Unhomely: new towns on film

Precast Reinforced Concrete Heart

On film, the post-war British new town is an uncanny space – heaven, hell, or somewhere between, but certainly not quite real.

The idea of the new town was born out of hope and optimism. With population growth, cities half-demolished by the Blitz and increasingly demanding expectations around quality of life, ordinary working people in Britain needed new and better homes.

The British government set about identifying sites across the UK where large residential towns could be built from scratch, or by drastically expanding existing smaller settlements.

This was revolutionary, contrary to the usual British wait-and-see gradualism, and not everybody was convinced by the idea. It’s certainly difficult to find wholly positive depictions of the new towns project on film outside government propaganda.

Contemplating life in the post-war Britain to come in They Came to a City, 1944.

Right at the beginning, when the new towns only existed in…

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Tarot for the week ahead, 27.3.22

Louise Norgate

Cards from the Wild Unknown tarot

Sharp intake of breath time. Just look at that for a spread! We haven’t had three Majors show up for a while, and certainly not with a roar like this.

Look at the commonalities in these cards. The colours, the imagery, the symbolism. You don’t need to be a seasoned tarot professional to feel that, do you? A week after the Spring Equinox and the energy is powerful and palpable. We have all the inner strength we require; we can be decisive and clear, knowing that we are firmly rooted in this power; and we can move to enact that which we desire. Maybe we’ll need to be fierce, to stand tall in order to do that – but we are absolutely capable. The sun is shining on us this week.

Have a good week and stay safe x

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Radio Free Hookland 23rd December 1973

Wyrd Daze

Hookland art by Maria Strutz

Hookland created by David Southwell

Radio Free Hookland : December 23rd 1973
by The Ephemeral Man

“There are a lot of radio freaks in Hookland. Dial twisting to tape number stations. Following rumours of dead frequencies where signals bleeding from lost pasts or futures might come through. Even dark station junkies who claim the dead are in shortwave static. – #MattAdams, 1980”

On Tuesday November 13th 1973, Morris “Mojo” Johnson was admitted to Weychester General hospital, to be diagnosed with and treated for Legionnaires’ disease. Johnson made a full recovery and was back on the air at Radio Free Hookland from the 3rd January 1974, but that meant that in all there were 51 nights of the “Mojo’s Graveyard Shift” slot that had to be filled. Broadcast engineer Thomas Giles was tasked with picking archived Graveyard Shift episodes to re-run. Listeners…

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Inventions for Radio #1: The Dreams

This programme of sounds and voices is an attempt to re-create in five movements some sensations of dreaming—running away, falling, landscape, underwater and colour. All the voices were recorded from life and arranged in a setting of pure electronic sounds.
   — The Radio Times, 1964

Delia Derbyshire / Barry Bermange

(If video is not playable, visit link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H84khAjv3zc&list=LL&index=39 )

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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