Friday, 10 August 2012

some influences on my work

These days, I try to cite any influences and inspirations on bits of work I make. So I thought I'd a make a list of some of the biggest influences on my work, practice and ethics. There are plenty of others but these ones keep on coming back.

Dischord Records | Ian Mackaye 
Learning about the way Ian Mackaye set up and ran Dischord Records made me realise I could do things myself without having to compromise my principles. 

Fránçois. and the Atlas Mountains
I saw Fránçois play in the Polish Club in Bristol in about 2005. I was 17 and starting to play music. We burned lots of CDs at home and coloured in paper CD sleeves. Francois had amazing hand made CDs and played music like I imagined must exist. It gave us the confidence to continue doing things in this way and also was the first time I learned about Stitch-Stitch Records and all the great stuff that was happening in Bristol at that time. 

Simon Armitage
We learned his poems in school and I always remembered them. I love all his reworking of old English poems and folklore and I often stick references to his poems in songs. 

Kimya Dawson
I love Kimya Dawson's words. Listening to her music has encouraged me to be braver and to be more forthright in songs, which is something I used to be embarrassed about. 

Jeffrey Lewis
Same deal here really. Jefferey Lewis is another example of an artist surviving doing things his own way. I think his songs can be totally profound and I love his morbid humour.

Kathleen Hanna | Bikini Kill | Le Tigre
As well as being in some of my favourite bands and generally taking no prisoners, Kathleen Hanna is a great example of someone who has decided to be the change they want to see in the world. She provides a fantastic role model for young women as well as people in general and is determined not to let generations of feminist theory and practice get buried in the noise of modern life. She provides hope for people, and especially women.

Phil Elverum
When I was building my website and setting up as a sole trader, I took a lot of influence from the way Phil Elverum ran his record label, P.W. Elverum & Sun. His combination of music, photography and graphic design is obviously very close to the combination of things tat I get up to and he does them all so well!

Lizzie Ridout
Lizzie was one of my University tutors and her aesthetic and and the way she uses graphic design as a medium for her art is a huge influence on me still.

Daniel Eatock 
A confirmation that an Idea can be as beautiful as an aesthetic. I've always been better at having ideas than I have been at making them look nice. While I try to reach a happy balance, Eatock's work allows no compromise for aesthetics in the execution of a concept. He also said he felt 'punk rock' sitting up front and working hard at university'. Me too!

Stars Don't Shine to Noise is still one of my top five albums of all time and is also one of only a few examples I can give of a perfect album. Their recording style is as much a part of their sound as their playing and they make use of silence, the spaces between sounds and sounds as textures to create a collage-y atmosphere. I always think of this atmosphere when I'm recording. I will always put on gigs for Headfall if I have the chance.

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