Butterfly Decal: Cupid’s Arrow (low-fi demo version)

13th August 2022

Apple’s Garageband

A very basic, low-fi demo of a future Butterfly Decal song, recorded at home on an iPhone 7, using the Garageband app.

The acoustic guitar is a cheap model I picked up for 1 million VND (35 GBP or 42 USD). At first I played it through a processed Chorus Shimmer amp, using the default settings. In the second track, I used a clean Cool Jazz Combo amp setting, with extra reverb and mids and bass.

I got to use my new custom-made electric guitar on two tracks, both through a Fifties Rock & Roll amp.

Custom built Strat-style guitar, made in Viet Nam, because I play left-handed

Remember, this is merely a demo. The tempo is possibly too slow, and it desperately needs Niall’s magic touch on bass, drums and keys, not to mention making a proper audio mix.

So now the song, especially for the wonderful Ms Trang.

If you like the track, feel free to forward it to your friends. Niall (my partner in Butterfly Decal) and I would really appreciate if you click the ‘Like’ button.

Thank you for listening.

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.

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 and Chaos Part 5(F) Tommy 1

9th April 2021

Photo by Niall Keohane. Follow Niall on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flatwoundonfilm/

Part Five. Berlin. Autumn 1994

The yellow Toyota sped around the twisting, turning slalom of roadworks and diversions of Potsdammer Platz, once the busiest intersection in all Europe, now a giant wasteland, a massive construction site of cranes, wire fences and wooden walkways, constantly changing passages with temporary traffic lights and signs whose location seemed to alter weekly.

Monika and Chris were in the front, Chris back to his hyper-active self, holding conversations with Richard in the back, Monika to his left and Sabrina, next to Richard. She was a Viennese friend of Monika’s, in Berlin for the weekend.

They drove to an address off Kantstr, in West Berlin. It was dark when they got there, but the affluence of the area was apparent. The houses were elegant and well kept, each house with a well-lit doorway, giving the street a charming, old-world feel. The streets all looked clean, no debris or litter of any kind.

There was a brass panel with the tenants names inscribed, on the intercom, but it was obvious where the party was.

All three rooms, of the ground floor flat, had their windows wide open, and many people could be seen in shadowplay through the thin curtains. The street door was open, as was the flat door, and people came and went, sat on the immaculately carpeted stairs or smoked on the street, their discarded butts the only garbage on the once spotless pavement.

Monika entered first, waving and smiling. Sabrina followed, embracing Gabi and Andreas. Chris noticed Nice Guy Kai and Richard caught a glimpse of Gert and they exchanged some brief comments before Gert disappeared for the night.

The four newcomers all gravitated to the kitchen, which was the bar area, and bought white wines. Richard had no sooner taken his first sip, when he felt a stubbly kiss on his cheek. He turned and saw Tommy wearing a very smart suit, four days growth of beard and a hat covering his newly shaved head.


“Ah, you’re still here ? I thought you’d gone back to London.”

Tommy had lived some time in The States and spoke very good English, with a Transatlantic accent. He was busy making the rounds, greeting and kissing everyone he knew and trying his luck with a few girls, he didn’t.

“Have you seen the art ?” he asked. “Come on, you may as well.”

Tommy led Richard and Chris to the last room, the smallest of the three, which was covered in paintings. The artists, predominantly young women between eighteen and twenty, stood around, in front of their work, happy to discuss it, happier still to sell any of it.

Nothing particularly grabbed the attention of Richard or Chris. Tommy swaggered around, looking left and right and winking at some of the artists. Nice Guy Kai took his time, casting a critical eye over the work on display. He was joined by Andreas, who merely laughed at everything.

Most of the paintings were abstract, some being little more than masses of colour, others featuring various large shapes, super-imposed on indistinct backgrounds. One woman had a series of shapes that vaguely resembled female genitalia, all with different colour schemes.

