A believer of possibility

It was over 40 years since I had seen Brian’s family, visiting the family home in Chester during the summer holidays before new the academic term started. It was the day of the funeral at Kensal Rise Crematorium.

The official presiding of the business of the day explained what was going to happen. He had three bullet points which were delivered accurately without emotion that found their target. Today was about disposing of the physical remains, celebrating Brian’s life, and supporting each other for those of us who are left that knew and loved him.

Jim and I were his close friends at university, we stood respectfully at the back.

The ceremony ended, Brian’s elderly mum touches the wicker basket coffin, the last farewell as the music of The Monkees, “I’m a Believer” starts up. Everyone filed out into the lobby which became packed with mourners.

I was the last person to file past Brian’s coffin. A quantum event took place in my mind, I was suddenly in floods of tears, I fought my way out to the back door of the crematorium into the midst of the mighty Storm Barra.

My tears mingled with cold torrential rain like final scene in the film Blade Runner[1] as Roy Battey dies. Like Rick Deckard, I am soaked but alive.

Brian was connoisseur of the science fiction genre loved ideas and believer of possibility. We had both loved and talked about this film and this very scene some years earlier.

Distant events over time and space appear entangled via a single thought.

Black and white adventure comic like graphic in black and white depicting a blinding light with shocked man dressed in helmet with protruding cow horns.
Felt tip pen drawing gift by Brian Berrow presented to me in 1980.

It is a year later after Brian’s funeral and Jim, and I met to publish online recordings of the music we had made with Brian. It was Jim’s initiative to start a Facebook page in 2016 for the band, The Dumb Waiters and now in 2022 a SoundCloud profile too.

It was shortly after this time after 2016 when I had been in contact with Brian and Jim, I was inspired to revisit the Dumb Waiters cassettes and to reworking recordings using digital techniques to create new soundscapes.

Thankfully Jim and I were able to share some of the archive recordings with Brian in 2021 before he died. I still explore the archive of tapes to create new “acoustic montage”. I am sharing my latest rework of tracks that feature Brian, Jim, and myself where we are all involved in vocal, percussion and guitar.

“Entanglement”, from a new collection of acoustic montage pieces called “Possibility” by The Dumb Waiters,
arranged by Vic Berry 2022

[1] Ridley Scott 1982 Film, “Blade Runner” based on Philip K Dick Novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Characters: Roy Batter played by Rutger Hauer & Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford.

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