Winter Solstice 2014

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I would like to begin by thanking all of you that have followed my work this year, it is always of great encouragement to hear from you and I genuinely appreciate the support.

For me 2014 has been a productive year, with more live performances than I have undertaken for sometime and a series of releases continuing my work with exploring site specific recording, an evolving approach to the mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments, my voice and the environmental sounds at the particular given time of each recording. Each context being treated as unique and only possible in each of those situations.

The year began for me with the joint release of ‘Lunar (Solar Reflection)’ and ‘Twynham’ both available for my first live performance of the year. Both cdrs sold out very quickly with most copies sold on the night, the gig was a huge pleasure thanks to John, Terrence and Alice, the pleasure of playing at Cafe Oto with a wonderful audience and a dream come true of playing on the same bill as Andrew Chalk and the remarkable Elodie. Digital releases of both are available through this site.

Highlights release wise for me we’re the cassette and digital release ‘Gorsedd’, a piece long in the making marking out personally significant festivals in the ritual year. The other release that meant a great deal to me was the ‘Songs and the Silences of Night’ ep released on 7″ vinyl by Sonic Oyster. Andrew paine did a great job with all aspects of the release and Brian Lavelle excelled himself with an aesthetically brilliant cover artwork incorporating my picture of The Hurlers in Cornwall perfectly. This release contained my first acoustic songs since the tex la homa days and completed a circle in so many respects as well as opening new possibilities in how I approach poetry, lyrics and voice within long form pieces.

The year now almost complete as we head into the the darkness of the Winter Solstice, returning the creative cycle to no-thing again so that new ideas, concepts and inspiration has space to deliver itself from the darkness. To end with I am very happy to announce the forthcoming piece ‘Tweoxham’ that will be available from a new label set up by English heretic.


“An imprint of English Heretic providing ethnographic recordings from the imaginal world. The label is designed as an offshoot of English Heretic, with the aim of allowing greater latitude and depth for creative and ontological research, as well as providing a base for releasing the work of sympathetic folk.”

Pre-release now available from Eighth Climate

Alchemical Figure; Oslo

To end this cycle of creativity though I offer you two live pieces. The first is ‘Alchemical Figure; Oslo’ recorded during my first trip to Norway in November. The trip was a fascinating experience and it was a joy to play there. Petter Flaten Eirlertsen made the whole experience very special as both host and tour guide, Andy and Hannah great traveling companions and I loved hearing and seeing English heretic set.

This digital release is the full set as recorded live at Brugata

Absolute Elsewhere & Scire

The other end of year release is a free download of another live piece, this one is ‘Scire’ as recorded at Absolute Elsewhere in October.

Absolute Elsewhere was an event curated and run by artist Dominic Shepherd and myself. It was an ambitious project with a dream line up featuring performances and art by Heather Leigh, Alexander Tucker, Mark Titchner, Urthona, English heretic, Jennie Savage, Graham Gussin, The Cult of RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ  and many more.

The event took place at  Shelley Manor;

“The house, built for Mr Philip Norris in 1801, and two hundred acres of land were bought in 1849 by Sir Percy Florence Shelley, the only surviving child of the romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Percy built a theatre in the house and set about establishing Boscombe Manor (as it was officially known by 1873) as a place of renown for culture and the arts. The theatre was described as the most splendid private theatre in England. Its red velvet curtains, realistic and colourful painted scenery and ornate furnishings were the very epitome of Victorian grandeur”

The concept of the event was to investigate and celebrate the Occult and Esoteric connections with the arts and the locality. From the New Forest to the Purbecks, the zone in between has acted as a locus to the other side; from Gerald Gardner and his perspective on modern witchcraft to the end place of Paul Nash, W.B Yeats, A.E, Aleister Crowley’s 777 and a seemingly never ending procession of esoteric artists and occult thinkers are an intrinsic part of Bournemouth history. In honor of this Absolute Elsewhere brought a night of esoteric immersion that will manifest itself in Shelley Manor. A multi-sensory experience spread over the interior bringing together artists, performers, filmmakers and musicians for a night that promises to electrify and enchant the soul.

Scire is a film and sound art piece investigating gerald Gardner’s initiation into the witch cult in the new forest and subsequent popularisation of the Wica through books such as “Witchcraft today” and multiple encounters with the daily newspapers, initially in England and then across the world.

So thank you again to those that have supported, collaborated, commissioned or booked me to play this year.

Look out for news from Andrew Paine and I with plans for Blue Tree live appearances for next year and also Brian Lavelle and I will be descending once more into the Fougou, hopefully with new recordings from both projects to come before the end of 2015.

May your Solstice be useful and merry and the next year bring you all that you need.

Matthew Shaw


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