I’m going to try something a little different with Wyrd Daze 5 and beyond.
Instead of just previewing each issue here on the blog, I’ll lay out the entire thing and do my best to optimise for phones (which is proving difficult with WordPress, but tally ho!).
There’ll still be a PDF and other content to stream or download,
but hopefully the full Wyrd Daze experience will be available,
right in the palm of your hand.
I’m going to try something a little different with Wyrd Daze 5 and beyond.
* * *
In June 1966, Reginald Calvert, manager of The Fortunes, Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, Screaming Lord Sutch, and owner of pirate radio station Radio City, agreed to go into partnership with another pirate station, Radio Free Hookland. When Oliver Smedley, owner of Radio Atlanta, telephoned Calvert to tell him of some interest in a partnership deal, Calvert explained he was entering into a partnership with Radio Free Hookland instead. Smedley shouted abuse down the telephone and decided to take over Radio City with a boarding party in the middle of the night, on the pretext that Calvert owed him £10,000 for an old, useless and broken transmitter from Texas. Smedley’s hired a group of riggers, who boarded Radio City on 20th June and put the station’s working transmitter out of action. News from Radio City was that the boarders were armed and would destroy all the equipment if Calvert or anyone else tried to evict them. Calvert went to the police to ask for their support, but they refused as it was “outside their legal jurisdiction”. They suggested he should sort it out with Smedley. Calvert tried repeatedly to do so but Smedley was never available. After some advice from Radio Free Hookland DJ Morris “Mojo” Johnson, Calvert decided to “let it go,” and before long Smedley ran out of money to keep the riggers on and they left, leaving Radio City largely intact.
Radio City and Radio Free Hookland continued to thrive up to and beyond the BBC’s legalisation of independent radio in 1973, finally falling foul to Margaret Thatcher in 1979 (which was but the tip of the Titanic for Hookland).
For David, with much love and appreciation from the people of Hookland.
Radio Free Hookland:
Mojo’s Graveyard Shift – broadcast Thursday 23rd November 1972
Original Content Tracklist
1. Mojo – The Ephemeral Man
2. 10:04 – 13:18 Sister Christina – Julianne Regan
3. 14:08 – 14:40 Lost Soul Inn (advert) – Chris Wood
4. 14:41 – 14:43 You’re Listening to Hookland Free Radio ident – Dale Whinham
5. 24:59 – 25:59 Hail to the Queen of Owls – Maria Strutz + The Ephemeral Man
6. 28:25 – 38:30 Pavel Mikoyan – Luke Bradshaw and the Pavel Mikoyan Survivors Group
7. 39:45 – 42:18 The Consecration of the Boy Bishop – Gordon Stranger
8. 50:42 – 52:15 Spitstone Bakery: Mysterious Eats (advert) – Gill Finlayson + Amy Shaw
9. 52:16 – 52:22 Radio Free Hookland ident – Amy Shaw + Dale Whinham
10. 52:27 – 56:44 Widdershins – Hawthonn
11. 1:00:03 – 1:02:34 The News – Chris Wood (words) Amy Shaw (music)
12. 1:02:47 – 1:02:59 Mojo’s Graveyard Shift ident – Amy Shaw + Dale Whinham
13. 1:09:49 – 1:17:27 “Seen anything strange lately?” with Cunning Sid Rosehip Ian “Cat” Vincent + The Ephemeral Man
14. 1:20:22 – 1:21:11 Hookland Building and Renovations (advert) Chris Wood
15. 1:21:12 – 1:22:59 Spitstone Bakery: Gift Vouchers (advert) – Gill Finlayson + Amy Shaw
16. 1:23:06 – 1:33:17 There’s Angels – Kay Orchison
17. 1:38:56 – 1:39:28 Hookland County Police, Wiretapping Records, Starfall Common 15th December 1980 – Marco Visconti
18. 1:39:29 – 1:42:48 Hookland Children’s Radio RJ Barker + The Ephemeral Man
19. 1:42:49 – 1:42:54 Hookland Free Radio ident Amy Shaw + Dale Whinham
20. 1:45:14 – 1:45:17 Oh Mojo ident Amy Shaw + Dale Whinham
21. 1:48:15 – 1:50:37 Spitstone Bakery: Purple Haze (advert) Gill Finlayson + Amy Shaw
22. 1:56:18 – 2:00:23 Country Song (for David) – William Wright
23. 2:00:24 – 2:01:45 Radio Fade – Sardonicus + The Ephemeral Man
Conceived and concocted by The Ephemeral Man
Sister Christina by Julianne Regan
The piece, ‘Sister Christina’, was composed and authored in the cold, small hours of December 16th 2018, as a tribute to Hookland’s David Southwell. My hope is that it embodies something of the spirit of the place, and naturally, that Mr Southwell might take some pleasure in this. It is best listened to on headphones, for that new-fangled stereo effect that is, apparently, ‘all the rage’.
