Stories from inside life's big top.

Posts tagged “jeremy conlon

Until The End Of The World

Posted on October 29, 2018

Jeremy Conlon has a new album. I’ve written about his work before on Circus Folk. He’s an unpredictable composer. A great live performer. And his music excites me.   Beautiful But Dangerous is one of the new tracks. Swarming, menacing and punctuated by ominous piano, it sounds as if the hounds of hell are growling up from Hades, “the end of the world is nigh”. It’s just as this unique Australian composer wishes it to be on this, his tenth recording, ‘The Degradation Suite’.   Beautiful and dangerous perfectly sums up the aural effect of taking in this epic, atmospheric journey into a heart of darkness.   Achingly beautiful, it also kind of hurts to listen. “Harsh climates breed hard humans, and the slow…

The Iceman Cometh: Cooperblack

Posted on April 3, 2017

The last time I interviewed Yuendemu-based musician Jeremy Conlon, he was about to release Return To The Big Eyes.   His ninth as Cooperblack – the “plug n’ play” personal music project he began in the 90s – EP ‘Big Eyes (2015) was an intimate journey through fat bass lines, intensely danceable beats and a relationship that had not long fallen through the ice…   Two years on, while the prolific musician, producer and composer’s heart has healed somewhat, his sense of reflection and musical exploration is as open and raw as ever.   2017 sees him back with No. 10, Capsule, a darker, sparser offering influenced as much by a second sojourn to Berlin as the soundscapes he discovered walking the icy climes…

Hearts Wide Open

Posted on June 20, 2016

This is my music video tribute to ‘the present moment’, in all it’s authenticity, goofiness, love, humanity, beauty and ragged wonder…

‘Salted’ by Cooperblack stars “Cooperblack” (then Jeremy Conlon, Simon Kormendy & Oliver Budack), and a rag-tag group of Darwin friends with playfulness and courage in their hearts. Recorded in 2009, before I even knew what mindfulness was – and meditation for that matter (I now study and teach both) –  I also layed claim to inventing a new genre: Music Video Diary.

 

It even got played on rage.

 

Inspired 1000% by Jeremy‘s exceptionally beautiful song – such an exceptionally talented musician and composer! – footage for ‘Salted’ was (mostly) recorded on one infamous Darwin balcony, in the heaving, sweaty climes of Northern Australia. Channelling Warhol (one of my biggest documentary inspirations), I asked my willing ‘non-actors’ to sit together, listen to the song “and kiss when you feel like it.”

 

Furthermore, “I’ll leave the room once I hit record. Just be yourselves. The rest is up to you!” Such was my sparing yet golden direction…

 

The biggest challenge was getting the song playback to work and not tipping over the wee camera! (I’d bought a very cheap, crap tripod.) Some months later, one afternoon, my talented, kind filmmaker friend Tom Salisbury drove several hours to edit it on my kitchen table. For nix.

 

Looking back at ‘Salted’, I still find it such a funny, intimate, moving clip. A series of moments unfolding in real time of people just being: being playful, being thoughtful, being authentic in ‘the now’… And trusting the music to support them in front of the camera and me ‘behind’ it (well, in the other room), whatever the hell they thought I was doing! Some people have moved on from Darwin; some from each other… The beautiful dog Chio is no longer with us. Jack the galah flew off into the bush. Yet there they all are, perfect – and perfectly themselves – embedded in a sweet, living, present moment experience, together.

 

It’s a tribute to love, actually. While it might be difficult for some to watch now, I feel so grateful to have been allowed to submerge this moment (and song) in the river of time (and video) with such a bunch of bighearted people, to one of whom I’m now married.

 

I’m also reminded that impermanence is a constant and vulnerability only a kiss away. And while a great physical distance now cleaves us, I  love that we’re all still in each others’ lives, somehow. This funny little clip unites us us together, forever. Much love and thanks to Jeremy, Oliver, Simon, Jess, Mega-Jess, Deb, Karen, Lauren, Aaron, Amy, Erin, Jack the galah, and vale Chio the dog.

 

Travelers, it is late.
Life’s sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength,
be quick and spare no effort of your wings.

(Jalal ad-Din Rumi)

  • Words + video: Megan Spencer
  • Poem: Rumi

Sorrow

Posted on January 26, 2016

  David Bowie was my first major music crush – obsession, truth be told.   I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to his music, researching it, travelling to obscure suburban record stores to track down titles absent from my collection, taping friends’ records when I was too poor to buy them, and reading about him, voraciously.   It wasn’t always like that.   After years of persistence by my friend Lisa, the penny finally dropped. It was November 1983; we were in our final year of high school. I was at her place and we were listening to ‘Hunky Dory’.   “Can you tape that for me?” I asked, my interest in his 1971 album finally piquing after what had been the…

Brother From Another Planet

Posted on December 10, 2015

“If it’s electric we can play it,” Jeremy Conlon once declared in an interview about his long-time music project, Cooperblack.   Despite being published in the Northern Territory’s most ‘infamous’ daily newspaper – and pictured perched high atop a wobbly tin roof, astride a cherry-red vacuum cleaner and against the brilliant blue sky of Northern Australia – he wasn’t kidding.   Brandishing the machine’s chrome-metal tubing as if some kind of divining rod of “rock”, his playful grimace suggests, given half the chance,  he’d jump at transforming that domestic cleaning appliance into a magical, kick-arse “electric” instrument …   Either that or go into battle with a crazy cosmic creature from the outer planets.   Influenced by otherworldly pop pioneers like Bowie, Kraftwerk and Bauhaus, Conlon…