::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                         Issue # 115                          ::
  ::                 Wednesday, January 6th, 1999                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


              HAPPY NEW YEAR ! BEST WISHES FOR 1999 !!!


From: Pat <nomad@netrover.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 22:56:15 -0500

Hello Rattlers!

I was in London, Ontario, Canada on the first weekend of December, and I picked up a Cd by the band called WORKING WEEK. It is called:

WORKING WEEK - "Working Nights" 1985

I found it in the 3 CDs for $10.00 bin. Of course it was used. :)

Anyway, I'm really enjoying it. Is this one of their better albums? If not, I WANT their other stuff too! Tons of Canterbury folk on it like Ray Warleigh, Harry Beckett, Annie Whitehead, Louis Moholo, etc. Please, give me more information on their other albums. I also ordered the *Payday* cd(which is a compilation). I should be getting this in a couple of weeks. Is it good? I hear Robert Wyatt is on it. :)

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

(Paincourt, Ontario, Canada)


From: "Jim Powers" <MPOWERS@kumc.edu>
Subject: 90s Canterbury
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 08:40:40 -0600

Dear Aymeric,

The discussion of recent vs. archive Canterbury recordings inspired me to revisit some of the 90s recordings.  The ones I listened to were

Hugh Hopper 'Carousel' - a must-have for Softs fans, or even jazz fans. This is the kind of thing that should be played on National Public Radio stations in the US on their jazz shows - very energetic and jazzy but still friendly and accessible.  Something that any open-minded music fan should appreciate.

Caravan 'Battle of Hastings' - retains the spirit of classic Caravan but still sounds current.  Pye can still write great songs...  'All Over You', however, I have to admit I disliked heartily.  It was not only a step backward artistically but will turn out to be their most 'dated' sounding album, IMO.  There's no reason for a band that is still going strong to record an album like this (All Over You).

Daevid Allen & Kramer "who's Afraid" - always a favorite, I can't wait to hear Brainville.  I prefer this to the 2nd Kramer one (Hit Men).

It's great news that Richard Sinclair is recording again.  I haven't been able to get RSVP yet, but I like "Caravan of Dreams" a lot, and on the basis of that would feel confident in buying new R.S. records - "guest stars" or not.  And, to Steve F., I didn't even make a connection between Steve Miller's passing and your Delivery announcement - no reason to apologize.

Archive releases are still highly anticipated as long as they're not barrel-scrapings like those "Canterburied Sounds" collections.  I'd like to hear a good live recording of the 1st Caravan incarnation.

Happy holidays to all,

Jim Powers


From: "Denis Dujardin" <denis.dujardin@skynet.be>
Subject: missing pieces: National Health
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 23:05:19 +0100

Dear A.L.

Two weeks ago I sent you a text about Canterbury, also asking whether
someone could help me find NH.'s Missing Pieces. I got a nice answer very
soon from a certain Jim. and. M.

Can you please help me in finding the mysterious Jim and M. BECAUSE




From: "Tony Rizzo" <trizzo@javanet.com>
Subject: Question on Robert Wyatt
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 17:32:24 -0500

Hi Aymeric,

Just visited your CALYX website. Nice job! Found it very informative and
put together very well.

I have a question I was hoping you might be able to help me with.  I'm not
familiar with the work of Robert Wyatt.  On the CD Going Back A Bit there's
a song The Internationale.  Is that the communist Internationale?  I've
been looking for a recorded version of it in English with the original
lyrics, I was hoping I finally found one.

If you don't mind, I'd be interested in your opinion of the song or any of
his other work that you're familiar with.  From the song titles it looks
like he does a lot of protest/social commentary material and I enjoy that
type of music very much.



From: Marko Moranne <marko.m@wxs.nl>
Subject: Egg
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 15:32:39 +0100

Hi I wonder if you can help
I am trying to get a copy of "The civil surface" & Polite Force by EGG on CD (I have tried Virgin but they now tell me they're deleted from their catalogue...)
Any Ideas would be gratefully welcomed/recieved.

Kind Regards.
Mark Moranne.


