Thursday, May 08, 2008

Both Hands Turn To Heaven (Matt Kinnison RIP)

Long-time Cindytalk friend and collaborator,Matt Kinnison,died on wednesday 7th of May.Matt who had been part of the Cindytalk family since 1982 (having co-written "Under Glass" from the Camouflage Heart album) had been ill with cancer for some time.He died peacefully at around 11am after deciding he had endured enough.I saw him a few hours earlier and let him know that his spirit would continue to shine through all of our future work.And whilst it was very difficult to see him so close to death,he had almost never looked more beautiful.It was an absolute privilege to spend that time with him.He told me he was 16 when he came to audition for Cindytalk (when David Clancy and I lived up in East Finchley in 1982) but we subsequently discovered he'd lied and was only 15.I thought he was too young to be considered as our bass-player at that time but had a strong feeling that here was somebody very very special, somebody that would get better and more interesting through time.He proved me right and more.He wasn't always the easiest person to work with,he didn't just have foibles he had FOIBLES... but he was more than worth any effort made and he showed that time and time again,especially with his bass-playing and tape manipulations on "The Wind Is Strong" & "Wappinschaw".We had been in rehearsal to play live when he had to stop due to a shoulder problem which was later diagnosed as lung cancer.We had also been working together on new material over the last two years,notably, "For The Benefit Of All" and "Silver Shoals Of Light",both of which were written by myself and Matt.A new Cindytalk album, again written between Matt and I ("Hold Everything Dear") had just been completed before Matt's condition worsened,rendering him unable to create any new sounds.Cindytalk label touchedRAW had been planning to release Matt's stunning album of yayli tambur pieces "Evenings Of Ordinary Sand" but had been held up due to the petty deception of our back catalogue being stolen.But we will endeavour to bring that plan to fruition as soon as possible.Matt always worked very hard with his music and he did so right up to the end.He will be sadly missed by all those he came in contact with.Rest in Peace Matt,seek out those corners,wherever you are.You will always be with us.We love you.

Gordon Sharp/Cindytalk


You asked me for a shaman to help you on your way... this was written some time ago but maybe i can imagine you near and i'm whispering in your ear...

this journey is fevered
and i'm moving between the lines
in a corner of the sky
where it's dark around the edges
where pity holds sway.
i'm trying to stay dry
for now
hot then cold
i'm slipping in and out of focus
at times i hover
then i'm still
maybe for days.
and then like now
i'm falling
like the golden eagle
i can see all things from this vantage point.
i hear you sigh
lost in that distance
of warm bodies
of silver shoals
of light
of flying too..
it's never cold up here
even when it's snows
even when i'm naked.
and you on the edge of adventure
close your eyes
close your eyes
close your eyes
we're falling
touching wings
like the inuits kiss
up up up
into the cool blue sky
i change my name from icarus
to shaman ghost-echoes
and take my place at the mouth
of every river
dancing with the wind
with the moon
with the love of a million stars
and when you reach that edge
and a long long long way down
close your eyes
close your eyes
close your eyes
and feel the ghost echoes...

(Originally posted by cinder on cindytalk's myspace)

Wishing you well in your next journey,Matt.We will be listening...


Anonymous said...

I wrote these words below in relation to my own tenuous relationship with our so-called real world.
I think they suited Matt's otherworldliness just as well...







Yes,Matt,we'll definately be listening out for you.
Love you... Cxxx

Anonymous said...

Matt, you oddloveablebugger. It was an honour making music with you, so sad to see you go. You will be missed by myself and all who came close to you, a real individual and frightening talent who was a big part of cindytalk, and still is.

anyway life is overated its just the bits inbetween sleep.

Paul M

Anonymous said...

How sad Cindy, i'm so, so sorry to hear about Matt. I know how special he was. I had some sad news also as my friend Blue died. He just left quietly in his sleep, the post-mortum has not showed there to be any physical reason for this, though of course his health was so poor. I wasn't able to go to the funeral as Felix was so close to arriving, but Alex went for us. A sad time of year...i held my mothers hand and told her how beautiful she looked as i said goodbye to her, on the 28th of April 1990, which is also Deborah's birthday, and a week before mine. And Blue and Matt go now too. And Felix arrives...

