Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lucky with the leg and songs of war...

Playlist
The Bad Plus - Discography
Various - Favourite No 1 Records 1959-2009

The Bad Plus soundtracked my early morning, followed by an egg for breakfast - with a  kind of face...


...and some lovely coffee in the puffin mug...


...accompanied by a still sleepy Exec Producer...


Out to my mum's and a drive along the A1 to the coast beyond North Bewrick to meet up with sister Sheila and her family at her caravan...



Nephew Andy also has a caravan...


A good time was had by all...



And lunch was enjoyed with much chat...


Just as Andrew Senior, Alastair, young Kerr and I were about to head to North Berwick for a round of putting, an accident occurred - when Cassie the Dog, in her excitement, knocked over a chair which appeared to take a chunk out my mum's leg - blood everywhere...

A quick bandaging up and then a drive to North Berwick - but not for putting...


Happily, everything was fine, the wound was kind of stuck back together and dressed - with a GP visit planned for Wednesday...

Back to the site...



Ali celebrated the reasonable outcome...




Post our return, a walk from the van...



...down to the beach...


Good weather one way...


...not so good the other...


...and Senior regaled people with tales of his...


...yet ever to have been in any water, boat...


...one of many belonging to the campers...


...all towed to the beach by an old tractor...


Some brave souls were out water skiing...


Back to the camp site...



...where the sun was enjoyed...



Mum seemed none the worse for her ordeal...



... and Ali, Senior and Kerr finally went for a slightly later putting round...


Andy and Tori joined the chat...



..as the dogs were a little more calm...



We started back around 5:30 and mum suggested stopping off in North Berwick for fish and chips, accompanied by an optimistic seagull...


She was more phased by the seagull's interest in her fish than the earlier accident re her leg...

We dropped her off back at Loanhead and had a quick turnaround at home before heading to the Royal Mile for the Listening Room's war themed night of song...




All in all, there were seven performers and Jim Igoe gave a great rendition of Jamie's "King's Country", complete with Jim's new middle eight, which fitted in very nicely indeed...

It was hard to hear, especially as this was the last place we'd had a night out with Jamie, when we were arranging the ill fated Capital Models gig at the start of this year - but a fitting tribute to our much missed friend...

My first performance as CBQ for over two years went down well and I got some laughs with my pre-song rambles...

A debut for "Here Again", only finalised this morning - and, in the second half, a rendition of "Still We Doubt You" from "Deeperdown" - probably eleven years since I wrote that one...

A surprisingly good night, which even Anne enjoyed...

Back home for a "CSI" and the weekend was over...

Highlight of the Day : Mum's leg not as bad as it looked / performing as CBQ again...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The best porridge in the world is not necessarily the best porridge for your well being...

Playlist
Various - Weekly Playlist No 30
Max Jury - Christian Eyes (Single)
Various Composers - The Harpsichord In The Netherlands
Vivaldi - Concerti "Alla Rustica"
Schütz - Psalmen Davids
Sex Pistols - Kiss This
The Shangri-Las - The Best Of The Shangri-Las
Searchlights - Searchlights

Up early as ever and wrote up the podcast notes and got it posted up...

First indications are that it's the least popular for a while - not surprising but, for me, it rewards -  these days of course, asking anyone to listen to two hours of anything is what Gary Lineker would call "a big ask" - and so if you then make the content a bit more "difficult", the results are predictable...

Not to worry...

Some early morning re-writing of the Robert Graves song following the Exec Producer's observation that the chorus was a rewrite of a previous CBQ chorus...

Success...

A new discovery this morning was Max Jury, a singer songwriter from Des Moines who we will see in London later this year...

We walked down the hill to The Original Coffee Bean for breakfast, where my attempt to eschew the worst excesses of an eaten out breakfast were thwarted by my very healthy porridge being accompanied by little jars of strawberry jam and cream...



Somehow, I couldn't resist adding their contents to the plate of goodness - and I must say it was the best portion of porridge I've ever tasted...

We took a walk along Corstorphine High Street, stopping off at each of the many charity shops and visiting the Corstorphine Art Group Exhibition 2014 at St Ninian's Church Hall, where there were some excellent pieces on display (and a sign saying absolutely no photography)...

