Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A - Z of Music - H

Oh dear me, with everything that's been going on in my life, I really haven't had the time (or the inclination) to do this.
Oh well, let's hope things improve from now on.
Right, here we go with the letter H. Some of the world's greatest composers have been H's - think Haydn, Handel, Holst, Hovhaness...................

Yes, I said Hovhaness. That's Alan Hovhaness, American, 1911-2000. Although he composed over 500 works, he was very little known until the 90s, when, partly because of the influence of Classic FM, his work suddenly began to achieve recognition.

His is a very descriptive voice, in the same way that Delius and Debussy were descriptive. He obviously had a great love of mountains, and he composed several works describing them (Mysterious Mountain, Mt. Wildcat, Farewell To The Mountains et al) He also had a large output of religious-themed music, and from these, I was torn between the Prayer Of St. Gregory, and 'And God Created Great Whales' which utilises whale song as a background 'chorus'. Both are incredibly beautiful and moving. In the end, it came down to which one I could find a decent clip of.

This then is the incredible Wynton Marsalis, with the Prayer Of St. Gregory

And so onto the lighter bit. I make no apologies for going back in time again, but, when all my friends were swooning over the Beatles, or arguing about whether the Beatles or the Rolling Stones were the best, and which one they fancied, I was quietly sitting in the corner listening to the Hollies.
I loved, and still love, the crystal clear quality of the voice of Allan Clarke, the excellent musicianship of  Graham Nash, and the excellence of the song writing.

Emotional Stress

I don't need you?

Gonna tell you a little story..............

The firm I work for announced that they were making around 9% of the workforce redundant, and this is how they did, or didn't manage it.
Obviously, I'm not going to go into specifics, but see if you think this is fair:

on date A they announced that everyone would be sorted into 'pools' according to their skill sets, and that on date B (A + 1 week), people would be told what percentage on their 'pool' was to go.
They said that after that, people would be scored according to their abilities, and then on date C (B+ 1 week), they would be told if they were at risk or not. They would then be given one of two telephone numbers to call. One would be for those losing their jobs, and the other would be for those staying. Expected date of departure date D (C+ 1 month).

OK, with me so far?

So date B came and went, 99% of the staff were informed how big their pool was, and how many were leaving. My department heard nothing. We get a bit edgy and start chewing our nails...........

Date C came and went. Still we heard nothing. Two days after Date C, we get a phone call to apologise for not having given us a phone call, and telling us nothing, except that no decision had been made regarding us. We start to tear our hair out and have nervous breakdowns.

The next day, we all receive letters telling us that we're all at risk of redundancy. Well, at least now we know.

Ah, but a couple of hours later, we get a phone call to say those letters were sent out in error, and still no decision had been made about our department.

By this time, we're all feeling sick, snapping at each other, unable to concentrate, and generally falling apart at the seams.

A few days later, the firm announce a huge contract win. Later that day, we get a request to attend an urgent phone conference later that afternoon.

Surprise surprise, we're told our jobs are safe, and that it would be confirmed to us in a letter WHICH WE STILL HAVEN'T RECEIVED.

So, I need you all to buy my jewellery, so I can successfully get a new business venture up and running, and get out of this goddam rat race, while I've still got some vestige of sanity left.