Still here….

Well, I fell into silence on these pages for a couple of months, which may have seemed strange in view of the fact that I was active on stage and on the releases front. Truth to tell, I simply didn’t feel energized enough to make a contribution in this period; I felt I’d be trotting out that Promo stuff if I put hand to keyboard, which is not my intention (well, not my main intention) in writing here.

So the latest solo recording(s), “…all that might have been…” have been out there for a while now. I wanted to let them go out in their various forms without further direct explanation from me, though obviously there have been press releases and the like which gave some impression of what they were about. Eventually I may come back here to give further angles on the intentions behind, the making of, my own assessment of these musics. But now’s not the time.

Apart from organizing the release of “…all that…” I also managed a couple of long-haul live journeys last  November. First I went to Mexico City with Gary Lucas, giving probably the best performance to date of the “Otherworld” material. At the end of the month I had another four-gig solo stint in Tokyo, two of which were performed on electric guitar – it’s a *very* long time since I’ve done a solo show like that. All enjoyable – but somewhat exhausting – stuff.

Incidentally, since it had been such a long time since the last release I’d forgotten what a time- and energy-consuming thing it is to put out physical product. Each time I come back to doing it it’s like learning to walk all over again. A lot of falling over involved.

No surprise, then, that I spent the most part of December in passive recovery mode. January’s been clear the desk time. That’s almost done, I’m almost ready to start up again into whatever’s next.

But, but, but….most importantly, today (Feb 2nd) is the release date of the latest VdGG effort, “Merlin Atmos”. These are live recordings taken from our European touring of 2013. The main event’s a single CD and there are also special edition releases: a (single) vinyl and a double CD.

At the core of all versions are our performances of the two long-form pieces, “Flight” and “Lighthouse-keepers”. We’d played the former on our last North American tour and, emboldened by the success of that effort, made the commitment to play “L-K” as well throughout the Euro tour. Naturally, we did so without, at that stage, having rehearsed a note of the piece….

In other words, we set ourselves a proper VdGG challenge. I suppose the fact that this stuff is now being released indicates that, in our eyes at least, we’ve met that challenge. It’s really exciting – and at times surprising –  to listen to, even having been there on stage!

Have I veered into full-on Promo mode?

Worth it in this case, I think: in my view these are the definitive live recordings of the modern trio. You can order at or, for vinyl, at

So, not such a hard task, firing up the journal again. Let’s hope I do more in the coming months. No promises, mind, for music-making may divert me….






28 Comments on “Still here….”

  1. Anonymous says:

    He’s never gone so long without an update before. He’s tweeted a few times in the past couple of months but that is all. I think something is wrong

  2. Anonymous says:

    Three months on, the silence is getting louder. Need to ask, is everything OK?

    • Ólafur Auðunsson says:

      I´m wondering too.Hope everything is OK.

    • Anonymous says:

      the musical muse has taken hold – Mr H is locked in (currently) silent monologue – creating more magic – hopefully an acapella collection

      • Germinal says:

        Remember the old Sofasound-2-or-3-times-a year foolscap postal newsletter that mainly prophesied the past and told us of the non-completion of Usher? The music was better then.

      • hw says:

        music’s better now, but always been fine… so…

      • changra says:

        This is hardly a problem . We wait. We endure. The music was/is/will be always the “journal.”

        We can hardly complain about prolificacy. Remember 75 -78?

        A month, a second, an eternity. A blessing.

  3. Matt Maden says:

    I can certainly identify with the anticipation that a hiatus evokes. At the University of Exeter VdGG/Hammill Society I was tasked to interview Randy California of Spirit after his gig at the student’s Union. Obviously most of the questions we had prepared were focused on the minutiae of his work on TSCATES’s Red Shift session. But what a nice guy! He spent all of the interview time talking about how he preferred skimmed milk but how Jimi Hendrix had preferred whole milk and I never got to ask any of the prepared interrogatives. He also told me an anecdote about Jay Ferguson, but I can’t repeat it here!

  4. Lemming says:

    “I cannot be both bird and ornithologist.” (Picasso)

    • Steve says:

      Speaking of birds, just listened to The Birds…there are no May flowers blooming in February up here, around the Great Lakes. It’s 0F / 22C. Ventured out onto Lake Ontario and it’s solid ice…The Light Continent is more apropos. Hope to see VDGG return to Buffalo, NY.

  5. Michel E says:

    Once again, chapeau bas for the new releases!
    I’ve been usually more attracted to the “solo” work than VdGG’s, mainly because of the song subjects, but all recent releases from the group have impressed me. Merlin Atmos is just fantastic – from Flight to Gog – and also all songs on the “Bonus Atmos” CD!
    It makes me regret even some more my inability to attend any of the VdGG 2013 concerts! But thanks, there is this!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Really, you shouldn’t be releasing stuff as brilliant as ‘…all that might have been…’ and ‘Merlin Atmos’ 45+ plus years into a recording career, but thanks anyway.

  7. Alejandro Torres Melo says:

    Well, Peter, I just want to thank you and Gary for a great performance here in México City last november. We all hope to see you back again very soon!! The best for the new year.

  8. transrealfiction says:

    Finally got my copy this morning! Playing it at work so I can’t crank it up but loving it. Currently reached a Great Childhood’s End at the end of disc 2.
    Is there a note anywhere of which tracks were from which gigs?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Peter, I am listening to Merlin Atmos and was very pleasantly surprised. There are some great moments. Gog, on CD 1, is an amazing performance! The live versions made me go listen to some of the original recordings of the pieces on Trisector and World Record again, too. And I see it’s sold out on Burning Shed already! Congrats!


  10. Marc Roberts says:

    Merlin Atmos is a very satisfying, massive and all round beautifully produced epic. Thank you.

  11. Listening to Flight (from MA) as I type – sublime and beautifully recorded. …all that might have been… is truly stunning – don’t know of any other recording artists working (remotely) in this way – how are you going to follow that, Peter?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Much as I love the music, this is the second time Burning Shed are out of stock on the release date. Is there some sort of problem here? Pre-ordered since November and last in the queue…

    • Simon Wenham says:

      Me too. 😦

      This is a very significant album for me. The Lighthouse-Keepers concert at the Barbican was the last one I went to with my great friend Malcolm. He died a year ago tomorrow. I wanted to raise a glass to him while listening to this.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “No promises, mind, for music-making may divert me….”

    Let the diversion begin! ; )

  14. thv says:

    both releases are spectacular… it all feels like an ongoing crescendo sir!

  15. Anonymous says:


  16. Mark says:

    Well… impatience is not helping me in the slightest; I downloaded the Itunes version last night at midnight (appropriate for a VDGG download I should think) and I have it on pre-order from Amazon UK for the 2 CD version….So far i’ve heard the first part and it is stunningly great.

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