Back in the kitchen, over the next glass of wine, Tommy proclaimed, making sure everyone could hear him,

“I liked the colour pussies. Might get one for my wall.”

Most of the guests were of student age, being either artists or friends of artists. Richard continued looking around, while Monika came over and explained:

“In the second room is going to be some poetry and reading and performance, then in the big room, there is going to be music and poetry.”

Richard and Chris stood by the door of the second room, which had a stage area and some chairs laid out, giving it a theatrical look.

A very tall and thin, obvious-student man got up and after introducing himself very quietly, launched into a recitation of an original piece. Neither Richard nor Chris understood the text, so they went back to the bar. Shortly after, Gabi came over, rolling her eyes disapprovingly at the rendition. She leant on Richard’s shoulder so as to whisper in his ear,

“It is lucky you not speak the good German.”

He smiled at her, and offered her a refill. She accepted and then continued,

“Lorelei says, ‘Hello’. She could not come tonight because … “ and then she was lost for words, so turned to Chris for translation.

“Ah, alles klar. Lorelei is still unpacking, but she sends greetings. There you go. More cheap, nasty plonk ?”

After half an hour, the poetry readings were over, and more people came into the kitchen. Richard asked Sabrina what she thought of it,

“Ach, it was shit. Real student, ‘nobody loves me’ shit.”

The second room was cleared of its chairs and the space opened up for people to dance in. Meanwhile, the third room was being made ready for the live music. Chris, expecting a band of sorts, grabbed Richard to show him the peculiar preparations being carried out.

The stage area had a cello on its side and two chairs. To the left of the stage was a type of sandbox, only filled with gravel. A tall, young man, with an enormous eagle-like head and full, black beard, was meticulously scraping and re-scraping the tiny stones with a wooden fork, appearing very unhappy with the results. He began shouting to the corner of the room, then back to his scrapping, then back shouting. Nothing seemed to alter, nothing seemed to please him, so Richard and Chris they left him to his endeavours, to watch girls dance.

Tommy came up behind them and put an arm around each of their shoulders, smiling as he watched Gabi move. Monika reached out her hand and Chris was only too happy to oblige, deliberately dancing out of time to the innocuous Euro-pop that was being played.

Tommy looked at Gabi, then at Richard.

“That, my friend, is one great piece of arse. Got yourself a German girl, yet ?”

“Not yet, but I’m working on it.”

“How about Gabi ?”

“Out of my league. Just look at her.”

“I am, I am. Have you seen her boyfriend ? A real zero, nothing. He must have been born in the Chinese Year of the Boar. Doesn’t even fuck her, can you believe it ? Has that next to him in bed and all he wants to do is read fishing magazines. She’s desperate.”

“Desperate enough for you ?” joked Richard.

“Hey, I could have her if I wanted to. Probably. Maybe.”

“If she were drunk enough.”

“Oh, English humour, so very funny. Well, wanna make it interesting ?”

“What do you have in mind ?”

“A bet; who can get inside Gabi’s panties first. Hey, to hell with it, who can get inside Gabi, first.”

Richard burst out laughing; just the idea of either of them with someone like Gabi. But he played along.

“OK. And the winner takes the other out to dinner. And drinks. Lots of drinks.”

“No, the loser has to pay.”

“No, man, in this case, the winner! Only right that he has to pay.”

Tommy starred him in the eye, thinking intensely. Finally,

“All right. I can dig that. Put it there.” He spat on his hand, rather more than he anticipated, and Richard begrudgingly shook. At that point, Chris joined them.

“What’s going on here ?”

Tommy answered in a pure, matter-of-fact voice, “Oh, we’re having a bet who can fuck Gabi first.”

Chris stuck out his hand.

“Count me in,” quickly checking behind him, to make sure Monika was well out of earshot.

Both Tommy and Richard protested and shook their heads.

“You’re with Monika. Gabi would never go with you.” argued Richard.

Over the discussion, Tommy brought them to silence.