Let me tell you of a place
Where Edwardian souls take solace in uncertainty
Let me guide you, clammy-handed, to the 24-hour library
A late night meander under mist-dimmed moon and humming streetlights
Then through the carless car-park
Where the three headless horses of Hookland
Stand staring at nothing, most certainly something
Manes lifted and teased by zephyrous breezes
Now enter the brutalist porch
Go from hall to chamber to gallery
While the scent of antiquity, subtle and slow,
Seeps from the heavy velvet of sun-faded curtains
Let the dust on the jackets of ancient books
Inspire asthmatic episodes lungs will worship
Let’s find papery moth wings flat between yellowing pages
Alongside bus ticket bookmarks
The number 3 to Gallowscroft, the 5 across to Corvid Green
The last journeys taken by Sister Christina.
She was found in the fiction section
Her blood-smeared left hand clutching Kafka
In spirit, she resides in this place, a diurnal presence.
She blooms in the early evening, and fades at dawn
The seance revealed that she feeds ghost breadcrumbs to the library’s tail-less mice – those reminders of nuclear folly that hasten over parquet floors, in blind chemiluminescence.
© Julianne Regan, 2018
Pavel Mikoyan –
Luke Bradshaw and the Pavel Mikoyan Survivors Group
According to the Hookland Zodiac, 2019 is the year of the Moon. Traditionally this signals a year-long heightening of the psychic senses throughout the County, which brings about physical or psychological transformation. This heightening of the psychic senses usually manifests its self in a number of ways, but it’s generally seen as a period of reflection on the past, of communicating with the ancestors, which gives foresight and a clearer vision of how to approach the future.
It may be thought of as a coincidence that the first children to succumb to the “Pavel Mikoyan is screaming on the Moon” outbreak of May 1969 were all 10 year olds who were born in the previous Year of the Moon in 1959, but this is Hookland. There are no coincidences.
The children affected across the county have a special bond with the Moon, they have all been susceptible to visions or dreams of the lunar surface and have at times been taken over by its emanations. Even as adults they continue to live under the mental shadow of a distressed Russian they believe to be its only ever permanent resident. They still gather frequently to compare notes on any strange dreams or visions they might have had, with some groups working to reconnect with the psychic lunar form of the ‘lost’ Russian Cosmonaut Pavel Mikoyan.
With the oncoming year of the Moon also the 50th anniversary of the Pavel Mikoyan outbreak, there is expected to be a larger than normal focus on the events of 1969, with events and commemorations planned by the survivor groups to raise awareness of the outbreak to try to finally get some answers.
(Year 6, St Ellen of the Ways Primary, Great Tarling, 1969)
The Consecration of the Boy Bishop – Gordon Stranger
While the boundaries between the establishment and the counter culture were somewhat blurred in Hookland around the time of Null’s modest popularity, it was no little surprise when Gordon Stranger was appointed composer laureate to the bishopric of Weychester. His lack of productivity meant his time in the post was short, and much of the material he did produce is characteristically lost, but this piece was discovered on a cassette amongst the Stranger family Christmas decorations and we are grateful to Gordons son, Gary, for sharing it.
Widdershins – Hawthonn
Produced & performed by Layla & Phil Legard – Spectral hurdy-gurdy by Rory Scammell Mastered by Gregg Janman (Hermetech Mastering)
“Everything is a time machine.”
