Ecstatic Mourning

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A musical experiment. Anyone who is interested in getting involved in the project described below will get a chance to get together and have a go on Sunday.


'A Wake for the World' will be a righteous, ramshackle, joyous-in-the-face-of despair musical/visual extravaganza.

It's other working title is 'Songs of Ecstatic Mourning', and it's a Rising Tide UK project (

If you're intrigued, please write to

More info:

I'm on the lookout for collaborators for Songs of Ecstatic Mourning, the working title of a still open-ended project that will be I hope a very joyous, very soulful, very choral, very melancholic, very lunatic bit of conscious musical journeying.

We're facing a pretty tempestuous, uncertain future as climate chaos kicks in and the end of oil forces all kinds of changes upon us, some positive, some pretty scary. Most of what we hear about this is strangely detached and factual – I think it's time for some crazy, heartfelt, radical music to help inspire us to resist the madness and to propel us into the most positive future possible.

This could be a properly structured 'musical' with a narrative running through it, or just a collection of songs played by a gang of musicians, with spoken word stuff in between. It needs plenty of voices I reckon, with almost a gospel vibe at times (although I don't have religious beliefs myself). It needs to hit you in the gut, as well as having a good streak of dark humour. I'd like it to work outside, preferably in the street, and possibly while on the move, New Orleans-style.

Influences, or maybe just guiding lights, would include: Nina Simone, Woody Guthrie, Joe Strummer, Ani di Franco, Rory McCleod, Patti Smith, Michael Franti, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, Nick Cave, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Stephen Sondheim, Dick Gaughan, Peter Tosh, Fela Kuti, Charles Mingus, Lyrics Born, Gil Scott-Heron, Manu Chao, Brecht/Weill, Curtis Mayfield, Bruce Springsteen and Donny Hathaway. They're all welcome at the party, with room for plenty more!

Right now I'm most on the lookout for a collaborator or two, based in or within striking distance of London, to work on the overall concept. I play guitar, harmonica as well as a bit of bass and would like to learn and play a lot more piano this year. I'm not bad at words, so it'd be good if you have a strong melodic sensibility. There's also sure to be a place for visual artists, costume-makers, film-makers, photographers etc., in case that's what you do.

I'd also like to get playing, as part of this project or just for the hell of it, so get in touch if you can't commit to something this ambitious but would still like to jam.

Maybe I'll hear from you soon - please write to

Thanks for reading and good luck to all of us in 2007.