Monday, 26 January 2009

Oh You Easties

Ok .. so things have been a little quiet because I have been nursing a cold ... not the most auspicious starts to the working year I'm afraid ... and I truly hope this is not a sign of things to come ... just watched an inspiring doco on Philip Glass ... inspiring for its sometimes painful honesty and also inspiring because of Glass himself, who is quietly confident of his abilities, but seems such an unassuming and "normal" human being ... rest assured ... I will be tracking down a recording of his Symphony No 8 forthwith ... or as soon as time permits ... so I intend to take things on this year with measured assurance ... confident in my own capabilities and with a willingness to learn and also put into practice what I have learnt ... and I'm craving conversation about the mysteries of life .. I want to let those mysteries pull me further in towards clarity ... I want to be like Glass ... a listener of music ... the music has already been written .. its out there waiting to be heard ...

Glass by Leibowitz

Its strange that I am hoping for complete bombast in the world of rock for 2009 but have started the year gravitating towards ambient electronic music and what I have classified as Contemporary Classical (or at least added as a category on my itunes) ... I've started to listen to a bit more Part and thanks in part to Boomkat's Top 100 for 2008, I have enhanced my music experience with the likes of Max Richter, Peter Broderick and the like ... mostly piano and string based composers with a little electronics and sampling thrown in ... ethereal you could call it ... like listening to the Cocteau twins and their derivatives ... something from the 4AD label ... if that helps ...

I came across Max Richter to begin with (thanks mainly to MN).

Max Richter

His Blue Notebooks cd was a revelation of how seemingly simple pianistic riffs, when combined with subtle electronics, can be so emotionally effective ... it spurred me on to do more improvisatory playing when faced with the old ivories sans printed music .. I intend to do a lot more once M has showed me a few basics on his Musicator program ... (watch this space!!).

Max Richter The Blue Notebooks

Hauschka (yet another german) was the next on the list that I ticked off ...

Hauschka and his prepared piano

The touch points here, moreso than richter, are Glass, Nyman, Steve Reich et al ... interesting acoustic textures with repetition as a driving force ... I started with Prepared Piano but his latest Ferndorf is currently on high rotation on the random playlist ... and has also made many of the top whatever lists for 2008:

Peter Broderick has also been an absolute find. Loving his stuff so much at the moment ... I don't want to listen to anything else.

Peter Broderick looking like a young Nick Cave

Broderick's music is more closely aligned to Part and Janaceck ... the electronics are there but blend in so
well you don't even notice ... ditto for the "found sounds" ... hypnotic!

Latest Broderick CD - Float

These will be travelling with me (via the iphone) as I'm off to WA tomorrow for 2 and a half days of client visits ... I've seen the itinerary and so I will not be seeing much of Perth ... but probably the inside of libraries and taxis or the rental car for the most part ... I've spent the better part of today trying to figure out how to get my suit into my little travel case without crushing it too much ... I will be arriving late-ish tomorrow night so I'm not sure whether the hotel can press it for me in time ... maybe I can do the old hang it in the shower and let the steam iron out the creases trick ... but I'm not hopeful ... its an old-ish SABA suit that I had altered just this week gone ... its my travelling suit in a manner of speaking ... (oh and I don't do suit bags!!)

Anyhoo ... I'm not one for these overnight business trips ... especially ones that take up the better part of my working week ... it puts me too far behind and I hate having to play catch up. Also I miss M's actual b'day which will be the second time in a row ... the last time being BDO. Thankfully the H's have kindly invited him to dinner ... we have a booking for the Station Hotel on Saturday so there will certainly be a post soon after ... Half of his present will probably arrive at work when I'm away ... which is really bugging me because he will now have to wait that much longer ...

As always, our weekends have already started to fill up for the rest of the summer ... and we will have to juggle invites and perhaps decide who to drop and who to honour ... I usually go for the first come first served basis .. but as in other areas of life, things aren't always as simple ... well making the decision in essence is simple ... the ramifications however can be nightmarish!!

Well I have rambled on for long enough ... wish me luck for this week ... hope I haven't forgotten anything .. will see you on the otherside of the week after a lovely few days with the westies ...!! And it looks like I'll be escaping the heat, oddly enough, WA is predicting mid-30s ... and there are a number of 40 degree days this week here in good ole Melb! You'll be smelling those forest fires by the end of it ... unfortunately!


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