HOT CROSS BORDERS

April 26, 2019

Hot Cross Borders is the title of the two-thousand-seven-hundred-and-ten words that Bill Drummond has used to document what he did on this past Good Friday on a border in Ireland.

What follows are the first two-hundred-and-seven of those words.

The rest of these words can be read at The Quietus web site.

Has a symbolic gesture ever achieved you anything?
I mean something proper?
Actually made a difference?

If I were to offer to do the washing up and then just washed the one plate and then claimed the washing of the one plate was symbolic of washing them all – I mean what the fuck?

You either do the washing up or you don’t. So don’t expect to be feted for just washing the one plate. However symbolic you claim it to be.

The trouble is my personal history seems to be littered with symbolic gestures claiming to be…

And that does not seem to be slowing down with age.

Anyway, right now I’m in the middle of the Irish Sea. And if the morning mist were to lift, I would be able to see the receding coast of Ireland in the West and the approaching coast of Scotland to the East. I am neither swimming nor drowning, or for that matter waving. I am on the early morning ferry from Larne to Stranraer. And I am trying to make sense. To myself, if not you.

I have been crossing this same piece of water since the day after my brother was born July 1957.

Yesterday was Good Friday.

Photographs by Tracey Moberly

THE ATLANTIC ARCHIPELAGO

April 26, 2019

The Atlantic Archipelago is a group of islands off the west coast of mainland Europe. 
 
The Atlantic Archipelago includes the following countries: Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales. It also includes the Isle of Man. 
 
The most northerly inhabited island that is part of the Atlantic Archipelago is the island of Unst. 
 
Unst is also one of the Shetland Isles.
 
On the afternoon of Sunday the 28th April 2019, Bill Drummond will be working on the island of Unst.
 
He will be there as part of his nine year tour of The Atlantic Archipelago.
He will be there screening the film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared. 
 
Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared is a film by the Swiss film maker Stefan Schwietert. 
 
Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared was shot in 2013 and released to cinemas in the German-speaking countries in 2015.
 
Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared was also screened at various film festivals around the world picking up several awards along the way. 
 
Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared is a full-length documentary about The17.
 
The17 was a choir led by Bill Drummond.
The17 existed between 2003 and 2013.
The17 ceased to exist when Bill Drummond turned 60.
The17 had more members than any other choir in the world this century.
Bill Drummond is the protagonist of this film.
Bill Drummond has issues with this film.
 
Bill Drummond restrained the film having a commercial release in The UK. Be it in cinemas, DVDs, downloads or streaming.
 
Bill Drummond chose instead to screen the film himself once a year for nine years.
 
Each of these screenings is to be on a location within the Atlantic Archipelago where a different language was spoken by local folk 200 years ago.
 
These nine languages include Cornish, Manx, Romani, Welsh, English, Lallans, Irish, Norn and Gaelic.
 
The first of these screenings was in Cornwall in 2018.
 
Bill Drummond is also recording a song sung in each of these languages. These songs are to be sung unaccompanied by a solo female singer.
 
In 2018 the song Goonlas was sung by the Cornish singer Bec Applebee.
In 2019 the song The Unst Boat Song was sung by the Fair Isle singer Inge Thomson.
 
The screening will be in Baltasound Hall on Unst at 4pm.
There will be the first public airing of the two recordings.
Also…
A short film by Roseanne Watt will also be screened.
This film is called Alfie.
Bill Drummond will MC the event and give a short performance lecture after the screening.
Bill Drummond will have forty copies of his book 17 for sale at ten quid a go.
 
The whole thing is part of Oot & Aboot, a touring programme of Shetland Arts activities and events. 
 
Tickets are available in person from Mareel arts centre in Lerwick, or by phone on 01595 745500, or online HERE

*                *                *

Bill Drummond will be documenting the tour of the Atlantic Archipelago year by year. These documentations may take the form of words, images and recordings (including the songs). The first of these documentations will be made public on the Caught By The River website on Friday the 3rd of May 2019.

REFERENDUM REMINDER

April 18, 2019

Further to a previous statement:
And
Notwithstanding an act of God or personal stupidity:
 
Bill Drummond will be on the border between County Derry and County Donegal, just north of Ballynagard and just south of Muff between 10am and noon on this Good Friday (tomorrow).
 
Bill Drummond will be there conducting a referendum, based on the first forty folk that want to take part in the referendum.
 
The question being asked in this referendum is:
 
Do they “agree” or “disagree” to the following additional clause being added to the Good Friday Agreement:
 
If either the Government of Ireland or the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were ever to instigate their own country leaving the European Union, both governments would guarantee that as long as the island of Ireland existed, the border crossing between County Derry and County Donegal on the Culmore Road, would remain freely open for all those that wished to cross it, in either direction.
 