“He’s right, you’ll have to wait six months before you can go from one member of The Gang to the other. That’s what happened when I left Silka for her friend, and when Silke went from Kai to Andreas. Didn’t think Andreas would last the course. Must have more between his legs than between his ears.”

Kai walked over, thinking he had heard his name. Richard and Chris turned to look at each other. Chris spoke first, addressing Tommy, Richard with the follow up.

“You were with Silke ?”

“And … how is she ? Bet she’s into some real kinky stuff ?”

“No, not so much. Kinda placid, actually. Lies back and takes it. Which is all right, you know, don’t have to put too much energy into it, or thought, just get the auto-pilot up and running.”

“Well,” began Chris, “that does surprise me.”

“Yeah, my whole scale of balance is shifted.”

“Maybe … “ said Chris, building tension, “and don’t take this the wrong way, but, maybe, just maybe … it was you. Like, you know … you just ain’t no good ?”

“No way, Churchill, home-run every time. Hey, let’s ask Sabrina. I was with her once. ”

“No. No, no.” said Chris.

“What ? Are you nuts ?” asked Richard, but it was too late. Tommy called out to her on the dance floor,

“Hello, Sabi … aren’t I a sex-god in bed ? These two don’t believe me.”

Sabrina, not missing a beat of the music, answered,

“Ach, you’re OK, nothing special. Too sweaty for me. And your orgasm cry is weird.”

Instead of being embarrassed, Tommy stood there, proudly, arms outstretched, as if to say, ‘see, didn’t I tell you ?’.

“Why did Sabrina dump you ?” inquired Chris.

“Well … she’s very business minded. Got her own five-year plan. One of those ‘work hard, play hard’ types. When she dumped me, it was like a hostile take-over; ‘I’m going to have to let you go’. I was dumped by the board of Sabrina GmbH.”

“Did you at least get a golden handjob ?” asked Chris with a misleadingly serious face.

Andreas joined them and Chris and Richard regarded him in a new light. Tommy smiled at him and Andreas smiled back, not knowing what was going on.

“And ? What’s happening ?”

A blonde student moved up to Kai, attaching herself to his arm, and whispered something to him. Kai explained,

“The music’s going to start soon, we should go if we want to see it.”

“Do we want to see it ?” asked Andreas.

“Shouldn’t that be ‘hear it ?’” replied Tommy with a smug, alcohol grin.

“No, Arschloch, it’s also another verdammte (bloody, fucking) performance,” Kai clarified.

“Stefan is really good. On cello,” added the blonde. Kai looked down at her, as if seeing her for the first time, then seemed to remember,

“I liked her paintings,” he said by way of explanation, then moved into the other room.

The music stopped as an announcement was made, and people began crowding into the largest room, for what was rumoured to be the main event of the night.

When all space was taken, the lights dimmed and a tall and slightly overweight man dressed in dark trousers and tails walked onto the stage and took up the cello. A woman with long auburn hair and evening dress sat next to him, a folio on her lap. She nervously altered the position of it in her hands. Then the eagle-headed man from before reappeared, with wooden fork, and took up his position in the gravel box. He looked around, commanding silence and was about to commence, when there was a giggle. Andreas turned to those around him, and made a gesture of apology.

Eagle-head started again, raising his fork as a baton. The cellist looked over, an expression of earnest concentration, eyebrows furrowed, eyes squinting behind round lenses. He slowly drew his bow across the instrument and played a gentle passage of quite unexpected beauty.

The room was silent. Monika and Gabi rested their heads against each other. Sabrina looked at Tommy with an ambiguous glimmer in the eye. Kai, standing at the back, had begun softly stroking the hair of the young artist at his side. Richard and Chris desisted drinking. Andreas went to find the toilet.

Softly, almost inaudibly, the woman in the evening dress began speaking, her head facing down into the folio before her.