Favourites included some trees, a puffin, a star form a US war plane, a giraffe and a hare...

Back up the hill - I had bought a copy of Gunter Grass's novel "The Tin Drum" while Anne got something to read on holiday - we also added to the list of over 40 DVDs yet to be watched, by partaking of "The Lovely Bones"...



No lunch post the strawberry jam and cream porridge intake...

We watched chum Raymondo's daughter Natalie running/swimming/cycling the first leg for Scotland in the Triathalon relay in the Commonwealth Games...

The did not win...

Not to worry...

Anne was off to the football this afternoon, witnessing Hearts beat Annan 3-1 in the cup which Queens won two seasons ago - Queens were 2-0 up at home to Livingston but were pulled back and, in extra time, went down 4-3 - disappointing start to the season...

A new discovery this afternoon was the band Searchlights, from Wisconsin...

In the evening, it was out to the Queens Hall for your correspondent  - situated at a table near the front  in a very respectful audience - just the job...



A brilliant concert, which reminded me of why it is that this group is one of my all time favourites...


I waited till the encore was completed before taking a couple of flashless snaps...




It was the last night of a two week European Tour and, for the record, the set list (two sets, each of between 45 and 50 minutes), was as follows...

Pound for Pound
The Empire Strikes Backwards
Golden Prisms Incorporated*
Dirty Blonde
Inevitable Western*
Epistolary Echoes*

Prehensile Dream
Thriftstore Jewellery
Mr Now*
Adopted Highway**
"Last Night of the Tour" song (during which bassist Reid Anderson sang about how it was the last night of the tour and that there were CDs for sale which they'd really like to sell)
Seven Minute Mind

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Those with asterisks were new songs from the upcoming LP "Inevitable Western", their second this year, following on from "The Rite of Spring" - which I was prepared for this evening but of which they played nothing (**this is the title of Dave King's Trucking Company's last album so may not be on the new Bad Plus LP)...

A drive home through the rain...

On arrival, I thought I'd lost my ticket - but I'd merely put it away in my wallet for safe keeping...


Another good Saturday...

Highlight of the Day : The Bad Plus...

Weekly Playlist No 30

Welcome to the Cloudland Blue Weekly Playlist No 30...


This week's 120 minute, 25 track extravaganza brings you, in the main, tracks from discs which have entered Mr CBQ (who toasts you with his Diet Irn Bru in the pic below)'s collection over the last seven days or so...

It is, as regular listeners will have come to expect, a rather eclectic collection but perhaps even more eclectic than usual, as the weight of the programme lies with classical music, including much of what might be termed, "avant garde"...

And so, comprising, at times, extremely "difficult" listening, Mr Quartet presents classical pieces by Sehrbrock, Adès, Acantus, Gough, JS Bach, Schubert, Desprez, Sibelius, Frye, Beethoven, MacMillan, JC Bach, Bachmann, Van Ghizeghem and Dohl; a smattering of rock from Audible Silence (3 tracks), Jethro Tull, Steve Adey and Yes; some tasty jazz from Carsten Dahl (2 tracks) and Polar Bear; and, of course, as always, a smidgen of Cloudland Blue Quartet...

Also, over the last seven days, this...


...was created by light entering the CBQ camera...

You have around five weeks to download, at which point this podcast will become stream only via the Mixcloud player below - I am also gradually adding the back catalogue of deleted weekly podcasts to Mixcloud - slow laborious process - I am still only up to week 8...

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

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



Or try the Mixcloud Player - it does seem to show up on Apple devices (which Podcast Machine does not seem to do) - you can only stream from this, not download...



Press play (on either player) and away we go...

Sehrbrock - Static Music #9  5:10
from "Static Music"
We kick off with a delightful Reich-esque piece from German composer Georg Sehrbrock, featuring too, some tasty muted trumpet in the closing stages...

Adès - Arcadiana, 4. Et...(Tango Mortale)  4:02
from "Kuss Quartet : Bridges"
...and continue with a less than tuneful piece from the pen of wunderkind Thomas Adès, played by the Kuss Quartet, whom we will see perform later this year in Berlin...

