Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring not autumn...

Playlist
Various - iPlayer Shuffleplay
Various Composers - Baroque Bohemia
Various Composers - Musica Bohemica
Rubbra - The Four String Quartets
Maxwell Davies - The Naxos Quartets

Looks a bit like Autumn, no, wait, it is, unmistakeably (except I mistook it for Autumn), Spring...


In the post today, three classical CDs - two collections of music by Bohemian (as in, from Bohemia, not as in wearing beads and kaftans) composers e.g. Reicha, Carl and Johann Stamitz, Barta, Benda, Vanhal and my target, F X Richter - wonderful stuff indeed...

And, a discovery, the four string quartets of Northampton's Edmund Rubbra - excellent and very much recommended...

So, for the record, my last 100 (physical) acquisitions as at today (which stretch back to Xmas Day)...






Other than that, a very good "Law & Order UK" entertained...

There you go...

Onwards and upwards - it's the only way...

Highlight of the Day : The string quartets of Mr Rubbra...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Big green eyes helping us through, kind of...

Playlist
Various - iPod Shuffleplay
Reimann: Complete Piano Works
Kate Bush - This Woman's Work

This evening, got back up to speed with this...

Very hard to write Friday's entry...

Penny gave us Meg the Pretend Black Cat to help us through...


Lovely blue skies again...



A slightly different view of the cathedral, as I went round the other side of the crescent I usually walk through...



Some recent purchases on the net are winging their way to me.  On Saturday, I listened to Franz Xavier Richter via the Naxos Library streaming service and was hooked - I have one string quartet in the collection - several more discs featuring this member of the Mannheim School's music are on their way...

Today I added a couple more contemporary items to the incoming stuff - piano works by Michael Tippett and Aribert Reimann...

Home under still blue skies...


Good enough to remove the winter covering from the garden furniture...


Meg the black and white plant display is looking good...


..and the garden, generally, is stirring into life...










Meg loved hanging out in the garden...

A goodly part of the evening was spent getting this back up to date...

Final episode of "Shetland" was once again just "ok" but I was warming to Douglas Henshall by the end...

Elsewhere, Queen of the South were beaten again, this time 3-2 at Raith Rovers after getting back to 2-2 from being 2-0 down after 7 minutes...

Still fourth though, with three games to go...

Lights out...

Highlight of the Day : New music discoveries...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Never knowing what's coming next can be a good thing...

Playlist
Various - iPod Shuffleplay
Serge Gainsbourg - Volume 2

A beautiful morning after the gloom of the weekend...


The beast was back on the street...


...the skies were blue...



..and the daffs are out...


This beastie has been seen several times recently in and around William Street - the wee face has a bit of the look of Meg about it...


On the way home things were clouding over...



...but bright skies remained to the East...


At home, some natural moping about...

A tasty chili from Anne for tea - second part of the not very good "undeniable" and the much better "rev" entertained...

As did music received from Brodski on Saturday as we swapped inadvertant duplicate purchases...

Lights out...

Highlight of the Day : Not knowing what was coming next via shuffleplay...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On the way to the peak of normal...

Playlist
Various - Weekly Playlist No 15
Stanley Cowell - Brilliant Circles
Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy
King Crimson - Thrak
Rush - Power Windows
Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

Up late - around 10, following last night's late return home...

Working on the Weekly Playlist - started on Friday night when I was assisted for the final time by Meg the Black Cat - made a few changes to include her as a performer...

Posted...

Out to Alan and Penny's around 2:30 to retrieve the camera left behind last night...

They had not retired until six and were still in their bed...

Mission accomplished nonetheless...

To Ikea for a fruitless visit - then to my mum's - she has had her landing amended...


..and more work is planned - including finishing off said landing...

To Anne's mum's, where Kitty was absent but Olly made up for her absence...


Attempted double selfie with nephew...


There was cake, raspberries and frozen yoghurt for Brother-in-Law Keith's birthday...



Kitty, Olly, Jane and Bobby very kindly gave us this wee black and white arrangement in memory of Meg...


...a lovely thought...

Back home to the end of the weekend and it will take a while to get used to there being two not three at Crispycat Towers...

Highlight of the Day : Family tea and thoughtfulness...

Weekly Playlist No 15

Welcome to the Cloudland Blue Weekly Playlist No 15...

You can play The Cloudland Blue Podcasts in iTunes by clicking on "subscribe" button on the player...

You can download the podcasts by clicking on the "download" button on the player...



The player does not show on some devices - try these links to download the file:-
M4A - iPod, aac,iPhone, AppleTV (64.8MB)



This week, following on from the recent sad events re my great friend and musicking colleague, Jamie Frain, Meg the Black Cat, star of this blog for over nine years, passed away peacefully on Friday night while being comforted by me and the Exec Producer...

