Archive for the ‘magic’ Category

Barry Ferrier and the magic of music

Posted: March 13, 2022 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic, music

Love this photo Richard Whitfield took at the opening of Fairfarren. Barry is a champion, his 40 minute set of  Rod’s songs was magic, the audience was spellbound, it was a fine send off. Here’s Barry’s write up from over on FB;

“I returned home to the North Coast flood disaster a few days ago, driving through the drastic rain bomb that hit Sydney, after performing at the ‘Fairfarren’ exhibition at Artsite Contemporary in Camperdown, which is a celebration of the life and music of my recently departed, life-long friend, Roderick Morgan, aka ‘Old Man Crow’. The show is on at Artsite for two weeks.
Rod and his brilliantly talented partner Mo collaborated through art and music over three decades, and the remaining artworks from these years of fascinating creativity are on display in this very cool gallery space.
I was honoured to be invited by Mo to play a selection of Roderick’s finely crafted songs at the opening, and was grateful to be accompanied by two of Sydney’s finest musicians Pierre Luniere on bass guitar and harmonies, and John Kaldor on pedal steel guitar.
These fine gentlemen, though not knowing Roderick personally, took up the challenge and shared the musical adventure with me, and raised the performance to a sublime level with their skills and sensitivity – because they understand that pure love of the abstract beauty of music, and the camaraderie and mutual trust, which is at the essence of what makes being a musician so exciting.
The fact that Roderick’s songs are superbly crafted little masterpieces made the whole experience magical, and an audience of the people whom Roderick had touched in their lives who had gathered created a sacred celebratory atmosphere that moved us all, and was a fitting send off for Roderick, my great unsung hero.
But there is a very touching story here, behind the scenes. In the mid 70s when Roderick was launching his inner city grunge band ‘Sourpuss’ I made a trade with Roderick.
At the time I owned a powerful 4-way PA system, typical of the time, with huge bass bins and horns, crossovers, mixer – the whole caboodle – and I swapped this van load of electronic boxes and wires for Roderick’s beautiful early 70s, wine coloured, Gibson ‘Les Paul Deluxe’ electric guitar. I cherished this classic instrument when I played with Jeff St John, Skeleton Crew, and various other outfits in the late 70s.
Then, when my late wife, the extraordinary vocalist Cammie Landon, and I separated, I only owned two valuable items – the ‘Les Paul’ and my ‘L series’ Fender Stratocaster (destroyed in my house fire in the 90s). It was a painful parting, but I gave the Les Paul to Cammie, who then ironically sold it back to Roderick!
For decades it was a standing joke between us for Roderick to razz me about getting that unique guitar back, because he, of all people, knew just how majestic an instrument it was.
But such was the poetic nature of this fine human being that he had the final ‘last laugh’ – and just before leaving to play the Gallery opening, Mo told me that Roderick had bequeathed that once cherished Gibson guitar to me in his Will, along with his vintage Fender Blues Junior Amplifier!
I am now in guitar heaven, as the subsequent years of playing have made me appreciate it so much more than I could back then. I am debuting the rig this coming Sunday 13th at my first official gig with ‘Hubcap Stan and the Sidewalk Stompers’ at Eltham Pub.”

On the day Roderick left the stage Barry Ferrier aka Dr Baz wrote this beautiful tribute

“I woke knowing my dear, life long friend Roderick Morgan was close to the abyss and news has now come through that he left the stage peacefully at 4:44 am this morning with Mo at his side. I feel so deeply for Roderick who has been an inspiration and such a constant in my life since I met him in the gothic halls of Sydney Uni cafeteria when I was 18. I am proud to be shedding real heartfelt tears for him now. I feel privileged to have shared so many tiny magic moments of hilarity, deep conversation, and music over the decades since we were naive uni students doubling around Glebe and Paddo on his Bultaco motorbike, him with big pink plastic ears glued to his bike helmet. That image still cracks me up. He always had such a wicked sense of humour. I smoked my first joint with Roderick under a palm tree in Bondi and dropped my first acid trip with him and a bunch of friends in the beautiful Blue Gum forest at the bottom of Govetts leap near Blackheath. All the crazy, deep and meaningful, silly times. Our shared house in Glebe when I first moved out of my parents home. Learning to sing in harmony with Roderick and my late wife Cammie when she was still at school. The mad trip to Melbourne to perform ‘the Milky Way Cabaret’ with Chris Clark and Cammie at the wonderful ‘Flying Trapeze Cafe’ and Roderick singing Alice Cooper’s ‘Cold Ethyl’ in a long red velvet coat, posturing hilariously with his red Les Paul guitar, on that tiny stage, with Lo-fi backing by Ernie Thud, the primitive drum machine, with only two beats. I remember the joy he radiated when he came up and stayed with me in Bangalow and we made some of the first recordings of his quirky, brilliant songs – must have been late 80s. I always felt he was an undiscovered genius with his songwriting. He had a unique voice. It was quite unexpected to me, after our glorious misspent arty youth, and his maths background, that he was to develop a love for and deep knowledge of plants and spent his life as a gardener. And his surprising mid-life passion for wind surfing, which inspired me to take that up too… and so many all night, drunken sessions, singing and laughing and raving on in your kitchen in Leichhardt, with our special close friends. It is so surreal when someone who is a rock in your life leaves you. I can only imagine the emotions his lifelong partner Mo is feeling though she is wise and strong, these are the hardest times, facing loss of someone so dear. It’s such a mystery. I only wish I could have been close at the end. Vale Roderick my true magical man. I am so grateful for the time we had together – Old Man Crow there will never be another like you.”

