Monday, 25 February 2013

Bill Mudge - Jazz's Renaissance Man

Bill Mudge Trio's
Bill Mudge is reputed to be a highly creative player of jazz organ. When I googled his name I found (on Youtube) an animation by Alban Low which is meant to accompany Bill’s composition ‘Skylight’. I say “meant to” because I was in my local library and all their headphones had been filched. I watched Alban’s graceful black and white images glide around that screen and tried to imagine the enchanting sound sequences which had inspired them.
At various times there seem to have been Bill Mudge Quintets, Quartets and Trios. No doubt he also plays solo as well as in duos, sextets etc. I shall definitely make a point of checking out his music at some stage but at the moment I’m meant to be focusing on his fascinating visual contributions to recent Sampson Low Ltd publications.
' Let Me Show You To Your Room'

The photograph in Freedbook ‘Let Me Show You To Your Room’ triggers all kinds of associations for me, I’ve spent a lot of my life in small rented rooms. Your first glimpse inside reveals the end of a bed, a chest of draws, a wonky lampshade and bright sunshine streaming through a window. The door itself is scruffy, its paint flaking off but I’m sure everything’s clean and very few of the tenants will turn out to be serial killers.
 In contrast his photocollage in Patternotion documents an entire house. Before the Mudges moved in it belonged to Albert and Betty. The Albert-and-Bettys of this world should definitely be celebrated I think before they go the way of 8 track cassette cartridges, pennyfarthings and the eohippus.
In Albert’s own hand we read the cheery message, “Betty and I still enjoying life/modern sequence dancing/allotment garden etc”. Above and below these words are thoughtfully chosen patterns and textures from their home plus objects such as a lightswitch, a clock etc.
This week I took a photo of a local building which is soon to be demolished. I recall it mainly as having been a shabby charity shop in the late 90’s but when my Aunt saw the picture she told me it had been “an important piggery” during the war. Memories such as this are precious (to me at least). I’m grateful that Bill Mudge has chosen to give us an impression of how Albert and Betty’s place looked and felt before, as he says “embarking on the journey to make this house our home”.
(If you would like to find out what Bill Mudge sounds like for real then he's playing with the Kelvin Christiane Big Band at The Bloomsbury, Staines Road, Twickenham on Tuesday 5th March,2013 at 8pm. Free Entry. AL.)

No comments:

Post a Comment