Acantus - O Crux Fructus  4:49
from "Acantus (L'Italie medievale)"
Like the Sehrbrock disc and several of those that follow, this, by a septet of Italians, was acquired for next to nothing this week.  The music is based on tunes sung by congregations at religious services in the middle ages...

Audible Silence - Unlimited  6:06
from "Three's Crowd"
...from where we move forward into the 21st Century and some heavy metal math rock from new discovery Audible Silence.  This track comes from their just released second LP.  A further two tracks by the band feature later...

Carsten Dahl - Dreamchild #6  4:35
from "Dreamchild"
There are also multiple tracks, or two anyway, from Danish jazz pianist Carsten Dahl today - both the featured albums are available from strange Danish retailer with a limited UK High Street presence, Tiger. Worth searching out at just £4 a pop. Much recommended...

Gough - Saeta #7  4:45
from "Message From The Border"
Orlando Gough's music, mainly written for dance performance, falls somewhere between serialist classical and jazz.  Very enjoyable and, while in a similar vein to the Sehrbrock piece at the top of the programme, a little more complex...

JS Bach - Lute Suite In G Minor, BWV 995, Allemande  4:50
from "Works For Lute"
Some relaxing lute music from the pen of Johann Sebastian Bach, taken for the first of sixty CDs in the Vivarte Box Set which arrived last Saturday.  At present, 57 of the CDs remain unopened...

Jethro Tull - The Waking Edge  4:47
from "Crest Of A Knave"
There's been a recent influx of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull to Crispycat Towers but I am now in possession of the full Jethro Tull studio album discography following the arrival of this final disc.  Anderson is a little more subdued on this Dire Straits sound a like in places disc - following throat surgery just prior to the recording....

Schubert - Piano Sonata In G, Op. 78, D 894, 3. Menuetto: Allegro Moderato  4:24
from "Piano Sonatas"
This piano sonata accompanied a breakfast this week, as we contemplated all the performances at the Edinburgh Festival that we might have attended but for which I've left it too late now to get tickets.  Perhaps we can just listen to recordings at home...

Polar Bear - Held On The Tips Of Fingers  5:16
from "Held On The Tips Of Fingers"
With the huge amount of incoming material over the last few weeks, this album, acquired in May, slipped off the living room shelf this week.  So I gave a it a wee listen before filing it away.  Top notch...

Josquin Desprez - Missa L'Homme Armé, Sexti Toni, Sanctus & Benedictus  5:03
from "Josquin: L'Homme Armé Masses"
This is the most famous mass Josquin composed - the earliest printed collection of music devoted to a single composer, the Misse Josquin published by Ottaviano Petrucci in 1502, begins with it, written around 1495...

Audible Silence - Kiss Me  4:49
from "Audible Silence Live at Brunkfest 2012"
A juxtaposition of mood is created by this track from what is, presumably, an official bootleg.  This, along with Audible Silence's two studio albums to date, is available to download for free for their Bandcamp site...

Cloudland Blue Quartet - Over Lake Noise (Detail) (Edit)  5:00
from "Twenty Four Paintings"
And so we reach the half way mark of what I hope is proving to be an interesting listen.  It's time for this week's CBQ input, an edit of the ten minute detail of "Over Lake Noise" from the ongoing Twenty Four Paintings project...

Sibelius - Sibelius: Canzonetta, Op. 62A  4:20
from "Scandinavian Serenade"
This music is one of six compositions created by Sibelius for his brother-in-law Arvid Järnefelt's play "Kuolema" (Death), first performed in 1903.  The play was revised in 1911.  Another of the pieces, " Valse triste", is the most famous of the six- it was later adapted by Sibelius into a separate concert piece...

Frye - Kyrie Alternatim (Missa Sine Nomine)  4:40
from "Marc Aurel Edition : Early Music 2002"
A piece from even earlier than the Josquin Mass above, this "Mass With No Name" was written by Walter Frye, who died in 1495.  It's almost like a vocal version of much later written chamber music...

