Wyrd Question Daze : Peter Verwimp

I’m Peter Verwimp, hailing from Antwerp, Belgium, Europe. I’m a musician, curator, producer and shamanic healer.

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Where did you come from and where are you going?

I was born and raised near Antwerp, just at the border with the Netherlands. At age 17 I moved to the city and have been living there for most of my adult life. It’s my home base from were I travel around the world. For the past 10 years i’ve been living in an old gentleman’s house where I have my recording studio as well. The plan is now to move outside of Antwerp to a more quiet and possibly more remote area, to be more close to Nature and away from the busy city life.

Musically and art wise I’ve been doing a variety of things in the past. I played in mostly heavy bands, I was part of a sound art multimedia collective for 10 years with which I traveled all around Europe, the US and Asia for 10 years. I did a radioshow for about 5 years on local radio station Centraal and I worked at the promo section of the now defunct Conspiracy Records for many years.

I`ve been curating concerts, book readings and exhibitions at my house for more than a decade now and used to organise the ‘Ceremony of the Ascension’ art and ambient festival in various locations around the city. Next to that I became involved with shamanism and do shamanic healings from time to time. The Shamanic element plays an important role in the way I live and make my art.

What preoccupies your mind these days?

I’m constantly working on music these days. Since the first lock down in 2020 I lost my job as a chef and have been struggling to keep my head above water. Luckily I have a home studio where I can record my albums, music for movies and art videos. Being a solo artist I love to collaborate with people from different art disciplines. I work with other musicians, with video artists, writers and poets, contemporary dance artists, fashion designers and the like. Collaborations bring different points of views to the fold and that works really inspiring for me. It gives me the possibility to share ideas with others and to get to know them through their work.

Throughout the years there have been some very intense, worthwhile and ongoing collaborations with musicians and artist from around the globe. I’ve been working with Grey Malkin (The Hare and the Moon) from Scotland for about 10 years now. We’ve released 3 albums together and are now also part of a bigger collective called The Black Swan Triad, alongside musicians Menalaeh and Vinlansraud from Norway and fellow Belgian musician Stratosphere, with who I’m also involved with other sound projects. I worked with Chtonia from New Zealand, with video artist Jutta Prior from Australia and Poet Lois P. Jones from the US. With sound artist Jim Wylde from Canada, Tim Holehouse from the UK, No One (Mark Neys) from Belgium, Modular synth wizard Onsturicheit (Belgium) with Farid Nahid, a traditional percussionist from Iran, working with vocalist Marko Neuman (Finland) with filmmaker Marco Laguna, Corona Barathri and Endsdomir from Russia, Onasander from Italy….and so many others.

Currently I`m rehearsing with Steve Hermit, a percussionist / drummer from Belgium, for a future release and live performances. And I’m involved with a new project that will bring together the poems of Ruben de Somer, drawings by Felix Bosschaert and music by myself and Alan Trench (UK, Temple Music)…plenty things to be busy with!

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

Even though I have a sweet tooth I absolutely love the taste of sour things a lot, from the citric acid on candy to Thai Tom Yum soup, lime on a Taco, a Margarita cocktail….sour has a way of highlighting the other tastes, it makes them stand out more. I love the touch of wind on skin, the sound of bells, the smell of freshly ground herbs and spices (and coffee of course!). And I have a soft spot for rocks and stones, big or small, mountains or standing stones…they all have a profound sense of mystery to them.

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

A reoccurring dream / nightmare I had in my youth always started in a bar that I had only visited once in my waking hours. The bartender was the most friendly guy, even though later in the dream I saw he had hooves, which made it clear to me that he was the devil. He would invite me to his mysterious and antique house to meet his 3 bearded wives. They were most friendly too and showed me a very large book or manuscript they were working on. It was mostly about Botany and a special, spiky, Hedra Helix like plant in particular. The dream always started the same, but each time I dreamed it the story would unfold further. After some time, I’d gotten familiar with them and visited regularly, I was introduced to their beautiful daughter. The Devil and his wives were always dressed, but the daughter ran around naked all day. The last part of the dream was the union with their daughter that sprouted the plant to overgrow everything in it`s sight. The plant literally grew all around the world, on every object, every building and highway, bridges and towers…it took over everything on its way. After that I never dreamed that dream again, but the memory will always be vividly with  me.

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

Years ago I was doing a painting job at a retirement flat where the previous owner had recently died. It was a small appartement and there was the possibility for residents to call on a nurse via a button activating an alarm at the medical office in the building. After I had been at work there for about an hour there was a knock at the door. I openend the door and a nurse stood in front of me asking if everything was ok and why I pushed the button.

I did`t push the button, I said, not even by mistake because I was painting the other room in the appartement. Half an hour later the same thing happened and the nurse came to the door again. She thought of course that I was playing a game with her, but I assured her that was not the case at all. So she asked for an electrician to have a look at the wiring…turned out the alarm button was not even connected to their system anymore…

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

I`m not sure if a sense of place really has an influence on my work, but going for long walks in Nature certainly contribute to my inspiration and gives me fuel to go on in the crazy world we are living in right now. It brings me a sense of belonging. And when playing live, a place does have an influence on my improvisations. I`ve had the chance on several occasions to play in churches, in a forest or an old industrial plant and the feeling of those places does inspire me.