From: Julien Cellario <yuhl@imcn.com>
Subject: WR
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 03:18:28 +0100

Hi Aymeric and all the Rattlers

I'm new on this digest, so here are my favorite Canterbury groups!
In fact it's not an easy  question. What am I supposed to say : what are, in my opinion, the best Canterbury bands, or what are those I adore? You might think it's probably the same; for example I love the first Matching Mole record but I think that Little red record is musically better...  In fact I've noticed that I often have a soft spot for the first Canterbury albums. Listen to how fresh Soft Machine's Volume Two still sounds, how delicate the first Hatfield and the North still is... Naturally, I found that the other albums are often resonantly better but I can't find the same newness.

Anyway here is my fav list

Soft Machine - Third
Hatfield & the North - first
Caravan - In the Land Of Grey and Pink

Now, in reply to Antonio (WR #112)

Hi toni,

I love Robert Wyatt too. I have no idea where you'll be able to find the Robert Wyatt's video but I have a book about his life and it's in... Italian !
The name is "Falsi Movimenti", it's written by Micheal King  (Arcana Editrici).

[Note: "Wrong Movements" is also available in its original English edition; there is also a French translation; sadly it lacks most of the articles and the translation is said to be appromixative sometimes - AL]

                    BCNU, Julien


From: Roger Farbey <mmr@easynet.co.uk>
Subject: Nucleus Gig
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 11:20:29 +0000


A happy 1999 to you and all WRers!
Further to Peter Lemer's message back in October (WR # 109) regarding a Nucleus gig, I recently received a flyer from the venue and am therefore very pleased to be able to confirm the details of this gig, which are as follows:- Ian Carr's Nucleus + Tony Coe, Art Theman, John Marshall (et al, apologies for not including everyone!). They are playing, amongst other things I believe, Neil Ardley's "Kaleidoscope of Rainbows".

Blackheath Concert Hall, Blackheath, London, England
Sunday 28th March 1999
tickets are 12 pounds 50 pence sterling and according to the box office, sales are quite brisk already so don't delay!
Box Office telephone number is: ++44 (0)181 463 010 (open Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm).
A very rare and extremely welcome opportunity to see one of the greatest jazz-rock bands of all time with some indubitable Canterbury connections.

Roger Farbey


                             An interview with
                              about their film
                          "LITTLE RED ROBIN HOOD"
                              on Robert Wyatt

Q: Can you first introduce yourselves in the perspective of your career as film directors. What have you done before this film?

A: Both Carlo and I are professional photographers and do not work together on a daily basis. I (Francesco) have my own studio, namely F38F, together with Paolo Mazzo and Mimo Visconti, while Carlo has his own studio by himself. He has recently set up another company with Enrico Grisanti, which is called XTV and that mainly makes audiovisuals. We never did any other films before "Little Red Robin Hood", however - given the satisfactory results of this project - we'll definitely try to give some little brothers to this newborn baby.

Q: When did you first discover Robert Wyatt and his music? Generally, discovering Robert's music is a very emotional and personal experience. Can you try to describe what your first reaction was?

A: I discovered Robert Wyatt when I was about fifteen years old, that is nineteen years ago (!). I must say that the influence of his music on my further cultural education has been fundamental. I was the one who introduced Carlo to Robert's work a few years ago, although he soon became an enthusiastic fan. From an emotional point of view, Robert's compositions have had a profound impact on me - right from the very beginning - and have opened the doors to new musical horizons compared to the kind of music I used to listen to before getting to know Robert's music.
I discovered the Jazz of great musicians and all the "avant-garde" rock thanks to Robert. And I must say that - after so many years of experience as a listener - I have never managed to find any other rock musician that was as interesting as him - the only exceptions being Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix, in different ways. As far as jazz is concerned, things are a bit different. In my humble opinion, Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker are on a same level as Robert and even, in the case of Mingus, maybe higher level.

Q: Technically, what was the reason for choosing to make a 1-hour film? And why black and white? How long did the shooting take? When? Who ordered the movie? What was the budget?

