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greengalloway

As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mouse - A Renaissance Woman


I/ we (Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective) first met Mouse in 1981 at the Wapping Autonomy/ Anarchy Centre. Mouse was with Alex and both were dramatically dressed all in black with totally white faces - the first Goths? I am not quite sure how, but strong connections developed and Mouse became part of the KYPP Collective.

Rather than waffle on, here are some words in praise of Mouse. Many thanks to Gavin Semple of http://www.fulgur.co.uk/ for passing on the link. The main topic concerned David Tibet.

Photo of Mouse taken by Val.

http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-2661.phtml
It's a bit unfortunate that Mouse is remembered largely as a bass player in other peoples' bands, as she was something of a Renaissance woman in what is now generally termed "magical artistry" - an intense and often catalytic personality who wrote poetry and prose, drew, played and wrote music and songs, and took photos - all in concert with her magical preoccupations and all of them rather well. She was one of those people who formed a link between the musical and occult "scenes" and apart from her own accomplishments was something of an "invisible influence", responsible for many an introduction between people which would bear fruit elsewhere, later down the line.

Her bass-playing was fluid and serpentine, sadly constrained in the PTV recordings by the demands of musical director Alex Fergusson, but heard to better advantage in the recordings of her own band Feast of Hunger in the late 80s - concurrent with and post-PTV. After that she recorded and played live with her first husband Matthew Stevens (ex-Act of Faith) and Liverpool's Royal Family & the Poor. 'Blood on the Snow' mentioned above was one of her compositions, recorded during her stint in Fire & Ice. Mouse also played a mean free-jazz clarinet, as heard on her piece with Monte Cazazza when he supported PTV at their Xmas do in Heaven (December '84 if I'm not wrong, and probably on the live vinyl from the event).

Mouse was a prolific poet and published work in Joel Biroco's Kaos and Stephen Sennitt's Nox, and her 'Ciphers in Flesh', complete with introduction and Eliot-style notes of commentary appeared in Starfire - either issue 4 or 5, the one with the grey cover anyway.

It was through Mouse's friendship with Jan Fries that the latter's Visual Magic came to be typed (by Mouse) and brought to the attention of Mogg Morgan at Mandrake, thereby gaining Fries a publisher and his readers years of entertainment, challenge and insight. Both Mouse and Fries participated in the European Maat Network along with Tanith and Alistair Livingstone (the latter keeps the banner of dissent flying gallantly, btw, through his blog at http://greengalloway.blogspot.com)

Mouse also gave a talk on magical creativity at the 1992 Chaos Magic Symposium in London, which was admired by, amongst others, Andrew Chumbley. She left London in around 1995 to live in the country with husband and cats, and appears not to have been publicly active in the arts of late. Last public sighting was her photo of Letchford in Fulgur's Study for a Portrait of Frank Letchford (2003), credited under her real name, Sharon Beaumont.

As for OTO involvement, that was evidently limited to a few personal friendships, and late-night sessions in the Bloomsbury pubs used by various luminaries of the London occult scene during the 80s/90s, where meetings such as The Forum and Talking Stick were held. Oh, happy long-gone days - when "refurbishment" at the Bloomsbury Tavern meant new strips of gaffer tape on the bar stools!

4 Comments:

Anonymous transpontine said...

I've linked to this at Transpontine. I don't know Mouse, but am always on the lookout for interesting New X connections. Somebody else told me that she used to be involved in World Serpent records and it ran from an office by The Venue in New Cross. Is this true?

8:32 pm  
Anonymous transpontine said...

I've linked to this at Transpontine. I don't know Mouse, but am always on the lookout for interesting New X connections. Somebody else told me that she used to be involved in World Serpent records and it ran from an office by The Venue in New Cross. Is this true?

8:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not aware that Mouse was involved in running World Serpent, only connection was playing bass in Ian Read's Fire & Ice who released through WS.

WS was Alan Trench, Gibby (Alan Gibson) and Sarah. Only Sarah came out of the WS collapse fiasco with rep intact.

11:08 am  
Blogger ein doppelganger said...

She was/is an amazing woman. I would love to learn more about her and her work - I wonder if her band "Feast of Famine" has any recordings?

I love the writings I have read of hers in old issues of Starfire.
She definitely deserves more attention!

5:34 am  

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