The Longest Handshake

Here’s The Longest Handshake – a video-art/social-happening  conceived and organised by Claire Flannery and a team of other interesting people, that took place in June 2013 in Skerries, Ireland. As a nice side-project I composed music for the piece, using piano, guitar and harmonium – taking two chords as the basis, echoing the idea of two hands interacting. Finger sounds recorded on a table top add a little percussion and rhythm.

From the original event notes:
“The act of shaking hands is a performance. Humans alone perform this act, frequently and often on a daily basis. The context defines the intensity and weight placed upon this single gesture that joins two bodies together in a physical bond. It is a performance we enact to demonstrate genuine interest, commonality, shared integrity and is generally servant to a social occasion or contractual agreement. In ‘The Longest Handshake’ this act is isolated and performed by up to one hundred people simultaneously.

On a vast beach, two long lines of people will be facing each other, and moving from a considerable distance, will slowly walk towards a central point in a choreographic gesture of approximation. The performance will culminate in a collective handshake of people that may know or not know each other, an act that expressly magnifies our awareness and aims to realise its poetic potential…
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Present and Correct – acoustic at the Union Chapel

A little video from our December 2013 show at Union Chapel… We present ‘Present and Correct’ featuring members of Chaps Choir on backing vocals…

Thanks to Julius Beltrame, for shooting and directing. Also thanks to Arctic Circle who put on the excellent Daylight Music sessions at this truly one-off London venue.

Feeling nuptial? new AFH video

So in a sop/bid/gesture/offering to those Hallmarkian Gods of Greeting Cards who rule our time on Earth, Mr AFH spent a busy night cutting together a little Valentines video for “I’m gonna get married” from the album. The song also features some lovely duetting from Miss Piney Gir and is in no way suitable listening for the romantically cynical.

Here’s the video and you can get the song on iTunes here.

Upturned: poster design gallery

Central to the story of the Upturned video was the idea that the always-slightly-disturbing ventriloquist doll, Mr Charles, had a long history of former accompanists, all of whom disappeared in mysterious circumstances. To try to get this point across we decided to have bill posters from Mr Charles’ long and illustrious career on the walls of his home, designed by the very talented Linda Baritski.

For reasons I can’t quite recall I wanted the names of the guitarists who played with Mr Charles are all taken from the Petit Nicolas books, so take a look through and say ‘salut!’ to Alceste, Geoffroy, Nicolas, Rufus et Clotaire.

Peacock in a hotel..?

Played by AFH Micro-Team, at an intimate soirée, hosted by painter Stefanos Rokos, at London’s South Place Hotel.
June 2013.

Watch Simon Bookish’s Refit of “Upturned (in slow motion)”

Simon Bookish, aka talented writer/composer/arranger/journalist Leo Chadburn, created this movingly re-orchestrated version of Upturned, from Not a dry eye in London. Julius Beltrame, AFH’s collaborator, directed and re-cut a video together using out-takes from the original video shoot too.

 

On Peacock Island – a what-I-did-on-my-holidays-video-ette

Bonus! And so an AFH song about Pfaueninsel, or “Peacock Island”, a delightful little floating folly in the River Havel in Berlin. The site of royal nookie making back in the later 1700s, it remains a darling place to visit, with its eponymous inhabitants wandering about occasionally showing a little tail feather.

The song is dedicated to my dear friends Thomas and Sarah. String arrangements and violin/viola from Amy May: http://www.aboutamymay.com
Finally, thanks to Sonja for suggesting such a great island to visit, and Sarah for making the sock puppets whilst negotiating a cracking hangover…

2012 Olympic compilation: “Judo (what we’ve been playing)”

Here’s a song I wrote for the London 2012 Olympics compilation from WIAIWYA records. Everybody got a different sport to write about, and I landed “judo”. Guest vocals from my musical colleague Yazuyo Uemura. Video is a clipfest of physical action. Enjoy!

 

Merci, gracias, thank you kindly to all who came to our lovely Daylight Session at the Union Chapel in April. Team AFH, initially held together by nothing stronger than coffee and Victoria Sponge quickly took the reins (and surely reverb gets no longer than that in a London venue?). For a special day out you can’t beat these free Saturday shows hosted by the Arctic Circle (more).

Presenting … “Upturned”

Exciting times..! The “Upturned” single is coming out in April 2012, and to get you in the ah, mood, we present a dark, dark video concerning the perils of the auditioning process, when you travel a world away, to the sea. Directed by Julius Beltrame, with graphics by Linda Baritski, puppet cameo from Mr Charles of New Jersey, and featuring a semi-animate starring role for a lost village out near Clacton-on-Sea…

AFH live on BalconyTV: video now up!

Hey team, here in all its raintastic and chilly glory is our acoustic rendering of “I’m gonna get married” live on BalconyTV. Simon from Vatican Cellars helping out on guitar, Will Byers from BeeStings on Cello and Clare Younis providing the vocal heartbreak. (PS If you look very carefully you’ll see us being pelted with confetti amid the raindrops… x)

Playing six strings for Miss Piney Gir

Nice little performance of some Piney Gir tracks from the Yearling album which AFH produced and played on, here acoustified in the Ol’ Blue Last in darkest Shoreditch…

Watch “Miss Havisham”…

AFH video: “Like 79”

Back indeed when girls when taller and cooler… AFH’s reverie, half imagined, half designed, about the clash of disco and apres-disco… a boy in a bar, a bar full of people and well, a video cartooned into existence by the ever so talented Mr Tim Benton… Now watch on…

AFH video: “NightSong” by Piney Gir

Here’s a video, (well animated instructional thought-stream?) I made for my remix of Piney Gir’s Nightsong. The original is a lovely jazzy duet between Piney and Simple Kid. I thought it would sound cool as meltingly acidic smooth jazztronic f**k-up. The video is just because. Just because these days we all watch music rather than just listen to it, right? 😉

“Night song” Piney Gir
(AFH’s San Fran Disko Mix)