Tag Archive: jeff crowe

Clark Ashton Smith, The Crawling Chaos, Artistry

Artistry

Bow down, I am the emperor of dreams. - Clark Ashton Smith
my pre-ramble… :-)

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art - April 14th, 1937

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art

While doing some link rot checking using the Broken Link Checker plugin I came across this old post which is about an old edited letter from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) to August Derluth.

A screenshot is at left – click to enlarge or see the original here.  CAS tells about the creation of The Crawling Chaos by the two authors, showing a natural deference for his friend, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (HPL).

Some people may know that CAS also sculpted, from soapstone if my memory is correct.  The letter mentions some of this, but mainly describes a gripe that all artists have – now, quoting directly from CAS, emphasised & paragraphed for web clarity by me…

I am pleased to hear that the sculptures continue to attract so much favorable attention. I am writing to Sloane, and offering him a copy of The Double Shadow if he hasn’t seen it. . . . On second thought, I’ll mail him an inscribed one anyway.

As to a volume of my stuff, I suppose there is no harm in trying, It makes me pretty sick to remember that at least five publishers asked HPL to submit story-material for a possible book and then turned it down.

It is curious how ready people are to admit the worth of a writer after he is dead, and how goddamned cautious they are about it while he remains alive. Death seems to bring about a sort of crystallization, so to speak. . . .

As for me. I am pretty tough, and come of a hardy and long-lived ancestry. I’ll survive my present difficulties. What the future holds, I am not sure. But I have made up my mind to quit California at the earliest possible date.

Plugging Away

So CAS just kept plugging away.  He never had any money, yet mysteriously, I’ve read nearly all his stuff!!  The bulk of this was some time ago when Panther published stacks of compilations by HPL, CAS and many others.  But, just as CAS mused, he was dead by the time I read them…

The original issues had wonderfully mystical, sometimes horrible, artwork by Bruce Pennington….

Crawling Chaos

When the band (The Crawling Chaos) was formed, it was just Jeff Crowe, Keith Wear & myself.  We all read and devoured everything to do with The Cthulu Mythos – and more! [e.g for myself it led me to Lord Dunsany, Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Philip K Dick, Daniel Keyes & the rest of SF]

Genius Loci cover

Genius Loci cover

In particular, since there’s only a few folks that now know this, Keith took it upon himself to copy the whole Bruce Pennington cover for the 1st Panther book version of CAS’s Genius Loci.

I scanned my book some time ago and cleaned away the title etc just leaving the work. That’s it, left.

Bedroom Wall

So…….Keith copied the key guts of the thing onto his bedroom wall in Ashington!  The whole wall…

You can see his copy as part of the cover for our first recorded output, Magnum Innoninandum (sic) here:

Crawling Chaos - Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

Crawling Chaos – Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

The original (nicked at Tynemouth) drumkit is there as well as the really noisy HH amp, Jeff’s record player, speakers & discs on the floorof his mum’s living room. Keith did the cover.

The Black Abbott of Puthuum

Genius Loci also includes one of my favourite CAS passages in the description of the Black Abbott.  (I think my favourite story has to be “The Coming of the White Worm“, but that’s for another time).  Anyway, here’s the bit about the black abbott blokey…

To add to their distress, the terrain grew rougher and steeper, and they climbed acclivitous hillsides and went down endlessly into drear valleys. Anon they came to a flat, open, pebbly space. There, all at once, it seemed that the pandemonium of evil noises drew back on every hand, receding and fading into faint, dubious whispers that died at a vast remove. Simultaneously, the circling night thinned out, and a few stars shone in the welkin, and the sharp-spined hills of the desert loomed starkly against a vermilion afterglow. The travelers paused and peered wonderingly at one another in a gloom that was no more than that of natural twilight.

“What new devilry is this?” asked Cushara, hardly daring to believe that the hellish leaguers had vanished.

“I know not,” said the archer, who was staring into the dusk.” “But here, mayhap, is one of the devils.”

The others now saw that a muffled figure was approaching them, bearing a lit lantern made of some kind of translucent horn. At some distance behind the figure, lights appeared suddenly in a square dark mass which none of the party had discerned before. This mass was evidently a large building with many windows.

