Monday, 21 May 2012

A - Z of Music - G

This week's classical composer is Philip Glass.
I'm not a huge fan of minimalist music, but for some indefinable reason, I absolutely love just about everything Glass has written to date. Whether it's his driving, insistant rhythms, or the clarity of every single note, I don't know.
What I do know, is that there's a sense of urgency behind his music, that speaks clearly of modern life.
This is the second movement of his wonderful Violin Concerto No.1....

And so to the non-classical bit for G. I had many ideas for whom I wanted to portray, but this morning, the death was announced of Robin Gibb of BeeGees fame, and I'm sure you won't mind me using the space for a tribute to a member of a vocal group that spanned more than 5 decades. The BeeGees have had many, many hits themselves, and were responsible for writing a number of hits for other artists, including Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (Islands In The Stream) and Barbra Streisand (Guilty).

Robin was a great songwriter and had recently turned to classical-esque music, composing a piece with his son in memory of the Titanic. For me, however, the greatest BeeGees songs were the early ones, where Robin not only wrote the songs, but took lead vocals.

And the greatest? This is a live recording of him singing 'I Started A Joke'

Robin, The Day you Where born the whole world started living, The Day you have Died, the Whole world has started Crying

Rest In Peace, free from pain, and thank you for the music

Sunday, 20 May 2012

What to do - or not - in Somerset

Well, the riding season is upon us once again, and I've just spent a very pleasant few days in Somerset, despite the weather.

This is what I learned:

1. DON'T pull onto the edge of a pub carpark to consult your map, or 15 minutes later, you'll STILL be throwing a stick for a very insistant collie dog

2. soft tyres + heavy rain + Porlock Hill is NOT fun

3. When your map says 'scenic route' it's pointless doing it in thick fog. Mind, the roadside banks were rather pretty

4. DON'T go down the 1 in 4 hill into Malmsmead when it's pissing it down unless you like going down hills sideways

5. cake + lake + friend = excellent afternoon

6. Don't let Buzzby chase swallows unless the cafe owners like birds flying round inside their tea rooms

7. When you're at a sleepy little harbour village, it's not the fact that those 6 ladies in very smart business suits are standing outside a bar swilling beer and smoking cigars that seems incongruous, it's the fact that they're all men.......

8. Only stand on top of Clifton Suspension Bridge in a strong wind if you like your hair getting all knotted up

9. When a guy on a 1400 Kwak blasts past you going up Cheddar Gorge, don't mutter 'prick' under your breath, as for sure, when you go round the next bend, you'll have to swerve to avoid him and his bike lying in the middle of the road. ('pillock' would be more apt)

Quite a learning curve, I think..........