The Life and Disaster of Old Jack Mathers
Every now and again there is born into this world a force that is so malevolent it would save time, suffering and pain to smother it at birth. This album is the story of such a creature - Old Jack Mathers.
In 2004, while living in Holloway Road, London, Rathmell began to notice this old man in his local pub. A man who exuded petty evil. Rathmell would look up from his drink and catch the man glaring at him before turning away in apparent disgust. It reached the point where Rathmell would look for him as soon as he entered the pub. He would also see him skulking around the local neighbourhood. The man began to fascinate, even obsess Rathmell. Just to look at him was remarkable. His socks were stained a greyish-brown, were obviously never washed or changed. His long, grey, greasy hair was combed back under a grimy flatcap. But it was the expression on his face that most captivated Rathmell – sheer malignance.
Gradually, day by day, Rathmell began to imagine this man’s life, from childhood to the present day. The result, eventually, was the story told on this 45 minute album, The Life and Disaster of Old Jack Mathers. The name, and story, are entirely fictional. Rathmell never at any point actually spoke to this man. A combination of monologues, electronic orchestrations and a capellas/choral pieces, this is a truly modern musical for the times in which we live.
Enjoy this fantastical and nightmarish musical collaboration between Rathmell and Hearn, The Life and Disaster of Old Jack Mathers!