on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2019 31 Mrz


von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 8 Comments


The Night Life


There is a part of me

that cannot figure out

how it is we ever got here–

you already divorced at twenty-five

and the pair of us thumbing lifts

up and down the Mesoamerican coast

we have imagined as escape.


Where bad ice has made us sick

and not the zero-hour

drinking sessions with people

off-handedly travelling the world,

staking claims to real estate

beyond the bounds of credit

or the merely physical.


No matter how tough the bodies,

how overrun with plastic fibres,

how swollen with cancer,

to beat no more

than exactly a billion times,

if unhindered,

is the only application of the heart.


written by Will Burns,

part of the album „Chalk Hill Blue“

with Hannah Peel


This entry was posted on Sonntag, 31. März 2019 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Who would like to make an excellent translation into the German language space?

  2. Martina Weber:

    Das kann ich übernehmen. Erster Vorschlag: Den bestimmten Titel in der Überschrift weglassen, das stärkt den Text :)

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Very good, just do it, and the honorary mention will be done with grace and admiration🐥 i wanna have this track,in the show, it‘s musically fantastic, too.

  4. Martina Weber:

    Die Übertragung in German language space (wunderbarer Ausdruck) schicke ich dir per Mail. Wahrscheinlich aber erst am Montag.

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Keine Eile, die Nacht im Radio ist erst am 20. April.

    Im Moment ändern sich noch die Titel der ersten zwei Stunden, weil ab und zu tolle Klänge im Postfach auflaufen, etwa die neue Fennesz.

  6. Joe Creely:

    Poet-musician collaborations are often hit and miss affairs but Hannah Peel and Will Burns have made their first collaborative project a quietly brilliant work. Burns’ words are used sparingly across Chalk Hill Blue. Although often dwarfed by Peel’s soundscapes, it works majestically – her instrumentation sculpting the landscapes, his words populating it.

    This is at its finest on THE NIGHT LIFE.

    Peel’s instrumentation is minimal,

    just a twitchy kick drum pattern

    and a distant clatter of a snare roll,

    as Burns reads a beautifully observed piece

    of quiet bar room desperation.

    Just as he seems to give out,

    collapsing under the quiet horror

    of the described evening,

    Peel’s instrumentation bursts into life

    in a Penderecki meets the Jaws theme music maelstrom.

    It’s passages like this that give the record a greater musical range than a lot of poet-musician collaborations without feeling like it loses its essential sense of place.

    Chalk Hill Blue deals in evocations of rural Britain but steers clear of both bland pastorals and lazy folk-horror inflected paranoia, instead providing glimpses and snippets of life to delicately and gradually create an impression of a central character and their community.

    There are beautiful descriptions of the rural landscape on Spring Dawn On Mad Mile, Peel conjuring little synth flourishes that creak like garden gates over a sodden bass drone.

    Then there’s penultimate track Summer Blues where Burns gives an utterly harrowing account of depressive domestic claustrophobia over wandering muted piano, the emotional murk present throughout the record, drifting into focus but never becoming completely clear.

    On Chalk Hill Blue Peel and Burns manage to balance a terrible sadness with moments of absolute beauty. It’s a record both run through with a real darkness, the feeling of circling but never quite coming to grips with some unnamed trauma, but also an attempt to move on, to seek out compassion and beauty in the natural world and the people around you.

  7. Martina Weber:

    It´s interesting that you mention the unnamed trauma, Joe, because that´s exactly what I felt when reading and translating the poem „Ridgeway“, which scetches a visit at the mother´s house. You feel there´s something beyond your consciousness, you can´t grab it. Family affair, collective uncounsciousness, collective memory. Just a few words and you feel it. It´s brilliant. I´m looking forward to listening to the music.

  8. Michael Engelbrecht:

    I don‘t know about the vinyl, but the cd does NOT contain the lyrics, therefore an excellent text by Will.

    This album is one of the most fascinating ways of combining lyrics and music i have ever heard, really belongs in the masterclass of Rühmkorff‘s two ECM cds (totally different though), or the collaboration of Eno with Holland.

    Lyrics and music can easily get a touch of pretentious artsy fartsy, and then again it can move directly under your skin.

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