Cinders

by Ben Spiers

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about

Released on CDR by PseudoArcana, 2004.

Bit of a head-scratcher this one. Very much in the mixtape style of "There Is No One ..." but with the blessing/curse (mostly curse) of a computer for editing this time. Prior to this tracks were either good as they were or they were scrapped. The fading, editing and structuring was all done in real time with the tape rolling. On "Cinders", though, literally hours of indecision and tweaking were spent on many of the (very uncomplicated) cuts and fades. "Ladyfingers" and "Dead People" are the only tracks that have any internal editing (jump cuts). There is a strange kind of rigour in some of the editing and track juxtapositions, if not always in the playing.

The bulk of "Cinders" was recorded during my last year living in Hamilton and my first year living in Wellington. "You Always Have A Neighbour": it's true. The last six months in Hamilton I had a "granny flat" to myself. It was attached to the back of a family's garage, right next to a huge power pylon. I thought my nearest neighbours were the family in "The Big House", some 10-15 metres away. An ideal situation for a musician (of sorts). Late one night I had a huge tape loop running across the lounge between my two reel-to-reel machines. As it got even later there was a fed-up thump on the wall from what turned out to be a corresponding granny flat behind the neighbours' adjoining garage. "So there *is* someone nextdoor", I whispered to myself. It's true, people who live alone end up talking to themselves. You always have a neighbour.

Constable Street acts as a natural divider in the Wellington suburb of Newtown. Around that time I was engaged in a stubborn feud (since resolved/dissolved, thankfully!) with an ex/friend who lived on the other side of that line. The street is serviced by frequent trolley buses. The friction of the buses' contact shoes on the taught overhead cables creates a distinctive sound dear to many Wellingtonians .... a sound which is not particularly similar to the sound of "Constable" but these things were all feeding into what you hear on this album.

Ben Spiers
2 January 2014

Please note that the contact details on the insert (jpeg included with download) are long out of date. www.yokoonotributeweekend.com is now your one stop shop for info on my musical activities.

credits

released November 1, 2004

BS: guitars, amplifiers, alto saxophone, violin, tape loops, recordings from the field [National War Memorial, Wellington, NZ, 12/05/04], pickup, cuts, bumps, whispers.

recorded direct to cassette, Hamilton & Wellington, New Zealand, September 2001 - May 2004.

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Ben Spiers Oxford, UK

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