I'm "friends" with Tracey Thorn on her MySpace page, which has been pretty
great as she's written about production on her new album (bit more folky, less electronic, much of it recorded in Berlin) and she's quite frank and real-not surprisingly, but still. And she posts new work there from time to time. Just got notification of a post from her on her thoughts on hearing of English singer-songwriter John Martyn's passing today, and it's a simple, evocative piece that recalls her first exposure to his music with a bittersweet beauty. As Thorn has talked about her inspirations on MySpace I've checked them out and it's been a gift to be turned onto artists I'd never heard of. Knew a bit of Martyn's work, but not well. Very inspired to explore that now.
.....was just in the kitchen at lunchtime eating a sandwich with ben, when the news came on radio 4 that john martyn had died today....now this couldn't truly be said to be "shocking" news, in the true sense of the word, but still, what a sad day....i remember the first night i met ben, over in the student union building, and we had a few drinks in the bar and then went back to his student bedroom....and of course the first thing i did was to rifle through his record collection, and discovered that we had precisely TWO records in common (vic godard, and the durutti column)....at which point he pulled out an album i had never even heard OF, let alone heard, and it was john martyn's solid air.....ben had only arrived in hull earlier that afternoon, same as me, but he'd already re-arranged his room to suit his preferences....the desk, that item you might imagine being central to a student's bedroom, if not very existence, he had stashed away safely out of sight on top of the wardrobe, and in its place now stood an old, battered trunk with a record deck on top, and to either side a huge pair of speakers, the like of which i hadn't seen before....on went solid air, and it filled the room, and that was that.....the first record we listened to together, cheers to you john martyn, bless you and the weather....xx