Splinters

WHAT IS SPLINTERS?

The original Splinters project started in 1999. The basic idea was to challenge the mailing list members to produce audio works for the enjoyment of the other members, to show their creativity. It also included a vote for the best track, which was won by Adam Leonard's "The Great Roy Harper".

The project was wildly successful and spawned a CD made by and for the list members with various wonderful tracks. It was followed by a "Splinters Live" (aka Splinters 2) CD made from tapes of the Stormcock list gathering event on the weekend of Roy's 60th birthday bash at the Royal Festival Hall; we hired a bar and set up a gig area and assorted list members performed live.

In late 2006 and early 2007 we had another go. Things have moved in since the original project; some members have left, others have joined. Home recording techniques have improved. Electronic distribution of music has become commonplace.

 

Here are the submissions. They are all in MP3 format. I truly hope you enjoy them; feel free to burn the tracks to CD or share with your friends but you may not sell these tracks for any material gain; this is a non-profit undertaking. Thanks.

Track Author/Submitter Notes
Rambling Boys Pavlov's Cat, submitted by James Hibbins You can find out more about the band at http://www.pavlovscat.co.uk/. The track presented here was offered for free download from their site originally. James is on main vocals/guitar.
You Are The One Elliot Knapp "I've got a submission for you from an album I recorded a couple years ago. It's called "You Are The One." It's most noticeably tied to Roy inasmuch as the band is called The Same Old Rock, and probably influenced in countless other ways as well. I wrote the song and play everything on it except the drum kit at the end, although my friend Arthur plays bass guitar on the rest of the album. The song is generally about a loss/souring of innocence, imagination, and ideals. Don't know if I'll be submitting any more from the album because I feel like my song-writing has since improved and a lot of the album on recent listening sounds a little more immature than I'd like--sometimes I'd rather be my own biggest fan than my own biggest critic. Anyway, hopefully it'll be a worthy addition, and maybe I can submit one of the demos I'm currently working on in the next couple months."
Dorothea Richard Benjamin "Please find attached my two offerings for the splinters project. One is a solo guitar piece ...
She Said Richard Benjamin ... and the second is a song featuring myself mostly, but with two non Stormcock members in support."
Disorder Nick Lane "As threatened, here's the track done by my lad Richard and his chums, last year. Recorded at Gloucester's Guildhall; Richard plays bass, Claire is on vocals, Ant plays lead guitar and Joe plays drums. Despite their energy, they've all gone separate ways to Uni or whatever; maybe they'll pick it up again."
Star of the Show Porvari, submitted by Simon Meader "Porvari are vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Sam Whimpenny and myself, Simon Meader (Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, Harmonica, Appalachian Dulcimer and the odd bit of vocals, but playing mandolin on this particular song!)

Star of the Show, written by Sam, started life a punk rock thrash and has gradually mellowed with age. 30 years later it sounds like this version, recorded live at the Eastbourne Underground Theatre in May 2006.

Hope you like it!

For more about Porvari visit our website www.porvari.co.uk and our My Space page www.myspace.com/porvari. We are currently recording a CD which we are aiming to release before the end of the year."
Nothing To Fear Simon Morris "The song itself is a self written piece. Whilst undergoing a rather messy divorce I picked up with old friends I hadn't seen for years. The chord sequence came about as I was helping one (who got me into Roy Harper in the first place-how are you doing Mr Timothy May?) to pick up guitar again after a long break. I was also starting to play again with my old Folk compadre, Lisa Watson (nee Cameron) & she bought me tickets to see Roy on his last tour in Derby. I realised how much I missed them & my other friends over the years & how much help & support I got at a very rough time in my life from them & that feeling somehow became the lyrics (attached).
So I guess I'd like to dedicate it to these two & all my other old mates in & out of the folk scene for being there when I needed them.
Some debts you can never repay.

Nothing To Fear

Small acts of unkindness how easily they blind us,
To what we should see,
Their cynicism binds us leaves us almost mindless,
Of what we could be,
Wherever winds may blow, wherever you may go,
 I will always be near,
Though time & tide divide us, their mists will never hide us,
There is nothing to fear,
Nothing to fear.

