Who am I?

Hard to say!  But you have to start somewhere…

Music is huge in my life both as enthusiast and critic but also as a budding singer who dabbles as a musician.  I am Studying to be a Sound/Audio Engineer with a view to music/film production in future.  Drama, acting film books poetry lyric writing and novels as well as all things arty drive my work…I dabble all the time in various creative outlets if health permits.   I have even tried all manner of presenting and writing being featured on the BBC.  All a surprise to me, and fun.  My old mum was a psychic, but other than an uncanny knack of picking up records in a bargain box in California that seemed to magic up UK only limited editions only known to me alarmingly regularly with personal significance, I have little proof of being Psychic Myself. Though below is my fave ever ghost documentary which very much fits my palmist grans obsessions with the supernatural, which in turn influenced my thriller books. I also grew up in London and used the underground regularly and I well remember the stories of my old mums spiritualist friends to do with old London haunts so all things spooky resonate though my writings whether literary or musical.  I grew up off the Harrow Rd near Ladbroke Grove (where bands like KILLING JOKE THE CLASH AND JJ BURNEL of THE STRANGLERS hail ) in London in Caribbean culture and have always loved west indies music and cricket as I enjoyed many a Notting Hill Carnival Growing up.  I was always a bigger fan of the Jam but the Clash lived locally and Strummer also lived near me years later yet still never saw him live.   

My tiny family (despite health issues for us all) moved to a beautiful village – Nether Stowey, which is famous for the poet COLERIDGE.  I loved the literary links in Portobello Road where I grew up in London hearing local music and walking past George Orwell’s house most days.  An old historian I once knew – David Worthy – who was a neighbor, highlighted to me the fact that a Music exhibition on Cecil Sharp at Museum of Somerset reveals a picture of the house I live in and a picture of James Chedgey like a ghost from 1909 at my unchanged back door.  Sharp notated his famous song “On No John No” according to Worthy as he lived in this very house!  He was unique for Even making early musical recordings in obscure country houses of rustic folk musicians to be often stolen by the likes of Bartok ect…Not only was his work invaluable in saving music for the world that might be lost but also its an early example of musical recordings of ordinary people.  It is A nice musical connection to inspire my own little Coleridgean inspired Lyrical Ballads..

I am also from my late teens from Somerset in the UK, but grew up in Paddington, West London. I volunteered doing tours  at the home of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge for ten years whilst here in Somerset to help to try to save it.  I performed on the poet Coleridge at the Beautiful days festival in Devon in 2011.  I trained as an actor with Youngblood theatre company, Hammersmith and acted with various household names pre fame.  As a child I was at Carona Stage school, which led to work as a six year old in a Siousxie and the BANCHEES video! I studied Arts events at the Arts University College, Bournemouth, which has a world famous reputation of renowned writers/musicians and from its film school. Whilst there i was taught by Architecture/Design Gaudi biographer Gijs Van Hensbergen who gave me a distinction for my Dissertation on Political Popular Music. He also taught me about Architecture and design, which helped when later on in life I was helped organize the worlds first Architects and Design Forum Events in the USA and Europe.  Here is the GAUDI biographer on the BBC talking about Guernica.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09bxkdm

Rest assured a more colorful artistic endeavor is on the way – I am working with an interesting composer on a series of Music projects using my vocals for singing, spoken word as well as my songs and poems set to music by myself and Esther Hopkins- at least thats the plan.  To begin with the “Ancient Sea Turtle” which ended up in the Roald Dahl Museum.  Hence the music focus.   These are a few highlights but browse the blog to get my ideas and story.  

I took the above Poe inspired pics on Catalina Island California during summer 2020, where for a few lessons I met Gary Bruno – Dave Mason of TRAFFIC’s second guitarist. 

Below are some writing interviews I did many years ago with the BBC it is more on me and my writing hobbies all very dated now but perhaps of interest .  The are also various strangely connected musical fragments with no seeming connection other than being personal to me.  Hope you find something to enjoy. I include the Clash due to my double whammy “so near yet so far” story of woe!!!

Please donate to this cause close to my heart. 

