I’m on a plane flying to L.A from New York right now.
I remember making this same journey 4 years ago. At a point in my life where I didn’t really know many people in L.A, and if I did.. they were nothing more than acquaintances.
At this moment in time, I knew that Peaches had moved from NYC to LA. As soon as I landed I called her.
We met up for what would become tradition in her stint in Los Angeles & my back and forth from New York, we ate burgers. I’m serious, this was really the first thing we’d meet up and do every time, no questions asked.
Although there was one time where before we ate, she’d convinced me to buy a pack of porno playing cards to do magic tricks for her, i obliged, I was heavily into magic at the time, what more can I say?
It’s funny that this would be the memory ringing in my head right now. There are plenty of memories growing up & coming of age in London with her, my dear friends Fifi, Fred and the rest of the gang. Even when I first moved to New York 7 years ago, and she’d also just moved to NYC with her good friend Lily, who in turn became a very close friend of mine, I didn’t really live anywhere at the time & I would spend every day in their apartment. But for some reason right now the memory of LA sticks out.
Obviously because i’m on my way there now, I guess, but i’ve really struggled to put into words how I’ve been feeling, i’m sure we all have. Nothing I could write, say, or any pictures I feel can really, truly convey the loss we are feeling right now…
This is someone who affected so many of us, my friends, in our lives. It’s a struggle to picture a moment in time without her. Just last month while playing shows in London I remember the delight of seeing her and Fifi together, just like old times. We quipped about it, a little older, but still babies in the grand scheme of things.
But really, she had grown so much, we all watched her grow, and create a beautiful family with Thomas. My heart goes out to him, and the rest of her family. This is just so unfair… it’s made me physically sick..
I don’t have much more to say, i’m still in shock over this. I just wanted to try and honour her in some way…
As well as being invited to give a TEDTalk Lecture/Performance last week in Vancouber, I was also asked to help curate their book store for the event. Below are my book selections along with a link & a little info about each choice. Enjoy !
Fleeing from World War II torn Greece to become an illegal immigrant in Paris. Xanakis got a job as an engineer & architect. From there his interest in music sprung and he applied the same techniques in regards to architecture to his music compositions. With breakthrough scores shattering any pre conceived notion about music and it’s links to math.
This book is a prime collection of theories & techniques from one of the greatest avant-garde composers to have ever been.
I love Cupid Deluxe, and I took some time to explain why for BuzzFeed. In short: this album is like a shining example of respectful interaction with queer culture, from its lyrics to its structure to its sound to its videos. Great record, and between P4kblurbs and this essay I was happy to spend a lot of time writing about Blood Orange this year.
Some very nice words, thank you for understanding.
The last two days have been strange, before I get into that. I want to start off by saying how truly thankful I am, for my life, for my friends and family, and for the support of everyone out there. The response which I’ve only just been able to look at has been extremely overwhelming. Samantha’s mother Robin started that fundraiser which was so nice of her and I had no idea of what was going on, it’s incredible. I’m so grateful to her, and to all of you. It’s beautiful, touching and extremely warming in these winter nights. Every email, tweet and message means more than I could ever say. Thank you.
I should explain first of all, exactly what has happened, in terms that maybe will make people understand. Imagine being outside of your home one day. Then somebody presses delete, on the last decade of your life. You own nothing except for what you have on you in that precise moment. This is what has happened. It’s surreal and hard to wrap your head around, or imagine unless you’ve experienced it. The strangest part yet, Samantha & I were at a memorial when I found out.
It’s more than music. As I’ve seen many people talk about, or people on the street. It’s my life. It’s everything I’ve ever owned….loved… It’s all gone, forever. I miss you Cupid.
This happens to so many people, people that don’t have a girlfriend’s place they can stay at. People who don’t have a job they can do to try and help themselves money wise to attempt to get back on their feet. This is in my mind every second.
I truly have lost everything I own, hard to wrap your head around, but I have. Friends of mine have been more than kind to me, friends some people may not have, families in the same position would not be as fortunate… i’m aware of this.
If I am honest, the fundraiser makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. This isn’t me saying I don’t need the money, to reiterate, i have lost everything. But maybe it’s time I down some anxiety medication see a doctor and try and play some shows y’know? There are things i can do, although it will take years, that can help myself rebuild, a huge part of me is still struggling with understanding the events of two nights ago, and where to take my life from here.
This isn’t me being unappreciative. Tears stream down my face when Samantha shows me the nice messages people have written. It’s overwhelming in the most extremely nicest way that people would care about this But as I stated before, so many people have nothing they can do to rebuild their life from scratch.
I have a lot to think about, I don’t even know where to start from, I just wanted to be honest.
I want to give all the money to charity, 3 charities to be precise which I will explain further at a future point, that’s how I feel, i’m being spoken to by people who are close and understand my situation and are trying to advise me. As I probably am still in shock, and may not have a choice but to accept some of the money, and then think about charities, I don’t know… I don’t know where my head is at right now…
But I had to say something.
Today I will sit down and work out how to play this, I can’t write down my thanks, to everyone, the internet doesn’t hold true enough the amount of love and warmth i’ve felt, it means the world to me.
While I am working everything out, please feel free to email me if you have donated and have any concerns, or would rather your money go to charity, or not. I want to hear people’s thoughts. I’m not trying to make a news story, this is just my life, and I want to be genuine with the people that have been more than genuine with me.
There are literally 7 versions of this song. This is 1 of roughly a million cuts that didn’t make it onto the album “Cupid Deluxe”. Additional vocals by Samantha Urbani Instrumentation and Production by me. Mixed by Blue.
Note : percussion borrows heavily from “Ruins" xxx
Doris Lessing's Nobel Prize speech in 2007 - "On not winning the Nobel Prize."
I am standing in a doorway looking through clouds of blowing dust to where I am told there is still uncut forest. Yesterday I drove through miles of stumps, and charred remains of fires where, in ‘56, there was the most wonderful forest I have ever seen, all now destroyed. People have to eat. They have to get fuel for fires.
This is north-west Zimbabwe in the early eighties, and I am visiting a friend who was a teacher in a school in London. He is here “to help Africa,” as we put it. He is a gently idealistic soul and what he found in this school shocked him into a depression, from which it was hard to recover. This school is like every other built after Independence. It consists of four large brick rooms side by side, put straight into the dust, one two three four, with a half room at one end, which is the library. In these classrooms are blackboards, but my friend keeps the chalks in his pocket, as otherwise they would be stolen. There is no atlas or globe in the school, no textbooks, no exercise books, or biros. In the library there are no books of the kind the pupils would like to read, but only tomes from American universities, hard even to lift, rejects from white libraries, or novels with titles like Weekend in Paris and Felicity Finds Love.
There is a goat trying to find sustenance in some aged grass. The headmaster has embezzled the school funds and is suspended, arousing the question familiar to all of us but usually in more august contexts: How is it these people behave like this when they must know everyone is watching them?
My friend doesn’t have any money because everyone, pupils and teachers, borrow from him when he is paid and will probably never pay him back. The pupils range from six to twenty-six, because some who did not get schooling as children are here to make it up. Some pupils walk many miles every morning, rain or shine and across rivers. They cannot do homework because there is no electricity in the villages, and you can’t study easily by the light of a burning log. The girls have to fetch water and cook before they set off for school and when they get back.
As I sit with my friend in his room, people drop in shyly, and everyone begs for books. “Please send us books when you get back to London,” one man says. “They taught us to read but we have no books.” Everybody I met, everyone, begged for books.