This love affair with music,
let me tell you something.. When i was 13 we moved into a new home. My bedroom scored the bonus feature of loft access, a wooden panel that latched open to reveal the telescopic ladder.
It was hinges and thus descended and i remember as clearly as anything assenting into lightlessness,
as black as pitch.
Standing at the top of the ladder, perfectly still and sweeping the dark with my arm, trawling the musky air like a radar for the pull cord to the light.
My index finger stumbled upon it blindly and reflexed by coiling the cord around my finger and pulling it tightly, igniting the bare 100 watt light bulb to enblaze the room with light and leave my pupils dilated.
Seeing the world as an over exposed photo gradually the aperture of eye brought light and colour into focus. And what i saw changed my life...
Surrounding me, stacked neatly where dozens of old wooded crates, long and narrow,. but no bottles chimed in these timbers anymore. but the sleek glistening crest of 45 Vinyl singles..thousands of them...
i stepped forward and was tugged by the tight switch cord still wrapped around my finger which i unravelled ,.
At the time my sister had a sky blue portable record player, the ones with the lid that opens up and two speakers fold out with the drop down arm.. she never saw it again. What was this invisible force that filled the room, and changed everything? this force is music. It changed the way i saw the world outside my bedroom window, and it changed me as i stepped out into that world.
It fills the room, and changes everything,.my sister never saw her sky blue record player again for i had set sail upon a sea of sweet Vinyl sitting in the middle of oceanic room of sounds and songs.
My parents used to joke that all the rooms in our home where carpeted except Peter-Jacks,.
He had Vinyl flooring.
Music wasn't my first love, it was my first seduction, it drew me in,. it sent shivers down my spine, it quickened my breath and it made we sweat. and i know it always will,. because even now i still feel that light switch cord around my finger when i play.
It had been two years...
since I picked up my guitar...
This hiatus has been spent out on Canada's West Coast throughout the Discovery Island's.I told very few people that I played music.
it wanted to be laid down,left to recoil and regain the strength to rise again in its own time.
It was the summer of 2010 and in a new way the music started up through me, and from a new place. And I was compelled to step out into the World and share this sound From the start beloved friends were there, from the Comox Valley in British Columbia Canada
playing in the town square for the Filburge Music Festival,
then the Marina Festival, Qualicum, Parksville, and across to Tofino.
The Boardwalk Gazebo on Parksville beach became my residency for the summer. I would play for hours on end ~ Sunset was my "curtain call".
I had no car and no permanent place to stay. But my friends new and established, all appeared at the right time.
Never to soon, or too far behind...right in its right time...
The Summer moved along ~ people wanted the music.
Still there was something beautiful in simply saying,..
"This is it...there is no CD...you leave here with only what you feel.~ so... how do you feel ? "
Some days the storms would roll in off the Pacific,
yet I would continue to play.
"Why are you playing?!
There's no one here!"
The occasional cry would come from a passer by
I would reply. . .
"WE are here! You and I, YOU & I``
Then people appeared to support the recording. I did not ask, they appeared. With trust and support, with balance we made this Album together. Sure when the tape machine is running its just you in the room, but there is a lineage that runs through us all.
Will you let me tell you about someone? An artist from around the World ~ From Israel. Ariel Malka lives in Tele-Aviv, and is the artist who created the images for the Unravel Album. We have yet to meet in person. I came across his work while I was in search for the Album art for Unravel. When I saw the still from "The Sea of Chaos" I knew instantly it was right. I asked Ariel for his blessing and permission for his art to represent the Unravel project. With a generous heart he agreed. I then got to see the animation and the album cover still I had taken from ~
A topographic Landscape, that would unravel from a single line.
Traditionally topography as you know is a series of rings each representing a changing altitude.
I saw a parallel between the work of Ariel and I. Unravel is the recording of a single live performance from a guitar, a mono signal, down a black guitar cable, the series of chords is then looped live and layers of melody and chords are layered to expand the sonic landscape that unfolds. Unraveling from this single signal. Just as Ariel’s work unravels to reveal an expansive and expressive emotional landscape.A conspiracy of people all working towards a collective creation ~ In this case it is Unravel and it is not complete without you...
being immersed in music for a decade and living in the big cities
of the World, Paris, Berlin, London Peter Jack Rainbird decided to stop—all of it.
decided to stop playing music and stop writing and didn’t tell anyone I
played music, I didn’t record any music, I didn’t write any music, I
didn’t pick up a guitar, not a kazoo, not a triangle, I didn’t play the
penny whistle, I don’t think I even whistled.”