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

I think that this whole Pandemic thing the past two years has had a profound influence on me for sure. Being cut of from the world, friends and other collaborators, the conspiracy theories and propaganda from governments and media, the censorship of information and everything else that was going on was very inspiring. Tapping into the fear that could be felt all over, the dystopian state of the world… It has influenced me to make two albums that revolve around those themes and feelings.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

For many years I had been wanting to play at the Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway. Orryelle Defenestrate, an artist, filmmaker and musician from Australia that I had met through mutual friends had managed to get to rent the place for an evening of performances and he invited me along with Norwegian drone master Sysselman. My wife and myself where staying at a B&B  not far from the Mausoleum. Because it seemed like we could do this on foot quickly., we decided to go for that option instead of taking a cab. So to get there we used Mappy or some other app to get us there. Both loaded with suitcases and musical gear we went on our way.

Little did we know that the app was so accurate. Instead of leading us there by road, the app took us through a forest and bramble bushes, over a ramshackle old bridge over a waterfall and through muddy uphill meadows. I must say we were glad to have finally reached our destination, we had faced some danger but we had great laughs on our way too!

Wyrd Question Daze : Andy Paciorek

“We are the Dreamers of Dreams”
https://www.blurb.co.uk/user/andypaciorek
https://twitter.com/Andy_Paciorek
https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/andypaciorek

Where did you come from and where are you going?

“There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing”

What preoccupies your mind these days?

“Nothing but desolate wastes
and fierce beasts.”

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

“The snozzberries
taste like snozzberries.”

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

“Pink macaroons
And a million balloons
And performing baboons and…”

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

“Traveling in the world of my creation
What we’ll see will defy
Explanation”

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

“It can take you to any room by pressing
one of these buttons. Any button.
Press a button and zing!
You’re off.
And up until now,
I’ve pressed them all.
Except one.
This one.”

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

“Vermicious Knids”

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

“No touching, no tasting, no telling.”

Wyrd Question Daze : Will Kearney

Hi there. My name is Will Kearney, I’m a musician, artist and writer.

Under the moniker Sand Snowman I have been writing, recording and releasing music for longer than I would care to mention.

Young Pan

Vinyl & CD’s can be purchased here
Sand Snowman on Bandcamp
Prints and paintings can be viewed/purchased here

FacebookYouTube

2020

Where did you come from and where are you going?

I was born in Cork, Ireland, moved to London when I was 18, left London 10 years ago and now live on the South East coast. Having been on a seabound trajectory for over a decade now a move into the sea itself cannot be ruled out, so I had better develop gills, and learn to swim. 

What preoccupies your mind these days?

I’m currently writing a book, or at least *trying* to write one – it’s something I’ve been meaning to get on with for some time now.

The book is concerned with the Symbolist origins of Modern Art, and the culture that it grew out of (or against, as the case may be). I am fascinated by Symbolism’s forwarding of an “outlook” rather than a specific “style”( such as, say, Impressionism or Cubism) as well as what I would consider its ability to operate on a deeply archetypal (and Universal) level – I’m thinking here of how so many indigenous and traditional folk art’s feature animal/humanoid elements, the purpose of which is clearly for Symbolic rather than representational purposes. Likewise Symbolist Art abounds with Chimeras, Androgyns, and mythological beings, with a strong emphasis placed upon dream- reality, twilight, marginal and in- between places and states of being. 

Chimera

I also hope to examine what I would consider the major schism between “high” and “popular” Art that followed the First World War, especially in regards to vociferous dogmatism ie; Clement Greenberg (“Anything that isn’t Abstract Expressionism is Kitsch) and Pierre Boulez/Theodore Adorno (“Anything that isn’t Serialism is worthless”). This had, I maintain, a calamitous effect on both “high” and “popular” art, with the former becoming a pretentious elitist edifice reliant upon – and in control of – funding, and indifferent to anyone unwilling to subject themselves to an atrophied model of Art whose main characteristic seems to be an ability to alienate, irritate and rehash the kind of old- hat avant gardisms Marcel Duchamp turned out over a century ago.

Whilst “high art” descended down Duchamp’s Pissiore, all of “popular” art was condemned – Duke Ellington & Jean Sibelius were, according to The Serialists, no more worthy than tin pan alley tat. With its abandonment by what was recognised as the serious critical class, Pop Art – especially music and film – was primarily adjudged for its commercial value; of course there has always been a monetary motive, and popular audiences weren’t *directly* affected by edicts of Art critics – and serious minded pop culture criticism did follow – but a path was set whereby aesthetic standards were significantly diminished, and lowest- common denominator, market- driven drivel flourished.

