I’m somewhat honoured to have been invited to show some of my visual artworks in the “Identities” exhibition at The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby next month, by Paul Sibbering.

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This blank canvas syndrome, writers block, whatever you call it, is so frustrating, but quite common amongst us creative types.  It helps to talk about it with like-minded folk because that in itself can be the key to unlocking closed doors/windows in you mind.  You might have cupboards or drawers inside yours of course…

When all is said and done, you need subject matter, it might be a thing you want to draw, or discuss, or extract meaning from.  Because my preferred style leans towards an examination of the abstract, one of the solutions to the problem for me is to choose 3 colours to work with, 3 or maybe 5.  Then a series of marks and figures are played with, just to see what will happen.  The operative word is of course, “play”.

There is a similar problem with writing too, I occasionally write poetry to empty my mind of stuff that’s bugging me, or something will amuse me and it helps to scribble a few lines.

The image above is a photo of plastic foam packaging material, placed in the window of my studio at The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby.  The camera(and I suppose the prevailing light from the sun) decided it was blue….

Rooftop Resident Artists 2018

Exhibition Dates
10th October – 10th November

Preview Evening
Friday 12th October
6pm – 9pm

The annual exhibition of work by our resident studio artists which is always one of our most exciting exhibitions of the year. The people who are the core of our creative community show us what they can do!

We have artists of all abilities in our community and we all encourage each other and build a supportive space for our creativity. At the gallery we have 16 artist studios and each one is a little hive of creativity and this month you get to see what everyone has been making.

Artwork on show includes painting, drawing, video, printmaking, installation, sound art, ceramics, and sculpture.

An exciting and diverse show not to be missed!

I absolutely agree, it’s a shambles bordering criminal fraud in my opinion, and all because the rich stand to gain while us ordinary folk will end up paying for their deceit

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If I hear another person say Brexit is the will of the British people and it will happen regardless I might just get a tad annoyed.

17.4 million voted leave. 16.1 million voted remain. 12.9 million didn’t vote and 18 million aren’t on the electoral role.

So, 52% vote to leave is nothing of the kind, it’s at best 37% of those eligible to vote and just 26% of the total population.

Barely over 1 in 4

And on this basis we are being railroaded out of the EU, potentially, now Mrs May has stamped her foot and taken her ball home because 27 other countries won’t change their rules to suit her, on a no deal basis.

Why aren’t more people getting a tad annoyed?

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Laura Tilley – Martin Baldock(me) – Mick Tilley – Pete Lisauskas

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Brief history;  The band has been around for about 20yrs all told, with different lineups, and it’s Laura & Mick who are the longest-serving members.  Pete was with them a few years ago but went off and other things for a while, before re-joining about a year ago.

Mick was a professional musician through the 70’s & 80’s touring with several bands during that time, he met Laura through the Slackstring Band, and they eventually married.  Mick is our lead singer, songwriter, bass player, and resident wit.  He has a penchant for traditional folk song, and classic rock.  Laura is a multi-instrumentalist & singer playing anything with strings & the flute, and loves folk, rock, rhythm n blues, and jazz.  Pete is our lead guitarist who loves Pink Floyd, Gary Moore as well as pop tunes from across the decades.  Martin is the keyboard player and the least experienced in playing live, having emerged from his music cave only a few years ago to find out what it was like to be in a band.

The ethos of the band is to have fun making music above all, and we are trying to make the experience fun for our audience too with a somewhat eclectic mix of our own originals and our unique take on the covers we include in our set.

Our current setlist is taken from the following repertoire;

1 Wild Rover
2 Lincolnshire Poacher
3 Fog On The Tyne
4 Irish Rover
5 Dan’s The Man (original)
6 Roly is Gonna To Get Married
7 All Around My Hat
8 Hill Billy Rock
9 Black Velvet Band
10 Bally MaGrea (original)
11 Copperhead Road
12 One For The Morning Glory
13 Got My Mojo Workin’
14 Wish You Were Here
15 Baby let me follow you down
16 Drunken Sailor
17 Pub Singer
18 Knockin On Heavens Door
19 Van Diemens Land
20 Ballad of the Beacons
21 Whiskey In The Jar
22 Titchmarsh Cowboys (original)
23 Delta Dawn, Sweet Chariot, Show Me the Way To Go Home(acapella)
24 The Pollywog Song
25 Summertime
26 Times They Are Changing
27 Still Got The Blues
28 Guilty
29 Another Brick in the Wall
30 Blowin’ Free
31 Fever
32 Sweet Child Of Mine
33 Flat Caps & Whippets (original)
34 Comfortably Numb
35 Come Together
36 Leaf & Stream
37 Kashmir
38 Ballad of the Beacons
39 Down Under
40 Rhiannon
41 All Along The Watchtower
42 Breathe
43 Time
44 Let it Be
45 Galway Girl
46 Fog On The Tyne

