Nothing Can Prepare

Nothing Can Prepare

Nothing Can Prepare

Talking in terms of “apocalypse” gets in the way of thinking clearly about the situation we’re in. The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop. What we’re facing is, very likely, the breakdown of many of the systems and ways of doing things that we (in countries like the UK or the USA) grew up taking for granted. But this is not going to play out with the speed of a Hollywood disaster movie or the finality of the Christian Day of Judgement. — Dougald Hine, co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project

Nothing Can Prepare, Steve Lawson on bass and Andy Williamson on sax.

I love the way the sax appears from the back of the church and slowly meanders to the front and the use of the acoustics of the church.

In November 2012, Lobelia and I went down to Devon for a couple of shows with Andy Williamson. Andy’s a brilliant saxophonist, best known for his Big Buzzard Boogie Band, but is also one of the most responsive, adaptive improvisors I know, so the thought of some shows with him playing a range of my tunes, Lobelia’s songs, and some completely improvised music was something to look forward to.

The gigs went very well, and the centrepiece of each show was an extended improvisation which I began solo and which, at a certain point, Andy joined in with from the back of the church (both the gigs were in beautiful old churches). He meandered to the front, filling the room with his gorgeous improvisation, and we ended together.

This is in lieu of a kickstarter project for a ‘sacred spaces’ tour – booking duo gigs in places that lend themselves to this kind of languid, stretched-out improv and to using music to explore the enormity of existence.

The first tune on here is built on a solo composition of mine – Nothing Can Prepare – which was initially a meditation on the total unexpectedness of parenting, and how nothing can really prepare you for expanding your family with a new human.

These are those two centrepiece improvisations.

In the early 1970s, a friend had an album, a saxophone recorded in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It was amazing in its uses of the acoustics of the building. Sadly I have never been able to find it, in part because I do not know what I am looking for. I think I have it recorded on reel-to-reel tape. Something I must check out one day.

Sacred spaces tour: Wimbledon Music Festival 2013, St John’s Church, Wimbledon, Lobelia on Steinway concert grand, Steve Lawson on bass, Zoe Keating on cello, Andy Williamson on sax. Just a thought.

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