IMy second choice of music I would take to my desert island is this one I shared here two years ago.
Have you decided on your second choice?
IMy second choice of music I would take to my desert island is this one I shared here two years ago.
Have you decided on your second choice?
I mentioned recently that friends and I are sharing our choice of music we would take to a desert island.
As in the long-running poplular radio show we are allowed 8 discs, one book and one luxury.
Here is my first one. When this started to play on the car radio, Barry and I pulled over to listen properly. It is one of the most profoundly moving and beautiful pieces I have ever heard.
This is a lovely (7 min) video, but my favourite recording is by The Vanburgh Quartet.
I'd love to know what your first choice would be!
Two friends and I are sharing our Desert Island Discs and Lynne's second choice is my current favourite..
Perhaps because I've just seen my younger daughter for the first time in four months, and we had such a happy (and almost normal) day together. Scotland still has many lockdown restrictions in place but the worst is surely over..
I hope you have a reason to be happy today!
Barcelona Opera re-opened with a performance to over 2,200 plants.
There are shorter versions of this but I love this 8 minute one, especially when the musicians bow to their audience.
Venice has 409 bridges!
This is the one I see when I open the shutters of the bedroom window in the morning.
If you are staying at home with someone for an extended period of time it's probably a good idea to talk about how you might cope! This was how we discovered that Heather crosses bridges when she comes to them, and I (ever the grasshopper) jump over every bridge in sight and back again.
Some bridges, and some people, are just puzzling.
I'd say do talk about it. Explain how you feel. Ask for what you need. Negotiate a little. Give and take. Give each other space (though how some households can manage that is hard to imagine!) Respect the differences between you. There's probably no right or wrong way. But ways must be found to reduce the stress, and to make sure you are still speaking to each other at the end of this.
What would your advice be? Do you have any tips to share?
Here are some ideas from Katrina of The Body Toolkit.
Only two of Venice's bridges have no parapet. Scary, but you can still get to the other side.
So will we!
NB This is a CV-FREE post :-)
The architecture here is astonishing as you know. Much of it influenced by Palladio by whom I am currently fascinated.
Have any of you seen the film Palladio? All I can find are a few very tantalising trailers.
While looking for the film I found this wonderful piece of music.
I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
What wakens you every morning?
This morning I awoke to the sound of two angry men in London shouting right in my ear about politics (radio alarm).
Given that I was in a lovely cottage in the peaceful Highland town of Narin on the Moray Firth this seemed incongruous, and disturbing if not downright insane! (Sorry C!)
I resolved to always switch off someone else's alarm and on the long journey home I tried all the different sounds on my phone alarm to find the most delightful and uplifting. It is called twinkle. :-) Sounds corny I know but at least it makes me smile. Call me idealistic but I want to start my day gently - ideally silent or to the sound of birdsong, but when I have to use an alarm I will make sure it is my own.
An exciting and flawless performance by Scottish Opera on Wednesday evening in Glasgow's Theatre Royal.
Scroll down on this page for a tiny video snippet...
I think I stalled in my review of Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules For Life at Rule Six because it was the hardest to read (hardest in the sense of painful). It deals with suffering and malevolence.
Rule Six is Set Your House In Perfect Order Before You Criticize The World.
He quotes one of the Columbine High School killers who wrote;
The human race isn't worth fighting for, only worth killing. Give the Earth back to the animals. They deserve it infinitely more than we do. Nothing means anything anymore.
I thought when I read this of David Attenborough saying that human beings are A plague on the Earth. And of a man discussing how young men come to be radicalised - You are a young man seeking adventure. Do you want to stack shelves in Wolverhapton or be a Desert Warrior?
I admore people who are willing to bravely address the tragic aspects of life.
Around the time I was reading Rule Six I heard on Private Passions (my favourite programme on BBC Radio 3) barrister Sarah Langford. She is a defence lawyer representing criminals - from thieves to child abusers.
Articulate and honest, her insights into lives most of us can hardly imagine, were riveting, if painful to hear. She has written a book called In Your Defence.
I don't know if I could bear to read it.
