21 April 2009

One Of Our Girls (Has Gone Missing) by A.C. Marias

I name this moment eternity
And wait for it to pass.

Three Rooms

There's no-one in the first room. A light shines in through the far side window, splintered by the vertical blinds into parallel courses, channels that guide dust from the ceiling to the floor and back again. The couch is red and comes to life under the play of filtered sunlight. "Dappled" is the word people use when they want to be poetic. A student of dance lives here; you can tell from the magazines on the coffee table. But she's not at home.

In the next apartment, several people have gathered for cigarettes and tea. The blinds are drawn. No faces can be seen in the shade and circling smoke. Eyes are closed in the pregnant twilight. Everyone concentrates, hands held in a circle. Above the couch (brown this time) a volunteer floats gently, swaying from side to side. It's as though he was suspended by an invisible string, an anchor extended from the ceiling to his heart.

Down the street a sign swings in the wind... tick... tock... tick... tock. It marks the corner pub where people gather at the end of their workday. Or maybe a little bit before the end. It's alright to be early; it's a friendly place. You can chew the fat and discuss how hot it was at noon, or who is most likely to win the big game this weekend. In the middle of the room a woman in red dances, solo. But she's not on her own; she's with everyone else in the bar. And everyone is with her.

Women share secrets. A man starts his own private dance, carefree. Another strums a guitar repetitively. Sunlight streams in the windows, bleaching the colour from the scene. It could be anytime. It could be the nineteen-thirties.

Later that evening, back in the first flat, the dancer is sitting on the couch, reading a book on aviation. From the radio comes a message. "We must be on you, but cannot see you -- but gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet."

The dancer thinks about cataloguing the gestures of all the men she saw in the bar. She picks up a sketchbook and a medium-hard pencil and begins to draw. An hour passes in almost silence. If you were on an island in the Pacific ocean the time would be 8:43am. The island being small, you'd be able to hear the gentle surf no matter where you sat.

There is a burst of static from the radio. "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait."

She looks up at the radio in anticipation. Nothing happens. Outside there is the sound of passing traffic, a sudden squeel of brakes.

"We are running on line north and south." The line crackles back to silence, one last time.

One of our girls has gone missing.

Angela Conway : dancer : choreographer : video director : musician
collaborated with Gilbert and Lewis from Wire in Dome and P’o
recorded as A.C. Marias:
"Drop" single, 1981
"The Whispered Year" on Touch cassette Meridians 1, 1983
"Just Talk" single, 1986
"Time Was" single, 1988
One Of Our Girls (Has Gone Missing) LP, 1989


One Of Our Girls (Has Gone Missing)
01 Trilby's Couch
02 Just Talk
03 There's A Scent Of Rain In The Air
04 Our Dust
05 So Soon
06 Give Me
07 To Sleep
08 Looks Like
09 Sometime
10 One Of Our Girls Has Gone Missing
11 Time Was
UK LP Mute [STUMM 68]
UK CD Mute [CD STUMM 68]
released 29 August 1989
track 11 is on the CD version only


  1. do you also have the complete P'o album? hard to find online

  2. "Time Was" was also released as a 7" and 12", nd later included as bonus track on the CD edition of "One Of Our Girls Gone Missing".

    Anyhow many thanx for putting this up on your blog. A true classic.

  3. Indeed, we have the "Time Was" single in our rarities post.

  4. 433 RPM: "do you also have the complete P'o album? hard to find online"

    Actually, we do have it. Not sure when or if it might show up here, but subscribe to keep up with our posts!

  5. I love the story that you have written here. I absolutely admire Angela Conway, and continue to find her work hugely inspiring. Do you possibly have any access to any of her other discography? Thank you so much, and I hope to be in touch. I am currently writing an article on Angela Conway and linked to this post since I hugely enjoyed your poetic reflections on the Just Talk video and the One of Our Girls album.

  6. It looks as if this and the rarities are no longer available here. Any chance of re-upping them? Thanks in adv (if not, no problem - enjoyed reading this piece).