Artist Ian Johnstone has died at his home in Spain, aged just 47 years. He collaborated with Coil on live performances and the artwork for several of their albums (Remote Viewer, Black Antlers, …And The Ambulance Died In His Arms, Ape of Naples) and latterly with Ulver and Mothlite as well as producing some powerful performance pieces (see the clip above of him as ‘Ark Todd’, performing with Ulver). He was a farmer, a bee keeper. He was also a good friend of mine and one of the wisest, kindest souls I ever met. I could write at length about this extraordinary man and his extraordinary life, but I’m devastated at this news. Please spare a thought for his loved ones.
Have a look at Daniel O’Sullivan’s site: most notably for news of the (vinyl) release of the Laid To Rest collaboration with Serena KordaandIan Johnstone’sartwork for Mothlite’s forthcoming album. The link to the music clips don’t appear to be working, but search him out via Mothlite at Soundcloud. Laid To Rest I find especially interesting – strange, processional music for a strange procession.
I finally got hold of Mister B. Gone by Clive Barkerbut have allowed myself only to read one page. It has a smattering of humour but no trace of whimsy – yet. I’m halfway through Daughters of Fire and must finish it. It’s very different to the fiction I usually read (and any fiction is different to what I usually read). I’d say it was lighter, but much of it concerns pre-Roman Britain and some very spiritual stuff concerning Celtic beliefs regarding death and the soul. So perhaps the style is lighter (and therefore much more commercially successful) but the subject matter is not. It seems Barbara Erskine experienced quite a spiritual awakening while she was researching/writing it. I haven’t interviewed anyone for years now but if she were to visit Cornwall I think I’d make an exception and join the queue on the phone line to her agent.
After a couple of days away from Everything amongst the sand dunes on the other side of the peninsular, I’m organising myself to hopefully continue the momentum that’s built up over this year. I’m almost finished on a final run through of The Falling Man – more tweaking than I thought still to do – because I want to get it out to a magazine this week. My newest story, Pieces, is changing as I write it. Not in the general premise, but some of the detail needs to be more… apocalyptic. Blame the presence of a new Barker book in the house for that, plus Coil’s Winter Solstice: North continually playing in the background. And after some thought and encouragement from various people, I’m going to start work on part 2 of the Darkworlds story (currently on this website’s ‘Short Story’ section). My life is very different to when I began writing the original, so I’m not totally convinced of how successful it will be, but it feel like the right thing to do to try.
And how is Kzinefaring, I wonder? I have no idea how popular Kindle is, either with writers or readers. The price of buying the magazine is certainly extremely good value although I notice version two of Kindle is already available.
A track from my sister’s old band A Strange Desire has popped up on YouTube, and I’m shamelessly linking to it. It’s a great pop song, recorded in 1987 in the wake of The Smiths. I find a lot of the pop groups from that time rather twee but I liked ASD. They played The Timebox a few times, a pub in Chalk Farm (north London) that showcased a lot of such bands. There’s a compilation album around somewhere.
I was thinking of going to Bosiliak Barrow yesterday. It’s a beautiful little Scillonian type chambered cairn. There’s some excavation work going on on nearby settlements, and yesterday was an open day. I was nearby at Lanyon Quoit and saw a group of people around the cairn but didn’t join them. When the vegetation dies down (or gets ripped out by the coming storm) I’ll return for a proper look. These places are always better when they’re quiet, although some archaeologicial information would have been interesting.
Meanwhile, no pop songs for me as I write. Instead, some Daniel O’Sullivan wierdness, or the story will just be too happy.