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Failed Songs was made during the COVID-19 lockdown in Oxford, UK. Responding to a first person/fourth wall suggestion, the idea was to sit down every day (although there were missed days) and improvise the beginning of a ‘new’ song where ‘I/me’ was a key element in both the intent and the lyric: feeling sorry or anxious for myself, or wondering about the world from a self-centred position. The song would then be interrupted by some comments back to the ‘me’ of my song in my original Welsh accent (that has been washed out of my mouth from 35+ years living beyond Welsh borders). The songs therefore ‘fail’ in their moment of inception and are judged by a voice from the ‘past.’ But the exercise in itself sort of failed, because I was so busy with multiple other demands each day that very little continuity of thought or concept was able to evolve from day to day with each new ‘song.’ Furthermore, the Welsh-accent commentaries also largely fail because I could never really think of what to say. I’m happy with all of this because it ultimately feels like the most appropriate personal, solo response to the thudding inertia of lockdown. The failed songs themselves are sequenced with a distribution of remixes, many of which are under 1 second long. The reason I ended up leaving a 30-minute track of battle sounds in there (‘War’) (available in the bandcamp download) probably has to do with Metallica’s ‘One’ being a vague background model for these pieces, and I did intend to ‘cover’ it at some point; instead a scrawled out a mini-massacre of ‘Sanitorium’ (‘Friend’).
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|Gwilly Edmondez||Gwilly's Failed Songs|
Gwilly Edmondez was born and brought up in Bridgend, South Wales, but he hasn’t lived in Wales for 36 years. In 1980 he cofounded Radioactive Sparrow, a band committed to making pop music that is neither composed nor rehearsed. Since 2004 Gwilly has taught music at Newcastle University. He founded Felt Beak in 2011 as a platform for publishing collaborations between staff and students of the university with artists from the very rich and diverse experimental music scene of the Northeast (Newcastle, Gateshead, Blyth…). That’s partly why he’s also a proud associate of The Old Police House, the Northeast’s primary new music organisation. Since 2013 he has recorded, performed and toured extensively as one half of the duo Yeah You (with Elvin Brandhi). Either solo or collaboratively, Gwilly has released on Slip, Alter, Ubu, Good Food, Clinical Archives, Swallowing Helmets, Chocolate Monk & Psykick Dancehall.