In the fall of 2011, Never Records released an edition of ten hand cut records by S.J. Downes entitled 11.11.11.. Stu is the only musician to play all of the Never Records (he just traveled to New Orleans this past fall to participate in his fourth Never Records), and we have become dear friends and collaborators. You can listen to the album here .
In his own words Stu describes the record......
I am just one of these countless artists who passed through Ted's Installations, though I feel extremely fortunate to have made it to each of his three expeditions. Not only has this experience provided me with a unique opportunity to develop my musical course en route but also to catch glimpses of Ted's artistic processes at work and witness the larger scheme of Never Records take shape and evolve from place to place. It is the story of an independent record shop, a multi-faceted building with front of house display and a music factory in the back room. The shelves are stocked with limited edition vinyl records, freshly cut, moments before on a vinyl lathe harvesting the performance of the latest recording artist to pass through its doors. One of a kind memorabilia supplied by Ted and a variety of other visual artists, he has encountered along his path. There's always a record player to listen to the latest grooves. The themes and delights continue. It is a story of pure spirit, focus and self-industry bringing together the real communities of music lovers. The Vinyl Record itself has suffered as a choice of recorded medium since CD’s emerged in the late 70’s, leaving it to DJ’s, music collectors and audiophiles to continue to champion its cause. Whilst with the advance of Digital technology dually has the ability of producing a sharper quality image of sound but also diluting the ever increasing range of information and music made available. I have always believed in the vinyl record as a superior listening experience, Whilst I believe and know Ted can give a good scientific explanation to this I would simply summise that ‘ to my ears it just sounds best’.
As for the numbers, it served our joint purpose well as a good date to aim towards, to release this set of 3 sessions we had collaborated on over a years cycle. I can say, that for me it symbolizes a pivot in time to aid completion of one cycle and to start another, and a point of emotional balance from which to remember the past and reflect on the future. Perhaps, a moment of stillness in times long journey.
With all this in mind I would like to thank you, the listener for your interest in my music, enough to obtain a copy for yourself or someone else and hope you enjoy all you hear.
You can watch a clip from the Never Records film by Jason Wyche of Stu performing one of the tracks from the album below.....