Music

A page for any musical discoveries I’ve made. Latest addition 17/12/2017.


Composition: A World Requiem by John Foulds

Artists: Leon Botstein (conductor), BBC Symphony Orchestra and many other performers (it’s a huge work!)

Possibly the only recording of this work..? For me, it triggers associations with an ‘aesthetic’ that seeped into my soul from a being a British child in the 60s and 70s. The obvious observation is that all the grown-ups around us had lived through a war or two, but I think it’s equally to do with the old British films that we kids were exposed to when we turned on the TV. Typical of this would be A Matter of Life and Death. The part of the requiem where nationalities are listed puts me in mind of these wonderful scenes from the film, for example:

Related imagehttp://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/1075287/Matter-Of-Life-And-Death-A-Movie-Clip-Court-Of-Appeal.html

In my mind, the feel of these films, the morals and sentiments embodied in them, the kinds of people who must have made them, with their mischievous humour and gentle subversiveness are some sort of ideal for me – even if I don’t practise any of it myself! The Foulds work for me is a pure manifestation of this same thing. A musicologist could, no doubt, identify some of the distinctive elements in the music: pentatonic scales..? certain ‘modalities’..? Maybe I love Vaughan Williams’ music for these elements. Or do I love Vaughan Williams and the Foulds requiem because they sound like old film music?


Artist: Thin Lizzy

Song: Honesty is No Excuse

Well, I can honestly say that I have no other Thin Lizzy in any of my playlists, but this is a gorgeous song with a beautiful ‘texture’. It’s in three time (or is it six? – I never know) and has a lovely bass sound mixed with complex drum fills and guitar runs creating a really nice feel.


Artist: Procul Harum

Song: The Devil Came From Kansas

Album: A Salty Dog

A great track from the past. Hymn-like main theme, with some extremely stompy drumming, an unstoppable chorus and fabulous guitar solo type stuff.

Also check out the wonderful live version.

 


Artist: Tears for Fears

Song: Head Over Heels

Just reading an article that linked to this video:

I don’t think I ever saw the video at the time, but it is genius – and a really great song.


Artist: Jack Bruce

Album: Songs for a Tailor

A solo album from Jack Bruce of Cream fame, with lyrics by Pete Brown. So what category does this album fit into? Rock? Blues? To me it’s colourful, complex music with tunes, and perhaps it overlaps with “prog” in a couple of places.


Band: Darker My Love

Album: Alive as you Are. 60s-ish flavour, with George Harrison-esque vocals and guitar and a hint of White Denim perhaps. Beautiful bass playing and sound. It’s a really lovely record.

A couple of tracks:

New America. Very Kinks. That beautiful bass.

Dear Author. The subject matter puts me in mind of Paperback Writer, so that can’t be bad. The militaristic drumming and guitar ‘chime’ is very reminiscent of Are You Experienced? by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.


Gigs

On the relatively rare occasion I go to a gig, I might put something here.

Band: S.W.E.A.T. Seen at The Portland Arms in Cambridge a few months back. I didn’t know who we were going to see, so when the support band sounded like this it was a very pleasant surprise. S.W.E.A.T. evoke the sound of an imaginary party in the 80s that I was never invited to at the time.

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