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IAN BLAKE: Listen...

..the burning Thames I have to cross...

(IB and a tuneful tube driver)

Here's London's most melodic metroman (with a unique intercom style) and the drones and pulses of the trains themselves, duetting with bass clarinet in a piece featured in The Gathering, an exhibition at Canberra's M16 artspace.

The title alludes to the English ballad The Grey Cock aka The Lover's Ghost - a revenant swain who might have found it 'quicker by Tube'... as they used to say in the old days. Back then I appreciated the rattle and hum of those Northern Line trains when they did eventually turn up, reeking of warm dust and electricity, stale smoke and an unidentifiable whiff that set the reptilian brain a-thrumming...

The livelier half of this quick 'n' dead couple attempts to negotiate with the local rooster, offering him some spectacular bird-bling if he delays his morning cockadoodling:

... I pray you not crow until it is day
For your wings I'll make of the very first beaten gold,
And your comb I'll make of the silver grey.

From the singing of Cecilia Costello, Birmingham 1951