Monday, 5 March 2012

A-Z Of Music - A

So, as promised, here we go with the first instalment of an A to Z of music. As I explained, each week, I'll be highlighting one classical composer, and one non-classical music act.

Now, with one or two notable exceptions, I'm not a huge fan of modern classical music, but John Adams seems to me to offer more than just (sometimes) dissonant non-tunes. He's a marvel at telling a story, whether in one of his operas, or by means of a purely instrumental piece of music.

In 2001, he composed an opera, The Death Of Klinghoffer, based upon the hijacking of the ocean liner, the Achille Lauro. This is the Night Chorus

As I said though, it's not just his ability in opera to tell a story. He can also convey a multitude of emotions and visions with his instrumental tunes. This is his 'Short Ride In A Fast Machine', or as I prefer to call it, and as this clip has it, 'Short Ride ON A Fast Machine', as it's a piece I love to listen to when I'm out on one of the bikes.

OK, so you might not like it, but please give it a listen.

Next, the non-classical act for 'A'.

I toyed with all sorts of ideas, from Abba to the non-populist side of Adam And The Ants, but in the end, I settled for what I believe to be the greatest of all the British Rythm And Blues acts from the 60s. This then, is the Animals, from Geordieland, and the wonderful voice of Eric Burdon, and, of course, Alan Price on keyboards. (hmmm....think it's high time we had a 60s R&B revival). Sadly this is a side of 60s music that has been much overlooked. We get plenty of Rolling Stones, Beatles, Flower Power etc., but you very seldom hear music such as this, Long John Baldry, Yardbirds, John Mayall et al.

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