Steve Adey - The Field  5:18
from "The Tower Of Silence"
Picked up in HMV's bargain basement this week, Adey's follow up to his acclaimed 2006 album "All Things Real" was recorded live in a church in Edinburgh and then worked on meticulously for a number of years in his home studio. This slow, beautiful album, rewards close listening if you're willing to put in the work. Recommended...

Beethoven - Beethoven: String Quartet #12 In E Flat, Op. 127 - 4. Finale  6:49
from "The Late Beethoven Quartets Vol 1"
Wonderful playing from the Lindsays on this disc - again obtained for a stupidly low price - but who am I to complain.  Beethoven's late quartets can be a difficult listen but, ultimately, you are rewarded with an insight into one of the greatest musical minds of all time.  Can't say fairer than that really....

MacMillan - I Thirst (St. John)  4:57
from "Seven Last Words from the Cross"
This work was commissioned by the BBC (nice work if you can get it!) and first screened in seven nightly episodes during Holy Week 1994.  The two words "I thirst" are set to a static and slow-moving harmonic procedure which is deliberately bare and desolate. The interpolated text from the Good Friday Reproaches is heard whispered and distantly chanted.  It's rated as one of the most difficult pieces for a choir to attempt...

JC Bach - Bach (JCF): Viola Da Gamba Sonata In A - Larghetto  4:13
from "Sonatas for Viola Da Gamba"
Another piece from the 60 disc Vivarte Box and, as regular listeners will know, I am a sucker for the beautiful sound of the viol.  On these recordings, the harpsichord part is taken by an organ, giving the pieces even more gravitas.  Lovely...

Audible Silence - 17 Again Starring Zac Efron  4:42
from "An Instinctual Response"
The final piece of today's trilogy from Pennsylvanian instrumental prog rock outfit Audible Silence.  This comes from their debut from 2011 - the full title is "17 Again Starring Zac Efron (Kiss Me And I'll Break Your Lips) Asterisk Lyrics by Ron Hoffman".  Rock on...

Carsten Dahl - Papillon #3   4:11
from "Papillon"
Second piece from Dane Carsten Dahl - again from a disc of solo improvisations.  Here he shows a Glenn Gould/Keith Jarrett propensity for singing along, not necessarily in tune, to what he's playing.  I say - don't mike the pianist...

Bachmann - Rotation 90N : Musik fur Streicher (Opening)   5:00
from "Rotation 90N"
72 minutes of not much happening is very much in the vein of some of the pieces on my own upcoming project.  This music for (low) strings, written during his stay at the North Pole by Austrian composer Robert Bachmann, for violas cellos and double basses, might be deemed by some as "going on a bit" but I like it.  I have however, offered up a mere five minute excerpt as a taster...

Van Ghizeghem - De tous bien plane  5:12
from "Pastyme with Good Companye"
This piece, from a disc of music from the court of Henry VIII, is a French chanson, usually credited to Hayne van Ghizeghem, who wrote a 3-part version, published by Petrucci in 1501. Amongst other reworkings are a four-part version by Josquin Deprez and two 3-part versions by Alexander Agricola.  The text is "My mistress possesses every virtue. Everybody pays her homage, for she is as full of worth as ever any goddess was."  Apparently, this was the (enter name of One Direction hit here) of the age...

Yes - Light Of The Ages  7:39
from "Heaven and Earth"
Having had a download of the new Yes album for a few weeks, I bought the physical version this week and, despite all the negative reviews I have come to see this, in terms of the Yes canon as a whole, as a surprising and underestimated album.  I feel the critics are not taking enough time to listen to the nuances - on the surface the music (from a Yes perspective) does seem fairly simple - but continued listening brings its rewards.  Of course many will not give it that chance. Their loss...

Dohl - Sieben Haiku; No 7 Langsam Tag an Tag  1:40
from "Friedhelm Dohl Edition, Vol. 4 : Gesang und Klavier"
And so we bring matters to a close with a track from the fourth volume of the Friedhelm Dohl edition, from which some angular piano music from volume two has previously impressed here.  This disc is hard going though, so just a minute or so to round things off...

OK that's it for another week, thanks for listening - I hope you enjoy the music and will come back again next week for more...