Two Outtakes From The Beatles’ “Love” Album.

I only found out about these iTunes-only bonus tracks from digging around the internet for information on how Giles and George Martin put The Beatles’ Love album together. I was pleasantly surprised!

First up is ‘Girl’ which features sitar from ‘Within You Without You‘, guitar from ‘And I Love Her‘ and drums from ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite‘.

Next is ‘The Fool On The Hill’ which includes sitar from ‘Sea Of Holes‘, piano from ‘Dear Prudence‘ and vocals and horns from ‘Mother Nature’s Son‘.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* The Beatles: UK & US Single Covers
* The Beatles’ Back Album Covers
* Lennon’s Poster

The Amazing Wheelharp!

This is a Wheelharp:

The Wheelharp

Despite looking positively Victorian, The Wheelharp is a a new keyboard controlled instrument with 61 strings (a full chromatic scale) which are bowed with actual bows! The Wheelharp also allows for different bowing intensities as well as having fully fitted damper and electric pick-up systems!

So how exactly does it work?

When the player presses any key (or keys) on The Wheelharp, the action moves the selected key (or keys)  respective string(s) toward a rotating wheel with a rosined edge, thereby bowing the string(s).

With the right pedal, the player controls the speed of a motor that turns the wheel, which varies the bowing speed of the wheel against the string and thus changes the dynamic effect. For instance, the wheel speed and the key depth can both be used to create swells and decrescendos. The action for each note can easily be removed as necessary for maintenance or string replacement.

The left pedal controls a full damper system that extends across the strings. An electromagnetic pickup floats above the strings and a piezoelectric pickup is mounted to the soundboard, allowing for the player to fully control the amplified timbre of The Wheelharp.

Here is a demonstration video of The Wheelharp in action:

The Wheelharp has been developed by Antiquity Music and manufacturing is expected to begin in June 2013.

How much will it cost?

Pricing (Linear Model or Radial Model):
* 5-octave range: $11,900
* 4-octave range: $10,900
* 3-octave range: $9,900

It’s already been described as a “Steampunk version of an orchestral sound library” which in other words means that if you want one, you’d better get one before either Tom Waits or The Flaming Lips buy the lot of them up and connect them together and end the entire World!

For much more information on The Wheelharp, including its history and musical demos, please visit the Antiquity Music site which is right HERE.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Stop Motion Animation …On A Vinyl Record!
* Amazing Snippets From Les Paul’s Wikipedia
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Lennon’s Poster.

Here’s a very interesting (and very short) film about the recreation of the now famous Victorian circus poster which inspired John Lennon to write one of my favourite Beatles tracks, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite:

The full text of the original Pablo Fanque‘s Circus Royal poster is:

Grandest Night of the Season!
On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843.
Mssrs. KITE and HENDERSON, in announcing the following Entertainments ensure the Public that this Night’s Production will be one of the most splendid ever produced in this Town, having been some days in preparation.
Mr. Kite will, for this night only,
introduce the
Well known to be one of the
best Broke Horses
Mr. HENDERSON will undertake the arduous Task of
Mr. KITE will appear, for the
first time this season,
On The Tight Rope,
When Two Gentlemen Amateurs
of this Town will
perform with him. Mr. HENDERSON will, for the first time
in Rochdale,
introduce his extraordinary
Over Men & Horses, through Hoops,
over Garters and lastly through a
Hogshead of REAL FIRE!
In this branch of the profession Mr. H challenges THE WORLD!
For particulars see Bills of the day.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* The Beatles: Uk & Us Single Covers
* The Beatles’ Back Album Covers
* The Singles Of John Lennon


“The Tannery” By Iain Gardner.

“The Tannery” is a short 2D animation film by Edinburgh animation artist Iain Gardner. I caught it on TV by sheer chance a few months ago and it impressed me so much that I was kicking myself for days later because I didn’t record it.

At under 10 minutes, “The Tannery” is a really short film and because it aired at 3am, I wrote it off as one of those amazing little films that you only manage to see once and then never again.

…Ah, but Channel 4
Good old Channel 4 aired the film once again and although it still had the same graveyard slot, I stayed up and enjoyed it all over again. I even managed to record it and I’ve been playing it for anyone who comes to visit me.

It’s hard to explain the film’s simple plot without completely ruining it for you but stick with me, we’ll get there.

“The Tannery” is the story of a young fox in the snow who one day gets his brains blown out by a huntsman and instead of being no more, the fox becomes a spirit and continues on his merry way through the afterlife.

The fox makes pals with the spirit of a wee bunny rabbit and together, they run around in the snow having a great time and occasionally watching the spirits of other animals sailing up into the stars…

…Well, that’s as much as I can really tell you but the ending of the film could give the ending of “The Sopranos” a run for its money!

Just like its IMDB page the trailer for “The Tannery” gives nothing away.

Like I said, I want to tell everyone I know about “The Tannery” but it’s a tricky thing to do without completely spoiling the film so I thought I’d do the next best thing.

I tracked down Iain Gardner who made the film and I asked him a few questions and wouldn’t ya know it, he actually answered them!

Q. Hello Iain! You’re from Edinburgh and I’m from Glasgow. Shouldn’t we be fighting each other in some bar somewhere?

A. Probably best we take it outside.

Q. I was lucky enough to have caught your short animation film “The Tannery” not once but twice in the wee hours on Channel 4. I was very impressed. How long did it take to put together?

A. Uuuuuurgh. Months. 6 months of protracted development, and then 8-9 months in production. Actually, I’m foggy on how many months it took to actually make, as I became the walking dead myself in the process.

