Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Maybugs...

The maybug starts looking like this on the left                            and ends up looking like this on the right...
                                     it takes up to five years for the larvae to develop into adults


 Around when I drew these pictures and wrote this song, I'd been really captivated by this creature, and now the maybug, for me, has become a rich metaphor - it means a number of different things, which I'll probably elaborate on here at some point...
Here's a fascinating snippet from wikipedia about how maybugs were taken to court in the middle ages...

"In the Middle Ages, pest control was rare, and people had no effective means to protect their harvest. This gave rise to events that seem bizarre from a modern perspective. In 1320, for instance, cockchafers (maybugs) were brought to court in Avignon and sentenced to withdraw within three days onto a specially designated area, otherwise they would be outlawed. Subsequently since they failed to comply, they were collected and killed. (Similar animal trials also occurred for many other animals in the Middle Ages.)"

Maybug is on my new EP, 'Winter Shed'

Monday, 26 March 2012

Off to Japan...

It's a good thing i'm going to Japan tomorrow - I REALLY need some new tabi boots...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunny day, kora and painting...

This is the beginning of my video blog...



My new kora is re-strung and set up ready to go...
I've been testing it out in the garden, whilst my friend and housemate, the artist Louise Phillips draws and paints in our back garden...



Below are two more videos of Lou drawing beautiful things whilst I practice...


















Saturday, 24 March 2012

See my boat...

Myself and Rachael Dadd (otherwise known as The Hand) were asked recently to contribute to a compilation by a fella who organises gigs on his rooftop in Paris - the idea: that the artists who've performed there in the past should cover each others songs... So we covered Rozi Plain's see my boat:


To download the whole compilation for free at 7ciel.net, click on the picture below...


Thursday, 22 March 2012

New EP available on iTunes...

My new EP is now available on iTunes,

Much of it was written and some of it recorded in this shed in Suffolk last winter:

Today I'm experimenting by stringing my kora with fluorocarbon strings.
It's exciting, they have a crisp, clear tone whereas the nylon bass strings could sound a bit muddy...



Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My new kora!

My new kora,
a beautiful 22-string (cassamance style) kora,




with a great pickup installed,
so no more haphazard masking tape bodges by me...




I had some initial fears,
maybe I don't like it as much as my old one?




But it's got a beautiful tone and these things take time to get used to - also I needed to raise and replace the new bridge with my old one, as the string spacing is familiar.




I'm looking forward to experimenting with fluorocarbon strings which are brighter and more resonant, and this kora has meatier machine heads which will take the extra strain...
Now I have two koras, which means I can use the old one to experiment with tunings, whilst I keep the new one in the tunings I've already used, ready for live shows.




This will also make it a lot easier to collaborate with other musicians, so please be in touch if you want to jam or need or want a kora part for one of your songs / live performances...


So now, Japan..!


Monday, 19 March 2012

Will Newsome - Winter Shed EP

This is my new EP, just finished today...
Please have a listen and keep checking back for upcoming shows.

Go here for lyrics...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Not a dead bird, on an old barge.

Here is the second video (2 of 3) from a session 
filmed on the old barge I've been working on.


The song is called 'Not a dead bird',
and sums up my winter of 2010-11,
living in a hut in the woods in Suffolk.