Humpty Dumpty: A Modern Prom-egg-theus

I wrote this for a modelled write at work, but I quite liked it so here you go:

Once upon a time there was an egg and his name was Humpty Dumpty. One day, Humpty Dumpty was strolling through a verdant green forest. In the trees, the birds were singing whilst new born lambs gambolled in the nearby fields.

At that very moment, Humpty felt like he was the happiest little egg in the whole wide world. Unfortunately, his happiness was to be short lived…

Whistling a merry tune, Humpty continued on his ramble through the countryside and eventually began to feel a little hungry.

“Time to eat my packed lunch,” he said to himself (and to the butterfly fluttering around his face).

Looking around for somewhere to sit, Humpty Dumpty spotted a wall. It was, he thought, a little high but it looked easy to climb and wide enough to sit upon. Carefully, Humpty climbed the wall. The grey stone was dry, and his eggy feet gripped easily. After less than two minutes of climbing Humpty Dumpty found himself sat on the wall.

Meanwhile, a full complement of cavalry guards were practicing manoeuvres. The King’s horses and the King’s men worked together perfectly. Almost silently, they moved in squares, changed formation, and prepared for imaginary attacks. Presently, they came to break for refreshments.

“Sir?” asked a young corporal.

“Yes, Corporal Jenks?” replied the commanding officer.

“Do you see on that wall over there? It looks like an egg eating its lunch.” pointed out the corporal.

“By golly you’re right!” exclaimed the CO, “It looks like that idiot Humpty Dumpty. We’d better get over there and check he’s safe!”

With that the CO ordered all his troops to advance on Humpty’s position, but they were to be too late…

Atop his wall, Humpty Dumpty was admiring the view. As he looked to the distance he saw a beautiful flock of geese flying in a perfect V formation towards him. He admired the birds as they flew closer and closer. As they began to fly overhead, he leant backwards to see them. Being an egg, and therefore having no neck, Humpty was obliged to bend back from the knees. Fascinated by the birds Humpty leant back further and further and further until his little legs could support him no more.

Before Humpty realised what was happening his egg body was tumbling down the wall. As time slowed in his mind he wondered if he would survive such a great fall.

Splat! Humpty hit the ground. His shell cracked into a hundred pieces and his yolky innards began to spread around him in the short grass. At that moment, all the King’s Horses and all the King’s men arrived on the scene.

“Heelllppp,” murmured the mortally wounded eggman.

“Quickly,” ordered the commanding officer, “put him back together again!”

For hours the military surgeons laboured over the stricken Humpty Dumpty but to no avail. In the end they reported that this egg was truly fried. Sinking into his saddle, the CO thought long and hard.

“Well,” he said finally, “you may not be able to put him back together again, but I know a man who can. Men! Collect the fragments of this forlorn ovoid. We ride for castle of Dr. Frankenstein!”

The already rotting scraps of shell and slowly desiccating albumen were scooped up into a large jar and loaded onto a cart. The cavalry unit then began the march the mountain retreat of the famous scientist, Dr. Frankenstien.

As they rode on, tall mountains rose to flank the path. At their peaks, snow still covered the rough and rugged rocks. Occasionally, the soldiers would hear the bleat of a mountain goat or the screech of an eagle.

After a day’s ride, they arrived at the castle. Its dark stone walls rose vertically from the mountain side and the only entrance was via a heavy wooden door. At the top of the highest turret, a curious set of antennae and other strange metal structures reached skyward.

The commanding officer dismounted his horse and stepped towards the door. With his gloved and armoured hand, he rapped three times.

“Frankenstein! Its me, the Major. We have need of your aid!” he called out.

Slowly the door opened and stood within was a small man in a white coat, his hair wild and singed.

“I know vhy you here,” he said softly with a hint of an accent, “bring him in.”

Carefully, the soldiers carried Humpty’s jar up to Frankenstein’s laboratory. There he was unpacked and laid out on the doctor’s table.

“Ve are forecast storms tonight,” said the doctor, “Zis is gut.”

Piece by piece Frankenstein glued, stitched and stapled Humpty’s shell back together. When the body was whole again, he poured in what was left of Humpty’s eggy insides through a hole he had left at the top. Much had been lost, so Frankenstein topped Humpty up with a strange, green, bubbling fluid he poured from a steel barrel.

Finally, the stricken eggman was strapped into a chair from which wires and cables reached to a great electrical contraption of dials, levers and switches and then on, upwards, to the ceiling of the room.

“Now ve vait for ze storm,” said Frankenstein.

Night fell swiftly in the mountain and storm clouds began to gather. The distant sound of thunder drew closer as the doctor made adjustments to his machine. Eventually the storm was upon them. Lightning struck the conductors and coursed through the machine and into the wrecked body of Humpty. His eggy frame convulsed as he was filled with frightening power.

Suddenly Humpty’s eyes opened wide and wild. He ripped off the shackles that bound him and leapt from the table, his face a contorted grimace.

“I am the eggman!” he cried. Lightning flew from his fingers toward the gathered soldiers and Dr. Frankenstein. “You are the eggmen!” he screeched. As the lightning wrapped around the assembled throng they began to change, their bodies growing rounded, their faces sinking down to their chests until they were as egg-like as the monster before them.

“I am the Walrus!” wailed the Humpty-creature triumphantly as long tusks grew from his mouth and long whiskers sprouted from his face.

With that he bounded from the room, down the stairs to the courtyard and out of the castle doors, never to be seen again.

Now, many years later, if you were to travel to those misty European mountains, perhaps you would hear the story told children to scare them to bed.