Q. When and how did you come up with the idea for “The Tannery”?

A.  Drink. You get asked this question at Festivals, and I’m keen to build on my mythology that a bottle of wine started it, but I was drunk when I got thinking that there might be wee sad souls yearning for the furs that selfish arrogant vain humans wear. It was years ago – the film started as ‘The Fox Who Lost It’s Fur’ and was a much bigger, more epic, story but the practicalities of budget and time meant that the tone of my idea had to come across in a much simpler and shorter narrative – still, I constructed it in such a way that I may still be able to pick up the story where ‘The Tannery’ left off. Still can’t judge from audience reaction whether it’s worth mining that seam.

Q. The film manages to be very charming, sinister, lovely and bleak all at once. Did you set out to shock? 

A. I certainly didn’t set out to shock, and fought hard not to do so – there were many script advisors attached to the film, and their main proclivity seemed to be gore and pain. No, I wanted to break people’s hearts! That was the main experiential emotion that I wanted to channel via animation. I’ve nothing against comedy in Animation, but the plasticity of the medium manages to trigger that reflex within the diaphragm that makes us laugh. Do you remember Bambi? Whether you love it or hate it, and my film similarly has its detractors, but that is animation at its most wonderful, when it engages your emotions and makes you cry. I’ve had a few reports of tears in audiences. Can’t please all the people all of the time, but mission accomplished.

Q. The film certainly broke my heart and it’s refreshing to see a 2D animation film these days. How many artists worked on the film?

A. I’d like to say one, because essentially it was a one man band. However, the wonderfully talented animator and illustrator Rachel Everitt assisted me throughout with rendering the artwork (not in the computer rendering sense, but in brandishing pencils and creating soft lines and shades, much as The Snowman was created), and a team of enthusiasts joined near the end to help animate the Hunter in his lodge (thank you Ulrike Keil), and additional support was volunteered from Andy Macpherson, Owen Rixon, Neil McDonald and David Bell. Not to mention the CGI team at world class Axis Animation, headed by Wiek Luijken with Drew Robertson, Stu Shapiro, Richard Clay and Dana Dorian. So with reference to the actual frames, I’d possibly claim 75% blood from my fingertips, and the rest shared with those 11 talented individuals – there’s also the musical talent led by composer Mick Cooke, and volunteers who helped scan the drawings into the computer.

Q. How big a part did contemporary technology play in the making of the film?

A. There was the CGI work done at Axis for a few moving backgrounds, and all the shots were composited in After Effects, with artwork scanned into Photoshop. But the performances were hand drawn, paper and pencil!

Q. I’m starting to find big glossy Hollywood 3D animation productions almost…too glossy and perfect. What are your thoughts?

A. Come and see the McLaren Animation at the Edinburgh Film Festival in June. You’ll enjoy that. And the International Animation programme. June 20th-1stJuly. Programme announced on the 30th May.

But yes, there does need to be more variety in animated features, but sadly it’s dictated by box office. Rent ‘The Illusionist’ by Sylvain Chomet. Watch ‘101 Dalmatians’ again.

Q. I write and illustrate a comic strip using a black biro pen and people continually tell me to employ software for a helping hand so that I can churn it all out quicker.I feel that the strip would loose any charm it may have if I did this. Do you have any advice?

A. Follow your gut. Who are these people?

Q. EXACTLY! What kind of things influence your work?

A. Time and money!

And alcohol.

I love Eastern European Animation – the fine art created by certain film makers within a certain period of time, not the ‘cooing’ mole we saw on telly in the seventies. Frederic Bac from Canada is an obvious inspiration to me (if you know his work). And I love Jiri Trnka, both as Film maker and Illustrator – it’s his centenary April 2012, check your local cinema (GFT?) and see if you can catch his stop motion films.

2014 will be Norman McLaren’s Centenary, he’s an inspiration  – look out for events celebrating that also!

Q. “The Tannery” is currently going around the World film circuit. Have you had any feedback from insomniacs like me who caught your film on Channel 4 in the wee wee hours ?

A. Well, here are a few of my favourite anonymous tweets;

it was like the snowman only more violent!’

It’s heartbreaking.’

Inadertantly (sic) just watched The Tannery.. Quite possibly one of the saddest pieces of animation I’ve seen ☹ JESH… !’

freakin the f**k out watchin this ‘the tannery’ fox movie! Incredible

felt like I’d been on an LSD sesh

Just watched a sick animation called the tannery. Made me think. Now…bed.’

These reactions probably say more about insomniac tweeters than the film though.

Q. Do you happen to know if Channel 4 has any plans to run the film for a third time?

A. Well, it’s been on four times, and if it’s on again I’ll need to check the broadcast agreement in place for the film! I’d love it to be aired when people are awake next time. It’s been sold to SBS Australia, and I’m hoping more territories will follow suit. Silent film is perfect for international audiences.


Many thanks go to Iain for his talents and for taking the time to answer my questions.
Look out for “The Tannery”.

Here are some links:
“The Tannery” Facebook Page.
Iain Gardner’s Website.
Iain Gardner’s Twitter Feed.

You May Also Be Interested In…
Boris Karloff: “Tales Of The Frightened”.
* 6 Films To Keep You Awake.
* Thundercats & Jessica Rabbit’s Dress.
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”.

Extraordinary Animals In The Womb.

These amazingly detailed embryonic pictures come from a National Geographic film called “Extraordinary Animals In The Womb” and they show elephants, dolphins, cats, dogs, penguins and a shark.
I’ve been staring at them for an hour so far.

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