Relocating - please follow the link for new content

This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

WFMU live online

OK - I am working at the laptop. Sitting alone here - sometimes feeling a little cut off from the big world out there. So...I have a live feed coming into the computer, playing the latest programme from WFMU station on the net (

As I type this the DJ, Ken, is online playing "Freeform radio for the chronically impatient. Avant-garde pop, poppy avant-garde, loud guitars, lots o' Japanese and 45's played slow. Playlists posted in real time on the web so you can play along at home or work." It's great fun - Stina Nordenstam has just been playing. Apparently later today their DJ Kenny G (who has worked with People Like Us - see earlier posting) is doing a 3 hour show with 360 half minute songs on it! Sounds a bit like The Residents gone crazy! I love this surreal, comic, mad, 'because it's there' approach to things.

Monday, 25 October 2004

Sometimes it's easier to speak

There are days when the words don't want to come forward. I surf across weblogs on the net (some are over on the right) and find some bloggers who post every single day. How do you do that? There are days when life gets in the way. There are days when emotions get in the way. And there are days when I just get in my own way, because I am not getting my own way!

Enough said!

Friday, 22 October 2004

Bartok Tick Tock

The rain is lashing down on the conservatory roof near my desk, as I sit listening to the piano music of Bela Bartok played by Zoltan Kocsis. I'm not sure whether it is the music, or the relentless sound of the rain, but I have an overall feeling of listlessness today. Things could certainly be better.

Yesterday a few interesting things happened on the poetry side of things. I bumped into one of the leaders of our local poetry group, First Thursday, who told me that they want me to do a reading next March. I'm really pleased about this - it will be the third time I have done a reading at this group. I will probably present some material from 'the alice conversations'. It seems a long way off, but I am looking forward to doing it.

I also had a letter from Suffolk with details of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival's tour, which includes a performance in Manchester - I'm currently considering whether to go to that. I just might. The letter also included a CD of poetry from the festival, which I've dipped into a little this morning. I need to be in the right mood to listen to this. It is available for free by following the link ( This whole mailing looks like a marvellous idea. It must be really well funded to be able to do this.

The third thing which happened was an email from Australia. I had sent an email to Alison Croggon earlier in the week, commenting on her plans to put her weblog on hold for now. I've enjoyed reading this weblog in the past, and wanted to thank her for the work she had done on it over the months. She wrote back to me, which was nice. I really like her work, especially 'Mnemosyne', a chapbook produced by Wild Honey Press.

Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Blue Wild Angel

Over the last weekend I have been buying music again. God, I'm a cd junkie! I bought:

1. Tom Waits - Real Gone
2. Jan Garbarek - In Praise of Dreams
3. Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight
4. Various Artists - Cash Covered (cover versions of Johnny Cash, from latest Mojo magazine)

There is so much great new music around at the moment. I'm dipping into the new Tom Waits album a bit at a time. Like most of Waits' recent albums, it needs time and small bursts before you 'get it'. The melodies are hidden away in subtlety. There is some amazing guitar work on this album from Marc Ribot. I first came across his work on the David Sylvian 'Dead Bees on a Cake' album where he brought the blues to Sylvian's work.

I've been a fan of Jan Garbarek's work since I was 16 and have collected 20 albums by him over the years. I've also seen him live a couple of times. He is a true musical visionary, producing his own soundscape and musical worlds. A few years ago I read Michael Tucker's 'Deep Song' which is a great book introducing Garbarek's work and its influences. This new album has Garbarek on saxophones, synthesisers, samplers and percussion. He is accompanied by Kim Kashkashian on viola and Manu Katche on drums. It's a very sparse album, filled with real beauty in its melodies. The interplay of saxophone and viola works perfectly. Garbarek has a great ability to work well with collaborators. This album is up there with Officium and Mnemosyne which he made with the Hilliard Ensemble. The way that the saxophone and viola work together reminds me of those two earlier albums. Truly magical.

The Hendrix album was a real bargain, picked up for £8-00 - a double album documenting the 2 hours of concert at the Isle of Wight festival not long before Hendrix died. I've not had time to get to the end of this album yet - got stuck in the middle of the drum solo! The versions of familiar tunes - 'Purple Haze', 'Hey Joe' and 'All along the Watchtower' are all brilliant, and it is good to have a decent booklet included too.

The Johnny Cash tribute album has a wide mix of artists doing their take on the music of Johnny Cash. It's a great piece of work - Mojo magazine are giving away some brilliant cover discs. Recently they had an album of music that influenced Led Zeppelin which was also fantastic - included Robert Johnson, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Spirit, Howlin' Wolf, John Fahey.

As I type this I am listening to the album 'Finn' from 1995 - an album by Tim and Neil Finn. I'd forgotten how good this album is. There's a new album out by the brothers, and they are on tour at the moment. I've heard a few tracks from the new album - sounds good. As I said earlier, there's so much good music around - makes me wish I got freebies from the record companies. Well, I can wish, can't I!

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

another butterfly emerging

The plans are emerging for the Novel Writing month coming up. According to the rules it's OK to plan and prepare outlines before the writing starts. (Never forget that rules are made to be broken anyway!) I'm thinking that I will do some more work to pull together what this whole 50,000 words is going to be about, to make the job a bit easier.

All I have so far is that it will be a sequel to 'the butterfly principle' and that it will have Alice as a main character, and probably Jim too. I need place, incident and some sort of plot ideas to get things moving.

I'll do some more work on it tonight.

The challenge has been taken up and is being absorbed into my consciousness as a 'can do this' image.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

November novel - butterfly sequel

I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month initiative today ( I have only the vaguest idea as to what I will write about when it starts on 1st November, but then I think that is partly the point!