What has occurred – with increasing velocity over the past 50 odd years – is that pop has repeatedly eaten itself; whether it has sufficiently digested itself (and disposed of itself) is another matter, but it seems to me that, in terms of content, the lexicon is limited. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I believe we are short- changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to be bamboozled by context – “the same old thing in brand new drag”, as Bowie put it.  

Of course, this is a very broad brushing of what is a nuanced, complex and highly subjective subject, hence my reluctance to get on with it.

Daphnis & Chloe
Faun & Nymphs

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

Mint, peaches
Velvet, bark
Birdsong, the sea
Nature flourishing in abandoned industrial spaces 
Fresh cut grass, Nag Champer incense

A Soul’s Morning
Eireann

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

I have recurrent dreams where I discover my home to have hitherto unknown rooms and floors. These are usually Victorian in design and in an advanced state of decay, with mildew and water damage  usually present. These dreams are unsettling and slightly sinister but I rather like them as I’ve long had a fascination both for abandoned places and Victorian architecture and design – I often use the latter in my paintings, the patterning of which seems to have a not entirely friendly sentience. 

A House Of War Our Home
Sirens Three

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

Yes, on a number of occasions ie; seeing/hearing people some time before they appear, having prophetic dreams and some genuinely frightening experiences that defy both description and rationalisation. 

Light Cover
Judgement Will Come At Night

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

I’m not so sure if it does, really. I tend to be the same wherever I am, which may or may not be a good thing. Nevertheless I try and remind myself that it is probably more important for me to work upon myself than to look for faults in my surroundings. I don’t know who said “everyone wants to change the World but nobody wants to change themselves” but I think there’s much truth in it.  

A Living Room

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

I’m always impressed by just how kind and decent most people are, or at least try to be. The news, twitterverse, commentariat etc do a good job of presenting everything as and in the worst possible faith – it’s refreshing how much we can agree with people with whom we don’t agree!  

Twin Archetype

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

I hope this doesn’t offend any U2 fans….

*Apparently* at a gig in Scotland Bono was delivering a mid-set monologue regarding poverty in Africa (He could have just donated his fee, but hey ho….). He clapped his hands slowly, saying “everytime I do this (clap) a child in Africa dies”, to which an audience member shouted “well stop doing it, ya evil bastard!” 

Preperation For The Final Mystery

Wyrd Question Daze : The Nameless Book

Good morning/afternoon/evening, I am The Nameless Book. Yeah, it’s a silly name, I know.

Where did you come from and where are you going?
We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. Or something.

What preoccupies your mind these days?
Just what the holy hell is going on. It feels like six years living in a fictional dystopia. I hope things will improve, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell
Taste – stolen chips
Touch – wiggling the tip of your finger on the knapp of velvet
Sound – a dreaming dog’s muffled barking
Sight – the glint in Bob Mortimer’s eye as he starts to spin a yarn
Smell – taking the bus past the McVities factory on Jaffa Cake day

Video created/directed by Beneather ~ Music and lyrics written by S J Nelson

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares
I was on a open-topped bus that was speeding across the ocean like a hovercraft. At a signal three of us mounted on dirt bikes rode out of the middle door and began riding through the white horses towards the rapidly-approaching beach. We reached the shore, ditched the bikes (as they would only work at sea), and split up to begin searching for our quarry.

The beach was pebbly and hard to run on, my legs pushing down into it with each stride, so by the time I reached the road my muscles ached. Houses all around were extensively damaged from some unknown bombing campaign. In the distance a column of people in uniform marched steadily closer.

After looking through several ruins I found it: small and fragile, I clutched it to my chest and started running back to my bike on the beach. But the road turned into pebbles as I ran, sucking and pulling my feet deeper and deeper.

By the time I reached the bike I was exhausted, but I still had it in my hand. I looked up at the road to see the masses ranks about to march onto the shingles to intercept me. As I looked out to see the bus swept past and turned its prow to the open sea, leaving me trapped.

That’s when I woke up…

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?
In my youth I once was persuaded to attend a Christian music festival. That was pretty eerie. Or terrible. Both.

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?
It depends on the safety and novelty of the place I think. Somewhere secure and/or boring will prompt more navel-gazing (not necessarily a bad thing); somewhere perilous and/or stimulating will focus my attention outside. But I’m also so scared it’ll go away and never come back I don’t like to question it too fiercely.

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?
Primarily We Rate Dogs on Twitter. And Wholesome Memes.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke
I’ve just heard a good one. Apparently at the siege of Tenochtitlan in 1521 Hernán Cortés’s forces built a large trebuchet to bombard the city. Unfortunately the Spanish forces building it weren’t terribly used to mediaeval weaponry, as they primarily used guns and cannon. They test fired it with a large rock, which went directly upwards and fell back down onto the trebuchet, destroying it.

“Blank Page” will be available to buy digitally from Tbilissi Recordings via Bandcamp (and stream at all disreputable sites) on Friday 18th March. A very limited run of CDs will also be available for lovers of the physical.

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