Butterfly Decal: ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’ EP Part 2

5th July 2022

On June 12th, I blogged about the ‘release’ of our first set of recordings, a Jazz-influenced quartet of tracks called ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’. That blog may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2022/06/12/butterfly-decal-red-ribbon-in-long-hair-ep/

I previously linked two tracks, ‘Red Ribbon: A Short Story‘ & ‘Miles et Juliette.’ Today I have the YouTube links for the two remaining instrumental tracks. The full EP listing:

1) Red Ribbon: A Short Story

2) Red Ribbon Suite

3) Swing, Princess, Swing

4) Miles et Juliette

First, track 2, ‘Red Ribbon Suite’ a piece in three distinct movements:

Photography by Niall Keohane & Paul Pacifico

Track 3 is based around a simple guitar pattern, with Niall adding piano, strings and harmonies:

All music written by Keohane-Pacifico.

Production by Niall Keohane.

Copyright ⓒ 2022

Thank you for visiting this blog page. If you like the music, we would really appreciate it if you could give us a ‘Like’, and pass on to your friends. The ‘visits’ and ‘likes’ really help new bands to get attention.

‘L’ Assommoir Perdu’ Part 1- Berlin films 1995 – 1997

15th June 2022

In 1995 I began making a series of short, silent Super 8 films that would be collectively known as ‘L’ Assommoir Perdu’.

The first film made in March 1995, after a particularly bitter Berlin winter, was called ‘Igor or the Young Person’s Guide to Berlin.’ The title refers to the music chosen to accompany the film: ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ by Benjamin Britten.

Igor, played by Martin O’Shea (who was my main actor in many films, and later theatre projects), is an idealistic Socialist and Brecht fanatic. The young man visits Berlin, making pilgrimages to the Brecht Haus and grave, as well as various locations associated with Socialist Berlin.

We began the film quite seriously but at one point, when Igor reaches into his pocket to find a toffee, it took on a more light-hearted tone.

The climax, with a cast of dozens, was totally unplanned. The boy band Take That were playing two gigs in Berlin and the weekend before, for some reason, a large group of teenage girls marched up Unter Den Linden, from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate, singing Take That songs.

Following ‘Igor’ was a more modest film, shot in about an hour in a small park at the end of my street.

In ‘Kleingeld und Dulcimer’, Martin O’Shea plays Mr Kleingeld (German for small change), a loner of indeterminate age. After going shopping in a cheap supermarket, Mr Kleingeld sees a busker and is so impressed, he gives the musician some small change. Very small change. However, Mr Kleingeld has no idea about social behaviour and Mr Dulcimer, played by Detroit musician Jeff Tarlton, reacts to having his space invaded.

This film won first prize at the Prenzlau International Film Festival in winter 1995, which was held on a farm north of Berlin.

Cultural nod – the character of Mr Kleingeld was based on British comedian Eric Morcombe.

The third film, featuring a cameo from Mr Kleingeld, is ‘Les Aventures de Bruno Dalle’. Bruno tries to be French cinema icon Jean-Paul Belmondo. His girlfriend, Iris, brings him back to reality. She needs him to get a job. Angered, Bruno decides to take his Belmondo fascination further. He meets his friend, Richard Rastignac (who will appear in a later film), and is given a gun and told to go rob a bank. Will Bruno go through with the plan ? How will he appease Iris ? What exactly is Mr Kleingeld doing in this movie ?

Cine transfer organised by Martin O’Shea with the assistance of Screenshot Berlin (www.screenshot-berlin.de).

Butterfly Decal: ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’ EP

12th June 2022

A still from Niall’s Red Ribbon: A Short Story video

Butterfly Decal, the band I am in along with my dear friend Niall Keohane, are finishing the final mix on our debut EP.

The Jazz-inspired EP, entitled ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’, has four tracks:

1) Red Ribbon: A Short Story

2) Red Ribbon Suite

3) Swing, Princess, Swing

4) Miles et Juliette

Track 1 is a piece of first-person prose over a Jazz background and sound effects, a collage of film, music and poetry.

The video features Niall’s stunning B&W photography, (from the UK), while I add some shots from Sai Gon, Viet Nam. As the track nears the end, a theme from the next cut appears, low in the mix, leading to …

Track 2, an instrumental piece in three movements. Parts 1 and 2 share a melody but have a tempo change, whereas Part 3 leads to a melodic resolution.

