‘Life through text’ is a window into two years in the life of a mobile phone. Featuring some of my best mates from university, it is a glimpse into communication. This writing features NO embellishment, these are the real text messages I received, along with a line of explanation.
View ‘life through text’ by clicking the ‘writings & short stories’ tab and following the links or go direct by clicking the link below…

life through text.

J.

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contrast

July 29, 2006

Been thinking about how we visualise and see things, after the below London project pictures. It’s all about how you see and frame it.

Contrast.

the London project.

July 24, 2006

Latest addition  is the London Project – a series of images taken by my good friend, Dean Rowden.
Dean is a non-professional photographer and – inspired by a sunny day, a few jars and smoke – we spent a day marauding around Londinium taking some pictures. My images are not quite as good, although there are some which may be uploaded soon. These resulting images by Dean, which can be seen by clicking the thumbnail below, are now uploaded for your viewing pleasure.
Things to note particuarly are the depth of the pictures. The two foreground shots are beautifully detailed, one is a piece of artwork that sits by the Thames, the other one of the very top of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
St. Paul’s features heavily actually, with three images using it’s towering presence as its focus. Standing tall, they hark back to the famous Blitz images, when its dome outlasted the airstrikes.
Finally, there are also images of Tower Bridge and the London Eye – iconic images from the capital’s landscape.

To see more, click the thumbnail below or visit the ‘Images’ section.

J.

The London project

Now, normally I wouldn’t wish to get into all this here. But the news today that the police officers who shot Jean Charles de Menezes in the head SEVEN TIMES are to face “health and safety” charges just seems to me like it’s taking the piss. Health and safety?de Menezes, post-shooting
Are flying bullets just a hazard of the workplace? If someone’d taken more control would it have mattered? Are these people right in the head?
Now, I’m a fan of 24 and one of the best things about that programme is the fact that it makes you question your principles. Is this shooting justified today via terrorism and the way in which the world? Are a few eggs going to have to break if we’re to make an omlette?
That’s certainly an argument (although not one I necessarily agree with outright) but that doesn’t excuse the fact that an innocent man was shot in the head, point blank, seven times. All because he was running for a train. Remember when the details first came out? One of the reasons he was identified incorrectly was because one copper was having a slash.
I think the police just do not want the dirt of all this. I think there’s more mistakes in there. If they hang one or two coppers out to dry then more mistakes will be revealed.
And it won’t end here, the family of de Menezes will sue. And they will get more than the £5,000 offered by police originally – that’s what they thought his life was worth. You can be sure it would’ve been more for a white victim from a wealthy background.

Ever fancied hearing something completely unique?
Modern music has never heard anything quite like Orpheus: A Rock Opera. Masterminded by my good friend, Mr Richard Campbell, Orpheus: A Rock Opera is a collection of some of the most crazy, intense, rocking music around. Complete with lush orchestration, snarling drums, tearjerking ballads and thrashing guitar 6-minute rock-offs, the dramatic story clocks in at just over 51 minutes and 13 tracks.Richard Campbell's Orpheus: A Rock Opera
Seething with energy, the opera conveys the story of Orpheus & Eurydice – an age-old tale from Greek mythology. Orpheus, the greatest musician to have lived, is able to entrance everyone with his beautiful sounds. He is desired by all of womankind but is alone until he meets his love. But when Eurydice, now his wife, tragically dies fleeing danger, he embarks on a dangerous quest to the region of the dead to find her again. The gods stand between him and his one and only. Will they release her to him?

It all started for me last year. Richard, who is a founder member of our band/side project, red zebra, got in touch asking whether I was interested in writing some lyrics for a new idea he had. Whilst off travelling in Morocco, I scribbled down lines of material touring the country, whilst Richard plugged away creating his masterpiece in own studio. After spending two hours typing them out on an Arabic keyboard (which is not easy!)in a Marrakesh cafe, I emailed them off into cyberspace and Richard’s inbox. I had no clue of any melodies or tone or what on earth the finished songs would sound like.
Last night, I sat down and heard his compositions for the first time with my words. I was blown away. I know that Richard has amazing talent, after working with him on our red zebra creations, the random kollexion LP and random monkey corruption EP, however, this is something else. It’s very cleanly produced and features a cast with pure, clean voices, exactly what you need for telling a tale of such purity.

Orpheus: A Rock Opera, as I say, is completely unique. If we were to look towards influences then a starting point would have to be Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Richard is also a huge fan of Dream Theater and I’m sure their influence will be heard by some of you.
Richard says of Orpheus: “It’s 50 minutes worth of ‘though-i-say-so-my-self-bloody-brilliant-ness’, split into three acts.
“It is, so far, the best thing I’ve ever done. Ever. My greatest personal achievement, and I absolutely love it.”

