A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Kenny Inglis (Composer/Producer)

Q1: When did you start writing/discovering music? Who influenced you the most?

Kenny: I started writing music properly around 1994. We always had a piano at 
 home that i sort of messed around on as a kid, but definitely got more 
focused on it when i came out of high school.

At the time i wasn't listening to much in the way of music by artists, 
or albums etc. I was more into American TV theme tunes, stuff like The 
Equalizer, The A-Team, Airwolf, Knight Rider etc. I think a lof of them 
were written by the same person or people if i remember right.

Nowadays i find myself listening more to artists and albums from the 
period when i started writing. Early Massive Attack, Bjork, Portishead, 
Tricky etc, and bands like Leftfield, Lamb, the Cocteau Twins.

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician/artist?

Kenny: A pivotal moment for me was being introduced to the technological aspect 
of music production. I was used to just playing a solo instrument, but i 
 was blown away when i first got to us a sequencer triggering a bunch of 
gear all at the same time. A friend showed me his home studio set up and 
i literally remember asking him in disbelief "what ? you mean you can do 
more than one thing at the same time ??". It was basic, but it was just 
amazing to watch the drum machine running, then a bassline dropping in 
on top, and a bunch of pads and samples on top of those. That was it.

Q3: Who has helped you most with your career?

Kenny: I'm self taught, both musically and technically. I've always been really 
determined and i think i was my own driving force from the beginning, 
but there have been a handful of people i've met along the way who i'd 
 say helped purely by believing in me at times when i was running out of 
resolve. You get a lot of knock backs early on, and the music industry 
tends to drain your self-belief over a period of years. Every time i was 
 feeling the weight of stuff someone would appear in the mix and give me 
the boost i needed to keep pushing forward.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?

Kenny: I grew up in the West of Scotland. It's quite a magical but isolated 
place and the winters are long and dark. I think the landscape and the 
weather influenced the tone of my music a lot. I moved into the city 
centre (Glasgow) in my 20's and i think that kind of galvanised the 
sound i had into something a bit more industrial/expansive sounding.

I've been in the U.S. a number of times. I think Los Angeles and New 
York just feel very cinematic and that tends to resonate with me. 
There's something about these cities at night, their sheer size and 
depth, which definitely stuck with me in terms of my creativity.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively so far to you?

Kenny: I recently released an album 'Everything Wrong Is Right' under my 
Imperfect Stranger pseudonym. As a body of work i reckon it's one of the 
most meaningful things i've done. I've never really written music for 
the sake of doing so. The music i write is personal, and it's a sort of 
diary reflecting upon difficult things i've experienced. 'Everything 
Wrong Is Right' encapsulates a specific period of great change for me 
and i think from an artistic point of view it's very important to me.

Q6: What are your favorite activities to relax?

Kenny: I like to get as far away from the studio as possible when i can. I do a 
lot of active stuff, like cycling, climbing, wild swimming etc. I've got 
a little campervan which gives me the freedom to go anywhere and just 
pitch up next to a beach or whatever. It's a polar opposite of staring 
at a computer screen in a dark room with a set of monitors blazing at me.

Q7: From your accomplishments what do you consider a favorite piece of music that you've done? Any meaning behind why?

Kenny: One of the first tracks i wrote in a previous project under the name 
Cinephile has the lyric "your promises, sound like lies to me". I often 
think about that as a simple definition for so many things that i've experienced
over the years. The music industry is absolutely rife with 
the wrong kind of people. The artist is always the person at the end of 
the day who suffers, and it's almost always because they've been given 
some kind of false promise or hope. Like a moth to a flame.

Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?

Kenny: I am drawn to music which leans towards the cinematic. I don't mean 
actual score music, more anything which conjours up a definite tone or 
atmosphere. Music that gives you a sense of a story unfolding or some 
kind of scene always grabs my attention.

Q9: Do you have any upcoming projects that you'd like to promote? Concerts, books, events, etc? 

Kenny: I'd repeat about my recent album as Imperfect Stranger - 'Everything 
Wrong Is Right' which is available via Castles In Space. I've got a 
follow up EP to that coming this November all being well.

Bonus:  Any funny memory or strange memory you'd like to share during your creative journey?

Kenny: I was playing at a festival in Ireland in 2008 and was making my way to 
our stage across a particularly muddy backstage area. As we crossed the 
access road a huge black limo swung in through the production gate and 
drove right over my left foot. I sort of yelped with fright but when i 
looked down the side window was open and Grace Jones was staring right 
at me.

Links: http://www.kennyinglis.com/

Twitter: @mrkennyinglis @areyouimperfect
Instagram: @hearingwithmyeyes





A Book Review from Colin Dardis for the Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems

Book Review: Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems

If you happen to find yourself in Perth & Kincross in Scotland, it’s worth venturing out of your way to find the quiet hamlet of Trochry, near the town of Dunkeld. Near the River Braan, leading into the River Tay, you’ll find an unexpected literary treat in a country path: the Corbenic Poetry Path.

The path is 3.5 kilometres where “people, poetry and landscape meet”: the work of poets have been carved in stone, etched in glass, encased in resin, burned into wood and installed along the way, designed with a variety of surfaces to be as sensitive as possible to the wild terrain it passes through. Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems brings together the words and images from the trail, from the likes of John Glenday, Jon Plunkett (the path’s founder), Hazel B. Cameron, Jim Mackintosh, Stephanie Conn and more. Each poem is accompanied by an image of its location or corresponding marker along the path: we find words carved into the end of logs, pinned onto signposts, collected across fragments of flint, engraved into clusters of rock.

