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A black day for free music

February 4, 2008

Tonight I heard the news that the Arts Council of England had rejected the appeal by the London Musicians Collective against the removal of all funding. This deeply depressing news effectively means that the LMC cannot operate in 2008. Whether other streams of funding can be found, or if free events organised under the LMC […]

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Oh, Life’s such a strain

January 25, 2008

Its been really tough around here of late to spend very much time just sitting and listening. Work has been very demanding of my time and energy over the last couple of weeks, so thats not a good start. Add to that the time it takes to prepare for and then present a weekly radio […]

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Cor Fuhler sends me to sleep….

January 13, 2008

Well I have continued to run as much as I can… yesterday I went into London for a long overdue visit to Sound323 and as ever came away with more CDs than I have time to listen to, so I didn’t have time for a run, but instead I made sure that instead of taking […]

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How do you choose the soundtrack to a mid-life crisis?

January 9, 2008

As pathetically unoriginal as it may sound I made myself a New Years resolution to lose some weight and try and get fitter. I’ve never really had to worry much about this kind of thing throughout my life, having remained the same weight for my first thirty or so years. Over the last eighteen months […]

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Widened Horizons

January 2, 2008

2007 was a great year for me as a listener. Whilst my personal life underwent considerable upheaval there was always plenty of music to keep me going. The year began with me stressed to the hilt by a job I hated, and music proved to be the crutch on which I leant for support. The […]

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Favourite Live Sets 2007

December 31, 2007

I posted this list elsewhere recently, my favourite live sets of 2007. I was lucky / determined enough to see over 80 sets of live music this year, and here are the best of them. Obviously I’m relying mainly on memory here and of course you can’t compare two shows several months apart, but I’ve […]

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Favourite Albums of 2007

December 29, 2007

So its that time of the year again… Every year I ask myself if I should be doing this or not, but what the hell its just a bit of fun, and if you can’t have fun this time of year when can you? Like last year this list does not include any Cathnor releases. […]

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Yearning to listen

November 10, 2007

After spending all of the summer sat about doing little else but sitting about contemplating my navel and listening to music the return to work this last month has been a bit of a shock to the system. The ridiculously early start to my working day (out of bed at 4.30AM) has meant that my […]

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He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

October 29, 2007

OK so its been a bit of a long hiatus, neary a month, but sometimes life gets in the way… I began my new job on the 1st October and whilst I have enjoyed it immensely (first time I could say this about my dayjob in ten years) its been pretty tiring as my body […]

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Even busier…

September 29, 2007

Apologies again for the lack of posts around here, been another busy week. Put a tick against all of the usual excuses, new job training courses, spending time with people close to me etc, but another big event that has taken up a lot of my time has been preparation for the start of the […]

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Busy busy busy

September 21, 2007

Been a while since my last post, sorry. This has been for a few reasons, the primary one being a lot of work in getting ready to return to work, but also I’ve been writing a bit for elsewhere, listening to some great demos that have been sent for Cathnor consideration and starting silly arguments […]

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Blasphemous Rumours

September 8, 2007

Recently at the I Hate Music forum there have been various discussions around the question of whether it matters or not to fully understand a musician/composer’s inspiration and intention for a piece of music to be able to enjoy it. Well after a short to and fro the obvious conclusion was reached by most parties […]

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Rattling my brain

September 8, 2007

Been a busy old week here bouncing about the country sorting out employment. I’ll be starting work again on the 1st October, though a few other options remain open, so you still have a few more weeks of me typing irrelevant drivel here on a more frequent basis… The slow posting is partly because I’ve […]

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Hidden Treasure

August 30, 2007

Takefumi Naoshima, Hirozumi Takeda, Utah Kawasaki, Mitsuteru Takeuchi, Toshihiro Koike, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Yasuo Totsuka – Septet This CD is not a Wandelweiser release, and its character is actually quite unlike most Wandelweiser compositions, but on the slightly dodgy premise that the music on this disc is extremely quiet I thought I’d write about it amongst […]