Lizette Campbell’s husband Peter took this beautiful photograph of the starry details on the gloves
The opening for I dream of a world where love is the answer moved the air with the power of song and love and beauty
here’s some photos that just came in from Bronwyn Berman
lots of of wondergood conversations
surprise and laughter
Fiona Dempster and Barry Smith sent these photos & will post more on their blogs tomorrow
Nanette Gilbert sent photos & a big hug from Grace in northern Californialove this photo of Dotti and Bronwyn
my brother Paul & Old Man Crow getting ready to play
I dream of a world where love is the answer
after the Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmann opened the show (photo courtesy of Artsite Galleries)
with deep gratitude to everyone who made this dream come true

PS  Fiona Dempster of Paper Ponderings, Barry Smith of Rustnstuff, and Nanette Gilbert of Stitch and Sow have written beautiful reviews of the opening with lots more photos!
PPS Sharmon Davidson has written a wonderful post for the dream on her blog

Fiona Dempster and Barry Smith send Peace into the world every year for the International Day of Peace
Their generosity of spirit inspires hope for our beautiful broken world
old and new weathergrams at the front door
and out the back
with deep gratitude
Peace & Love guide the way!

yesterday I realized that the retractable ladder is needed for levity, I was getting too deadly serious thinking about The Moon as an archetype which is all very well but Once in a Blue Moon is a celebration of the magic of electric blue, slow stitching lunacy and the wonder of having two Full Moons in one month!
also stitched some whisper silk organza rungs into the knots on the starry ladder so it feels much more ladder-ish
enjoying the conversation between the moons & how the retractable ladder works so much better with Moon Unit II
starting to make some sense at last!

excerpt from
The Wave in the Mind : Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Shambhala Publications 2004
one of the most beautiful & inspiring pieces I have ever read about the creative process
(NB to enlarge for easier reading just click on the pics)
binding the branch for the dream
crepe myrtle branch bound with vintage electric blue suede
round and round
waxing the dress form & mandala to hold the rust

Gab Bates Tree Shrining for the Inner West Open Studio Trail
Gab makes good magic!
Spirit Painting, Tree Amulets and Bone Brooms in her studio
mysterious sigils on the fridge
had lots of fun with Gab & Zio unfurling the bunting for the Tree Shrining
photo courtesy of Gab Bates
you can see more of Gab’s photos on Facebook and her website


Liz Ackert is stitching so much love and peace into our beautiful broken world
(click on the link to go over to her blog!)
she sent me this photo of her pennon in process, her stitching is divine!
she has gifted me so many beautifully stitched and dyed cloths over the years we have known each other online
she is truly mending our beautiful broken world with Love and Peace
her rust dyed key cloth and 60 count hand woven linen inspired the Key Book
& the Imagine Peace pin is real magic, it helped me keep a lid on it one dark and stormy night
Liz is such a rare treasure I truly hope we will get to meet in real life one day!

PS on Friday the 13th Liz put up another beautiful post
PPS the next day Liz posted more beauty continuing
and more!
October 15th lichening the pennon
October 16th Dream State
October 17th Like Braille
October18th Deep in the Heart of Texas

listening & learning

Posted: May 29, 2017 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic
Tags: , , ,

Holding Space, Weaving Place a yarning stick workshop and story telling gathering at the Australian Museum
Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Gail, Wailwan and Yuin man Millmullian (Laurance Magick Dennis) and Wiradjuri/Ngemba woman Nyimirr (Fleur Magick Dennis) showed us how to wrap the yarning sticks, add feathers and seed pods then Laura McBride, an amazing young woman with two degrees who is the curator for the First Australian Galleries sat with us & spoke eloquently about oh so many things… great food for thought, I especially enjoyed her analogy of how to hold space when the going gets tough like an echidna & just wait it out… Australia’s First People are so kind & generous with their sharing of culture, we enjoyed the listening & hope to see a treaty made respecting the rights of the people of this ancient land who have lived here for 50,000 years
Holding Space, Weaving Place is on again today and tomorrow from 1-4pm

a memento mori for Ariel

Posted: April 14, 2017 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic
Tags: , ,

A memento mori for Ariel, a talisman for Old Man Crow to hold onto, on Wednesday I began by stitching together a bundle of Ariel’s shed whiskers, tried adding some of his claw sheaths but that didn’t feel right, a white feather didn’t work either, tried binding the shard of a broken pot I found as we smoothed the earth in the hole for his grave but that wasn’t right either…  this morning my favourite sea worn piece of driftwood felt good so I lit a stick of incense holding Grace of Windthread’s one line poem “we are burning Karma and it smells like incense” in my heart for the making
Old Man Crow woke at that moment, Ariel had just visited him from the bardo
Ariel’s whiskers & Old Man Crow’s Bandaged Heart bound to my favourite sea worn piece of driftwood
you, me and the Ariel P in our moonboat
with so much love tonight under the waning gibbous moon

The Letter U from An illuminated Book of Cats © 2010