|PRESS RELEASE, Cleaning out the Garage, 2003
Comments so far:
"Brilliant CD. I’ve been listening to you cleaning out your garage while cleaning out my own. I really dig the overall effect - the words and sounds are usually a very good combination," – John Blackham, software developer, entrepreneur.
“Vocally, very good, a wide range of subjects and styles selected. Musically I loved it. Excellent production all round. Variation in musical styles and instruments adds colour and stimulates interest. Very ‘listenable’, invokes nice easy feeling, good mood, pleasant and thought provoking. Choice!,” Phil Gibens, a biased friend and former radio DJ now based in Australia.
”Really enjoyed the words and music, quite a good match,
nice pace, and some powerful, descriptive, messages. My all time fave is the 'cleaning out the
garage', - Annalise Heslin, psychotherapist, counselor and friend
Dear discerning columnist, critic, editor, reviewer,
It’s a very Kiwi thing to hoard stuff that may be useful one day. However, when you can’t get into your garage because of the junk or it's painfully obvious you’re suffering from information or emotional overload its time to take stock and clear some space.
My name is Keith Newman, I’m a journalist and occasional poet. I have come to recognise the importance of regular spring cleaning, both of the physical garage and of the cluttered life which can so easily become littered with ideas, concepts and thought patterns which have passed their use-by date.
I began listening closely to some of the inane brain-roof chatter going on in my head and decided it was time for some fresh thinking about who I was and where to next.
As I went through the photographs I’d taken and the
poems and articles written over the years, I
began visualising a collage of the most interesting bits of my life so
far. I saw some of the poems
being put to music and others in a book. I sent select copies of my word
creations to guitarist and composer Gav Collinge and began collating
others into a electronic collection. As I built the the words into a
web on my hard disk I began to see the potential for another multimedia
CD-Rom and a book.
The new compilation, coming 5-years after my first
multimedia CD Buzz Words, is more hard hitting lyrically and
musically and sits into more of a groove.
This time around I worked hard with the musicians and engineer Neil Hannan selecting the right sound effects and rhythms to suit the lyrics and create a more flowing feel.
I believe the result is similar to what the beat
poets of the 50s set out to do when they worked with the jazz or
experimental musicians of their time.
The lyrical content challenges traditional ‘happy clappy’ religion and soul destroying end-time theories, explores the mysteries of the human mind and the magic of the spiritual journey, dips into the despair of loneliness in a piece inspired by New Zealand’s high youth suicide rate, and celebrates relationships and the need to have a family of friends.
In other tracks we celebrate the patterns and
synchronistic events that help make sense of the journey, rant about the
rising new middle class who’s only hope in life seems to be winning
Lotto, and rail against speed cameras (a revenue gathering exercise for
the Police who seem preoccupied with catching those with the occasional heavy
foot rather than chasing real criminals), and information overload which
leaves so many people feeling like they need to have their brain
The CD features guitarist, composer Gav Collinge (Powerhouse, Cheek Ta
Cheek) who co-wrote and played on Safeland, Nero, Family
of Friends and title track Cleaning out the Garage. Guitarist
Phil Pritchard (Highway) co-wrote the music and played on New Middle
Class and Running out of Space, bass player and engineer Neil
Hannon co-wrote the music for Running out of Space and So You Think This is It?
Vocalist Jacqui FitzGerald provides backing on Nero and Family
of Friends. There are a number of sampled pieces including Brimstone
Fingers, compiled from two old Human Instinct tracks (with permission
The CD which plays on a normal audio player as well as a computer should auto-run when placed it into a Windows-based PC (or on opening the index.htm file through a browser on a Macintosh). The viewer is presented with an internal website containing the Garage Web Book featuring 39 recent poems, another hundred or so works in a ‘best of…’ archive from the past 25-years and a veritable gallery of artwork including creations by my wife, artist Paula Novak (Istra).
The mini-web on the CD also contains links
to controversial articles I’ve written including: Starway to Heaven,
Knowledge in the Stars, Beastly Rumours Persist, The Real
Bible Code plus quotes and inspirational pieces and fragments of my
"Sometimes it takes 10-years or longer to see fruit from the seeds you sow. It takes the patience of a cheese maker to be a visionary, a pioneer or simply to go the distance with what you passionately believe in. Having determined a goal we must invest in it with faith and hope then learn to love to wait. Everyday as we understand more about how the world works we can massage reality, reinventing ourselves to align with the physical and spiritual principals that govern our lives. This requires periods of soul searching where we are challenged to let go of ideas and even possessions that stand in the way of the future we desire to inhabit. If the truth is to set us free we must regularly undergo a life inventory, prioritise and move forward with renewed hope and a lightened load. I have come to call the process 'cleaning out the garage'," – Keith Newman, October 2002.
"Each major wind shift or crisis in my life has helped me adjust my course and my attitude, requiring me to throw some excess cargo overboard. These little deaths have often required a fundamental transformation of mind allowing me to leave bits of my old life behind so I can pull anchor and get a much clearer vision of what new lands might lie ahead. I don't pretend my life is any more significant than anyone else's but as a writer I have the gift to record and share my experiences. I’ve chosen to work with some great musicians to put my words to music as I’ve literally and figuratively conducted an inventory and cleaned out my garage," Keith Newman, October 2002.
About Keith Newman:
I’m a poet, lyricist and career journalist writing for mainstream
media about telecommunications, computing, the internet, the arts and
Cleaning Out the Garage (2003) is my second foray into
multimedia production. Buzz Words, the first 'blue book'
CD-Rom in New Zealand was launched in 1997 featuring rhythm 'n verse and
multimedia content. This outing, a collaboration between myself and
composer / musician Gav Collinge as Wordworx, was selected by Allan
Morton, owner of CD production company Software Images as a Christmas gift
for about 700 business executives across the country.
Let me tell you a story... read on... (or mouse off to Information Overload Infopoem Esoterrorist or Testimony)
Electronic poetry Book 2002 Garage Book Hard copy best of