Track 3, ‘Swing, Princess, Swing’, is based around a two-chord guitar structure. I’m only playing a $40 acoustic guitar here but Niall’s production makes it sound (almost) professional. Niall also adds backing vocals.

Track 4 is another story set to music. In the late 1940s, Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis travelled to Paris where he met, and fell in love with, singer Juliette Greco. As with Track 1, this cut features narrative, music and effects.

We plan, once we have enough material, to make our music available online on Bandcamp or SoundCloud, as well as posting more videos on YouTube.

The production was by Niall at his home studio in Birmingham, UK

Thank you so much for visiting this site. If you have time and interest, please view the videos and share them with your friends. The ‘Likes’ and views really help.

Jazz models, fashion and attitude

5th May 2022

A selection of photos found on web searches. No copyright infringement is intended.

adoreness.com
Model Pattie Boyd from vogue.com
Britt Ekland from outdressing.com
Image from elle.com
theatreoffashion.com
time.com
adoreness.com
itsacharminglife.com

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Butterfly Decal: Berlin Suite

1st May 2022

Here’s a sneak preview of our forthcoming piece, the ‘Berlin Suite’, which will feature keyboards, electronics and experimental sounds, a departure from our previous material.

The suite is an audio representation of this unique and iconic city. The music will feature orchestral effects, reflecting the classical aspect of Berlin, as well as some techno-inspired dance tracks for which Berlin is famous.

The following piece was composed with the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche in mind, a church that was partly destroyed in World War II and today is kept as a memorial against war.

Both Niall and I would be very grateful if you could ‘Like’, share and Subscribe as it really helps with the channel. Thank you so much.

Love I’ve found you: Miles Davis & Juliette Greco

22nd April 2022

Juliette Greco, actress and singer, suffered a traumatic childhood. Her mother withheld maternal love, claiming that Juliette was conceived without the mother’s consent. The mother, along with Juliette’s sister, were arrested by the Gestapo in World War II, and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp. After liberation, the mother left Europe for Indochina, leaving Juliette in the care of her former French teacher.

In the immediate post-war years, Juliette frequented the bohemian areas of Paris, meeting such luminaries as Albert Camus & Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau and Boris Vian, among others.

Paris hosted an International Jazz Festival in May 1949, and it was there that Juliette first saw American Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.

Miles, coming from an affluent African-American family, began playing trumpet at the age of nine. In 1944 he was accepted at the prestigious Institute of Musical Arts (now called Juilliard) but dropped out in order to devote his time to playing, and he got a gig playing with Jazz legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker.

In 1949, as part of the Tadd Dameron Quintet, Miles travelled to Paris. He was spellbound by the freedom and respect he encountered, the lack of racial prejudice. Then he met Juliette Greco, and fell totally, head over heels in love.

My close friend and band mate Niall has written a song about this doomed affair, and it has just been uploaded to YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98AIDUMN_Sc&t=29s&ab_channel=ButterflyDecal

Our style of music could be defined as ‘Post-Rock’ meaning it deviates from a conventional song. Instead, Niall has written a short story which he narrates, and enlivens the track with Jazz music, sound effects and sound bites.

I hope you can find time to listen to the piece and, if so moved, ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe’. This really helps new channels, so thank you in advance.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Ukrainian Artists #6: Gregory Skovoroda

14th March 2022

A poet, teacher and composer, Gregory Skovoroda is most famous in the field of philosophy, even earning the sobriquet of the ‘Ukrainian Socrates’.

Skovoroda was born on 3rd December 1772. His musical talents were discovered early in life, and he joined the imperial choir performing in Moscow, St Petersburg and in the Hungarian Empire. The love of travelling never left, and he spend the last part of his life walking around Ukraine, rarely staying in one place too long. Skovoroda adopted a simple, hermit-like existence, writing and studying.

A good video introduction may be found on YouTube. Skovoroda’s writings are described as “simple and straightforward.”

Themes of moralising, the inner struggle between good and evil permeate his metaphysical philosophy.

A piece of music attributed to Skovoroda may be accessed here:

Skovoroda died on 9th November 1794. In 2006, his image was placed on a Ukrainian bank note.

Ukrainian Artists #5: Taras Shevchenko

12th March 2022

Considered the national poet, Taras Shevchenko was born in 1814 in central Ukraine. He was born into serfdom, not becoming free until 1838 when some friends were able to purchase his freedom.