I would love to hear Matt's album sometime, and the work which you did together that you hold most dear. You know something...i gave ghost echoes to Blue once, he loved it very deeply, as i do...i know that he has taken it with him too.

I'm sorry for your loss. I know the Shaman of cindytalk will cloak and protect Matt on his new journeys, always following, always beckoning...

Anonymous said...

i phoned david ros today to let him know matt had died.he couldn't speak to me as he was at a funeral home making arrangements as his mother had died
yesterday too!!!he called me back and we had a very long conversation in which he expressed his sadness at matt's passing,we reminisced and recalled working in the studio (and in rehearsal) with matt... his creativity,his humour,his smile & his legendary coffee drinking - he once admitted to a doctor that he drank 30 cups a day.his coffee was the strength of turkish or lebanese,one cup during the "the wind is strong" session nearly knocked me over but 30 of those,phew... david joins with the rest of cindytalk (andie too in her absence - she's off in germany or i'm sure she'd have written something too) to wish matt well on his travels in inner space.he's asked for his tambur to be burnt,
and personally speaking i'd like to have that filmed.

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear of Matt's passing. My first gig and first album appearance were both with Matt's band The Monotony Commission, and later at my first A Band gig I sang one of his songs "Holmes & Watson On Stilts". We're recording a new album this year, and I shall sing it again.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Monotony Commission play live at the Crown & Castle in Dalston way back in the late 1980's. The manager of the pub pulled the plug not long into their set but it was great whilst it lasted.Were you playing at that gig Stewart?Were you on the 'One Hand Turns To Heaven' album? My copy is a box somewhere otherwise i'd check the credits.Thank you for your comments,Matt had a profound affect on all of us.
Good luck with the recordings.

Anonymous said...

Matt and i made lots of music together over the years but we only ever wrote one poem together.
It was called "Vitriol" (in relation to alchemy)...

your light moves around you
moves slowly
then fades away
too slowly
i don't believe it's ever going to get dark today
i don't believe it's ever going to get dark today

trust first
if you kill first
killing shadows
leave the head hanging low

now changing...
with your own light
light,of a lost son

standing on a magnet
like a sundial...
and whatever you say
you only ever whisper to me
whatever you say
always leaves holes in the sunshine
always leaves holes in the sunshine

Anonymous said...

two other blogs that pay tribute to matt.
big thanks to sara and rhodri.

Anonymous said...

matt. your sounds and presence will echo within me and many others for an immeasurable amount of time. i may not have even existed by the time your bass for 'under glass' was recorded and it still hits me to this day. and others have said the same.
thankyou for it all.

Spaewaif said...

More Matt reminiscences:

To heaven

Spaewaif said...


Underglass Instrumental

"David recorded the drums using pillows with books under them if I recall.Oh and you can just about hear the change in his pocket as accidental percussion ;-) How brilliant was David Clancy!!!
This is also the first time we recorded with Matt Kinnison,I think he was 16 at the time,you can hear him say "did you get enough" {bass] at
the end.Wonderful stuff."

Anonymous said...

I was in Berlin when i heard the news. It was not unexpected at all but it still knocked me for 6. I didn't know Matt (well) for long but i remember the first time i met him. I was about 19 or 20 and we had played a gig somewhere in London (i've a vague recollection that it might have been the George Robey but it was a long time ago). I knew Matt was there and i was a little apprehensive - i guess my age and lack of experience, and lack of confidence, made me think he might judge me, being that he was also a Cindytalk bass player. That was quickly dispelled as he came up to me at the end and said something along the lines of "you're the right bass player for the job". I was so pleased and proud to have such a glowing endorsement from someone who i had such respect for.

Later, when Matt and i were to work together, we were in contact via email and he paid me the highest compliment i could ever wish for regarding my own playing. I know that he sometimes had his own issues with confidence (though there was no need - he was such a talented soul) and he was so supportive and helpful. Over that few months, we bonded and when i came to actually play music with him that grew. I remember one day looking over at him in the rehearsal room and seeing the most beatific look on his face - eyes closed, face tilted upwards, bass in hand, sitting with one leg crossed over the other, on a chair(we were a couple of lazy sods! Neither of us liked to stand and play! I still don't but neither would you with 10kgs of wood strapped to your shoulder! ha!), a paper cup of strong coffee at his feet. He looked so peaceful and happy - so this is how i will remember him.

