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Commencement Address

Posted: March 3rd, 2008, by Daniel Robert Chapman

A week ago I was not a writer for Diskant and there was an earthquake. My name is Daniel Chapman and I am now a writer for Diskant and there have not been any more earthquakes here. The earthquake was initially very confusing. I feared that the roof of my attic flat was being blown in and so I got out of bed and surfed the floor for a while. When this novelty was over I opened my window to see if the street held any hints. One of the many rules one observes in Leeds Six is that people will come out onto the streets at the merest hint of an event, such as a fire or an earthquake or a power cut (although I think it’s nice that wherever you are in the world people will always gather to look at a fire; in lonely moments I’ve considered the advantage of arson as a way to meet people). I knew for certain it had been an earthquake when I heard a tremulous and youthful voice shout “I felt it all the way over on Ash Road!“  Now, Ash Road is well over a mile away and with no time to have made that journey the young man must have meant Ash Grove; normally I would find this unforgivable but in the circumstances I’ll allow that perhaps he forgot his geography under stress and was not just some witless student wanker who has never bothered to learn the names of the streets he lives on.

Last summer I wrote a fairly long article for a fanzine and swore it would be the last writing I ever did about music. This spring the prompting of Chris Summerlin and the indulgence of Marceline Smith has placed me in a position where I will have to write about music again but I still think I can stay true to the principle I had in mind. The particular moment which made me swear my frustrated oath was when, pen poised, I was about to describe what Sonic Youth sound like. The whole situation was ridiculous and I am anxious to avoid a repeat. Perhaps striving to that end can be a theme of my writing for Diskant, and my brutal failure a theme of your reading.

At the weekend I visited Newcastle for the preview of the Little Chops exhibition at the Star and Shadow Cinema. Although I have a thunderous bias in favour of one of the artists involved I feel confident that nobody visiting the show over the next week will feel nepotised at my hand. Interesting things are on display there in photography, drawing, Amy Winehouse’s hair, piss, film, and the floor. While in Newcastle I also was oblivious to a pub brawl and nearly run off the motorway by a fool. I regret that I did not fully investigate the radio panel with ‘snooze sensor’ in my hotel room.

I live in Leeds and I am twenty-seven years old and I hope to hit a stride to fit Diskant soon.

Daniel Robert Chapman

5 Responses to Commencement Address

  1. Marceline

    Welcome to diskant!

  2. David

    Hey DRC, welcome aboard! Glad to have you.

  3. Lisa

    Where’s yer middle name eh? EH?

    Trying to describe what Sonic Youth sound like? That’s easy.

  4. Chris Summerlin

    Yeeeeahhhh! Let’s put this diskant thing back up there lads!

  5. Simon Minter

    Ello DRC. Excellent first post