 A moments inattention is barely cause to mention,
When our path is so clear,
Our own lack of perfection's no reason for deflection,
From the course we should steer,
So close your ears to lies, open your eyes,
To what words cannot say,
Though small souls criticize those who aim to rise,
Hope won't lead us astray,
Won't lead us astray.

 The futures hidden land lies closer to hand,
Than we might believe,
The pain we'll leave behind in a time we will not mind,
There's no reason to grieve,
If others seek to censure our spirit of adventure,
Their words we won't hear,
Never will we part from whats written in our hearts,
There is nothing to fear,
Nothing to Fear.

(c) Simon Morris, 2004"

Open C busking outside Tescos 1990 Andrew Watterson "They used to call me 'Waterfall Watterson' but I've changed it to 'Warts'n'all Watterson' as these tracks are unpractised first out-takes with all intentional mistakes included and not air-guitar brushed out.. notwithstanding all that!.........Enjoy!!"
Open Gminor busking in Sainsbury's subway 1992 Andrew Watterson "Please excuse the bit where I get lost three-quarters of the way through in this Cinderella maze.. I was just passing through... round the bend and trying to find my way back again!"
Deep (Butler) Adunda (submitted by Kev Butler) "I wrote this with the cello part in mind. We tried a real cello player from a local orchestra but she found it difficult to overdub and we had a nightmare with tunings. In the end we decided it would be easier to ship in a local keyboard whiz and he utilised samples to build up a fuller string sound."
Stay (Butler/Crawford) Adunda (submitted by Kev Butler) "We're conquering a world, with phasers set to stun". A fuller band track featuring Neil Robinson (then of the James Taylor Quartet) on drums.
Good to be back (in the field) Andy Roberts "Attached is my submission for Splinters 3 - recorded this morning in two straight takes. I can't remember when the deadline is supposed to be but I promised myself I'd do something in November and the month was in danger of slipping away, so I got up and did it just like that, and felt happy with myself for making the effort afterwards.

The song is my own composition as per the rules, written about 5 years ago in a field in the middle of Gloucestershire somewhere, and then never completed with music until today."

Packing Away Alex Stone "This track is 'Packing Away' - a minimalist musing on the passing of the last of my parents. The reference to the boat is because I spent my childhood on the Mersey estuary - only this minute have I realised that it could be an unconscious borrowing from 'Song Of The Ages'!"
Living A Lie Jon Pollard "I've just looked through some old files and found a couple of tracks that I thought I'd contribute to splinters, well here's the first one anyway. They were both recorded a few years ago as part of a cd that never really saw the light of day."
Ten Years Ago Jon Pollard "and here is the second track"
Like Me James Hanley / The Saddads "recorded live in my bedroom - hope the sound quality is good enough (& the song quality!)"
Folklore Graeme Dutton "I wanted to get some time to record some new stuff, but as we are trying to move house, I am fast running out of time. So Here is a piece I recorded about 2-3 years ago while working in Cheltenham, called Folklore. I got a little wrapped up in time rapidly disappearing, and people losing the simple things in life like accents, traditions, respect etc... Anyway it's a song that I like for what it is, and will be re-visited at some juncture. I will try and submit another before Crimbo. "
Border Crossing Peter Rockcliffe (myspace.com/reverbeffect) "Border Crossing is about the refugees of Bosnia and Kosovo and a message of hope
(Instrumental)"
You Say Peter Rockcliffe (myspace.com/reverbeffect) "a jazzy number that plays on the idea of indecisiveness" (featuring vocals sung by my daughter Hannah who is the MBF Songwriting Awards 2006 Winner."
Progressive Shift Phil McHoul "It's a rambling 15 minute neo-prog workout entitled Progressive Shift and is split into 3 distinct sections (*not* movements):
1. Gliss Of Life
2. Jam Jah
3. The Spanish Imposition

The first section is of significance to Stormcock as it features a poem by original Splinters "winner" Adam Leonard regarding the Manchester Apollo.