It’s clear that the photography in the collection offers a visual treat, and one can easily imagine the joy of wandering down the path, spotting these hidden (and not-so-hidden) verses. But what of the poems themselves? As expected, we are rich in the pastoral here: celebrations of landscape, of nature, of how both resonate in our imagination. Glenday gives us the image of canaries singing “back towards what little light there was”, a reminder that the light that nature provides can never be extinguished. Accompanied by this light, in the presence of natural surroundings, Margaret Gillies Brown’s poem The Inner Citadel invites us to pause and reflect, to realise that a forest park is perfect for practising mindfulness:

Eventually all of us
Should adventure
Down into ourselves:
When the living and loving
Has quietened
We should take the journey
Into the dark interior

Andy Jackson’s poem New World Order, beseeches the reader to get back to nature – perhaps more of our old ways than new – and cast off rules “derived from chilly mathematics”. Instead, we can celebrate the feelings of “running just to feel the wind” or “jumping up to feel the pull back down”. The whole poem carefully balancing a jaded adult voice with the want to rediscover the sweet innocence of a playful child, and stands as a powerful testament to the simple pleasures found along the path.

Elsewhere, we experience the straightforward rewards of walking (consider Plunkett’s denim “darkened to the knee” and “the booted pressure, | burst and pleasure”); the movement of seasons and weather (Brian Johnstone’s sheep tracks freezing over, “gloss mud to darkened, flesh-like textures”); and the restorative force of wildlife (Eileen Carney Hulme moving “close to earth | close to beginning” whilst in the sanctuary of a forest). The overall effect is moving: it makes you want to be close to nature too, to run out of the city and find a leaf-strewn trail to wander down.

As with any anthology bringing together poets of different experiences and perspectives, there is some rough within the smooth, some poems stronger than others, some not quite hitting their mark. But collectively, this is a very successful collection: a carnival of countryside that implores the reader to join in, to breath in the landscape and place yourself amidst the woodland and installations. At the very least, you’ll want to open an window and remove a degree of separation between yourself and the glorious outside, because these poems remind us that there is a bounty of glory and majesty to be found in nature, just awaiting our footfall, just awaiting the wanderer’s awe.

Corbenic Poetry Path: Collected Poems is available from Diehard Publishers.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Elisabeth Kelly

with Elisabeth Kelly:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Elisabeth: I started writing when I was about 12 years old. Stories about riding ponies and going on adventures, and then poems full of angst in my teenage years. I had an anthology of women’s poems called Loves Witness, compiled by Jill Hollis that I adored. Poems by Wendy Cope and Louise Gluck stand out from this time, also some D H Lawrence, Jim Morrison from the Doors, probably lots of music generally really, and also finally the wonderful Margaret Atwood.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have changed much really! I like honest, simple poetry that speaks to me but doesn’t need me to work hard, and doesn’t feel to academic and frighting. Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay and Wendall Berry are new favourites so probably influence me in some way, and my life, my children and lovely husband.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Elisabeth: I grew up on a number of farms mainly, in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders. I think this had probably influenced me greatly, I use a lot of more-than-human-world metaphors in my work and I also visualise my emotions through this world I think. It taught me about details as well, paying attention, and this feeds into my work.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have, apart from helping me understand home is where I want to be. I lived in London, Melbourne and lastly Prague. Prague was an amazing experience but I haven’t really written about it. The others just made me want to find the hills of home!

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Elisabeth: As long as I remember I always wanted to write. Poetry is new, I never really thought I could! But it fits is wonderfully into my busy life. I don’t have time currently for long pieces, I need to snatch moments here and there and poetry allows me to do that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Elisabeth: Walking with my family and my dog on the hills of our home. And sitting in my beautiful garden watching the weather coming in.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Elisabeth: I find promoting my work tricky. I am not a fan really of too many zooms, I also can’t seem to function later in in the day! I am just exhausted so miss all the Open Mics etc. I must try harder.
You can find most of my stuff on my website www.elisabethkelly.com and my recent Slim at https://hybriddreich.co.uk/product/mind-mathematics-elisabeth-kelly/ and I try and tweet @eekelly22 but have to watch out a bit not to get to sucked down the rabbit hole of social media.

Q8: What is a favorite line or lines from one of your writings/poems?

Elisabeth: “We used to picnic in the rain” as it is in one of the first poems I wrote entitled Sister and it was Shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2020 which gave me the confidence to carry on. And because it is about my sister who I rather adore. https://elisabethkelly.com/2020/06/29/anthony-cronin-award/

Q9: Who has helped you most with your writing?

Elisabeth: My husband giving me head space. I have also done a number of great courses and workshops with Nell from Happenstance, Susan Ireland, and Wendy Pratt. They have all helped in some way. Also, the editing skills of Haley Jenkins from Selcouth Station. Lastly, and as importantly I think many of the wonderful, supportive poets I have met on these online courses have helped. It is such a lovely community.

Hedgehog Poetry on Twitter: "I'm really pleased to be able to announce that Elisabeth  Kelly, Kate Young and Mick Yates will be 'sharing' a quite brilliant wee  anthology ' Liberté, égalité, fraternité?'