Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Ian Emes’ ‘French Windows’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘One of These Days’ at Ikon

July 20, 2010

This post has been moved to pigsonthewing.org.uk/ian-emes-french-windows-pink-floyd-one-of-these-days-ikon. Sorry, but WordPress.com won’t let me set an automatic redirect.

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RIP, Richard Wright

September 15, 2008

I’ve met and chatted with, or interviewed, every member of the “classic” (1970s) Pink Floyd, apart from Richard Wright. And now I never will.

RIP Richard, the unsung hero of Pink Floyd.

What would my grandfathers have said?

May 22, 2008

Back in 1996, or thereabouts, I gave a presentation to a meeting of my then colleagues and senior managers, and said something to the effect that the web, and the technologies that were emerging alongside it, would “change the way we work, as surely as the coming of electricity changed the way our grandfathers worked”. They looked at me as though I was raving mad, and there was even a murmur of embarrassed laughter. [To be fair, one of the few present who seemed to accept what I said was Michael — later Sir Michael — Lyons, whom I had earlier shown his first ever view of a web site. Now, as chairman of the BBC Trust, he’s responsible for overseeing bbc.co.uk!]

Last week, I wrote a review of a concert by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall (please feel free to comment on my review, below). During the interval, still sat in my seat (booked, of course, by e-mail), I wirelessly bluetooth connected a pocket-sized, folding keyboard (an iGo device, purchased on-line) to my Nokia N95 mobile computer (it’s really not fair to refer to the latter as a mere “phone”) and jotted down my thoughts on the first half. After the concert, I sat in the ICC’s adjacent cafe and, using the same kit, fact-checked some spellings and dates on the web, then completed the draft of my review, which I then sent by e-mail to my home PC. To be more precise, I hit “send” and dropped the N95 into my back pocket. The e-mail was actually sent from there, as I walked to my car.

When I got home, I tidied my prose, then e-mailed the review to the publishing site’s editor, who, after his usual procrastination, uploaded it to his web server. Can you imagine me writing a review that way, in 1995? I think I had the last laugh, after all. My grandfathers, George Mabbett and Harry Brazier, would have been astonished. And, I hope, proud.

Unknown Beethoven symphony discovered!

May 14, 2008

I heard a new — to me — piece of music the other evening, It was on ClassicFM‘s rather lovely ‘The Full Works‘, the late evening show which plays whole pieces, rather than the shorter snippets featured during the day. The piece was clearly (to my admittedly untutored ears) Beethoven, and symphonic, but, familiar as I am with Beethoven’s symphonies, I’d never heard it before, and couldn’t place it. The use of horns was typically Beethovian, the woodwind was very Beethovian, the strings were quite Beethovian, and the structure of the piece itself was absolutely Beethovian. No doubt about it, it was a Beethovian piece. But what was it?

As soon as I could, I pulled the car over and parked at the side of the road, whipped out my trusty Nokia N95, and used ClassicFM’s useful, if appallingly inaccessible and not really mobile- friendly, on-line playlist to check what it was. And it wasn’t Beethoven at all. To my surprise, it was Georges Bizet‘s Symphony In C Major. Remarkably, it was written as a student exercise in 1855, when he was just 16, and lay forgotten and unperformed until it was rediscovered in 1935. You’d never tell, if you heard this impressive work.

Well worth seeking out, I reckon. Especially if you like Beethoven.

Free music, courtesy of your library

January 4, 2008

I lay awake last night (or rather, early this morning) listening to Radio 3, and heard some wonderful music by Paul Gilson, a composer I’d never previously even heard of.

The pieces were all delightful, and were “La captive”, “Andante and Scherzo for cello and orchestra” and “La mer”, performed by Timora Rosler (cello), Brassband Buizingen and the Flemish Radio Choir and Orchestra with conductor Martyn Brabbins.

If (like me in Birmingham), you have an enlightened library service, they will have paid for a subscription to Naxos Music, so, by entering your library card number (you do have a library card, don’t you?) you can listen on-line, for free, to a “CD quality” stream of their recordings of Gilson’s music (or anything else in their vast and ludicrously high-quality catalogue). From home (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Well, what are you waiting for?!