The figure, drawing near, was revealed by the dim yellowish lantern as a black man of immense girth and tallness, garbed in a voluminous robe of saffron such as was worn by certain monkish orders, and crowned with the two-horned purple hat of an abbot. He was indeed a singular and unlooked-for apparition: for if any monasteries existed amid the barren reaches of Izdrel, they were hidden and unknown to the world. Zobal, however, searching his memory, recalled a vague tradition he had once heard concerning a chapter of negro monks that had flourished in Yoros many centuries ago. The chapter had long been extinct, and the very site of its monastery was forgotten. Nowadays there were few blacks anywhere in the kingdom, other than those who did duty as eunuchs guarding the seraglios of nobles and rich merchants

The animals began to display a certain uneasiness at the stranger’s approach.

“Who art thou?” challenged Cushara, his fingers tightening on the haft of his weapon.

The black man grinned capaciously, showing rows of discolored teeth whose incisors were like those of a wild dog. His enormous unctuous jowls were creased by the grin into folds of amazing number and volume; and his eyes, deeply slanted and close together, seemed to wink perpetually in pouches that shook like ebon jellies. His nostrils flared prodigiously; his purple, rubbery lips drooled and quivered, and he licked them with a fat, red, salacious tongue before replying to Cushara’s question. [isn’t this bit amazing? – SP]

“I am Ujuk, abbot of the monastery of Puthuum,” he said, in a thick voice of such extraordinary volume that it appeared almost to issue from the earth under his feet. “Methinks the night has overtaken you far from the route of travelers. I bid you welcome to our hospitality.”

So, buy the book, or read the whole story here.

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams?

(clue – “The Hashish Eater”)
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar….

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Skaill 2012

Skaill by Crawling Chaos (reworked)

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Bay of Skaill

Bay of Skaill

I’ve been playing with a digital extraction of Skaill on Reaper.  Have a listen.  Guess what’s been done….

A video is to follow (slow encoding to get the quality I need) which is highly appropriate given my partly Orcadian roots and the track title.  Skaill is the final track from “C” – “The Big C”, by Crawling Chaos.  It is Jeff Crowe and myself jamming with some post recording tape twiddling.  Skara Brae which we both fascinated by is nearby and is why we chose the track title after getting the Ordnance Survey map out!  Thanks to Jeff Lynne on TV the other night for some inspiration to get this project started.

This is the video on the Crawling Chaos website, though the sound hasn’t encoded as well as I’d liked.  The link above has better sound with the forthcoming CD even better (natch).

Rees

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Jeff Crowe: Not In This Funny Old World

It’s a funny old world.

Jeff and myself hardly spoke for over 20 years yet I find I miss his presence on the planet more than I’d have thought possible.

I think that at the root of it all is the unrequited wish by myself that somehow things would be alright between us, that in the end, maybe we’d collaborate again, but of course, there’s no chance of that, certainly in this lifetime.

All that I can say, on this day (is it really two years), is that I hope that wherever your spirit is, it fares well.

In Buddhism, there’s a saying that Buddhas meet time and again, lifetime after lifetime, which I hope (although I believe ) that this is so.

Jeff’s interests, when I knew him and when we lived in each other’s boots, were wide, and included pure physics, astrophysics, metaphysics, much research into the paranormal, out of body experiences and the like.  On top of this were ancient civilisations, their habits, myths and religious activities, plus literature & music (e.g. The Crawling Chaos) of which he had broad eclectic tastes, not always, but more often than not,  keyed to my own.



So what’s to be said, what’s to do?  How I wish you were here.

I know!  Play some music where Jeff and myself had some connection.


 

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Fair Play: Jesse Willms Pulls My Posts

The few readers of these pages may have noticed some diminishment in content recently; specifically:

http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/
http://strangelyperfect.tv/8860/jesse-willms-favourite-tv-clips/
http://strangelyperfect.tv/8740/the-three-rules-of-trust-using-swipeauctionsbids-as-anexample/comment-page-1/#comment-3066

You’ll now find that these links no longer work.

