California Guitar Trio
P I G   C A M
Bert Lams on the Farm - November 9, 1999
Photos courtesy of Hugh O'Donnell

November 9, 1999 - Wiltshire, England
Bert in Babe-Land

Upon return from the CGT tour I worked for 20 days on a local pigfarm. Thus I became a "pigman". The farm holds 600 pigs. I was hired as a relief worker because the pigs have to be moved to different fields every year and an extra hand was needed. The fields are on top of the hills of Broad Chalke. I had to learn a few things: feeding all of the pigs daily, driving tractors with trailers and forklifts (reversing a tractor with a trailer was particularly frustrating!), getting loads of pigs out of their huts and directing them with loud yells to a different field and bailing straw into huts with grumpy sows. I had to be very careful around the sows when they have little ones because they attack sometimes. But I grew very fond of them all.

This little piggy...

Every week we put about one hundred little "babes" on a big lorry, going to other farms. They are so cute. The farm is a breeding farm and its divided into sections: Firstly there is the Service pens: About 15 sows with one or two boars. They have a wonderful time there, making love like pigs all day and night. Then the sows have their babies in another pen. Some of them stay to grow up there, but most of them go to different farms. When the pigs get old, they go into the "porkpies". I grew so fond of them all that I have my bacon every day now!

November 9, 1999 - Wiltshire, England
November 9, 1999 - Wiltshire, England
Big on Pigs

The animals are treated very well here, although the hillsides are not their natural environment. A lot of pressure was put on me because there's only me and the foreman working there. Hard work from early on till late. I built quite some muscles and every night I came home "knackered". I'm still hired to go some weekends and an occasional day, and I look forward to more. I love being outdoors.

Compost and Composition

It was a very good change from being on the road, sitting in the back of a van most of the day. But now it's time to catch up on music. I transcribed "Pie Jesu", one of Robert's soundscapes and sent it to Andrew Keeling. He works with Opus 20, a London based orchestra who has released an album of contemporary music on DGM. The piece is played by 12 players (6 violins, 2 violas, 2 celli and double bass). Andrew arranged the piece for Opus 20 and sent me a CD of a rehearsal. I was blown away with the result. We will do a series of these soundscapes for orchestra for possible release on DGM.

November 9, 1999 - Wiltshire, England
November 9, 1999 - Wiltshire, England

I also received a tape from Paul Richards with highlights of CGT's last tour, featuring Tony Levin and Bill Janssen. Our next live release is taking shape. It has a very different flavour from what you may have heard before and I will leave you to be the judge of this! And now I am going to have some bacon for breakfast.


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