In his very dense chapter, well worth reading, Peterson gives examples of people who emerge from terrible pasts and do good, not evil, and he ends with two pages of advice to those who think they may be heading to despair and nihilism.
I am full of gratitude to people who do difficult work with in Sarah Langford's words the mad, the bad, and the broken.
Rule Seven will be light relief!
If you can access it Private Passions with Sarah Langford can be heard here (and I loved her choice of music!)
Unlike most of the country we have had a few clear and calm sunny days. So beautuful.
This is currently for sale. Fabulous position on the shores of Loch Long. The beach above is just below the house.
After the Immersive Van Gogh experience, today I was immersed in the wonderful music of pianist Edward jCohen at the University of Glasgow where he played an unusual programme - here is part of the description from the notes...
Today's recital consists of pieces that have been chosen to move seamlessly from one to the next, without pause. Movements of exotic 20th century works, alternate with gems from the Romantic era....
(Liszt, Mompou,Brahms,Rautavaara,Schumann,and Hovhaness. I didn't recognize a thing but it was utterly marvellous!)
..and ended up listening to over 70 talented young people making music. What an unexpected joy!
All week I have been hearing music drift across the field from the Outdoor Centre and on the way back from the postbox I asked two women if they were from the centre and were they perhaps putting on a concert? Yes, tomorrow night in Glasgow, but, they said, I would be wecome to sit in on their rehearsal in the afternoon.
It was wonderful. The GSSO - Glasgow Schools Symphony Orchestra has players aged 13 to 18. The programme of Dvorak, Sibelius and Borodin will be performed at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow on Thursday evening at 7.00pm. Listen out for superb solo violinist Anna McKenzie.
Three of the staff came up to visit later in the afternoon and after a look in the studio we sat out in the sunshine in the garden. The talent, enthusiasm and commitment of staff and students were uplifting and heartwarming and made my day!
In other news - the sun shone all day, four baby swallows hatched and a Red Admiral butterfly sat on my shirtsleeve for a while - oh, and I planted out the mina lobata and gave them blue painted canes to climb up. Altogether a delightful day.
Overheard on the No 489 bus...
Some people. Moan, moan, moan. Ah said away ye go tae Yemen an' moan.
Well said! I thought.
Yesterday I mentioned the words from a Lloyd-Webber song and trying to find it on YouTube, I ended up spending an hour or so listenigng to Elaine Paige - what a combination those two were! If you have time for the first four minutes of this it will take your mind off the news...
And I find this combination rather touching... (sorry I couldn't find versions without ads.)
Michael Barclay's guest Sigrid Rausing brought a smile to my face and put the current political situation in a different perspective in her introduction to Ella Fitzgerald singing Anything Goes. (This week's edition of my favourite programme Private Passions, around 12 mins 47 in on BBC Radio 3 - though I found the whole one hour programme well worth listening to. Fascinating woman.)
Still very much cosy-by-the-woodburner-listening-to-the-wind here.
And there seems to be a grey and yellow theme appearing through the house...
I am happy to adopt Jordan Peterson's Rule One Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back (See yesterday's post)
I do indeed feel stronger and happier when I do (I pretend I am the lovely Darcey Bussell), and also find people respond more positively towards me when I do. More serotonin apparently! And a great deal to do with hierarchies in all species including humans, status and society, territory, conflict and dominance and the brutal principle of unequal distribution...there is a lot in Chapter One.
(Rule Two is Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible For Helping - will read this chapter in February.)
I heard Scottish Opera emerging artists in a concert at the Unversity of Glasgow today - wonderful, and I also loved the transformation of what I usually find to be a gloomy part of the building...
What do you hear when you first waken?
I am lucky to hear silence and a little birdsong, the early bus trundles by and the odd car.
That is a choice too - it wasn't always so!
What choice do you make? Do you switch on to the world's bad news? It's more than a bit crazy when I think about it. There is a tendency to forget that things are news because they are not the norm and we can get a wildly skewed view of the world....