We’ve wanted to record something based on the story ‘Widdershins’ by our friend Julie Travis for some time. The tale, criss-crossing temporal and metaphysical realms, begins with the observation of a girl – the elderly narrator’s younger self – walking widdershins around a rural church, and opening the way for the Bosch-like hurdy-gurdy-playing demon Madame Gargoyle, who is described as “proof of the wrongness of the area where the church stood”. The Hooklandish resonances in Julie’s tale are many, and so we took
ourselves to our own ancient church, walking widdershins around it, and recording our own plaintive time-machine dirge. One route to the church takes walkers along the path of the old corpse road, which scythes through a field now owned by property developers and hemmed in by mesh security fences on each side, keeping unruly spirits – both living and dead – to the path. The sound of these fences being rattled and agitated in protest as part of an impromptu ritual conducted while walking the corpse road concludes each of the three sections of the music.
Hookland County Police, Wiretapping Records,Starfall Common 15th December 1980 – Marco Visconti
Here is a rare record of a police wiretapping at Starfall Common, 15 December 1980. Only a short fragment survived, and the quality is, as you can imagine from the time period, quite abysmal. It does give however a little glimpse on what the Pylon People (in this case, two very young recruits of the cult in fact) thought about the Hum. A certain “Dee-Dee” is mentioned, likely the cult leader.
Sidney Aaron Rosehip (1930 – 2016)
– Ian “Cat” Vincent
Regarded by some as the last deep woods cunning-man of the ancient Rosehip line, Sid was a sardonic and irascible figure, often seen on the roads and in the pubs around Marshwood and Hook, occasionally but briefly on Ashcourt docks in the company of his ne’er-do-well brother Alfred (a dockhand, enthusiastic participant of the Free Trade and father of ‘Cunning Jack’ Rosehip, current member of the Walking Nine).
Something of an athlete in his youth (a champion Hodger – the almost-lost Hookland fighting-stick martial art – at several May Fair tourneys), Sid went to the woods in the early Fifties, but could, as all cunning can, be found just when you needed him the most. It was via reporter Jerry Bishop’s friendship with the family of Sid’s sister-in-law, Diana Stranger Rosehip, that the recording herein was arranged.
Rumours of Sid’s long standing but discreet love affair with a Hook fisherman, tragically taken by the King-Under-The-Sea a decade following the ’72 broadcast, were widely known but never mentioned to his face. It is known that he was rarely seen in public from then on.
Sid’s death in 2016 was mourned by few; however, the rumoured desecration of his grave and the alleged disappearance of his bones – followed by whispers of a terrible battle between Cunning Jack and an unnamed member of the Chumbley clan over Sid’s remains, of which Jack was the sole survivor – have become another chapter in the ongoing history of the Rosehip cunning clan.
Roll Call (in order of appearance)
Chris Wood : Twitter
Dale Whinham : Twitter
Luke Bradshaw and the Pavel Mikoyan Survivors Group : Twitter
Gill Finlayson : Twitter
Kay Orchison : Twitter
If any of the contributors would like anything added to these liner notes,
please contact Leigh at email@example.com
The Ephemeral Man was delighted to get his ears on a copy of William Wright‘s Salt Mass: A Hookland Suite in advance of the release on the 28th June.
Salt Mass is a deep and rousing suite of music, a journey through imagined place and feeling yet no less moving for it. I found myself so captivated that I entered a trance while listening and channelled some words inspired by the music as I listened again and again. This “review” can be found below, but first, take a listen to this track from the suite: Swans Coming Ashore
William Wright is a composer and Music Director at DF Productions. He had this to say about his inspiration for and process behind the album:
“The first time I saw Hookland on Twitter, I think it was a retweet by a songwriter I love, John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats). I was just floored by the sprawl and relentless creativity of it. Everything I read set off bombs of music in my brain. David Southwell (Hookland Orator) offered to send me a libretto after seeing something I tweeted about Hookland, and the next day I woke to a massive email of Hookland odds and ends. I read through and my mind really fastened on Spitstone, a dark coastal town preyed upon by a thing in the water. Throughout April, I just let my mind be there, and let my ideas soak up the celebrations, frustrations, and legends. In the end, I had this 5 movement suite of songs that I feel really lives in that space. David Southwell was good enough to write liner notes for the album, and seems to really like the music. I’ve spent a lifetime writing music, but this experience has been unlike any project I’ve ever attempted. I’m really proud of it, and that my work is perpetuating the brilliance of Hookland.”