I thought I would produce a sequel to the first novel which I wrote - "the buttefly principle" - which is still unfinished. I guess I ought to finish the first one before the end of this month, as a warm-up and to get me back into the characters from that book.

The objective of the initiative is to encourage the writing of 50,000 words in one month. I just need to settle to produce 1,700 words each day to achieve this. It's going to good fun - and a bit of a haul too.

I'll keep updates coming here...

Monday, 11 October 2004

Internet Archive 2 - Sound Tribe Sector 9

I mentioned in an earlier post that there is an amazing internet archive including thousands of live music shows. I am in the middle of listening to a couple of concerts from this archive today. The first one, a Grateful Dead show from the mid-90s is really good. I'm not familiar with much of their work - I have the Live Dead album which I think is excellent. The show from the archive which is over 2 1/2 hours long is amazing.

The other show is the one I really want to write about though. It's by a band I hadn't heard of - Sound Tribe Sector 9. They have a website at which has some info. The music is made up of a series of lengthy jams - sometimes they sound like the experimental fractals of King Crimson music from the Projekcts albums. Other times they sound like techno-ambient and at times the music takes on a jazz improv feel. Altogether it makes for a brilliant couple of hours of music. There are nearly 200 concerts on the archive website - plenty to choose from. I picked a concert from last month, the most recent one to be uploaded. This whole project is a marvellous way to bring music to a wider audience than it might otherwise achieve.

Friday, 8 October 2004

Listening to:

Last weekend I put together 100 songs as a soundtrack for a party. It went really well! I'm in the process of transcribing the list and may post it here soon. In the meantime, here's a list of some of the stuff I have been listening to this week:

1. Porcupine Tree - In absentia. Heavy heavy heavy.
2. Marc Almond - Stranger Things. Luscious sounds.
3. Okna Tsahan Zam - shaman voices. Already raved about this album on this blog.
4. King Crimson - Lizard. Second album by this band, a bit dated but good fun to listen to.
5. String Cheese Incident - tracks for download from their site ( Incredibly talented band in the Grateful Dead and Santana mould. A friend brought an album back from the US this summer - heard it and thought Wow! Had to get hold of some stuff.
6. Gong - Other side of the sky: a collection. Double CD collection, reminds me of the albums I used to have and why I raved about them, even the silly bits!
7. Tortoise - Standards. New discovery for me - in a field of their own!
8. Various Artists - Wein, Weib und Gesang (Download from Kikapu Records at Five hours of music for transferring to an mp3 CD.
9. Tom Waits - Blood Money. This is a brilliant album. I'm listening to it to gear up ready for buying his new album 'Real Gone'.
10. Sigur Ros - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do. Spectacularly weird mini album from a collaboration performance with Merce Cunningham and Radiohead.

No wonder I'm feeling good at the moment!

Thursday, 7 October 2004

Note to Self

Across poetry sequences, pieces of fiction and other creative processes, there are a number of key characters and images that repeat. These are:

- Blue
- Alice
- Aslan
- Kingfisher
- Water

These have a deeper range of meanings, and are 'characters' that I can work with through diverse contexts. Bringing them back again and again lends strength to the creative process.

Last week Blue re-emerged in a poem called '21st Century Blue' which I am now working on.

Two preoccupations for my poetry - process and content.

Wednesday, 6 October 2004

Internet Archive - downloading without breaking the law!

The Internet Archive site is a fascinating project with a number of strands. There's plenty for me to be absorbed by here. The archive has freely accessible material in a number of areas. There are films, live concerts and poetry recitals. There are 10,000 shows stored in the live concert archive. I have to admit to not having heard of most of the bands featured, but there are over 2,700 Grateful Dead concerts if that is your thing.

There's material from Allen Ginsberg in the Naropa Audio Archives. There's so much to look at and download here and it is all legal, since this is a project initiated by and including the US Library of Congress and the Smithsonian as collaborators.

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Workshop on Archetypes

Over the last ten days I have had the chance to deliver a workshop testing out some of the ideas from my PhD thesis. The workshop, called "Working with Archetypes: understanding individual and group behaviour" takes a group through a series of exercises and techniques which introduces the concepts and ways to make use of archetypes in a practical way. The focus of the workshops was the work setting, as they were delivered on a programme through Manchester University. There is, though, enormous scope for further developing the ideas within the workshops to work with a wide range of groups. The key theme of the work is personal development which lends itself to many settings.

Monday, 4 October 2004

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

This looks really good. National Novel Writing Month - or NaNoWriMo for short. It starts on 1st November and participants have until the end of November to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. The full description is on the site - it's about setting the standards low to make sure you reach that goal of writing a novel. A great idea to overcome that perfectionist streak in us all which stops us from getting into certain projects, and from completing other ones. I'm thinking about it - might just take part! It's a couple of thousand words a day!

Friday, 1 October 2004

Party Music - On Being a DJ

We are having a party this weekend, to celebrate me completing my PhD. It took seven years part-time and the end of it feels like a great excuse for a party.

I have spent the last 24 hours using every available minute to pull together the party music - I'm trying to put together a mix of mainstream with the occasional unusual track which is accessible to the wine drinking party go-er who is busy talking to someone as the music plays in the background. I have even slipped in a couple of tracks from the Okna Tsaham Zam CD. I have put together about 6 hours of music - could easily have come up with double that!

Doing this process is a way of exercising the long term ambition I have to be able to do a radio show, perhaps once a month. I would love to spend an hour or two each month sharing music which I think is wonderful with anyone who want to listen. If anyone out there knows where I can do this - on the net, or on the air - email me or leave a comment below...

You only get to live your dreams if you ask the question and put the request out there.