Ramblecast: A Fountain Not Made By The Hands Of Man

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

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11 thoughts on “Ramblecast: A Fountain Not Made By The Hands Of Man

  1. Yes Mia I enjoyed that bit too. People who are not creative sometimes find it hard to understand that the process of taking imaginative leaps and risks (that they might call pretentious) is important because although not all of those experiments will work out, there will be some wonderful things that do emerge. Society can be so obsessed with quantifiable products and end results.

    I started to listen to this Ramblecast with a tin of beeswax and turpentine polish in my hand, feeding some ancient, much repaired furniture (a put off lockdown job)….then I heard the Grateful Dead record/ chest of drawers analogy. Spooky!

    I really liked the fluency of your musings today Tom and the tweety birds in the background.

    1. Angela—I’ve found that during the lockdown(s) my painting has become more & more aggressive in declaring itself, heart-on-sleeve, oblivious to any thoughts I may have of reining it in. It has blitzed right past experimental, trampled any thoughts of creativity and gone straight to its objective—get the image OUT. And strangely the more I attempt big, complicated images/ideas the quicker they get painted.
      And better, too.
      Go figure.
      All is strange.

  2. I too hope we soon have conditions again where people are able to wake up from metaphorical hibernation or whatever and delight in play & experimentation.
    It’s a state of freedom that some find dangerous to their interests; I agree with David Graeber & others who say those in power would rather people not be healthy & strong enough to actually imagine breaking out of our current system.
    Anyway, when I think of fairly modern euphorically experimental music, I think of Sigur Rós, even though the () album was so long ago now. Of course you might not like them!

    All the best 🙂

  3. There’s a lot of food for thought here, Tom, thanks for sharing. Re the possibility of being considered pretentious – I think that authenticity (which your written and spoken material seems imbued with) is the antithesis of pretentiousness, they simply can’t co-exist. Experimental music, writing or whatever may or may not ‘work’ but that’s the nature of an experiment. As for social media, totally agree. I’d go even further and say that most ‘news’ media, MSM, social, alternative (youtube etc), is a more or less dangerous distraction from real lived experience, and all potentially addictive. Having said that of course, if I wasn’t still using Instagram, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this..

  4. Box of Rain is beautiful. One of those rare and precious gifts of music that isn’t afraid to honestly traverse the wild landscape of grief and loss, love, compassion and empathy. I also love your reflections on the relationship between music and place. As a musician, I am insanely aurally sensitive and sometimes I feel like I can hear the dust falling around me. A piece of machinery going off in the distance can really unsettle me, and silence and sacred space is so important for my well being. So the idea of living in creative commune with other artists and musicians has always been my ultimate utopia. Especially as a child of the seventies because we at least had a clear taste of how that feels, and the music that comes from such sheltered environments. It does make me sad that the closest we come to that now is sharing in online ‘groups’, which bears no relationship to creativity what so ever.

  5. The third part really got me – I’ve been pulling back from SM in the last few weeks because I’m finding that what minor things I had to say were finding less and less interest, and that highlighted the fact that people in my ‘real life’ seem to be falling further and further away as well. It is definitely a time when I need so badly to see and talk to friends, and OOF I’m jealous of your 10 mile walk with a friend! Instead I’ve been ignored, ridiculed, or told off for needing to be in-person. I’d like to think it’s not me, and just that people aren’t realizing how far off they have gone? Hard not to take it personally as a sign that I’m not around the ‘right’ people to ping-pong thoughts with in the first place? One bright spot is that I have a decent supply of family that is up for it, so to speak, but none are local. I am still grateful for it, and I’m not regretting pulling back from
    SM, even though – as you mention – it’s the only way people can find me for work. I don’t have a ‘network’ or sphere of people to refer me, but right now I feel ok with risking the pullback. 🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ I also just planned a 16 mile grueling walk with my sister in law – 8 weeks away, but still. 🤞🏽🤞🏽

  6. Blown away by this ramblecast actually Tom. Firstly, death worries me. I wish it didn’t, I wish I had more time, and a guarantee that it wouldn’t hurt. I try not to think about it too much.

    I feel privileged to hear your brain cogs turning, and can guarantee you that as long you write, I will buy. I can’t understand why you would lose some readers because you wrote the wrong sort of book. This has stood out as my favourite ramblecast so far.

    As far as SM goes, I could see it further, I’m really trying to withdraw but it’s impossible to ditch it totally as a socially isolated person in real life. I’ve ‘met’ some incredibly talented music producers on-line since the end of March which wouldn’t have happened without a) the pandemic or b) SM. Whether we’ll all meet up as planned after this wretched thing has eased off, I don’t know, but it’s got me through. I’d love them all to live in a big old rambling house at the end of the road that I could just drop in for a coffee and listen to their latest works of art in the making. Terrific thought provoking stuff Tom. Thanks.

  7. This is lovely Tom. I totally agree with what you say. I want to think that artists can get together share ideas and music to learn and create more. More please!

  8. I don’t know anything about the Grateful Dead and can’t think of anything I might have heard by them, but I was really interested by the idea of recording two different types of air to create a rhythm track. I’m curating an exhibition about Factory Records, so I’ve been reading up on Martin Hannett. As well as being a record producer, he was a Dead Head and sometime psych/folk musician. He produced a few NW punk bands before moving on to help create the cavernous sound Joy Division were known for. There’s a pre-Factory story of him heading up to the Saddleworth Moors with John Cooper Clarke at 5am to record the air. He must have taken inspiration from the Grateful Dead.

  9. I’m feeling pretty sheepish as yesterday (prior to listening to this) I thoughtlessly declared a piece of music aired on 6Music to be pretentious. A friend took me to task and recommended I try some other pieces by the same artist – they happened to be really interesting plus, it transpires, groundbreaking for their time and a source of inspiration for music I love by artists such as Bowie etc. Turns out I just hadn’t been in the right mood to hear it. My bad.

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