https://theslackstringband.bandcamp.com/

Whilst trying to locate a film on DVD I made of my nieces wedding back in 2014 I came across a couple of folders with CD’s inside, of trials of mixtapes I’ve made over the years up until about 5yrs ago.  My involvement with making mixtapes began back before us ordinary folk could get hold of recordable CD’s, when I would make cassettes for family and friends.  After buying a Phillips disc recorder in the sales (this was about the time computers were beginning to go on sale with them built in) I joined a community online via a now defunct BBC website and we would make a mix every month and receive one in return.  The group has continued to this day, and I remain in touch with them via email although I stepped out of the mix-making process few years ago partly due to running out of fresh ideas, and partly because I stopped buying music quite so obsessively.  The other factor being that I started making music in bands after many decades of making music at home on my own, and along with my other passion(the visual arts) has rather taken over.  Anyhow, I decided to post part of a mix I made about 10yrs ago tonight which can be found here;  https://www.mixcloud.com/martrox/poplier-muzicks-part-one/

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The Slackstring Band have been in rehearsal since mid-2016 with our returning lead guitarist Pete, who was in a previous incarnation of the band long before I became involved.  We have also performed a couple of gigs with him which went rather well, albeit to relatively small audiences.  It’s fascinating to experience the change in dynamics when another player brings their experience and skills into a group.  Pete is a huge Pink Floyd fan which pleases me no end, and he has many of Dave Gilmour’s  licks and riffs off pat, so we will be able to do some justice to our covers of a couple of Floyd songs.   Our last gig was in March at The Old Three Cocks in Brigstock, a St. Patricks Day celebration for a mainly local audience.  We have also been recording our jams and rehearsals for a demo CD that we will circulate to get us some more gigs.  The aim is to put a set together that includes some familiar songs, one or two obscure, and some of our own compositions, to bring some cheer into the world.

The Mighty Pandl had a busy 2016, recording our improvisations every 4-6 weeks, and moving these sessions from Stay Free, to Quad Studios in Leicester.  The band has a new website (http://petersandlee.wixsite.com/themightypandl) that celebrates 10yrs of the project where you can listen to (and download) tracks from the many albums for free.   The ethos of this project is that we are free to play whatever we want, and then make something from whatever happens, only limited by our own abilities, senses of daring and humour, equipment, knowledge, skills, and talents.  It is so refreshing to not be constrained by rules…

MartRox is the moniker for my own adventures into making music, and I’ve continued to experiment with synthesisers and guitars, also performing solo for only the second time last year.  I wrote some music for a performance project with Emma Davies that had an initial public performance last January at The Core (theatre) in Corby, which was well received.  There is a film of the performance on Emma’s website.  http://www.emma-davies.com/work/current2016-2017/in-progress/

I have also done a few very low key solo performances of my music and poetry at the Rooftop Arts Centre in Corby over the last 2yrs, more in the spirit of trying to overcome my anxiety over such things than a desire to achieve acclaim!  I also created some music for the new Rooftop website for a video  on the front page of the site.  http://www.rooftopartscentre.co.uk/

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I continue to paint in Studio 9 at the Rooftop and have shown work there throughout the year.

Looking forward to some fresh challenges at these upcoming sessions

Made in Corby

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“PLAY” SESSIONS – The Core Theatre, Corby -on the first Tuesday of each month, from 7pm-10pm:

1 April, 6 May, 3 June, 1 July, 5 August.

Use The Core’s creative spaces to jam, rehearse, collaborate, try out new ideas and make original work at the Core’s monthly ‘open house’ for local artists and performers. No need to book, just turn up and Play.

Ages: 16+
Price: Free

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“Green Tee With Blue Guitar” February 2014 (work in progress – Studio 9 – The Rooftop Gallery & Workshops, Corby)

Yet More – martROXwritten – 2014

As time goes on, each day unfolds

Another sign is seen, bright blue and gold

A new avenue to enter

Diversions as yet untold

A way obstructed, but not forever

There’s no way of stopping me

Now or ever

New horizons, more adventure

Delving deeper, more to explore

Stranger sounds and sights to see

Wonder, wilder times to be

Full of coloured imagery

 

Imagethe door opens

a fresh breeze of ideas

waft into this space

engage this soul

carried by melody

washed in colour

a slideshow flits here, there,

and then gone, forgotten

calling to be remembered, recorded, made

notes, chords, strums, and sounds

resonate and fade, echo and hover

grabbed and saved

a blank canvas pure and waiting

for colours chosen and gestures made

drawn, handled, scratched, rubbed and erased

questions remain, new words, and dreams

something happens that causes change

another door opens