Shevchenko wrote novel and dramas, as well as being an artist, but is best known for his poetry. His first collection, Kobzar, was published in 1840. A contemporary poet referred to the collection as “a new world of poetry … (an) artistic expression not previously known in Ukrainian writing.” (Ivan Franko).

Haidamky, an epic poem, followed in 1841. By now, he was living in St Petersburg, but made several trips to Ukraine in the 1840s, capturing the scenes in oil and watercolour.

Kateryna, 1842. National Museum, Kyiv

Shevchenko was arrested in 1847 after Tsar Nicholas I read the poem Dream, which he found offensive. The poet was forced to march from St Petersburg to Orsk near the Ural Mountains. He was later sent to a severe penal settlement before being released in 1857. The years of exile and imprisonment contributed to his death in 1861, just days before the emancipation of serfs was announced. He is buried in Ukraine at Taras Hill, neat the Dnipro River.

Will and Testament

When I die bury me
in the middle of the steppe
of my Ukraine. So I can seize
broad the broadback field and
Dnipro, twisting, so
I can see and hear it roar,
roaring, carrying 

thieves’ blood
to the ocean. Then I’ll toss
the fields and mountains and me
and burn them all like prayers.
I won’t know God till then.

Stash me away then stand,
split your chains and spatter
the soil with blood and fury,
having your body back. Now

in our vast family, the free
one, the new one,
don’t forget to remember me
in good-willed words,
a word unangered,
quiet.

December 25, 1845, Pereyaslav, Ukraine

Scources:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taras_Shevchenko#Artwork

Asymptote: https://www.asymptotejournal.com/poetry/taras-shevchenko-five-poems/

Ukrainian Artists #4: Alexander Dovzhenko

6th March 2022

Alexander Dovzhenko is, along with Sergie Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov & Vsevolod Pudovkin, one of the great silent filmmakers from the Soviet era.

Dovzhenko was born in Ukraine on 10th September 1894, and began his cinema career in 1926. He is most famous for his ‘Ukraine Trilogy‘, the final part of which, ‘Earth‘, is regarded as one of the greatest silent films ever made.

Alexander Dovzhenko
Zvenigora 1928
Zvenigora 1928

Dovzhenko’s films are characterised by elements of avant garde, camera tricks, slow motion and unsettling framing, most notably in the incredible cinematography of ‘Arsenal‘. “Sequences of invigorating speed and motion are contrasted with images of deathly stillness.” (BFI.org.uk)

Arsenal 1929
Arsenal 1929
Arsenal 1929
Earth 1930
Earth 1930

Further information may be found on:

https://www.sensesofcinema.com/2018/great-directors/dovzhenko-alexander/

http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CD%5CO%5CDovzhenkoOleksander.htm

https://www2.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6ee4d030

Ukrainian Artists #3: Modern authors

5th March 2022

Here is a short list of modern Ukrainian writers that are achieving wider recognition. Before that, I can recommend an anthology called ‘From Three Worlds: new Ukrainian writing’ from 1996.

You may recognise the cover art, by Ivan Marchuk https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2022/03/03/ukrainian-artists-1-ivan-marchuk/

The collection has short fiction and poems by, among others, Vololdymyr Dibrova, Oksana Zabuzhko and Bohdan Zholdak.

Oksana Zabuzhko

One of my favourites was a tale entitled ‘To Find Yourself in a Garden‘ by Halyna Pahutiak (born 1958 in the Lviv region, graduated from Kyiv). She has published four books of prose, as well as a novella, ‘The Sun‘.

In 2021, three Ukrainian writers were shortlisted for the EBRD Literary Prize: Andrey Kurkov, Andriy Lyubka, and Oksana Zabuzhko for ‘You Ad Could Go Here‘.

Andriy Lyubka

‘Carbide’ has been describes as a tragicomedy, the story of an alcoholic teacher who decides to build a tunnel and smuggle the Ukrainian population into the EU. I have not read this novel, but it is certainly on my ‘to read’ list.

Finally, there is Andrey Kurkov

‘Grey Bees’ is set in the ‘grey zone’ between Ukraine and Russia. The story’s protagonist moves to the Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

For further information, have a look at this lithub website: https://lithub.com/love-ukraine-as-you-would-the-sun-10-ukrainian-books-worth-reading-in-english/

Happy Reading

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