So I couldn't not include her famous background vocals performance on the CBQ song “Love and War” from my 2007 album “Deeperdown”...

The podcast ends with a quarter of what may be the single disc version of the next CBQ album. Much of this music work was done with Meg sitting beside me on the desk, giving me her input...

Other than that, there are tracks from this week's various purchases, downloads and borrowings; five pieces by some of the acts I will see next weekend in London at the Denovali Swingfest for experimental music; an Alice Cooper trilogy, mixing one of his best known songs with two pieces from the band's earliest work; Ex-Capital Model, Nicky Hind's favourite James Jamieson song plus an excerpt from a piece written by Nicky in 1989; and, just generally interesting stuff from King Crimson, Fripp, Eno and The Bad Plus...

Again, no chat from me (other than the notes below), just the music - hope you enjoy it...

King Crimson - Radio II – Thrak
A quiet opening to proceedings this week, a short soundscape from King Crimson's “comeback” album from 1995, “Thrak”...

Krokofant - Bodega – Krokofant
A great jazzy progfest from Norwegian trio Krokofant, discovered by chance this week whist trawling the internet for new music – the track comes from their self-tilted debut, available from Rune Grammophon – for those of you with a more gentle disposition, maybe fast forwarding through this wonderful cacophony would be for the best – but I recommend you stick with it...

Fripp & Eno - Evening Star - Evening Star
One of my all time favourite pieces of music – which I've tried to “cover” twice myself. Of course, I could never compare to the beautiful brilliance of the original...

Elephants of Scotland - TFAY - Execute and Breathe
Another new discovery – these guys are neither elephants nor from Scotland. The prog rock quintet hail from Vermont USA and this is from their second album, available now on Bandcamp, another chance discovery of the week...

Cloudland Blue Quartet - The Golden Leaf (Edit) - Twenty Four Paintings
A short piece from your correspondent, the full 35 minute version of which was enjoyed this week – I'm still working towards a release this year of this new CBQ music...

Fauré - Piano Quartet #1 In C Minor, 2 Scherzo: Allegro Vivo
 Fauré Piano Quartet #1; Franck Piano Quintet
Berio - Polka - Katia & Marielle Labèque : Encore!
Janáček - Violin Sonata, 3 Allegretto
 Bartók; Janáček: Violin Sonatas; Messiaen: Theme & Variations
Three classical pieces taken from three albums picked up in the charity shops of Stockbridge last Sunday...

Alice Cooper - BB on Mars - Pretties For You
Alice Cooper - Poison - Trash
Alice Cooper - Reflected - Easy Action
A trilogy of Coopersongs – his 1989 worldwide hit “Poison” is bookended by a track each from the original band's first two albums, which were re-released in a double LP package, “Schooldays”, in 1973, on the back of the Alice Cooper Group being the biggest band in the world at the time – for those looking for “School's Out” type material, let's just say the music on offer may have come as a surprise – it certainly did for me...

James Jamieson - Trash Can Secrets - Precious
Ex Capital Model Nicky Hind sent an e-mail from his home in California to advise he was enjoying listening to Jamie's album, which I added to Bandcamp last weekend. He chose this song as his favourite track...

Nicky Hind - Spiral III – Spiral
...and also directed me to some of his own impressive, classical-centric work for bass clarinet, string quartet and piano – this created using Sibelius software...

The Bad Plus - The Sacrifice: Glorification of the Chosen One - The Rite of Spring
One of my favourite recent acquisitions remains the new album from The Bad Plus – listened to again this week and so featured here...

Piano Interrupted - Emoticon - Denovali Swingfest 2014 London
Anne von Hausswolff - Epitaph of Theodor - Denovali Swingfest 2014 London
Origamibiro - Odham's Standard - Denovali Swingfest 2014 London
Origamibiro - Ada Deane - Denovali Swingfest 2014 London
Piano Interrupted - Cross Hands - Denovali Swingfest 2014 London
A selection of pieces from the free sampler issued this week by the record label Denovali, featuring tracks by artists who will appear at their London Swingfest next weekend. Mr CBQ will be attending for the second year running...

The O'Jays - Backstabber (12" Mix) - Philadelphia International Classics
The Tom Moulton Remixes
A track from a four CD box set picked up at the music library this week, featuring remixes by Tom Moulton of the catalogue of the Philadelphia International label, which seems to have been a hit factory for the work of Gamble, Huff, McFadden and Whitehead, given that almost every song, despite the performers involved, was written by a combination of those four songsmiths...

Cloudland Blue Quartet - For Meg the Black Cat
A short field recording of the sounds Meg the Black Cat liked to listen to as she sat out in the back garden...

John Surman - As If We Knew - Adventure Playground
John Abercrombie - Descending Grace - Class Trip
David Torn - Ak – Prezens
Three tracks from albums on the ECM label, bought on what turned out to be Meg's last day. The Surman track especially seemed a fitting send off to our wee friend...

