Sunday 31 August 2008

Sunday contrasts

Interesting Sunday with usual Plainsong in the morning at Holy Name (very good), followed in the afternoon with a party with evangelical rappers (not my idea of a fun afternoon - but puppets were good.. Izzy enjoyed them) - something that didn't make any sense. I'm extremely allergic to people shouting about religion which, at the end of the day, is so deeply personal.
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Saturday 30 August 2008

Saturday Barbecue, etc

Great barbecue this evening. Izzy had a fantastic time with her friends and a guy who came round with lots of scientific experiments for kids. Great fun. Also went to see possible house - she liked it (and almost went roller-scating). Good day, happy improvisation...
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Friday 29 August 2008

Something spiritual

Good day, mortgage sorted (I think), evaluation paper (yes, still working on it!) going ok. Pursuing the harmonic ideas from yesterday to use superimposed major 7th chords to produce something like the bitonal Tippett sound - always a continuously high variety of possible action (need a better phrase for that..) that maintains a sense of floating in the air...
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Thursday 28 August 2008

Bird of Paradise 1

I was reading R.D.Laing's Bird of Paradise last night and was struck by the beauty of it (I don't remember it creating such a strong impression last time I read it). Perhaps in thinking about Sabat's work on Alzheimers and Laing has brought it more into focus. This improvisation is using closed position left hand chords and a melody based on those harmonies. It's not any good yet, but I will explore these possibilities this week...
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Wednesday 27 August 2008

Jazz experiments

Haven't done any jazz recently... must get better at this - that's my target for the coming year! here's an attempt at a something bluesy and then something more relaxed... First day back at work - good meeting re regen (re-re-...), and interesting time viewing houses!

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Tuesday 26 August 2008

The good, the true and the beautiful

This is an attempt to combine a philosophical discussion with music, which is also about music. Music about music interests me very much. The basic message is that "music gives us something to talk about"...
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Wednesday 20 August 2008

Betjemin song: Parliament Hill Fields

Extending yesterday's experiment, I suppose I'd better make the voice louder (although I'm not quite comfortable with this). I started setting the Betjemin poem ages, but it strikes me it needs some sort of jazzy treatment which I've tried to give it (not that successfully!) - too much to think about. Obviously the next thing is to sing... so the second is an attempt to set a Wordsworth poem (A slumber did my spirit seal).. Ok. it's only a first attempt. I need to do more of this.
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Tuesday 19 August 2008

Akhmatova Songs

This is a new departure for my improvisations... Improvising to poems read as I play. It produces little 'beads' of music which I quite like... one for each stanza, or for each poem. These are from Akhmatova's 'Wayside Grass'.
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Monday 18 August 2008

Bleak and Happy

Two contrasting improvisations this evening.. one like Shostakovitch, the other like an English 16th century dance. Thinking about the latter - particularly the influence from Islamic sources from Cordoba on the musical language of courtly love.

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Sunday 17 August 2008

Back from Holiday... pastoral Suffolk

Back from holiday... nice to be reacquainted with the piano and now for the first of the next series of improvisations. This one picks the arpeggio idea that I started in the "last day before holiday".. it sounds a bit like Vaughan Williams in places... the countyside around Southwold was lovely!
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Saturday 2 August 2008

Saturday Mario Kart

I wasn't expecting to do an improvisation today... but have played a lot - mostly the late Schubert Bb sonata which I haven't played for ages. The piece is quite special - not least because it was about the last thing he wrote. Also bought MarioKart (for Isobel, of course!) - why didn't I do that sooner - fantastic - wonder what Schubert would make of it... maybe he would have had a bit more fun! In addition to MarioKart Izzy had a nice time with Bethany, Rose, etc in the garden (water pistols, swingball, consequences, etc). This is not improvised today - another from my 'bank' of improvisations on Youtube. It's a bit like MarioKart though...
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Friday 1 August 2008

Critical Realism video

This is my video about personalisation for the critical realism conference...
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Last day before holiday

It's been a frantic day.. bid went off (after some last-minute changes). It looks good, but we'll have to wait and see. Also wrote the bulk of another one... I'm really looking forward to a good break! Hopefully the rain will hold off!
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