The following is an excerpt from David Southwell’s liner notes:
“There is sympathetic magic in Salt Mass. Like calling to like. The saltwater in the score brought out tears from me on its first listening. I cried because in it, I heard all that I had found in Spitstone as I wandered it. Heard the people, often broken, often bitter, living on bruised lip England.”
Grammy-nominee Wayne Bledsoe, who has written expanded liner notes that only appear in a very limited edition score book to accompany the release, says this about the suite:
“It’s beautiful. It’s gentle. It’s mysterious and sometimes even ominous. It’s bathed in fog that melts away as the day goes on.”
The Ephemeral Man reviews Salt Mass: A Hookland Suite whilst in a trance:
The Black Windmill
Deep earth and radio transmissions. Tattered sails creaking in the wind as the mill churns bones to dust. There was a lady that came to the Black Windmill: a daughter or wife, dependant on who is telling the tale. “Blood in the bread and gone in the head, blood in the bread and gone in the head!” Her cries and laughter can still be heard in the creaking of those tattered sails as the mill churns dust to dust.
Star of the Sea, I beseech you: may the ghosts of regret not haunt me, nor the goblins of desire. Grant me understanding and purpose to light my way, and I will worship you with every fibre of my being.
The Blessing of the Boats
A crisp optimism of tide; an awareness of something bigger than oneself. Exegesis.
Swans Coming Ashore
Cavalcade turned carnival as the swans fold their wings to roost. A moment of bliss ends time. Gestation.
The Wedding of the Fathom Brides
I linger in the depths of it all (shadow an inexorable urge). Prototransformation.
As below, so above. Siren sing me back where I belong.
Greetings Wyrdians, and welcome to a new era of Wyrd Daze!
Click the link below for free access to this issue. (a PDF and an mp3)
The cover art for this issue was provided by The Implicit Order – there are more haunting images like the one below to be found inside…
The Phoenix Guide to Strange England: Hookland by David Southwell returns, and there’s also a Hookland wordsearch, a “Where’s C. L. Nolan” game, and some classic quotes and writing extracts from C. L. Nolan as well.
I am delighted to present an interview with Aurealis Award-winning fantasy and sci-fi author Mitchell Hogan. His Sorcery Ascendant Sequence is one of my favourite fantasy series, and he took the time to answer my questions in depth. There are some great lesser-known reading recommendations too!
An introduction to the Zenith’s Edge multiverse can be found in this issue, including three lost tales that have been cut from the first novel…
23 is an special mix by The Ephemeral Man for Wyrd Daze. Harnessing the mighty power of ordered chaos, the number 23 was integral to the mix. Whereas usually all audio clips and tracks are meticulously placed to ensure their optimum position, this mix was enigmatically optimised by placing each track using the number 23. For example: the second track comes in at 2:23 of the first (and the second track, by Coil, is 23:03 minutes long), and the third track come in at 6:23 mark of the second track.
The result is a mix that is as well crafted as any The Ephemeral Man has done, much to his amazement. Hail Eris!
Also worthy of note is spiralling synchronicity with The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu – I use an extract from a recording of A La Fu Live at Burn the Shard 23-11-17 in this mix. There is much to be discovered for those who want to explore the connections. Fnord!
You can download an mp3 of the mix from within Wyrd Daze One or stream below.
Wyrd Daze is free!
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Art makes us think more deeply, strive more intently, and feel joy more profoundly. Creativity in all it’s forms brings further meaning to our lives, allows us to explore existence and communicate our explorations to the world.
Thank you for your time – I hope you enjoy Wyrd Daze: One, and I wish you the wyrdest of dreams…
ZENITH’S EDGE : an auditory experience
An addition to the Wyrd Daze: One – a music mix / audio drama / audio collage hybrid based on the Zenith’s Edge multiverse. Crafted by The Ephemeral Man.
You can download a copy with the rest of Wyrd Daze: One or stream below…