Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The great paper chase of our time, how to be poor and happy, continues apace in Berlin. Amongst much talk of minimum wages, translation agencies, bank transfers, socialist benefits, dole-drums and other friends some salient points were emphasised as we sat there, in Gorlitzer Park last night. The waxy rheums of candles drifted heavily under the night and upon the barbeque spitting meat cooked itself dry. Or else it would have done if the local Polizei hadn’t come along and fined us all for an open fire, the first time in years in that part of the park. All around us criminals cavorted and wheezed and shirked; the Polizei drove away, euros richer, but with an undercooked pink sausage skewered onto their radio aerial.

Music has become the focus quite accidentally of my stay here, and it seems that music may now be the reason to stay longer. Perhaps the most enjoyable of my performances was played out on Monday, over in Kreuzberg, to a small room of committed, kind individuals who listened. That is all you can ask. And after the show, the city seemed to open up like a flower. Email addresses were exchanged, five more shows were booked, potential collaborations were suggested, dark long beers were sunk and the general sense that music might just sustain me here became a tangible reality.

There’s always the chance of boredom, of overplay. I am no longer seen as new, I don’t deserve favours any longer, but seem to be connecting to people on merit. There is a peculiar sort of rising tape static that I am hoping to make my own, this ambient collage of slowed melodies and chattering rhythms. There are still, thankfully, those who have not seen me play and so today I go away and practice new material, think of some new experiments to record (perhaps on one of my new tape players, which arrived silently in my hands on Monday like manna from magnetic heaven) and prepare for shows outside in the hot, green fields beyond Berlin.

Meanwhile, the books are lining up on the shelf. Too much time spent on here, posturing about my own direction, not enough time spent reading. The Pynchon avalanche continues, to be followed by Robinson's psychogeographies.