12 June 2008

Percy Grainger - EDW

Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961)
His most popularly known composition was 
'In an English country garden', but Percy Grainger's innovations, which seem avant-garde even today, included work with Hammond organs, electronic sound-producing mechanisms, and hand-built machines to create "free music" (i.e. unconstrained by traditional pitch or beat). 
Percy's work on these early music synthesizers, installed in his living room, can be seen in the archival photos at
The Grainger Society website
eg: Percy's "Kangaroo Pouch" Free Music machine, 
set up in his living room, ca. 1950)
His musical virtuousity enabled his sartorial virtuousity it seems.
The Wiki on Grainger says that “In 1910 he began designing and 
making his own clothing, ranging from jackets, to shorts, togas, muu muus and leggings; 
all made from towels, and also intricate grass and beaded skirts".

Elegantly Dressed Wednesday button
If you enjoyed this, find more, better, at Ben Locker Blog


  1. Thanks for this - I'd heard about him but thats as far as it got - now I know a bit more and its only 4.30am - the day is looking up or should I say the night... is looking down

  2. Percy Grainger,
    Couldn't get stranger,
    He didn't have a fanny,
    But he still looked foul,
    In a dress made of towels,
    Long before we'd invented the tranny.

  3. Percy!!! Oh my goodness!

    And his MOTHER!!!

  4. There's the Percy Museum at Melb University, I drive past it every week.
    Percy liked whipping himself. And his mother leapt from a hotel window.
    Two blokes visited a woman I knew at the Hampton flats. Halfway through a cup of tea one of them got up and started whipping the other, the second was then handed the whip and whipped the first. Then they left.

    A true story.

  5. Hi Annie

    Fab! I love Percy Grainger.



  6. Rh, he also kept every snotty handkerchief he ever used, unwashed.

    Like you, genius is sometimes strange.

  7. Hello, months ago you left a message on my abandoned time machine blog saying your computer was your time machine which was kinda what I was saying back then and so forth, time is not linear and finally I find you and you are discussing one of my all time favourite oddballs, The Percy of Grainger, hello, welcome to my largely irrelevant blogroll.

  8. The Grainger Museum at Melb U is great! Currently closed for renovations but still great! Even better when it reopens.

    It has much of his eccentric clothing and strange machines on display, is quite frank about his proclivities but also makes it very clear he was first and foremost an original and brilliant composer.

    And anyone who's into a bloke sporting a topper with attitude and/or good composers and performers may enjoy this. Speaking as a experienced old school songwriter m'self, I'd say it's a quite subtly and skillfully put together song.(eg: he's carrying the entire melody just with his voice which is not all easy to do.)

    I bet Percy would like it.

  9. Now that I am a geeneyus I can say who else is a geeneyus miss brownie is not a geeneyus.


  10. I'll be going to the Percy Museum when it reopens, thanks for the tip.

    I've been inspired to consider the RH museum, here at my weatherboard in Newport (for when I've carked it, of course). Which means I'll have to rethink having all my belongings sent back to Savers. Or there'll be nothing to look at.

    Admission will be free of course to all my dear bloggers -that is, those canny crowd who've had the discernment and culture to publish my crackbrain comments.
    I'm fixing all this up with my daughter right now, but just to make sure I've also contacted a very sharp solicitor.

    You can't trust offspring.


  11. You can't trust offspring. Especially when you're dead.


    (Do you think a roof neon would be over the top?)

  12. Great article, Ann thanks :)

    Go with the roof neon, Robert, and daily sky writers :P

  13. When in Melbourne visit the RH Museum. See the pair of underpants he wore eighteen weeks running, and the mattress he slept on with three dogs. The dishes in the sink are as he left them, on the table are rude comments for someone's blog. Notice the furniture with Savers price tags on it, and the vacuum cleaner spiders called home.
    In the rear section there's the famous old poker machine, a one-arm bandit visitors were invited to play, and converted by RH to receive one dollar coins (and to ensure they never won).

  14. Yes well I'd give them their dough back but I've lost the key to the thing and can't open it.

    ha ha ha.

    And myself I'm always broke of course (except for dollar coins to change for their notes).

    ('Honest Bob')

  15. Ann, I just wanted to thank you for visitng my blog and sharing your thoughts with me. I apologize that you found my words unkind - I was trying to express a succinct combination of "If you have nothing to nice to say, say nothing," and to respond to words that make you angry only with peace and goodwill. Obviously, I was not successful at that. I appreciate that your words were well-meant, but I would hope that you realize how incredibly insensitive and uncaring they sounded to the audience. I wish you well.

  16. 'Peace and good will' blah blah blah, american blancmange.

    Only the spineless say nothing.

  17. Great minds think alike. Great to see Grainger getting the attention he deserves. Not sure I could be bothered to make my own clothes out of towels, but I like the idea.