Sometimes I love our connected world. Sometimes I want to smash it up.
Here’s a live video of a new called Captured.
I hope you get pulled in and watch it 80 times.
It’s impossible to create and consume at the same time.
To put it another way, you can’t write a song whilst watching Paul McCartney’s Glastonbury set on iPlayer1, even during the really obscure Wings album tracks. It is possible to write a song whilst eating a sandwich of course, something I’ve proved many times before. But that’s different.
To quietly sit at a piano playing an F chord in the hope it does something interesting today requires you (at least for a moment) to not experience the greatest works of art ever, the best movies, the funniest jokes, what more you might learn about the horrific dismantling of reproductive rights in America or any number of other important issues, a coffee with an old friend, the northern lights, messaging your mum, a good book, and any thought you might otherwise think were you not playing an F chord. That’s a lot of things to not do and I’ve left quite a few things out. You have to concentrate with F.
I wonder if Shakespeare felt that too? Did he have to turn down a really banging party to go write Henry IV? Or pass up a hot date to go write Romeo & Juliet?
Let’s be honest, he had it easy. They hadn’t yet perfected the ultimate tool for monetised distraction back then. No wonder he’s still the high watermark of artistic achievement. The wi-fi was so rubbish anyone would have smashed out those plays out of sheer boredom.
Could I interest you in everything all of the time?
A little bit of everything all of the time
Apathy’s a tragedy and boredom is a crime
Anything and everything all of the time
Bo Burnam, Welcome to the Internet (Inside, 2021)
At our fingertips is the sum total of all human knowledge and creativity and almost every connection we have to friends, family and loved ones. It’s available at any moment, day or night, for the low low price of our attention. Behind each screen sit millions of hard-working people2 and billions of dollars, working together in algorithmic harmony to pull us back into your smartphone just one more time. And then one more time after that.
Perhaps this model is so successful because it mirrors the behaviour of the human mind? A seemingly endless number of thoughts are served to you every day, each vying to pull you into some narrative, capture your attention, beguile you away from the bare reality of consciousness. Yeh I’ve done a rudimentary amount of meditation can you tell? On my meditation app. On my phone.
The album version is an absolute peach. One of my favourites. Excited for you to hear that one.
Do you find it easy to switch off? Do you get sucked in?
What do you think of the song? Any resonance for you?
Let me know in the comments.
John Parker plays double bass
Patsy Reid plays violin
I play guitar and sing
Northern Cowboy Films were behind the cameras, edited the video and mixed the audio
Feels Like Healing
A new podcast series launched this week about grief and creativity, featuring conversations with some friends and peers in the music world. It’s created by the wonderful artist Al Lewis, who like me experienced the death of his dad aged 21.
My conversation with Al is the first episode, and there are more to come from other musicians, artists and authors like Sarah Howells (Bryde) and John Parker.
My my these are stacking up a bit.
Friday 23rd September - Totnes Barrel House. Tickets.
Friday 30th September - Coatbridge Georgian Hotel. Tickets.
Sunday 2nd October - North Yorkshire Old School House. Tickets.
Monday 3rd October - Leeds Oporto. Tickets.
Wednesday 12th October - Suffolk Bull Inn. Tickets.
Thursday 13th October - Suffolk Bull Inn. *SOLD OUT*
Sunday 16th October - London Green Note. Tickets.
Friday 21st October - Brighton Folklore Rooms. Tickets. Please GOD TICKETS.
Saturday 22nd October - Winchester Railway Inn. Tickets.
Wednesday 26th October - Manchester Rose & Monkey. Tickets.
Thursday 27th October - Nottingham Running Horse. Tickets.
Friday 28th October - Lintrathen Lodge At Lochside. Tickets.
Saturday 29th October - Carnoustie Dibble Tree Theatre. Tickets.
Sunday 30th October - Tayport The Larick Centre. Tickets.
See all dates on a map here: https://share.jakemorley.com/livemap
I've been captured
By a powerful organisation in California
They caught me unawares
Now I'm caught I don't know where
And time takes on a dull veneer of blue
Confused and astray
I made for easy prey
I've been captured
Now everywhere they lead me by the hand
Some days I blame myself
But I really never stood a chance
Well organised, determined and financed
They wore me down til I was glad
To give them everything I had
Often I wake and I don't know where I am
Just waiting on the promise of release
I am made of sleep
Of memories and fragments of an old dream
What value is this life
When your mind is not your own
I'm never alone
Though, full disclosure, the first idea for Allegorical House was written during a haze of a binge-watching episodes of House MD. I don’t think that counts as an exception because by that point I wasn’t so much watching as swimming in a trance of superficially different but procedurally identical baffling life-threatening illnesses, one liners and periodic sub-plots involving personal lives. God I love that show.
Sometimes I’m one of them, but that’s a story for another time.