accepted an invitation to the Discovery Islands making
his home on Quadra.
was born in England where his parents worked for the British Government
and then the country’s navy. From the age of two he traveled around
the World with his parents as his father was consistently being
relocated to exotic places. Along the way his mother insisted he spend
some time in actual schools, no matter where they were, for some
if we were in Morocco, Malta or Sri Lanka, she would find a sympathetic
teacher who spoke English and she’s throw me into a school for half of
eight years later they returned to England and Rainbird took a trip up
to Ireland to stay with his father’s family just outside Dublin on a
working farm. At 10 years old, Rainbird said he was in heaven in the
wonderful place called Castle Farm, which was actually a real castle
with horses, cows and chickens, where he was aloud to ride dirt bikes
with his relatives. So he took a semester of school there which turned
into three years.
he returned back to Oxford to live with his parents he distinctly
remembers making a life-changing discovery up in the attic. His parents
owned and ran bars and clubs at the time and had collected all the 45
rpm records from when they were swapped out for new hits in the
suddenly got lost and what happened was I became fascinated by this
invisible force that fills the room and changes everything. And that’s
what music is.”
joined a band because of a fleeting request from a buddy at school. He
was 15 when his best friend Adrian asked him to carry his electric
guitar back to music class, because he had forgotten his case and was
embarrassed. So Rainbird held his first electric guitar, and not just
any guitar, “a mustang red Fender Stratocaster.
I’m carrying this mustang red guitar and I had to walk through the
playground and you just start swaggering when you’re carrying something
like that. You can’t walk like a normal person, things start taking over
and you become 10 feet tall and you get noticed,” he laughed.
of the other students approached him and asked if he wanted to join
their band, and Rainbird quickly agreed. Luckily they were looking for a
singer, since he didn’t own a guitar, but he took up guitar shortly
after since he needed to be able to play and instrument as well.
a stint to Paris where he lived with a French girlfriend, he decided to
go on a bit of a pilgrimage with an American DJ to what he considered
to be the “Mecca of music”: Hansa Ton Studio in Berlin. There he
befriended some top notch sound engineers and ended up recording some
demos. From there he was offered a job in Los Angeles working with bands
on developing their live shows. He cruised around in his sky-blue 1963
beetle rag top, played in clubs and coffee houses, and made some more
a year and a half he returned home to England to see family, and ended
up making the move to London. It was there he hooked up with Canadian
musicians, producers and sound engineers Daniel and Robert Lanois, among
other music greats, and starting recording more demos with them. This
forged the foundation for his first full-length album. At this point
Rainbird was about 30 and was invited to check out Toronto.
there he travelled back to all the places he had been to record pieces
of the album, this included Berlin, Paris, London and L.A., and involved
about 100 people. With that music he worked incessantly on forging a
cohesive album called Dust :Fragments From a Journey
all that work, Rainbird took a break and realized he was utterly and
completely burnt out. He packed a few things and headed for the West
Coast ready to put music on the backburner. After about a year and a
half he went to the Vancouver Island Music Festival in Comox and got his
“heart blasted and mind blown.
“I came away from that weekend and it just took me over again.”
had friends send him out a few essentials, his 1967 Gibson Firebird
guitar, an amplifier and a half dozen hand made pedals. He started small, playing
on Quadra Island and suddenly felt compelled to share what he was doing
on a civic level, he said. Rather than busking, he wanted to activate
and turn on public spaces by sharing his music, he said, and one of
these places was Qualicum Beach’s Glassford Sqaure.Rather than the
bluesy, folk rock-style music on his previous album, he was playing
soul stirring instrumentals now available on the Unravel
had no ambition to make an album, it was just an exploration of sound
for me, and just loving sharing it with people in that moment.”
awhile it seemed natural to record an album on Protection Island, he
said, an album that was a reflection of the Island, sounded like the
Island, and was made by Island people. Rainbird has performed around the
Island, in Vancouver and he joined the Wanderlust Festival in Whistler
summer he’ll be traveling and performing with that festival in places
like Vermont, Colorado and California and finishing off in Whistler.For
more on Rainbird and to see him activating Civic Spaces see his Live page
on his official site.
. . . . .
Peter Jack Rainbird was the subject for the artist of Art Alchemy in Courtenay,
a great day with some beautiful work -
enjoy the gallery and see what the real Alchemists are up to