Also, further to the previous statement:
 
He will not have a border post but…
He will have two large text paintings on easels (see photos above and below).
Forty Hot Cross Buns, freshly baked by himself (see After Delia)
There will be no freshly brewed tea as previous statement claimed but…
He will have forty mugs with the words THE VERY GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT emblazoned on them.
Each of the folk taking part in the Referendum will be entitled to one of these mugs, a Hot Cross Bun and a copy of the proposed VERY GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT.
 
Tracey Moberly will be there to bear witness and document this referendum in whatever way she sees fit.

HOT CROSS BUNS

March 26, 2019

Bill Drummond will be:
Inside the Leytonstone Ballroom, this Thursday evening (28 March 2019), as part of the Neu! Reekie! – Everything Up event.

While there…

Bill Drummond will be:
Talking to people.
Listening to people.
Baking forty Hot Cross Buns
Giving out forty copies of his proposed Very Good Friday Agreement
And
Repainting one of The 25 Paintings.

Bill Drummond will expect those there to:
Discuss with him the proposed Very Good Friday Agreement
Eat the forty Hot Cross Buns
And
Help him repaint one of The 25 Paintings with the words…
HOT CROSS BUNS.

Bill Drummond will be:
Doing all of the above as training and in readiness for when he is on The Border between Derry and Donegal this coming Good Friday…
When and where he will be baking forty fresh HOT CROSS BUNS.
When and where the newly repainted painting will be used to alert those crossing The Border about the proposed Very Good Friday Agreement.
And the referendum that is being conducted there and then.
Each of the forty people that take part in the referendum will get to eat one of the forty Hot Cross Buns.

Bill Drummond wrote the following statement on 22 February 2019

THE BORDER & ME

I’ve been crossing The Border for the past sixty years.
I’ve been crossing it since before Arlene Foster was born.
Or for that matter since before Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin)
Or Robert Swan (UUP)
Or Colum Eastwood (SDLP)
Were all born.
I have crossed that border under all weathers
And all political climates.
I know what crossing borders is all about.
I know what a closed border looks and feels like.
And
I know what an open border looks and feels like.
And while we are at it, I have crossed The Border on foot from Mexico to Texas.
Like a common-or-garden Wetback.
I know what the fuck I am talking about when it comes to crossing borders.

On New Year’s Day 1973 the Republic of Ireland and The United Kingdom both joined the then European Economic Community.
We did it hand in hand.
And it was a good thing.

On Good Friday 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was signed.
We did it hand in hand.
And it was a good thing.

But…

The Good Friday Agreement assumed that both the Republic of Ireland and The United Kingdom would never be leaving Europe.

This was a mistake in the drafting of the Good Friday Agreement.
I want to address this mistake.

On the 28th of March, as in the day before United Kingdom is supposed to leaves Europe, I will be in Waltham Forest with friends from Neu! Reekie! There I will be proposing the new clause that I believe must be added to the Good Friday Agreement.

A new clause that will ensure The Border will remain an open one.

On the 19th of April 2019, as in this coming Good Friday, I will be on The Border beginning the process of having this clause added to The Good Friday Agreement.

If it is, as I hope it does, will then be The “signed, sealed and delivered” Very Good Friday Agreement.

Bill Drummond – 22nd of February 2019

FOR THE GOOD TIMES & ME

February 27, 2019

FOR THE GOOD TIMES & ME
By Bill Drummond

For The Good Times is a song written by Kris Kristofferson in 1968.

For The Good Times was a hit single released by Perry Como in 1973.

For The Good Times is a novel written by David Keenan in 2018.

For The Good Times was a novel published by Faber & Faber in 2019.

For The Good Times might be the most brilliant novel written in the 21st Century so far.

It is certainly the most brilliant novel that I have read in the 21st Century so far.

But then I am steeped in and compromised by the subject matter of this novel.
And maybe it is because I am a man.
And of a certain age.
And have an ongoing interest in man’s many relationships with a thing we call God.

I first read the novel a few weeks ago.
I am reading it again now.
And while I am reading it I am making notes in the margin.
I am scheduled to be doing an “in conversation with” David Keenan in front of an audience at the London Review Bookshop at 7pm on Wednesday the 27th of February. 
As in this tonight.

The novel is written as an unreliable and rambling memoir of someone doing time in The Maze sometime in the 1980s.
This someone was a member of the IRA.
I have an Associate who did time in The Maze sometime in the 1980s.
This Associate was a member of the IRA.
I would stay in the Europa Hotel in Belfast sometimes in the 1980s.
From the disco / bar on the top floor of the Europa Hotel all of Belfast stretched out before me.
The security lights surrounding The Maze could be seen on the horizon.
The Europa Hotel is a fixture in this novel.
As is The Maze.

