The Green Man
Science Friction HUCD033 (2000)
Album available as:-
(Science Friction HUCD033)
going to carry on with 'thedreamsociety', get part two ready, but
songs that were very much of the present, in the present started to
arrive, as they would. 'New England' and, to some extent, 'Glasto'
should perhaps have been on the next volume of dreamsoc. I guess that
the new seam all started as soon as 'The Green Man' became a fact
of life.The songs were becoming even more reflective.
At the moment I seem to be compelled to write. I shouldn't really
be going out on the road. I'll enjoy it when I do, but I think that
it would be better if I was at home to catch some more of the muse.
'Rushing Camelot', 'Wishing Well', 'The Monster', 'All In All', and
'The Green Man', are all peas out of this new pod. I will hope that
I can get back to it soon.
I had an idea to keep this record purely acoustic. I succeeded in
the main. The only non-acoustic instrument is Johnny Fitz's Fender
Rhodes sound on 'The Monster'. I felt like I wanted to go back to
my real roots. It did me good. I decided not to have bass and drums
as such. Not because I've become anti rhythm section or anything stupid,
but because I needed to get nearer to the real heart of me.
I recorded the songs entirely alone other than when Jeff (Martin)
was in the studio. (14 days). Jeff gave me a hand when it came to
recording his bits. I particularly like his mandolin on 'Sexy Woman'.
Jeff brought 2 items into the place. A great heart: and complete chaos.
We had quite a time.....
This has been a lot of work. In particular, reading the manuals whilst
recording masters is not the best of ideas. But I really badly wanted
to make a new record. And make it by myself. So I just started. In
the past I have been lazy about the technology in some ways. Not about
the knowledges of the stuff I work with on the road, for instance,
But I was reticent about getting too far into the patchbay. I always
knew that it would take time away from a more measured, leisurely
input into the writing.
But eventually I have had to forget about any such predjuces and get
stuck in. After all, knowledge is power. And consequently I now feel
that as soon as I get back from the road trip I will be heading straight
back to the studio for another round. I've really enabled myself...
Because I had to. In the past I have relied too much on others for
the technology. Sometimes you loved them doing it because it was part
of an act of love. But the more you get to know it, the easier it
becomes. I guess that some of it was laziness, some romantic, and
the rest was perhaps being too precious about my writing time; and
feeling the need to separate the two. But in the end it may be best
to combine them. If you want something doing.....
It's a lot more work, and sometimes it's a slog; but there's a great
freedom comes with it. The most difficult thing is to keep hold of
the muse whilst you try to remember that having a digital input to
the machine is disabling the varispeed function. And etc. etc...
I wouldn't be able to be a mercenary engineer. To have to make a record
of something that I didn't particularly like. Or record someone I
didn't really get on with. I think that music has to be recorded by
people who are emotionally involved in it. Otherwise I would think
that it would be mainly technical and rather empty. Although I don't
have many musical predjudices at all, I just love working with music.
'All In All' is a song based on a thought I picked up while reading
Aldous Huxley's 'Doors Of Perception' in the 1960s. It is a theme
that I suppose goes a long way back into human pre-history. Perhaps
even hundreds of thousands of years. It could very well be that The
Green Man is one of many human icons in that kind of an emotional
journey; some kind of tangible longevity of spirit. Living participation
in the magics of renewal. Day to day stuff.
'Rushing Camelot' is on the increase. Difficult questions to face.
Whodunit? And everyone looks round. And points; but it's the hall
of mirrors... And there's only one person in there. His sexual preferences
stray right across to hers. And sometimes it's just her stood there.
Just lately she's been standing alone in there for most of the time.
Metamorphing. Being abetted by dozens of body-snatcher movies and
accosted by thousands of X-files repeats. As life goes on.... Switched
off in the carriage on the way to work. Switched off in the crowded
supermarket on Saturday... Switched off in front of the tube every
night. Switched off at school. Flicking the switch back on during
I love the touch of skin. A sensuous life. Mouth and tongue are the
most sensitive to touch. I have lived for it. For what the tongue
can behold, the eyes can only see. I am often amused by the shape
of faces. The mouth has perhaps the most function, which is odd when
I see someone stood on their head. Children will do it dozens of times
a day. Look at you with an upside down face. Compelling to see someone
in a different way. It wouldn't of course be very convenient with
the mouth positioned above the eyes. The odd drop of chili sauce wouldn't
go down the face that well.
Sometimes I can look at someone I love and see her as I imagine a
complete alien would see her. Different bits moving independently.
Components of face and body in moments of random arrangement. But
with certain people, no matter how randomly you care to arrange their
features, they are still beautiful. And yet some who are regarded
as world renowned beauties can often have components which are conventionally
ugly. However, this can become guff at the blink of an eye as someone
who has a lot of quite ordinary features turns out to be really sexy.
Not wild over the top nympho, which may be good for an hour or two
now and then, but more composed, knowing and confident. Able to spend
the day at peace. Able to impart confidence with her manner. The dance
is only rarely formalised with the feet. The rest of the time it's
a whole body experience. 'Sexy woman'.
I hate seeing road accidents. I avoid them if I can. It's always disturbing
to see demise. And yet our society seems to be addicted to it. Addicted
to watching misfortune. I suppose that it makes compelling viewing
because our imaginations are made to run rife with ideas of what we
ourselves would do if confronted in similar circumstances. Armchair
adrenalin. Easy chips to feed to the gaping hoard. Ah.. yes... the
gaping hoard. 'The Monster'. It's now debatable whether he'll ever
get the vote again... or ever need it...
I don't want to be or to seem too cynical about our life and times,
but I can't help wondering about what someone like Jacob Bronovski
would have said about the building of the millennium dome. Would he
have described it as a great triumph of man's imagination; or would
he perhaps have favoured a school and a new hospital on the same site,
as a present to the nation. And for what? To celebrate the turning
of a plentiful winter solstice. Or to mark 2 thousand years since
the real beginning of our inner emotional wherewithal being usurped
by a particularly heinous strain of god squad holier than thou violence.
The Monster lives. And the muslim separatists take hostages, because
they want a slice. And the mechanical laughing clown outside The Fun
House at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is not only a figment of history.
Check back for more on 'Glasto', 'New England', 'The Apology', 'Wishing
Well', 'Midnight Sun', 'Solar Wind Sculptures' and 'The Green Man'....tbc...
- Roy Harper
album only being available via www.royharper.co.uk has an interesting mix of songs. (***Now available from other sites)
Harper teamed up with Jeff
Martin (lead singer from a Canadian group called The Tea Party)
on quiet a few of the songs. Martin being a good friend of Harper,
and also a highly talented musician who plays a variety of instruments
including the Hurdy Gurdy, bongos and 12-string guitar. Not one of
Harpers strongest albums to date, but worth checking out.
The Green Man (Harper)
2. Wishing Well (Harper)
3. Sexy Woman (Harper)
4. The Apology (Harper)
5. Midnight Sun (Harper)
6. Glasto (Harper)
7. The Monster (Harper)
8. New England (Harper)
9. Solar Wind Sculptures (Harper)
10. Rushing Camelot (Harper)
11. All In All (Harper)
Roy Harper: Guitar &
Jeff Martin: Hurdy Gurdy, 12 String Slide, Electric Guitar, Mandolin,
Recorder, Bongos, Tamborine, Right Shaker.