“Beware the toothy-eggy man,

He will catch you if he can,

He’ll turn you to an eggman too,

And that will be the end of you…”

Spaceship – Outcrops

This May will see the release of the first spaceship album to be released on vinyl. Focussing on a series of sandstone outcrops above the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden, Outcrops is an exploration of the geological history of the Upper Calder me  complete an undergraduate degree in Earth Science in the 1990s, each track was created to invoke a particular phase of that history, namely the interbedded sandstones and siltstones of the Millstone Grit, the formation of the Yorkshire coal measures and finally the glaciation of the valley during the last ice age.

cover
The album was recorded in the field, in a series of small caves where I created the pieces that make up the album whilst almost encased within the landscape I was describing. These recordings were then treated to minimal editing and post production in the home studio at the base of the hills where the recordings were made. In this way the album becomes analogous to many of the local stone buildings, the materials from which they were built often having travelled just a few hundred yards to the site of the building’s final construction.
Finally, whereas last year’s The Last Days (The Dark Outside Recordings) was about leaving my Essex home of the last twelve years, Outcrops is about the discovery of somewhere new.

Artwork by the magnificent Maxim Peter Griffin

Release 24th May 2019. Pre order from WIAIWYA 

Radio Round Up

Here’s a few bit of radio play Spaceship has enjoyed recently. All these shows are well worth a listen for the wealth of fantastic music played. I’m in awe of those who spend time listening to, and broadcasting, lesser heard sounds and I’m always proud when my music is played amongst all the other great stuff.

First up was a play on Phantom Circuit on Resonance Extra. 

Sonic Imperfections gave a track a spin on Resonance FM. There’s a good description of how the last album was made on there too.

Last but not least, Gated Canal Community saw fit to include a track on their latest show on Reform Radio.

Thank you all.

 

spaceship news

I hope the summer finds you well and sun is shining when required. As you may have seen the latest spaceship album, ‘a prospect of loughton brook‘, received some great reviews, including in Electronic Sound and Shindig magazines. Tracks also got airplay on Gideon Coe’s 6Music show, Pete Paphides Soho Radio show and a number of other plays online and over the airwaves. electronic sound review

shindig reviewThe initial run of 50 deluxe CDs has now sold out, but a second edition is available for pre-order, in slimmed down packaging, for anyone who missed out.

Coming soon there will be a new album, preceded by an EP. The album is called ‘fields 2: from the sea to the moor, via the forest and the cdcoversstones’. Like 2016’s ‘fields: churches and rivers’, the tracks were recorded out on location but, whereas the first album was made using mostly acoustic instruments, these tracks are mainly made using a variety of iPad apps played through a speaker and recorded, along with any ambient noise, with a microphone. There is also a dusting of rudimentary alto recorder.

ep cover

 

The music was recorded in a number of locations in Essex, Yorkshire and Kent, including three tracks recorded in Epping Forest. The preceding EP takes a track from the album, ‘the imagined view, as yet unblighted’ (recorded at Coldrum Long Barrow in Kent), and to it adds three additional pieces recorded at pre-historic sites in Cornwall. The EP will be released on 3 inch CD followed by the album in the usual deluxe, recycled card packaging. Artwork for both releases comes, as is becoming tradition, from the excellent Maxim Peter Griffin.

The EP will launch on 25th August, with the album following in the autumn. All the best for the rest of the summer.

Mark Williamson

Essex, July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

spaceship – a prospect of loughton brook

The latest spaceship album, ‘a prospect of loughton brook‘ is now available to pre-order buy. I’m really proud of this album and it probably represents the most work I’ve every put into one release.

front cover

Here’s the blurb:

A Prospect of Loughton Brook is the fifth album from Mark Williamson’s Spaceship. The album was recorded and produced over two weekends in January of this year. It consists of binaural and hydrophone recordings, augmented with piano, synthesizer and strings. The album traces the journey, from source to mouth, of Loughton Brook, a small stream in Epping Forest. Some of the recordings are left raw and unprocessed, others processed and altered. Some pieces have added instrumentation others are left alone.
The piece reflects the journey. The sounds of the transition from the steep sided valley of the upper reaches, in Great Monk Wood, through the meanders below Baldwins Pond and under the houses and shops of Loughton itself; before the stream emerges from a culvert to flow through Loughton recreation ground and on to its confluence with the River Roding. The cultural and geographical changes along the stream’s relatively short route are pronounced. Whilst the hum of aircraft and the drone of traffic is a constant in Epping Forest, the transition from north to south brings more human sounds. First dog walkers and families, then the sounds of suburban Loughton and finally the muted roar of the M11.

Pre-order from www.forged-river.com . Release date 12th May 2017.

American Civil Liberties Union

This Friday Bandcamp have pledged all profits they make to the American Civil Liberties Union who are working tirelessly to combat the discriminatory and unconstitutional actions of the American president.

In solidarity with this action I will also donate any money I make on Friday from Spaceship Pictures and H.U.M. purchases, to the same organisation. There will also be a new, pay what you want, track available called ‘Not This Time’.

This is what I’ve written on the page:

‘I believe what’s happening in America is dangerous. And not just in America, across Europe right wing thought and politics is gaining ground. The politics of blame, of discrimination and of hate.
On 3rd February 2017, Bandcamp have pledged all profits to the American Civil Liberties Union. On that same day any profits made by this shop will go in the same direction. Including any revenue from this track,
In times like that this it is important not to feel helpless and overwhelmed. I know many of us, as individuals, cannot do a lot, but maybe we can do something. And a lot of small somethings can, perhaps, make big things happen.’

not-this-time