So, thank you Matt. It was a pleasure. I'm glad the tambur will be burned. It fits. Evenings of Ordinary Sand is a beautiful legacy to leave behind you, as are the Cindytalk songs you leave us with.

In his last email to me, about a month ago, he said that he was lucky to have such good friends. I remarked that this was because he deserved them. In his own self deprecating way he protested that this was surely not the case. I disagreed and i still do. He knew he was loved and he was. A cliché perhaps but true.

Much love to you Matt, Andie xx

Spaewaif said...

Hello Andie,hope that Berlin treated you well.
Thank you for sharing.
I cannot properly explain how beautiful the track "Sand Number Two" from Evenings Of Ordinary Sand is.
You were all very lucky to have met such a special person.

Anonymous said...

Not knowing Matt myself, I've read all of your memories, on this blog as well as on the links you all provided. It is impressive and touching and I wish you all well.

Like my dear friend before me, I've got to say 'Sand Number Two' is a remarkable track and I'm looking forward to Matt's album.

"Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light." (Mark Strand)

Anonymous said...

Just a word or two about the guy
also his coffee which got me so high
he's hand me a cup with a knowing smirk
a thick slice of coffee a la turk
"its a bit strong" he said
no kidding, it blew me feckin head
as a musician a hard act to follow
his passing like his coffee
is hard to swallow



Unknown said...

I'm so shocked. I did not know Matt was ill. I'm thinking of our long walks across fields of wild flowers before I knew he had hayfever, of phone calls that lasted for ever, of the girlfriend that dumped me because she thought I was more interested in Matt, of gnome-like drawings of Bolivian Unicyclists, of finding Matt so difficult that I would not get in touch with him for years at a time, of his music which I always hated, but mostly that he was always true to himself. Last time we were in touch was 2005. He told me he was in better health than he had been for a while. Then I changed email addresses and forgot to tell him. It must be nearly 30 years ago that we met. I almost forgot how funny he was too.

Andy W

Spaewaif said...

The May 15th issue of Organ Magazine was dedicated to Matt Kinnison.
Scroll down to the "John on the phone" section for more.

Spaewaif said...

In the same way,the Organ show with Sean O on RESONANCE 104.4FM, Sunday May 18th was played in celebration of Matt:
"Bunty Chunks... A band we’ve played lots, a band who we had the pleasure of releasing material for and a band who played quite a few Organ shows on bills in places like the Camden Monarch back in the days of Huge Baby and Monsoon Bassoon at such. Tonight I’m rather sad to report we’re playing then in celebration of bass player Matt Kinnison who passed away last week at the stupidly young age of 42, grab every day and create people, do things, make things, just like Matt did both with Buntychunks and Cindytalk, you’ll find a lot more about Matt on line with this week’s Organ, and tonight’s show is dedicated to and in celebration of Matt and his contributions. Bunty Chunks will always be one of (our) favourite bands...".

Spaewaif said...

More Matt-related reminiscences:
"I was so shocked to hear this. I use to visit Matt above a shop where he lived and even though I tried to arrive after midday i always thought I'd just woken him up. He would listen politely to my dodgy demo tapes and make polite comments whilst brewing coffee. He was always alive in my mind and I wondered where he was and what he was doing. It is a great shame (on me) that I find out what he has been up to in the event of his death. He actually helped me play bass at one point when I was at University and it became a favourite instrument. He also gave me on one of my midweek visits a small roll-up and said to smoke it when I had a few hours spare. He was right - it did need a few hours . I just wish Matt that you had some more.....
I hear there might be an album coming out....that would be great to listen to

peace and love
A ".

cinder said...

matt,you are still with us.still in our thoughts,still in our always will be!!! i miss you my dearest of friends.cinder xxx

C said...

So sorry to hear about Matt's passing - and so long after he died. I supported Bunty Chunks once at the Boston Arms and LOVED his bass playing. I just googled them to see what was going on these days, which is how I came to be here. So sorry.. Rest in peace - Chris