is Oliver Cherer, an English artist who makes quiet, reflective semi-organic music, a hybrid of analog electronic sounds, innovative soundprocessing and percussive acoustic instrumentation.
I can do that very easily without stimulants. I’d play «Live At Leeds» – adrenalin on vinyl.
I never play music after I’ve been out. I used to until I discovered one morning just how loud I’d been playing it. My neighbours were very unhappy.
This beautiful 16th Century forty-part choral piece, for eight choirs of five voices each, is meant to be performed with the audience surrounded by the singers. I want to have a bubble bath in the middle of a choir singing that please.
All the obvious stuff. I really enjoy cooking for friends, but I tend to overdo testing the wine and port beforehand, so by the time I start cooking, I’m usually completely plastered and I forget to put certain ingredients in. Then burn the food and myself. I also lose track of time and then we end up eating at 2am.
«The Ballroom Blitz» always puts me in a good mood for a night out.
I love yodeling records. I wish I could yodel. I love all of it: Alpine yodeling, choirs, solo, Western style. It always helps my Yorkshire puddings rise.
Something I can sing along to, very loudly.
Performing the «Ramayana Monkey Chant», on my own, naked, with a pair of pants on my head. I think I actually did this once.
I don’t drive, but I have an early memory of a car journey across snow covered hills with «Monsieur Dupont» playing on the radio.
I love Blixa Bargeld’s voice, it’s so warm, rich and soothing on «Nagorny Karabach». I wish he could come and sing me lullabies when I can’t sleep.
«I Keep A Close Watch»: What an odd little song. It’s so short and to the point. Very pretty though, and full of Welsh melancholia. Speaking of which, «Myfanwy», a Welsh song of lost love from the 19th century, I’ve only heard performed by male voice choirs, is achingly sad. Another is «For No One», the expression bittersweet hardly begins to describe this.
Whatever’s playing at the time. An ex-girlfriend was hugely into rockabilly, so we’d hump away to the strains of Tav Falco, The Cramps, that sort of thing. It wasn’t very romantic, but it was sort of… frantic.
The faster the tempo, the faster you work. If I played a loop of «Angelfish Decay», from Peter Greenaway’s «Zed And Two Noughts» film, I’d have my house painted in about ten minutes. Barrel Organ music, Fairground Organs, Band Organs – they always tend to be up-tempo and jolly.
I’m a very nervous flyer. I need a lot of distracting. I’ve just loaded up my mp3 player with a lot of P.G. Wodehouse short stories. I’d listen to those.
The first Sauna I went in was a mixed one in Germany back in the 70's. Ah, those were the days. Out every night getting blind drunk with Euro Disco and Heino records on the jukebox. But I had a real fondness for David Bowie’s «Lodger» album at that time. What a great, under-rated record that is.
My parents used to live in the Tower of London. That was fairly spooky. I would hear the bugler play the last post during the Ceremony of the Keys. One of the Beefeaters was in one of the Scottish Highland regiments, and he would play laments on the bagpipes as he’d walk around the Tower at night, wonderful stuff. I’d listen to my mother’s collection of John Holt’s Lover’s Rock, or my father’s Johnny Cash records. I never saw any ghosts though.
Well, I was riding the tube the other day, and I was completely lost listening to «Devil Rides». It’s got a great vocal by Roky Erickson. I also admire the way Rachel Unthank & The Winterset’s version of Robert Wyatt’s «Sea Song» can separate me from my surroundings. «Spiralling Skeleton Memorial» does the same thing.
I tend to listen to the news first thing when I wake up. But when I’m heading out of the door, I like something upbeat.
Johan Sebastian Bach. You can hear the numbers in the music can’t you? «Prog» is a favourite too.
Now, when I think about it, it’s a weird little tune.
At St John's Church in Waterloo in about 2002. It was a gig in support of homeless charities and the homeless were given free admission. Security seemed to be three old ladies and they were no match for the street-drinkers who came in and interupted the intimate piano/vocal show. One chap lunged up the aisle drunkenly gargling the phrase, «mars bars!». Marrianne sat in front of the altar, lit a fag and told a story about Harry Nilsson’s body disappearing down an LA earthquake crack whilst the offender was removed. Then another bloke found his way into the balcony where the organ was and started playing randomly and atonally. Her pianist jammed along so it all sounded like Captain Nemo playing Schoenberg in a cocktail lounge. The whole atmosphere was the perfect setting for her raw interpretations of Brecht & Weil and Jaques Brel.
I have tried rewriting this too many times. Time to stop.
The soundtrack to Coppola’s best film. Terrifying solo piano.
Still evokes that feeling. Shivers!
From «Festival Session». One of a small handful of cool records in my parents’ collection of mainly classical records.
I like the idea of people sniggering at the back as I’m disappearing into the oven.
It’s an imagined summer of course and so much better than if I’d been there, I’m sure. My imagined summer lasted forever and everyone was sun-kissed and golden and had stars in their hair. It only ever rained in order to be poetic about the rain. Then they bulldozed it and built a flyover through it all. It was bound to happen.
Wrong on every level. Great.
«Love Hurts»: such perfect threadbare frailty! Or «Sonny's Letter». It’s completely tragic as he knows he’s breaking his mum’s heart. Blimey, that brings me to the edge of tears just thinking about it. Oh wait, there’s another one: «Highway Patrolman» off Bruce Springsteen’s «Nebraska». Or what about «Wreck On The Highway»? The list goes on.
Jazz-rock-funk so stupid it’s almost inverted. Actually I may be the only person that dances to this. Jazz-rock-funk can’t be right, can it? And «The Crunch»: Discoglitter? You don’t want to come to MY party…
I had the money for Elvis’ «40 Greatest» but the shop didn’t have it and I had to buy a record. I knew it was a big day, it was my first.
«Stardust»: «Sometimes I wonder why I spend my lonely nights dreaming of a song, the memory haunts my reverie and I am once again with you…»