The track is credited to fictional band The Drugged Onions but I recorded the lot myself in the summer (in my bedroom) using a Tascam 4 track (tape) portastudio."
Shrink Wrap Ian Duckett "Its about 2 peaple we all know......hope you like.."
The Unofficial National Anthem Mick Bordet / The Lunacy Board "The Lunacy Board are a progressive / experimental / folky / whoknowswhatelse band recently formed by myself and another Harpernaut to make the music we want to hear, because nobody else will. Our first song has just been made available for download on our website, and we'd like to offer it up to Splinters as it should have some appeal to some Stormcockers, covering lyrical territory familiar to Roy aficionados.

Musically we have influences ranging from Can, Robert Wyatt, Van der Graaf Generator, Roy Harper and Jethro Tull via Conlon Nancarrow, Xenakis and Harry Partch right through to the Bonzos, Ivor Cutler and Syd Barrett. The track "The Unofficial National Anthem" has been described as Eno-like krautrock, and features instrumentation as diverse and obscure as electric harmonium and theremin.

We hope you enjoy it!"
Elusive Lady Amila Y'Mech "Here is a recording I made some years ago. As a new member of Stormcock, I'd like to join in as fully as possible and this is probably the most Harperish of my renderings. It's called Elusive Lady and was recorded at Grosvenor Studio in Birmingham in 1981 on analogue tape. I pulled it out of storage in 2001, baked it because the tape had deteriorated too far to play without doing so, and then had a student at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts digitalize it for me. I'm still writing and playing and will send something more recent in due course."
Gernika Andy Roberts "As promised, I have a second contribution to the current Splinters, to go alongside "Back in the field", this one is called "Gernika".

The song is a long one at 8:35 and covers a grave historical subject which is also an uplifting personal story. But I think the most important thing to say about it here is that the recording is not just a production "for" splinters but is also in some part "of" the community in that I asked for and received a lot of useful feedback on previous versions from more than a handful of stormcockers through the list. This distributed review process was an experiment which bore rich rewards in that it gave me both general encouragement and also detailed criticism with which to make improvements to the final track. I would recommend doing this to future splinters contributors, and the reviewers seemed to appreciate it too.

For further details about the song including lyrics, background story, photos, chords and even a Basque translation please visit http://distributedresearch.net/blog/music/gernika-guernica/

Myspacers please connect with me on http://www.myspace.com/theandyroberts"
So Much More Elliot Knapp "So Much More" is a demo I've been working on off and on for a while. Since it's home grown, it still sounds much better on headphones. It's sort of an existential manifesto--a call to cast off those pre-determined rules and decide what this world is about for yourself (perhaps along with another person), set to a fun progressive folk structure and more than a couple nods to Roy.
The Man in the Bottle Paul Chilcott "Hope its not too late for a last minute contribution to Splinters ("The Man in the Bottle" - attached). I'm new to this recording game, so its taken me a while to get to this point."


PROJECT INFO

The project has officially ended.
Please note that by sending me a "Splinters 3" submission you are giving me permission to post the audio file on the Internet and it will, therefore, be freely downloadable and will not be copy protected. If later on we decide to make a CD or look at alternative distribution methods, I will seek your permission again before acting. I.e., you are giving me one-off non-exclusive permission to distribute your work on-line as part of the "Splinters 3" project for no monetary gain to either you or I, but you retain all rights to your work.

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Iffy link?

The link to Graeme's Folklore track just sends me back to the homepage.  All the others seem to work.

pd's picture

Thanks for spotting that

Thanks for spotting that Steve, fixed now (I hope).

Blimey!

That was quick!  Thanks.

herbedaceous's picture

Porvari - Star Of The Show

Great to have been part of the Splinters III project and have the chance to listen to other Stormcockers -  what a talented bunch we are, but then we are united by a common taste in some great music to start with

Getting our CD together before the end of 2006 proved a bit ambitious, but Porvari finally made it into the studio in June of this year and we're on target to get the CD released during the autumn. In the meantime a "better" version of our Splinters submission "Star Of The Show" plus three other songs from the same session have been posted on our MySpace Page

Please pay us a vist, have a listen and let us know what you think!

All the Best

Simon