A: The length of the film had been originally planned in about 50 minutes, then we realized that the right length for a documentary film of this kind was around 60 minutes. Black and white was more of an aesthetic choice in order to make the available material as homogeneous and organic as possible. I think we shot something like 60-70 hours of footage, and this was done in the span of three years since April 1995.
The film was not realized on a commission basis. Everything was triggered off by our strong will (Carlo's and mine) and determination to make a documentary film on Robert Wyatt. As a matter of fact, there has never existed anything like a real production structure. We financed the actual production ourselves as the authors, while Rumblefish srl financed the entire post-production - in other words they co-produced the film. We had no actual budget when we started out. We have, however, a final balance that totals It. Lire 150 million approximately.

Q: The film is not based on archive material - there is a snippet of Soft Machine performing on TV in 1967, the "Shipbuilding" video and some amateur home movies from the 60s, but apart from that it's your material - interviews and "atmospheric" sequence showing places associated with Robert's career. Was this a conscious choice or also the result of limitations of available archives?

A: It is very complex to give a fully exhaustive answer as far as archive material is concerned. On the whole, we had to face three different types of limitations:
- Available budget, i.e. a limitation of an economic kind, since the costs for buying archive materials are prohibitive for a self-made production like ours.
- Aesthetic limitation, since we wanted to focus our attention more on Robert after the Soft Machine experience. This meant talking more about his solo career, thus also highlighting the human side of the artist.
- Ethical limitation: we learnt that Robert Wyatt never received any royalties from the sales of the Soft Machine records, so we felt it right to "boycott" the subject so as not to let people who do not deserve it take advantage of our talking about the band.

Q: An important part of the film consists of Robert's ex-collaborators talking about him and his music. Did you think they had the answers, or the key to the mystery of Robert's music? Did your perception of Robert as an artist change after hearing their points of view?

A: All the artists involved in the film answered the questions we asked them. Obviously enough, they also added some of their personal reflections. However, rather than simply asking exact questions, we usually asked them to talk about a subject in broad terms. Our opinion of Robert as an artist hasn't changed after hearing their points of view, on the contrary it has been enriched through them.

Q: What I like most about the film is its sense of "flow"; it's really built like a Robert Wyatt song, very dreamy but always going somewhere and proving a point. Was it your intention? Did you work a lot on the structure of the film, start all over again several times to find a good sequence?

A: Thank you very much for the compliment. However, we honestly do not believe
we actually managed to create a structure that is so harmonious with Robert's music. It is natural that his music has influenced us a lot and the fact that the sequences of images and the music should lead us somewhere - this had somehow been envisaged. The editing work has been very long, tiresome and demanding so that, in the end, there have been a lot of changes from the first editing to the final one.

Q: Because of the needs of the structure, the excerpts from the interviews are carefully selected and you probably threw away a lot of very interesting material to keep about 1 minute of each person speaking. Was it frustrating to be so selective? Do you plan to use the complete interviews sometime, or maybe give them to someone for transcript? (no! not me!)

A: During the final editing stages we tried hard to pretend we were potential viewers of the film, and especially potential Italian viewers, and we thought it was fundamental to have the contributions of a host of artists, however their scope of action had to be limited. Moreover, we were set on avoiding that the same artist came more than once on the screen both in order to get an idea of time flowing and to always move forwards. At the same time, it was very hard and frustrating to limit the interventions to a little time each. We still haven't thought of what we're going to do with the remaining interviews - for sure we could make yet another previously unreleased edition of the film!

Q: Robert came to Italy to support the launch of the film. It proves he feels very concerned about this declaration of love for his music. What was his opinion on the fact of making a film about him? He always seems reserved about the media attention he gets and doesn't seem to want to be a living legend... Did you sense that?

A: We think that - in the end - Robert always remains a person who is miles apart from the world of mass media. However, although he normally doesn't like to see himself on the video, he was happy with our work and also with that of the Independent Producers' Consortium that realized the tribute album "The Different You". At the Turin Music Exhibition, he said: "...this film has reminded me who I am, the CD has given me back my songs..."