Above the music and voice, there was an excruciating nails on blackboard shrill. The speaker gained in volume, though people still had to strain to understand. The cello continued, then suddenly made some savage scrapes across the strings, as the woman jumped up, an unexpected occurrence, a not altogether easy operation in such an outfit, and began shrieking, answered by more metallic scrapping.

The woman began screaming, unaccompanied, then more scrapping. Chris stood on tip-toes, and could see the hunched, eagle-headed figure, bent double, holding his fork above the gravel, then bringing it down at an exact spot and dragging it back and forth.

As suddenly as she has jumped to life, the woman sat down. There followed a conversation between cello and fork, though they didn’t seem to be speaking the same language.

The performance dragged on and people began trickling out, all drawn to the bar.

The woman actually seemed relieved, the cellist angry, and Eagle-head oblivious to the loss of audience.

By the time they had finished, there was barely half a dozen people left. The woman immediately jumped down and ran to a couple of friends. The cellist took inordinate care of his cello, as if not sure what to do and Eagle-head starting complaining about something to do with the box, or the gravel, or both, or neither.

Kai’s young friend said that she had to say hello to Stefan, the cellist, who she explained was in his last year of music studies, and was going to be a great conductor.

Meanwhile, the cultural appetites of The Gang having been assuaged, they began making plans for escape.

Chris was going to stay with Monika, who was first going to drive Sabrina to Gabi’s flat.

Tommy had found two Danish girls who had a car and wanted to see some of the underground bars that Tommy had told them about. He conferred with Richard. Andreas came over and asked what the plan was. Tommy decided. He, the two Danes, Andreas and Richard would go to Friedrichshain, Richard suggesting Café Kinski.

The Gang said their farewells, hugs and kisses all around, except Gert whom no one had seen for hours, and Kai who was occupied with a kissing thing of his own.

Tommy walked between Anna and Karin, the Danish girls, while Richard and Andreas followed to the car parked a few streets away.

There was a little skirmish as Tommy claimed shot gun but Andreas, who had taken a fancy to Anna, the driver, said that as Tommy was so short, he should get in the back.

He was about to object, then noticed that Karin had a great, healthy, Scandinavian body, and orchestrated himself into the middle seat, keeping her away from Richard, with a sickly grin at his opponent.

Andreas gave directions, suggesting they drive up to Bismarkstrasse and then a straight run, past the Siegessäule, through the Brandenburger Tor, and on to Alexanderplatz, an easy journey and sight-seeing tour combined.

The car was full of screaming and joking and laughing, everyone speaking the lingua franca of English.

As they passed through the arch of the Brandenburger Tor, Richard remarked about the amazing turn of events, that less than five years previously, this wouldn’t have been possible, that The Wall had been there, watchtowers and armed guards and dogs and tanks and the might of Moscow.

They began speaking about when The Wall had fallen. It, of course, dominated the news in Denmark and England. Andreas said he was stoned in Bavaria and more concerned about being busted by the local police (“Bavarian paranoia” a complaint shared by all the Bavarian members of The Gang.)

Tommy allowed the conversation to flag, before speaking up.

“I was living in Berlin, West Berlin. And I’ve got a story. Who wants to hear it ?”

Love and Chaos Part 4(F) Chris 2

2nd January 2021

Photo by Niall Keohane. Follow Niall on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flatwoundonfilm/

Part Four. Berlin. Summer 1994

Monika was happy as she’d found a Parkplatz close to where Chris lived. They got out of the car, smiling and joking with each other, and walked, arms around each other, to the street door.

Monika worried about Richard, who had been alone for two nights, while Chris had stayed in Kreutzberg, but Chris told her that he was all right. Inside, Chris opened the Briefkaste and sorted out letters from adverts and junk.

Monika saw a letter addressed by hand. She inquired whom it was from.

“It’s from Hamburg.”

The smiles quickly faded.

Chris rang the bell, before opening the door, just in case Richard had managed to get Lorelei or anyone else back, but found him alone, reading. Monika gave a curt greeting and went straight into the kitchen.