Cause and Effect

The cause of all of this was a cease and desist request to me via email by a lawyer, Matt Thomson working at Kronenberger Burgoyne.  They found me by the simple expedient of checking my WHOIS for this website.  This public visibility is something that in his earlier business of Just Think Media and many of the websites run by him, Jesse Willms obviously failed to do – it being very well documented on-line in such places as the legal settlements with the various organisations and persons that he offended, say. Currently, his WHOIS is visible, and I’ve now discontinued those postings or comments and/or their threads above, as requested.

The cause of my postings was my observance of the extremely high level of complaints by users of Mr Willms services at his websites, and reported as such on a host of consumer-focussed websites and organisations, which I won’t list here for brevity, but are widely available.  This is what attracted my attention and I would not have published anything without this high level of consumer complaint. (Obviously, why would I suddenly start spouting on a personal blog site about a Canadian about whom I knew nothing?  Like der!)

The effect of the wide complaints, was that users of Mr Willms services complained to their finance organisation using such terms as “deceptive practices” and “unlawful withdrawals” from their bank or credit accounts. (n.b. this is the recommended procedure as reported here with a concert ticket selling scam – Added 12/11/10)

Whether we think that all these people were under the mass delusion that they all had the same experience, or not, the effect of this was that credit processing was limited to Mr Willms businesses which made transactional business difficult for him.

Mr Willms therefore sought to apportion blame to his customers and any organisation reporting their complaints for his downturn in business. ( His earlier businesses for which he reached a legal settlement with Oprah Winfrey et al he appears to have terminated.)

This, for all the above in this paragraph above entitled “Cause and Effect”, is my opinion of the history surrounding Jesse Willms and his businesses over the last few years.  How he now conducts business is a different issue entirely, which is why I’m stating the fact here.

This “Cause and Effect” paragraph now ends.

Fair Use

I’ve published the full message to myself below, and it makes interesting reading for those interesting in such things.

A very interesting part of the threatening letter to myself from Matt, was the limits to my free speech on something that only they deem confidential and that may or may not be subject to copyright laws!  Matt says:

This letter is without prejudice to the assertion of any and all rights and remedies of Mr.Willms, all of which are expressly reserved. This is a confidential legal communication and is not intended for publication, including publication on a website or via email distribution. Any republication of dissemination of any part of this letter will constitute infringement of copyright and a breach of confidentiality.

Remember, the letter was sent to me without my request.  Now as far as I’m concerned, and as a subject of the United Kingdom of Great Britain etc,  anything I receive, except something from HM Government in the UK that is subject to the Official Secrets Act, I can publish or copy as I see fit if I have a copyright.  Is this letter copyrighted?  Even if it is, and I profoundly disagree that it is…..I can still publish.  How so?

Being a published musician with my copyright works being plundered on-line, I’m not unfamiliar with copyright law.

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This is some Crawling Chaos music for you to enjoy and has Jeff Crowe at his finest and for which I have a Copyright that allows me to play it here etc.

A clause in the US version, which almost exactly follows that in the UK and elsewhere through international treaty and general agreements, is that it’s not illegal to reproduce copyright work under the “Fair use” clause for a host of reasons.  This is the clause below, taken from the Cornell Uni. Law School website which is copied from the required US law.  (They state: Title 17 of the US Code as currently published by the US Government reflects the laws passed by Congress as of Feb.1, 2010, and it is this version that is published here.)

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Cease and Desist

And here’s the cease and desist to myself Link, to which I’ve complied with all listed terms and by the removal of listed exhibits.
I’ve complied in that all of what I’ve said previously about Willms and a host of other on-line businesses and services, (don’t forget), is either

  • fair comment
  • opinion
  • prior art
  • repetition of opinion, fair comment and prior art from other sources when I consider them as such.  My website history shows that I’ve blocked commentary or linkage that is tortious, slanderous, insults appearance, race or sexual orientation of a person, is bigotted etc.

Now back to checking the internet to ensure that businesses are run fairly and that consumers (i.e. me, you and everyone else) do not suffer.  This website, and all its contributors, will continue in this vein. All documentation and IP Addresses is available to any legal process, especially those that seek to protect the common man from the bad people and iniquities that exist in our fast-changing world.
After all, it’s always the common man that suffers from the actions and decisions of the creative types… Mostly, they just want to get on and live their lives free from harassment.
Here ends my bit for now.

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