Cloudland Blue Quartet - Love and War - Deeperdown
(Featuring Meg the Black Cat on Backing Vocals)
Meg could never see something happening in the house without wanting to join in in some way. When I was recording my album “Deeperdown” back in 2005, Meg would come into the room where I was working and vocalise in the background. I took one of these wee utterances and worked it into the song - Go Meg!!

Cloudland Blue Quartet - Twenty Four Paintings III - Twenty Four Paintings
(Single Disc Version)
And, finally, this week's two hours of fun is rounded off with a collage of short edits from six of the twenty four pieces set for the next CBQ album. Much of this work was done in the very early hours of the morning - 4am to 6am or so, with copious amounts of coffee to hand and, as mentioned above, Meg the Black Cat sitting next to me on the desk, giving me her support of course...

Hope you enjoy the podcast and will pop by again next week...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The unexpected jumper...

Playlist
John Surman - Adventure Playground
John Abercrombie - Class Trip
David Torn - Prezens
Various - Weekly Playlists 14, 15
F X Richter - String Quartets
Various Composers - Musik in alten Städten & Residenzen: Mannheim
Andreas Scholl - Heroes
Rautuvaara - Cantus Arcticus
The Killers - Day and Age
Kate Bush - The Whole Story
Argent - In Deep

When we opened the curtains this morning, who should be in the neighbour's garden, looking up at us but Meg's we friend, Rory Custard - no doubt he'd popped by to pay his respects...



...to our wee monkey...



At 8:15, we took Meg to Mr Brown, the vet who has looked after her since 2005, through thick and thin...

She was an absolutely brilliant little cat, so well natured, friendly and chatty.  We're so glad we had the opportunity to have her in our family of over nine years...

She will be cremated and returned to us, just as Crispy the Kitten was in 2002.  Mr Brown had nothing but praise for her.  He was always amazed at how young, fit and agile she always seemed to be...

After her seizures in Autumn 2010, she was indeed a pioneer, as Mr Brown told us that Meg was the first cat on whom he'd tried an experimental treatment for that particular malady, prescribing her half doses of medicine originally designed for dogs with the same symptoms..

At the time and, possibly, even now, there was no medicine available to help cats...

So, hopefully, Meg's success has led to new leases of life for many other cats...

So there we are, we are both, of course, very very sad to have her leave us but she chose her own time and died with us by her side...

We'll never forget our wee pie...

Back home, with wet faces, we did our best to get on with things in a "normal" fashion but it really is amazing how you can miss a wee beastie just wandering around and doing nothing in particular...

The postman brought packaging materials to be potentially used on the "Twenty Four Paintings" project - packaging which you may recall Meg the Black Cat "helped" to order just a few days ago...





As a further distraction, we went to Tynecastle for a two o'clock kick off...



Hearts v Kilmarnock in the semi final of the Under 20's Scottish Cup...

An enjoyable game - seven of Hearts' current 1st team were playing - such is the plight of the club right now that many of the 1st team are younger than 20 years old...

It stood them in good stead though for this game, which Hearts won 3-0, the first being this penalty...



Brother-in-Law Keith was also in the crowd - just one of the baldy heads off in the distance...



On the way home, we picked up some provisions and, just after 5, having heard that Queens had lost at home 2-1 to Falkirk, I set about making what is becoming my signature dish...

With Andreas Scholl blasting out around the kitchen...



























Success on a plate...



Yum...



Alan and Penny had called and invited us round to cheer us up...

We arrived to find a wee shrine to Meg on their mantlepiece...



..and they finally felt able to tell us the story of how, during Meg's first stay with them, a few years ago now, the adventurous wee beastie had jumped off this balcony down to the grass below...



This picture, taken last July, of the neighbouring building, demonstrates the height - Alan and Penny are on the 2nd floor - third set of windows from the ground...



I remember back then saying to Alan how high it was and imagine of you were to fall off it - I don't recall his face indicating he did have a story to tell about that but could not tell it then...

Much drinking, crisp and nut eating and reminiscing took place, until, eventually, around 1am, Penny inevitably brought out her collection of recorders, whistles and kazoos...



...and much fun was had...








Meg the Black Pretend Cat also took part...







Here, Count Brodski's version of Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love"...


...and called into action was a duck themed hairdryer...





...while Count Brodski himself was on fine form...





...as was Penny's self-knitted collection of small endearing animals...





All in all a quite excellent night - we left in a taxi around 3 and I forgot my camera - the last few pics above were taken after we'd gone home - Alan and Penny stayed up till 6 am...

Because they are mad...

But we love them...

Thanks Alan and Penny for a great, uplifting of the spirits, night...

Highlight of the Day : A visit to Castle Brodski to celebrate the life of Meg the Black Cat...