Q: Apart from Hugh Hopper, the heart of the Canterbury scene is not much featured in the interviews - no other members of Soft Machine, Caravan, Wilde Flowers etc.; only Dave MacRae from Matching Mole but not Phil Miller or Bill MacCormick... How did you select who was going to be interviewed? Were some other musicians interviewed but not included in the final film?

A: There hasn't been an ideological selection, rather a contingent selection, that is a selection linked to all the problems encountered along the path. We left a message on MacCormick's answering machine, but we got no answer back. We have shot other interviews that we coudn't use for bureaucratic reasons or others. For instance, we have interviews with Kevin Ayers and Elton Dean of the Softs and Andy Summers (e.g. Andy's interview was simply marvellous, but he lives in L.A. and we couldn't find his address to have him sign the release). We also interviewed Fred Frith, Luis Moholo, John Greaves, Peter Blegvad and Dagmar Krause.

Q: How is the film distributed? Only on video? Has it been shown on TV?

A: The film is being distributed as a home video by Polygram/CPI in Italy, while it is being distributed in the UK by ReR Megacorp (Chris Cutler's company) that is also going to distribute it soon in some other European countries. We also have contacts for a would-be distribution in Japan. Furthermore, some European TV networks have already shown their interest in broadcasting the film - unfortunately no British channel seems to be interested in our film.

Q: What are your best memories of the making of this film? Any funny or enlightening anecdotes?

A: The best memories of the making of this film are mainly related to Robert. He has proved to be an extremely humble, generous, open-hearted, brilliant, witty and genuine human being. Most of all he has proved to be human. We think he has never lost the human dimension of life and this is what makes him unique. All the artists we met would deserve a few lines too, as they all revealed themselves as marvellous people. Suffice it to say that we contacted sacred "monsters" like Brian Eno, Nick Mason, Elvis Costello, Phil Manzanera, etc. with a simple fax on white paper (no letter-heading whatever) saying we were two unknown persons without any corporate structure to back us and that we wanted to make a documentary film on Robert Wyatt. They all answered right away, enthusiastically, and proud of being involved in a film that paid homage to such a rare musician.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*               FORTHCOMING CANTERBURY-RELATED CONCERTS                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX - see URL below]

Jan 07 - Montreuil (France), Instants Chavires

Jan 22 - Elancourt (France), venue unknown [tel:]
Jan 23 - Montereau (France), venue unknown [tel:]
Feb 26 - Valenciennes (France), Théatre le Phoenix [tel:]
Feb 27 - Faches-Tumesnil [near Lille] (France), Les Arcades [tel:]
Mar 06 - Jarny (France), Espace Gérard Philippe [tel:]

Jan 15 - Montreuil (France), Instants Chavires
Jan 21 - Paris (France), Theatre Dunois [with Lydia Domancich]

Jan 13 - San Francisco, Great American Music Hall
Jan 14 - Seattle
Jan 16 - New York, Bottom Line

Jan 22 - Poitiers (France)
Apr 06 - Paris, festival Banlieues Bleues

Mar 15 - Paris, festival Banlieues Bleues

Feb 09 - Villejuif (France), Sons d'Hiver
Feb 11 - Gent (Netherlands), Vooruit
Feb 13 - Vienna (Austria)
Feb 14 - Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Feb 17 - Esslingen (Germany)
Feb 18 - Munich (Germany)
Feb 20 - Dortmund (Germany)
Feb 21 - Zurich (Switzerland)
Feb 22 - Florence (Italy)
Feb 23 - Marseille (France)
Feb 24 - Bordeaux (France)
Feb 25 - Coimbra (Portugal)

Apr 14 - Torino(Italy)
Apr 15 - Roma (Italy)              
Apr 16 - Verona (Italy)
Apr 17 - Meldola(Italy)
Apr 18 - Bolzano (Italy)
Apr 19 - Milano (Italy)

Jan 26-30 - Paris (France), La Maroquinerie
[23 r. Boyer, 20e arr. /]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                            END OF ISSUE 115


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