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Assumed possibilities

August 27, 2007

John Cage, Burkhard Schlothauer – For Seven Players Well I’m sure you’ll be relieved to hear that this recent Wandwelweiser release doesn’t appear to be dedicated to, or heavily influenced by, any visual artists at all 😉 This CD features two compositions, the first being John Cage’s Seven, written in 1988, and the second Burkhard […]

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Local delicacies

August 27, 2007

Well it was nice to get out in the sun yesterday afternoon and wander slowly over to Oxford for the gig I mentioned in my last post. It was so nice to just pop down the road for a concert. Its been years since I attended an Oxford show, a mixture of laziness and over-pickiness […]

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Some blatant plugs

August 25, 2007

A short post inbetween Wandelweiser musings to plug a few things by friends more than anything…! I spent the afternoon at Sound323 today, and as new releases of interest seem few and far between I spent some time playing a few items fromt he second hand racks, mainly contemporary classical albums, and bought a good […]

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A monochrome set

August 24, 2007

silence is not an acoustic phenomenon there is silence, where depth disappears and expanse emerges: on the surface still waters are said to run deep, but in reality it is the imperturbability of their surface that impresses us.   and a quiet person’s silence hides nothing deep- it hides nothing at all. Antoine Beuger – […]

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A thousand colours, all of them grey

August 22, 2007

I’ve written a little here before about my interest in the music of the Wandelweiser label, and as I’ve played a few of the recent releases over the last few days I thought I’d write a little about some of the more recent releases I’ve managed to pick up. I rarely see reviews of Wandelweiser […]

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"Wisdom is organised life"

August 22, 2007

Well as I have been sat about waiting for news on the employment front, and as it hasn’t stopped raining again in days I figured it was about time I sorted out my office / listening space at Pinnell Towers. A good clean up, clear out and reorganisation has been badly needed for a long […]

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On reflection…

August 18, 2007

Well over the last week I didn’t get to listen to much music, a combination of employment assessment centres and spending some quality time with my better half kept me busy. This morning however I had some quiet time to myself, but instead of putting something into the CD player I sat and watched Andrej […]

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Under the weather

August 14, 2007

Sorry for the dirth of posts over the last week. I’ve not been well, the chest infection rendering me pretty low for much longer than expected, and the inspiration just hasn’t been here. Apart from the occasions when job interviews have seen me have to drag myself out into the real world I’ve had little […]

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Yes we have Nono Mahlers

August 7, 2007

Strangely melancholic mood today, possibly just exhausted from a few days illness and the effect a cocktail of antibiotics can have, but been a day of romantic and reflective listening. For some reason, on waking really early I felt the need to put on Luigi Nono’s monumental Prometeo, and so at 5.30AM as I dragged […]

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One of those nice little eBay moments

August 6, 2007

I think most visitors here will have a list, however short, of recordings that if they ever saw them for sale, either in a shop or on eBay they would move heaven and earth to try and lay their hands on. My list is surprisingly short, just two or three items I always keep an […]

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Doom, gloom and some rather nice music

August 5, 2007

Feels like nothing but stress and gloom around here at the moment. My own health hasn’t improved over the last day or so, a chest infection rendering me close to useless, coughing up green gunk by the gallon and sweating like a paedophile in a playground. If no improvement in the morning I’m off to […]

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A little bit of fun

July 30, 2007

EDIT: If you are reading this post after it has been transferred to the new WordPress blog then you won’t see the poll in question, bu tthe results can be found in the comments after this post. Waaaay too serious around here lately, so thanks to a nice new feature of the great Blogger software […]

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Divine Interventions

July 29, 2007

I’m not a religous person, not even slightly, but sometimes I get the feeling that someone somewhere is directing me towards certain things. Over the last few days since returning from France and as the weather has been so rotten I’ve worked my way right through the six disc box set of Shostakovich’s String Quartets […]

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Stop raining!

