Saturday, 3 January 2009

A Musical Interlude

So what has been streaming off the Music server over the past few weeks?

The Minimalists:
Carol bought me a boxed set of 10 Philip Glass CDs (Glass Box - cool name but not made of glass) for Christmas. Amazing what a set of well placed hints can achieve :-). Once I played all of Glass Box the experience set me off on a search for my favourite minimalist pieces.   I've been a fan of minimalist music in its widest sense as long as I remember. I guess my earliest minimalist experiences were with some bits of Holst and Kraut rock bands such as Faust, Can and Tangerine Dream. Only later did I discover the "classical" minimalists such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Adams and Philip Glass in the US with Arvo Part, Heinryk Gorecki and Michael Nyman (who coined the phrase minimalism as represented by music) in Europe. Anyway, here are some of my favourites of the moment (listen in peace with an open mind):

Gorecki - Symphony No. 3
Glass - Orange Mountain Music, Symphony No 3, Satyagraha, Tehillim
Part - I am the true vine
Tangerine Dream - Atem
Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
Can - Future Days, Bel Air
Faust - Miss Fortune
Riley - In C (Wang Yongji performance)
Nyman - The Piano
Adams - Shaker Loops

Christmas Songs - Carol loves her festive songs (old, modern & ancient) to be playing for weeks before Christmas so I have to hide in the study to hear anything else and given how unfestive that is I don't get to hear much else on the run up to Christmas. Even though we have a random playlist of around 250 "festive favourites" its amazing how quickly they repeat on random play. Each year I try to add some new songs but only few are accepted by the festivities organiser :-)

And the rest: 
Sons & Daughters -  Rough rock folk with a great Scottish (girl) lilt

Small Faces  - Ogden's Nutgone Flake - their finest

The Acorn - Glory hope mountain - Canadian indie folk with honduran beats.

Nitin Sawhney - London Undersound - Yet another wonderful album from this man despite the appearance of Paul McCartney

James - Just re-listening to the band who should have had the success of the Smiths

Iggy Pop - The Best : Lust for Life, The Idiot, American Ceaser

Fotheringay - Sandy Denny's last band (only recently realeased 2nd album, 37 years late). Wonderful English folk album

Jim & his new Liver

In the recent post on our UK trip I mentioned an old friend, Jim who was waiting for a Liver Transplant. Well they finally found a donor on 30th December and he went in for his transplant on New Years Eve. After over 12 hours of extremely complex surgery he was moved into intensive care around 9pm, and into a normal ward yesterday. Christina, he's wife, has been keeping his family and friends up to date with remarkable regularity.

Apparently he is making great progress. I only wish I was close enough to pay a visit. I hope he knows how much me and  the rest of the family are thinking of him.