Mike Harris: The Craven "A" Saga

More music from Mike

To err is human, to smoke Craven "A" divine

In 1866, having moved to London in 1820 and having started trading in cigars from number 7 Waldour Street, Don José Carreras Ferrer received a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales, HRH King of Spain and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. In 1899 Carreras made their first cigarettes by hand known as Craven Mixture. The House of Carreras became a London landmark. The cigarettes take their name from the 3rd Earl of Craven.

Welcome to the Craven "A" Saga, an on-going project to create a concept piece based around being addicted to smoking cigarettes. The piece attempts to tackle various topics of life and the human condition, drawing upon the relationship, at times narcissistic, at times nihilistic, between the smoker, their packet of fags and their relationship with the world around them; a world that through the very act of "being" a smoker is one that is fragile and with end. Jolly stuff for sure!

I've been working on this project since 1989 and am gathering recordings of the pieces and lyrics on this page. I hope shortly to release a complete recording with lyrics and possibly art-work.

I hope that the pieces have the required dosage of humour and irony necessary to make it all not so very heavy actually. The overriding point in a lot of senses is to a) not take your existence so seriously whilst at the same time b) being aware of and accepting the trajedy that we see around us. In this way hopefully we then pay more attention to what is really happening, rather than switching off in a null-space of imagined, fluffed-up, reality. Reality really isn't that bad, there are wars, there is death, there is injustice. If we want to make it stop, we have to pay attention to it, accept it in order to be able to fight against it and make it stop. I'll get down off my soapbox now.

For rights, I reserve my rights to this work as my own. The recordings of the pieces may be freely downloaded, shared and performed; so long as it is for non-commercial purposes and so long as I am credited as the original author and so long as you are happy to share recordings of your performances and intepretations of the pieces. The lyrics may be copied and reproduced in part or whole, use them as you wish so long as it is for non-commercial purposes.


Note: the MP3s are on the larger size, stereo 192Kb/s, in order to present you with the highest fidelity possible. I will endevour to make OGGs available shortly, it's just that I already have of these recordings in MP3.

(c) copyright 1989-2008 Mike Harris.