July 26, 2007

Its a bit wet here. Oxfordshire has been hit by floods this last week, not as bad as over in Gloucestershire, but some of the villages closeby have been pretty badly affected. Anyway after receiving a few emails asking if all is OK here I thought I’d post to say all is fine and although […]

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Thanks Dan

July 24, 2007

A short note here to say that four brief reviews of mine can be found in the new and possibly the final edition of ParisTransatlantic, which can be read here. Whilst I can totally understand Dan’s need to take a break from writing right now I’ll miss PTA if it doesn’t continue. Down the years […]

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Disappearing again

July 12, 2007

Well I’m off wandering again for the next week or so. Fed up with all of the hassle involved with sorting myself out with a new job, Julie and I are heading for the New Forest tomorrow for a few days break away from music and away from the internet (that last break badly needed!) […]

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Listen with your eyes

July 10, 2007

I’ve never made it a secret that one very big reason I have for running my little CD label is so that I can design CD sleeves. Ironically there hasn’t been a Cathnor sleeve yet that I have been completely happy with, but the act of responding to a piece of music with visual images […]

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Bowing at the heartstrings…

July 8, 2007

Whilst in Ireland, after reading some of my posts about my classical music investigations I was asked if I was beginning to recover some of my enjoyment of melody in music. Possibly this is the case, but I’d be more inclined right now to say that I am merely enjoying the passion that emanates from […]

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The tortured soul of the apathetic reviewer

June 27, 2007

My first post for a couple of days, been busy elsewhere, initially shifting the mother of all hangovers Monday morning, and then driving off to visit my grandmother in her new nursing home (not a nice experience) and stopping off to take in Stonehenge enroute (a great experience). Unfortunately I didn’t think to take my […]

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10 Things I realised this last week…

June 24, 2007

1. I rather like Béla Tarr’s films. 2. I don’t like sake, (at least not the cheap sake Julie and I picked up in the week) 3. I couldn’t ever write CD reviews to deadlines for a living. 4. You just can’t grill asparagus (Correction at Robert’s request: Asparagus refuses to let ME grill it […]

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A few of my favourite strings

June 24, 2007

Down the years Mark Wastell, proprietor of the world’s greatest record shop Sound323 has made a lot of CD recommendations to me. I go to bed with the words “Oh that one is essential, trust me” (You’ll have to imagine your own Essex boy accent haunting my sleep, but if I am honest he very […]

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Wear your art on your sleeve…

June 22, 2007

In the past I’ve gotten myself into trouble with a small portion of the online music communities when I’ve mentioned my love of CD packaging. Designing a nice sleeve and making a CD release into a desirable product is of course a terrible thing to do that places the label owner on a par with […]

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That old question…

June 20, 2007

In the I Hate Music forum the other day, a listener that I respect the opionion of (and I believe reads this here blog) posted something that made me stop and think. Someone had solicited opinions on Vorhernach the recent album by Axel Dörner and Toshimaru Nakamura on the Ftarri label, to which he responded […]

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Music held up to the light

June 18, 2007

I’ve been thinking more about the notion of listening to music properly. By properly I don’t mean separating myself off in some hermetically sealed chamber with an amazing hi-fi system, but actually giving the music my attention, allowing myself to try and be ‘present’ with the music, become involved with it in a more focussed […]

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Listening for England

June 17, 2007

The best thing about being free throughout the day is the opportunity to spend some quality time listening with care to music. The pile of stuff here that I’ve not played at all remains pretty high, and the list of CDs that I’ve given no more than a cursory spin twice as high again, so […]

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Variations on a theme

June 15, 2007

This fell through my letterbox this morning, a cut price 6CD set of Shostakovich’s String Quartets performed by The Borodin Quartet. I know next to nothing about Shostakovich, and like most of my explorations into clasical music over the last year or so its a purchase that was guided by the opinion of someone I […]

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