Saturday, December 31, 2016

A List of Books I've Been Reading During 2016 ...

... & Which You Might Find Interesting, Too ...

1. Deep Listening, Pauline Oliveros
2. Commotion of the Birds, John Ashbery
3. My Private Property, Mary Ruefle
4. A ZBC of Ezra Pound, Christine Brooke-Rose
5. The Book of Beginnings, Francois Julien
6. Taction, I. Kyuyoh
7. The Unknown Craftsman, Soetsu Yanagi
8. A Picture Is Always A Book, Robert Seydel
9. Modern Music & After, Paul Griffiths
10. Archeophonics, Peter Gizzi
11. Selected Poems, Keith Waldrop
12. tout droit vers la fin en sifflotant, ARPAIS du bois

Friday, December 30, 2016

For more on the Black Ice CD & the thinking behind the project ...

Ear Food : Ten Highlights of 2016 ...

(in no particular order)

1. Discovering Tord Gustavson's music
2. Julian Bream playing Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland
3. My appreciation of J.S. Bach piqued, reawakened, transformed, affirmed ... through the playing of Anna Gourari, Til Fellner & Igor Levit
4. Discovering Gyorgy Kurtag
5. That Saturday in Antwerp & hearing Barbara Hannigan's voice for the first time & all that opened up ... Abrahamsen ... the Satie collaboration with Reinbert de Leeuw ... etc.
6. Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Beethoven
7. Thomas Ades - Aracadiana in particular
8. Mette Henriette & Anna Thorvaldsdottir - very different but somehow linked in my brain
9. Finally getting Pierre Boulez - Le Marteau sans Maitre is the one!
10. Anything & everything by the Belcea Quartet (& actually getting off my arse & being there at Flagey the other evening)

& one (two) more ... acknowledging that Frank Zappa & Keith Jarrett still cut the mustard (Chicago '78 & A Multitude of Angels respectively)


A playlist to bring 2016 to a close & ease into 2017 ...

Black Ice, Wolfert Brederode Trio
Voice of Chunk, The Lounge Lizards
Ed Blackwell box set (including Old and New Dreams)
Vespers, Rachmaninoff

Clues 22 & 16 Down caught my eye in today's Guardian cryptic crossword ...

Tycoon requiring a wig, lacking leadership: a word of caution about this arse (6,5)

Nice one.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


A Merry Christmas 
A Happy New Year 
to the 

(i.e. those still reading) 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Belcea Quartet Twentieth Birthday Concert at Flagey - more or less up the road from us.

On the programme: 

Schubert - String Quartet no. 10
Penderecki - String Quartet no. 2

then, after the interval ...

Penderecki - String Quartet no. 4 (its Belgian premiere with Krzysztof in attendance)
Schubert - String Quartet no. 14 'Death and the Maiden'

Gorgeous stuff. 

End of year in anticipation of New Year Resolution: do this more often. 

Supposedly Musique 3 recorded it. I'll let you know as & when it is broadcast. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016


One definition of "inconsolable" is that sense of wanting to share an enthusiasm with someone who is no longer there. 

To my knowledge, Eric would never have managed to hear this new box set from Keith Jarrett. More's the pity. So to fill his absence, I type these words on the chance someone else will coincide. 

So far I have only listened to the first disc - 'Modena' - which is divided into two parts plus a short encore of 'Danny Boy'. To my ears, this is some of Jarrett's finest solo piano playing. Where last year's Creation left me cold, this new release compels repeated plays even within the same day. 

I'm only too aware of how Jarrett can be his own worst enemy: pretentious liner notes, uneven albums, tantrums on stage. However, when you hear music of this quality you're prepared to forgive him. 

This is special. 

Ten Polaroids for Eric

They say that death kills you, but death doesn't kill you. Boredom and indifference kill you.

Iggy Pop


Everything you do is music, and everywhere is the best seat.

John Cage

A genius is the one most like himself.

Thelonious Monk


There is no reason not to consider the world as one gigantic painting.

Robert Rauschenberg


Always keep your bowler on in time of stress, and watch out for diabolical masterminds.

Emma Peel


All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.

Richard Avedon


Well, may I ask what madam was expecting to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom? Sydney Opera House? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?

Basil Fawlty

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Henri Cartier Bresson


There is never any end... There are always new sounds to imagine.

John Coltrane


New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts.

David Lynch


Friday, December 02, 2016

"... But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them?"

Lines by Frank O'Hara & of especial poignancy today.


. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...