Chris asked how he’d spend his time, trying to give the illusion of some kind of normalcy, and what he thought of the book he was reading, Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’.

Then he pointed to the brown phone on the floor.

“The East German chef was furious when he heard I had a phone.”

“Yeah. Why ?”

“Oh, because it took him over two years to get one. Under the old system he had to put his name down and join the waiting list and, you know … wait. Over two years. Then I turn up, a Spüler, and an Ausländer (foreigner) to boot, and get a flat with a phone.”

“Everything … OK ? We still on for tonight ? The movie ? Winona dancing ?”

“Yeah. I think.”

“Anyway, I was just about to go out, get some sun, walk around a bit, read some. I may be gone for a couple of hours.”

Richard said goodbye to Monika and left the flat, walking through Prenzlauer Berg to the Thälmann park where he found some shade and read about The Lost Generation in Twenties Spain.

Back in Chris’ kitchen, Guernica was about to be recreated. Monika knew that the letter was from Ute and Chris was scared to open it, even though he knew it would just be harmless questions about the flat.

“So, don’t you want to open your love letter ?”

“It’s not a love letter. You know that.”

“No, I don’t know anything. I know you move into her flat, have all her shit here and get letters from her.”

“Her friend’s flat. How can you be jealous, after last night ?”

“Maybe you just fuck me while she is in Hamburg. So, when is she coming back ?”

“She’s not.”

“And you miss her ? You want her to come back ?”

“Of course not. I don’t even care, we’re finished, it’s over, understand ?”

“I know she left you. Maybe you still have feelings for her.”

“No, we are just friends now, c’mon, you know that.”

“You have many letters from her ?”

“No. Not many.”

“But others ?”

“Yes, of course.”

“ ‘Of course’ ? Oh, now I understand, you keep writing to her so you can get back together and just use me.”

“What ? What is wrong with you ?”

“No, what is wrong with you ?”

“Listen, if you’re going to argue, can you do it in German ?”

“You can’t speak German.”

“Exactly.”

“Oh, that is so very funny, fucking idiot. Open the letter.”

“No, it’s private.”

Chris knew that wasn’t the best response he could have given.

“Ah, so you have private things going on. Maybe I should leave. It’s been a fun summer fuck, but now it can be over.”

“Right, sit there and listen.” Chris opened the letter and read it aloud. It was very innocuous, asking him how he was, how the flat was, was he paying the bills all right, was he still at Biberkopf ? But she signed it ‘Love Ute’ and wrote three kisses at the bottom with a little heart symbol. Monika seized on that blatant sign of affection and the argument gathered fresh momentum and followed its own illogical logic.

When Richard returned, late in the afternoon, Monika had long gone. They had planned to go to the Babylon Cinema in Kreutzberg all together, by car, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen.

Instead, they took the U-Bahn and Chris made sure Richard followed closely, as the cinema was in a back street, and Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn was on a busy intersection with exits at all points of the compass. The ground level, from the lower U8 to the elevated U1, was also a popular hang out for drunks and junkies and punks and Penne’s (beggars) who would buy cheap beer and spirits from the kiosks on the platform and have an unofficial social club on BVG (Berlin Transport Authority) property.

Chris pointed out that though it may look seedy and dangerous, he had never been bothered by anyone there, and that the BVG constantly patrolled the area with guard dogs that looked as if they’d much rather be chasing balls than breaking them.

The cinema was another Berlin experience that Richard loved. London’s cinemas were mostly franchised, staff all in the same uniform, décor the same, smell the same. Here, they were more like private clubs, looking like old cinemas that had been taken over by squatters, or squatted spaces that had been turned into cinemas.

The Babylon was reached by coming out of the north-west exit and walking through a arch behind some shops and Imbisses, under a large block of flats that imposed itself like a Colossus, straddling Adalbertstr.

