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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, October 25, 2008
    Oppression free design

    I like to listen to a little hippie wisdom now and again. Because it's wisdom. This quote comes from Naybob Shineywater's interview in the current Arthur Magazine and I respect him and his partner-in-life-and-music Rachael Hughes because they don't just talk the progressive society, they're trying to live it out in the New Mexico desert, and that is where, as the group Brightblack Morning Light, they have recorded their latest album Motion To Rejoin - using four solar panels.

    This is self-sustainable recording. The Arthur article says, 'Motion to Rejoin was recorded using solar power, which involved installing a sign-wave inverter to their panel system to cut the humming associated with electronics rigged to solar.' Naybob says that 'Motion To Rejoin is anti nuclear and coal, but also aligned with the phases of the sun. With only 4 solar panels you are entirley dependent upon how much the sun is shining.' It fits the rest of their lifestyle which is suitably gentle on the earth too.

    But the best thing is the music - which is thoroughly gentle on the ears. Listening to Brightblack Morning Light you can turn on, tune in, and quite comfortably drop off. While they sing against oppression their Southern Blues couldn't be more laid-back. These aren't protest songs - they are politicised incantations with vibraphones and electric Rhodes. Out in the desert Brightblack Morning Light seem to have hit on a unique formula: resistance as relaxation, disavowal as letting go. Such lightness and brightness, and commitment to the good life - just the thing as the winter darkness falls.