the place. [UPDATE: The campaigners won!!! Quarry owners lose court battle :-]

Doll Tor on Stanton Moor

Doll Tor on Stanton Moor, Derbyshire ] [ Just before the faeries came for us... |We wandered through Narnian woodlands and elfin glades, eventually reaching the wonderfully cute Doll Tor, a dolls house-sized stone circle, and the Andle Stone, a large erratic left perched in the middle of a field, which I climbed for a great view of the... mist.

When we got back to their camp, the drums came out, and we played for a few hours beside the fire as people came and went. Later on after dark, we went back to the Nine Ladies, and found other groups of people also with drums, so joined them for a while.


Mr. Benn

After last night's drumming, we drove back to Nottingham to stay at Mama's house. Upon waking, I found a video of classic Mr. Benn episodes (Volume II), so we took great delight in watching them, namely The Wizard, The Balloonist, The Astronaut and The Cowboy, before driving back to Hertfordshire.

Baby Lambs

Back in Offley, Tina, Ian and I walked around to the deer clearing south of the village, but didn't see any today.

Q. What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A. No idea.

Q. What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
A. Still no idea.

But we did see some hilarious gambolling lambs tearing around the fields, racing each other around the pond, standing on their mothers' backs and doing that bouncing thing that looks so comically cute. A happily childish day.


[ Zone travellers at the NFT ]Stalker at NFT

Watched Stalker at the NFT with Chris, Tina, Bizia, Ruth, and Ian. After many voyages into London despite poor health, this was (for me) the end of a very inspiring Andrei Tarkovsky season.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Licence © The right to copy is left with the user copyleft Malcolm Smith 2005-05-09 - last updated 2010-04-14 - links verified 2005-06-04