Orpheus: A Rock Opera is available for download from the website of Hunger for the Crash, which is Richard’s main, day-to-day band. Check them out too while you’re at it.
It is highly recommended that you also download the lyric booklet, which will allow you to follow the story more closely and follow the story’s dramatic developments.
If you think you’re open-minded, have a good ear for music, can acknowledge that love is the most powerful emotion we can feel and fancy rocking your nuts off…. Then follow the links below:

Orpheus: A Rock Opera
http://www.hungerforthecrash.com/mp3s/orpheus

Orpheus: A Rock Opera (lyric booklet)
http://www.freewebs.com/richardcampbellsorpheus/Orpheus_mp3_Lyrics.pdf

Full track listing and information:

Richard Campbell’s Orpheus: A Rock Opera

  1. Prologue
  2. The Lyre
  3. The Proposal
  4. The Wedding Part One (The Ceremony)
  5. The Wedding Part Two (The Wedding Night)
  6. Tragedy Part One (The Longely Shepherd)
  7. Tragedy Part Two (Grief)
  8. Journey Into The Region Of The Dead
  9. Declaration
  10. Return From The Region Of The Dead
  11. Seven Days At The Gates
  12. The Attack
  13. Epilogue

Written & produced by Richard Campbell; Words by James Grainger/Richard Campbell;
CAST – Toom Boon as Orpheus, Heather Loxston as Eurydice, Alex Broad as the Narrator, Laura Burrows as the Thracian Maidens, Lefteris Ioannidis as Aristaeus.

Over and out,

J.

So, England went crashing out of the World Cup on Saturday (July 1) after losing again on penalties. Again.Rooney sent off.
The mass media at the moment are desperately scrambling around for a reason, and seemingly, it’s Eriksson. Unfortunately (and despite the problems I have with him and his ‘tactical prowess’) , it’s not just a failure of the management, it’s a failure of the players and the F.A..
This is an opportunity to right some wrongs. To correct a serious imbalance in the team. The overpaid Premiership ‘stars’ believe all the hype. They believe this is the best league in the world and their wages seem to show this too. This is breeding an arrogrance, that seems to indicate that we can win just by turning up. At no point in the tournament did our lot seem really motivated, except, arguably, after Rooney’s sending off. It seemed to be a situation where players just weren’t switched on, believing victory can be achieved just by turning up.
Can a team really be focussed when their camp is a-buzz with talk of their wives and girlfriends? I’m not sure whether having them there is neccessarily wrong but the media circus is not going to focus the players on the matches. Especially when every press conference is filled by questions about winning the tournament.
As for the team and tactics, Eriksson played himself into trouble by only selecting four strikers. Today he’s said, “it is a great experience for Walcott”. Well, if you want to prepare l’il Theo, by all means take him along. Other youngsters just go along with the squad in other countires, not actually as a squad member. If you can’t envisage playing him, even with all the injuries and lack of options… What is the point?
Additionally, it seems we fail to decide in advance how to play. Changing approaches every day is fine if your players are drilled and know how to play in each system. And our lot should. To correct this, we have to have a manager who can decide on which way we will play. Keeping the ball and dictating games, with patience and learning to beat other countries the way they play the game. Or high tempo, flat back line, like in the Premiership, playing high impact and high energy. We cannot keep playing in between, reduced to pumping long balls when we can’t see an obvious pass. As much as I don’t like Steve McClaren, this is a chance to change. We should not continue the failures of the Erikson era. Klinsmann took on his job by saying that the players would have to get 70% fitter. Our players were knackered by half time.
If you look at Germany, they thought they’d be out of the tournament early doors. But, even worst case scenario, at least they will have changed the approach of the national team for years to come. Klinsmann’s impact will be felt after he has gone. Their fitness and mental state is something that will linger on with tournament preparations. Their belief in young players and fresh minds over experience. A player with hunger is far more effective than one who knows his stock is high already. Look at the big players of the tournament: Ronaldinho, Lampard, Totti. They have failed to impress.
Finally, whilst drinking in a Portugese bar on Saturday (what a schoolboy error), a lad from a national daily was explaining how one of his newspaper’s photographers had climbed a tree, out in Germany, and seen a behind-doors penalty shoot out. Only Jamie Carragher had scored. If we can’t score penalties in training, how on earth can we do in a match?

J.