I had a eureka moment once when I lived in a house on three floors. I was rushing downstairs to get out of the door in time for work when I realised the words Vodaphone Roadwatch were repeating themselves over and over in my head. What am I doing to my precious mind I asked myself! (I stopped listening to Classic FM forever when the presenter, after playing a divine piece of Mozart asked listeners to contact him and tell him their favourite pizza topping! True.)
You may waken to the thunder of traffic, a jackhammer or noisy neighbours, or children demanding breakfast or an extremely shrill alarm clock. Perhaps you sleep with earplugs?
You might like to give some thought to those few moments when you first open your ears. With modern technology we have almost infinite choices - some ambient sound, your own playlist, a different radio station. (I like BBC Radio 3 after the on-the-hour news summary) Something of your own choosing before you set off into your day.
Listen to the sweet sound of your very own breath. Celebrate the fact that you are alive - you are being breathed!
Its the choices we make.
Everything is better with sunshine and Mozart!
The odd shape on the grass is the evening sunshine reflected from the study window!
I have no choice about the sunshine - so beautiful today - but (and how astonished Mozart would have been) I can have Mozart whenever I like. I have plenty to choose from.
I think I will have a Mozart day tomorrow.
No news. None.
Do you have a special theatre memory, or dream as yet unfulfilled?
When I was in Venice as an Erasmus student I couldn't afford a ticket for the opera (it cost my whole week's food money) and not very long after La Fenice burned to the ground and I thought that was the end of that particular dream.
So I was especially thrilled when my daughter and son-in-law bought me a ticket, and I bought Heather a ticket to the now beautifully and faithfully restored Opera House to see Madame Butterfly.
We showed our tickets and the elderly, very courteous usher said, in Italian, 'Follow me' and when he got to our box took out a tiny key and with a little flourish unlocked the door!
Rarely was my disbelief so willingly suspended.
It was magical.
.. bitter cold wind and more snow on the tops, but good friends staying, delicious food and some very nice wine, a fire, candles, a friendly little dog, and the music of Tord Gustavsson made me very happy.
Happy enough to help me get over the discovery that the early morning deer ate almost a hundred white tulips to the ground.
What do you do with papers going back years?
I can handle the bank statements, bills etc (I mostly follow Marie Kondo's advice to get rid of them) but cannot decide about more personal papers - morning pages, diary pages, letters and cards, random notes and thoughts - I seem to have a lot of this kind of thing. Notes I made for my dissertation for example. I look at them and remember how much I enjoyed the many quiet hours of research in the libraries, the academic life. I listed the books I hoped to go back to for another read...
But what should I do with them?
I've just discovered The Sweetness Of Things Half Remembered.
..isn't just about clearing clutter!
I've always been interested in minimalist art and architecture and have just come across two good programmes about minimalism in music. Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism (on BBC iPlayer).
Featuring the very masculine and rather nerdy world - can I say that I wonder? It used to be an insult but my sense is that it no longer is! - of the likes of La Monte Young and Terry Riley in California in the 60's and then Steve Reich and Philip Glass. One of the very few women involved was described as a disciple (!).
Sally Beamish had said that Keith Jarret and Brian Eno influenced her and as is the way, looking them up, one thing led to another and I spent two days listening and watching and learning.
Learning new things makes me feel alive.
..to take me out of myself.
I loved yesterday's concert programme. Schumann, Huw Watkins (the pianist for the whole concert), Sally Beamish who was present for the premier, and Debussy.
That morning I had heard on Radio 3 a composer new to me - Emily Hall, sing a song called I Am Alone and couldn't wait to find out more....listen here. So today was spent listening and learning.
I had coffee after the concert in also new-to-me Cafe Francoise on Byers Road - thank you Ann!
Is music important to you?
What part does it play in your life?
..if you can to this beautiful tribute to cellist Jacqueline du Pre (no hype/glamourous makeover/scandal/gossip/trash).
A perfect programme
I like this one too, from Sarah Ban Breathnach.. (I've just signed up to join her Swell Dames Club, because it makes me laugh.)
The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all the world needs dreamers who do.
Have you time for a seven minute meditation with the marvellous title Dream Coloured Mobile II ?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)