This novel is punctuated with shards of shimmering truth concerning the lot of man. And the Irish. And the myth of Ireland.

David Keenan and I are both Scottish but…
To those living in parts of Ireland and parts of Scotland, our names mark us out as coming from very different traditions.
These traditions fester.    

I gave my Associate a copy of For The Good Timesto read.
Some of the notes in the margin are based on the comments that my Associate told me.

I wanted to have forty questions to chose from to ask David Keenan in our “in conversation with.”

These forty questions evolved from the notes in the margin and into many more than forty. And many of those were not questions but quotes from the novel that triggered all sorts of thoughts and responses in my mind.

After hitting send on this Newsletter, I will type of them all up in readiness for this evening.

But before I would like to misquote Chuck Berry:

“Roll over James Joyce and tell Samuel Beckett the news.”

Or should that be a misquote of Jimi Hendrix:

“Move over Leopold let Xamuel take over.”

THE VERY GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT

February 14, 2019
The South looking North

On the 19th of April 2019 (Good Friday) Bill Drummond will be spending much of the day on the border between County Derry and County Donegal on the island of Ireland. This border is on the Culmore Road, just north Ballynagard and just south of a town called Muff. This is also considered to be on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Bill Drummond will have with him forty freshly baked hot cross buns and a copy of the Good Friday Agreement.

Added to his copy of the Good Friday Agreement is an additional proposed clause. This proposed clause, if instigated, would become clause 20 of the NORTH/SOUTH MINISTERIAL section of STRAND TWO.

This clause would read:

If either the Government of Ireland or the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were ever to instigate their own country leaving the European Union, both governments would guarantee that as long as the island of Ireland existed, the border crossing between County Derry and County Donegal on the Culmore Road, would remain freely open for all those that wished to cross it, in either direction.

The first forty folk to cross the border, on this particular Good Friday, will be invited by Drummond to read and consider this additional proposed clause to the Good Friday Agreement. They will then be invited to agree or disagree with the additional proposed clause. They will also be offered one of the freshly baked hot cross buns and a mug of tea.

Both John Hume and David Trimble will also be invited to cross this particular border on this particular day.

Once forty folk have responded to this invitation and all forty of the hot cross buns have been consumed, the count will begin. If more than twenty have voted in favour of the border between County Derry and County Donegal on the Culmore Road to remain open for all those that wish to cross it in either direction as long as the island of Ireland exists – then it will. The people will have spoken. The people will have made their choice.

An open border means an open border.

If invited, Bill Drummond may repeat this process at other border crossings between the north and south of Ireland, on subsequent Good Fridays.  Tenzing Scott Brown is writing a play based on these events on this coming Good Friday. The proposed title of this play is Forty Hot Cross Buns. This play will be performed sometime between the 9th and 14th of July 2018 in the city of Galway. The first draft of Act One of this play has already been written. It can be read by clicking HERE.

The North looking South

WHEN I DIE

January 24, 2019
When I Was Sixty Three still

On the 27th of January 2019 the 60th and final Sixty Second talk by Bill Drummond will go live on the site 60 Sixty Seconds

This final talk has the title When I Was 63

The first of these Sixty Seconds talks was made in December 2012 and had the title The Birth of Punk. Although the first to be conceived and written was Stockhausen & Little Richard.

And this is the Penkiln Burn Poster that marked the beginning of these talks:

Penkiln Burn Poster 438
When I Was Sixty Three Still
Filmed and directed by Tracey Moberly

SEARCHING FOR THE MIRACULOUS

January 11, 2019

The Curfew Tower – 2019

The Curfew Tower

For the year of 2019 the artist’s residency in The Curfew Tower is being curated by the North American artists Elizabeth Withstandley and Westen Charles. They are based in Miami, Florida and are the co-founders of Locust Projects.

The title they have given for their year as curators of The Curfew Tower is SEARCHING FOR THE MIRACULOUS.

The Curfew Tower has acted as an artist’s residency since 2003.Since 2009 each year has been curated by a different set up.

These include:

2009: Void in Derry
2010: Catalyst Arts in Belfast
2011: Eastside Projects in Birmingham
2012: Static in Liverpool
2013: Spike Island in Bristol
2014: The Seamus Heaney Centre in Belfast
2015 / 2016: Nothing but Longing in Jerusalem
2017: Penthouse in Manchester
2018: Neu! Reekie! in Edinburgh

Below this is the Penkiln Burn Poster that proclaimed back in 2003 that The Curfew Tower was now to be set to work as an artist’s residency. Since then some things have evolved and changed, but there are still no curtains and no grants to be applied for but… the email address that you should contact if you need to know more is now admin@penkilnburn.com

Penkiln Buen Poster 55
 The Curfew Tower by bonfire light