The twin-screen cinema looked quite conventional from the outside, a marquee with film titles in red lettering, glass displays with film posters, stills and handwritten screening times.

Inside was a small vestibule, with posters for forthcoming films and reviews from the papers of current movies. The ticket desk was to the left, a counter with a display case showing the sweets and beers available. Tonight, the clerk had brought her son along, and the young boy was happily sitting on the counter, removing the lids from people’s beer bottles.


They bought the tickets and obligatory beers, tipping the lad, and walked into the main hall, which had flyers and adverts on one side and free postcards on the other. Richard used the bathroom, a graffiti-ed stool whose window opened-out onto the houses next door.

The hall was full of people, this being the busiest night, and the film had created a real buzz. The cinema door opened, people moved in. Chris liked middle row, middle seats and they got these, sat back and prepared themselves for a burst of pure Slackerdom.

Some adverts followed, then, with no censorship card that opens every film in England, the sights and sounds of Generation X embraced them and they surrendered themselves to ‘Reality Bites’, as Chris forgot how his current reality actually sucked.

They just waited for the scene that Richard had seen in a trailer, where Winona and her friends start dancing up and down in a convenience store slash gas station. It surpassed all expectation.

They sat through the end credits, smiling as four girls slinked up the aisle, dancing to the music, and humming ‘My Sharona’ the soundtrack to the store dance.

Afterwards, there was no discussion, they just had to go to a bar, and found a quiet bench in a Kreutzberg bar. Two beers ordered, two Jack Daniels to go with them.

Winona dominated the conversation, as they slipped in more and more Americanisms, even sports references and metaphors that they didn’t fully understand. They should be in America, not tired, old Europe. Everyone had so much energy and life and excitement and money, even the poor people. The sports were so much more colourful, the scores were far higher, there were cheerleaders. And all the women were Über-cute. The decision was taken; they had to get American girlfriends, cheerleaders, then go back with them to the States.

Which brought them back to the events of the afternoon. Chris thanked Richard for his diplomacy and apologised for any awkwardness. He had witnessed just one part of an on-going conflict. Monika didn’t trust Chris. She accused him of still loving Ute and was just waiting to be dumped by him.

“All of which is pure bullshit, man. I’m crazy about her, like, totally wacko, eyes-poppin’ out of the head crazy. But she won’t believe me. It’s all about the flat, an’ Ute’s stuff.”

“So you going move out ?”

“If that’s what it takes, but ain’t gonna solve the problem. Just be something else. Besides, I love that flat. D’you remember Rigaer Str ?”


“Like I could forget.”

“And it’s real hard to get hold of a flat, here. I only got it by luck.”

“You see, your mistake was in overdoing the heartache in the first place. What got you Monika, now creeps up to bite ya in the touche.”

“Shot by my own gun, gawddammit !”

“Could of course get dumped by Monika and use that to get a new chick.”

“I don’t want a new chick. I want Monika. Just …”

“Modified.”

“Right on. De-quirked.”

“Well, good luck with that.”

“So can’t you come up with anything ?”

“If I could I wouldn’t be sitting here with you, I’d be with Lorelei, or Gabi. Or both. Like, what’s with Lorelei ? I think I may have played my hand too soon.”

“Time out, Brother, is the Monika situation solved ? C’mon, focus, don’t drop the ball on this.”

Just then, Elvis came on the bar’s sound system, singing ‘Suspicious Minds’. Chris threw down his beer mat,

“Oh, very funny, Elvis!”

“So where did she go tonight ? Monika, that is ?”

“To see the film ! With Silke, I think, I dunno. But German version. Can you imagine ?”

“Winona, dubbed into Kraut ? Oh, man !”

“Tell me about it. It’ll blow over. Always does. Problem is, it always blows up again, right in my face. Screw it, more beers. So, what’s the deal with Lorelei ? Progress report.”

“Well that won’t take long.”

“Shit!”

“Shit outter luck, Man, shit outter luck !”