Kaprekar's Constant est.2016
Band? Project? Songwriting partnership? Maybe it's all of those. We like to think of ourselves as a Collective. Everyone involved has other interests but, when working within the framework the music dictates, members contribute passionately to the creative entity that is Kaprekar's Constant. Gone is the pursuit of satisfying an ideal demographic; this music will challenge, enlighten and surprise.
You had better set aside some time and turn off peripherals. Let the story begin...
There was before Hallsands; now there is after.
The roots and tapestry of our inspiration.
Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Driving down a Surrey A-Road, I became aware of an intimidating embankment running down the right hand side of the road. It was clearly man made and completely out of keeping with the rest of the landscape. Realising that this was the outside of the Brooklands banking, I followed a line of cars into a supermarket car park and stopped. I was actually on the infield of the famous track and seemingly the only person taking any notice of the surrounding concrete circuit. I wasn’t looking at the huge chunks that were missing; merely marvelling at the scale of this piece of motoring history. Despite being involved in motorsport from an early age, it occurred to me that I had never visited the museum. As these things often do it took another few years to get there, but inside the Malcolm Campbell Shed stood Blue Bird.
Only when you stand alongside a piece of record-breaking history, such as this, can you fully appreciate what Captain Campbell and his contemporaries achieved; their primitive machinery could, and frequently would, force you to pay the ultimate price for even daring to attempt the land speed record. As always, Al’s music came first without prior discussion about subject, but the whole piece seemed to lend itself to the huge expanses of Pendine Sands and the brave souls who plied their trade there in the early days of motoring. Sir Malcolm wound up sharing this piece with one John Godfrey Parry Thomas whom I stumbled across whilst researching the record attempts of this era. A complete polar opposite from Campbell in so many ways: the pair sort of acted as bookends. Another unintentional connection emerged as we discovered David’s father was himself a motor engineer.
Old Hallsands Devon. Much has already been written about this fishing village and the story behind its demise -including a radio play and even an opera. Such is the draw of this magical place. I stumbled across Hallsands years ago on a family holiday in the South Hams. The small boy, our young son, did indeed climb those rocks and wandered amongst the derelict houses. Sadly, John Prettyjohn had walked out of his home (the ironically named ‘Sea View’) for the last time a few decades earlier with one of his carved wooden schooners, but we’re allowed to blur timelines occasionally- aren’t we? The story chimed (in G sharp...) with David on a few levels; coastal erosion of his home region and the presence of a certain John Jackson - his father’s name, but the similarities end there! Even today people are campaigning to try and save the ghostly walls, chimneys and fireplaces perched precariously on the shoreline. Visit if you can. Read the story and succumb to the strange spell of Old Hallsands. Footnote: Recently, our local news reported a proposal to dredge shingle from the Goodwin Sands to extend Dover Harbour. Good luck with that then…
Boston, Massachusetts. Located on the Custom House in downtown Boston is a clock known by locals as the Four Faced Liar. Each face of the clock has always shown a slightly different time with no guarantee that any of them are correct. The extraordinary capture of the surviving bomber following the terrible events of April 2013 is documented by actual police radio traffic whilst the ornate but essentially useless clock gazes on. This is the first piece, for this project, that Al and I approached Mike with. None of us really knew if the format was going to work. If Mike winced inwardly, he did his usual sterling job of not showing it.
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