https://freethebears.org/pages/bear-carer

BOUGHT THIS IN LADBROKE GROVE RECORD AND TAPE EXCHANGE WHEN I WAS 14…LEFT A BIG IMPRESSION…ALONG WITH A BEAT CONCERTO THE JAM BIOGRAPHY BY PAOLO HEWITT
Saw this POE like friend and managed to capture him…Copyright Ben Manning 2020
Though ive visited it I was nowhere near Edgar Allen Poe’s house when i took this but it was a hint of the gothic whilst on my travels in California during the pandemic using my old phone in 2020.
ME PRESENTING IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE THE HOUSE THAT COLERIDGE FIRST PERFORMED ANCIENT MARINER TO WORDSWORTH IN AND WHICH NEARLY FELL TO PIECES FOREVER…THE NEW OWNERS WHO I VISITED RECENTLY WERE FEATURED THIS YEAR ON SKY ARTS. I WAS SO PLEASED WHEN THEY TOLD ME MY FILM WAS WHAT INSPIRED THEM TO LOOK INTO OBTAINING THE HOUSE AS A BUDDHIST AND ARTS RETREAT…
MY READING PERFORMANCE OF MY POEM “THE ANCIENT SEA TURTLE AND THE BOY WHO LOVED HIM, WHICH WAS INSPIRED BY COLERIDGE’S ANCIENT MARINER AND ROALD DAHLS TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED SEA TURTLE TALE…ITS NOW IN THE LIBRARY AT THE DAHL MUSEUM…I ALSO PERFORMED IT AT THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS ROCK FESTIVAL IN DEVON AT COLERIDGE’S BIRTHPLACE WHICH LED ME TO BRIEFLY MEET BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE
MY GRAN WAS A PSYCHIC AND I HAVE HAD MANY EXPERIENCES. THIS IS THE ONLY DECENT PARANORMAL DOCUMENTARY OUT THERE…
INTERESTING DOCUMENTARY FROM AN OLD CASSETTE RECORDING. ALONG WITH GEORGE ORWELL’S “1984” I READ “BRAVE NEW WORLD” AT AGE 15 AND SAW MANY SIMILARITIES WITH OUR TIME. ORWELL’S (ANIMAL FARM IS A CLASSIC TOO AS IS THE KINKS SONG) OLD HOUSE WAS A 15 MIN WALK FROM MY CHILDHOOD LADBROKE GROVE AREA UPBRINGING. THIS WAS RECORDED IN CALIFORNIA AND IN CALI I ALSO VISITED ARIZONA AND ARCHITECT DESIGNER FRANK LLOYD WRIGHTS TALIESEN WEST. OUT THERE I SAW WHATS LEFT OF THE COUNTER CULTURE IN SAN FRAN AND AS THE DOORS JIM MORRISON WAS INSPIRED BY ROMANTIC POETS LIKE BLAKE AND COLERIDGE SO TOO WAS HE INFLUENCED BY HUXLEY’S WORK – “THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION”. I LOVE OLD RADIO AND THIS ALSO INCLUDES TIMOTHY LEARY AND IS INTERESTING FOR THE CONNECTION BETEEN THE LITERARY HUXLEY WORLD OF THE 1940’S WITH MORE IN COMMON PERHAPS WITH SHOSTAKOVICH OR THE JAZZ AGE, AND THE 1960’S LSD FUELED ROCK MUSIC WORLD OF JIM MORRISON THE LIZARD KING HIMSELF AND THE DOORS AND BY DEFINITION THEN THE INFLUENCE ON ALL SORTS OF BANDS FROM IRON BUTTERFLY OF THE DOORS CONTEMPORARIES TO PERHAPS THE UK BANDS…IN “BRAVE NEW WORLD” THE WHOLE “SOMA” CONNECTION ALWAYS HAD ME WONDERING ABOUT E TABLETS AND PROZAC…THE MACHINE MUSIC-“SYNTHETIC MUSIC BOXES” AND PORN STYLE “FEELIES” AGAIN IS PROPHETIC GENIUS. REALITY TV ALSO IS HINTED AT MUCH IN THE BOOK BNW AS THE TV DRAMA “THE YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICS” ALSO DID IN THE 1960’S MANY YEARS LATER…
THIS IS A GOOD GROUNDING IN WHAT BAUHAUS WAS ALL ABOUT AS AN ARCHITECTURAL AND DESIGN MOVEMENT AND ITS FASCINATING LOOKING AT HOW IT INFLUENCED MUSIC FILM PAINTING AND ALL ASPECTS OF THE ARTS…IT EVEN INSPIRED GOTH LEGENDS!
ANY EXCUSE FOR THIS CLASSIC WHICH I OWN ON ORIGINAL PICTURE DISC 12 WITH DRACULA BELA IMAGE…LIKE ART GARFUNKEL OR KRAFTWERK OR PINK FLOYD ID LOVE TO SAY MURPHY IS AN ARCHITECT WHICH ALL OF THOSE ARE BUT I HAVE NO IDEA!
BRAVE DOCUMENTARY THAT HAS A POLITICAL STAB AT DEVELOPERS AND ARCHITECTS (“THE POOR LIVE IN TRASH WHILE THE RICH ENJOY THE BEST”) WHICH REMINDS ME OF THE OLD WELLER JAM SONG PLANNERS DREAM GOES WRONG AND THIS BBC ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENTARY ELOQUENTLY SETS OUT EXPLAINING THE ART IN ARCHITECTURE BUT ALSO THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
AGAIN THE SIMPLICITY IN THIS IS PROFOUND IN THAT IT ENGAGES THE VIEWER OPENING UP ALL ARTS IN A MULTIMEDIA SENSE THAT WAS VERY AHEAD OF ITS TIME AS WAS BAUHAUS LONG BEFORE THE IDEA WAS USED IN TECHNOLOGY OF MEDIA CONVERGENCE I SEE IT AS CROSS “ARTS CONVERGENCE”…. MODERN DOCS TEND TO LINGER INTO CLICHES WITH STYLE ABOVE CONTENT WITH CHEESY OVER MANICURED OR BOUFFANT WEARING PRESENTERS (!)…THIS IS FAR DEEPER AND INFORMATIVE AGAIN CONNECTING ART WITH ARCHITECTURE…
FOLK HISTORIAN CECIL SHARP VISITED MY MOTHERS HOUSE IN 1908 ALONG WITH MANY IN THE SOMERSET AREA BUT MINE WAS WHERE THE FAMOUS “NO JOHN NO” SONG WAS DISCOVERED

1 thought on “Who am I?

  1. thank you for posting a clip of russell’s the rime…, which i think is the best visual translation of a poem. perhaps you could initiate a petition to request that it be made available somehow and&or resolve the rights issue? i would support such

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s