Be Still

Chris Priestley

I’m standing in the driveway of the house where we used to live in Norfolk

It’s morning and there’s been a sharp frost. The gravel beneath my boots is bonded together by ice. The sky is pale grey. The air is cold in my throat. I see my breath rise up in visible wisps.

And then the barn owl floats in on my left side.

Not just silently, but broadcasting silence – like another thing might scatter sound.

I tell myself to be still, then, as it flutters past, it turns its face and looks straight at me; palely beautiful and inscrutable.

It’s only interest in me is in assessing any potential threat I pose and it quickly decides I am of no interest at all.

I watch it floating away across the lawn, past our arthritic old apple trees, and on towards the dirt track leading up to the…

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Wyrd Daze

a sonic painting by Eph

1 Alexia Avina – Inner Garden
2 numün -Tranceport
3 Ela Minus – Close (feat. Helado Negro)
4 Polypores – Foil
5 Maarja Nuut and Ruum – World Inverted
6 Salvatore Mercatante – Foundation Eight: The Question of Obstinacy
7 LAL – Meteors Could Come Down
8 Johnny Woods – Cube Of Worship

Special thanks to thatSFXguy on YouTube for his excellent collection of film and tv sound effects.

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Remapping Cultural Hauntology: An American Perspective

Mediated Signals

The first three releases on the Ghost Box label

Since 2005, when Simon Reynolds and Mark Fisher first used the term “hauntology” to describe the music being released on the Ghost Box label and by fellow travelers working in a similar vein, the word has gone fractal. What I mean by this, is that it has taken on new shades of meaning without losing its original sense. Although the term is admittedly sometimes misused, in general this seems to be one of those rare cases where a word moves from academia into the wider (albeit still somewhat fringe) culture, and becomes all the richer for it. As part of this evolution, thousands of pages have been written during the last decade or so on the implications of hauntology in the context of popular culture. But within the more casual discourse of social media and the blogosphere, the word has come…

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Wyrd Daze Seven: Hookland

Wyrd Daze

Best experienced in the PDF zine

The Broken Oak, Damsel’s Cross

Some taverns tell their tales in the free public library of swinging signs. Some like The Broken Oak will only give up their strange stories if you venture inside. While its name and sign is simple memorial to a lightning-tortured tree that once stood on the village green, once inside, the establishment offers a unique look at old method of dealing with troublesome spirits. For the price of a pint, you can take a look at its perpetually locked ‘ghost room’.

In the late 18th century, The Broken Oak was so troubled by an unruly spirit that scratched and scarred both the landlord’s wife, her young maid and several of its patrons, that a ghost-layer was called. When the sanctions of the Church of England were unable to end the spiritual terror, the services of the cunning folk were…

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The Burial Ground

burial ground (4)

Not far from my old neighborhood is a burial ground, the site of a mass grave for settlers who did not survive the first part of the journey inland. Some succumbed to cholera, some to a poisoned well, some to the harsh conditions at Carlschafen, on the bay.

Sometimes I would walk here at night, well aware that my ancestors’ journey could have ended in this place. The ones who remain don’t even have a plaque to mark their names. They are all but forgotten.

The sense of any presence is vague and thin, as if the place is determined to forget its own history too. But who can say? Perhaps this cat sees more than I  do.

Brief Thoughts on David Lynch

Corse Present

Lynch’s films are often thought of as being dreamlike but he seems to have a very particular way of presenting such dream scenarios in his work. Here, I’m thinking about the LA trilogy, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire. In the first two in particular there seems to be a dichotomy between the dream world and the real, diurnal world. But it is important to note that there is no ‘real’ in a film – it is all fiction – and Lynch is very aware of this. In fact, he will play with the audience by exploiting the way in which we invest in the apparent ‘reality’ that is presented in a film. One way in which he does this is by using certain noir elements to hoodwink the viewer into buying in to a narrative structure. In Mulholland Drive, the quest to discover ‘Rita’s’ past…

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