I remember a house, a big house.
It seemed to take a long time to get there.
It was a house with a huge grand door.
With mottled glass and a brass knocker.
It had a gravel driveway and steep steps leading up to it.
It was on a leafy street, with rows of other large houses.
They were just how I imagined the houses in London would look.
Not like our house.
Which was small.
The lady who answered the door
Was big and friendly
She seemed strong and happy
And pleased to see us.
I didn’t really know who she was.
My mother did.
But she wasn’t her mother.
But she treated her like she was her daughter.
There was a man there too.
He sat in the corner of the room.
He didn’t say anything.
He just looked at us, deeply.
He wore a green cardigan.
Trousers with braces.
His hair was fine and slicked back.
And his pencil moustache
Outlined his top lip.
He didn’t smile.
He seemed engulfed in sadness.
He just continued to stare, deeply.
I was frightened of him.
But somehow knew that I didn’t need to be.
All of a sudden he picked up an accordion.
He began to play it.
He sang as he squeezed the wheezing instrument
He fingers running expertly across the keys and buttons.
He sang very well.
He sang the song from his heart.
When he finished the song he took the accordion off.
And he began to shake.
He couldn’t seem to stop his hand from shaking.
He carried on staring for a while, deeply.
Before leaving the room.
He didn’t come back in.
I can’t remember ever seeing him again.
I often wish I had been able to see him again.
I think he could have taught me a lot.
About who I am
And who I might become.
Matt Atkins @Matkinssound is a London based sound artist whose principal interests are reductionism, chance, repetition and texture. He uses objects, percussion instruments, occasionally a laptop and cassette recorders to create sound collages in both the recorded medium and live, usually in collaborative performances. He is a regular attendee of Eddie Prevost’s London Improvisor’s Workshop. He has recently released his work on the labels Falt, Midnight Circles, Invisible City Records, and TQ. He also runs his own label, Minimal Resource Manipulation, as well as playing drums in Crumbling Ghost, Newts and Smallgang.