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Sunday 14th August

August 14, 2011

No post again today I am sorry. I have spent much of the day in bed, back aching, but also running a temperature and feeling generally crap, probably as a result of trying to bring myself slowly off of the drugs I’ve been taking, but you don’t need to hear this stuff. When I began […]

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Saturday 13th August

August 13, 2011

This evening I attended some recording sessions in Oxford, informal affairs by various configurations of the quartet of David Lacey, Daniel Jones, Patrick Farmer and Sarah Hughes. I’m not fit enough to drive yet, so Julie was good enough to not only drive me in, but then sit through several hours of music that she […]

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Friday 12th August

August 13, 2011

No review tonight, my focus has been on other things today, spending some time with visiting friends, continuing to recover gradually from my back problems and begin to wean myself off of the drug dependence I have naturally had to undergo to get over the pain. In truth, although the opposite would seem to be […]

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Wednesday 10th August

August 10, 2011

Well I am feeling considerably better today. Yesterday I genuinely felt worse than I ever have in my entire life, completely unable to get comfortable in any position, unable to stand or sit, and the slightest wrong movement whilst lying down saw pain so severe should through my back that I was reduced to tears […]

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Tuesday 9th August

August 9, 2011

I’m writing this here now, via my phone because I’m not sure what will happen later today and I fear I may end up taking a trip to hospital. I have woken in terrible pain with my back this morning and am unable to stand or sit. For the first time in twenty years of […]

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Monday 8th August

August 8, 2011

I hurt my back again this afternoon, and drove the forty-five minute journey home in a lot of pain, and right now can’t even walk, so I’m not really going to write about a CD this evening. I can’t find a comfortable position to sit in to be able to spend time with music. I […]

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Thursday 4th August

August 5, 2011

Well, I’ve written six reviews in succession, so I think I’m allowed a night off tonight. I worked hard today, then went over to Julie’s to cook, eat and relax before getting back home really late, too late to properly concentrate and write about music. Tomorrow I have a day off that I have put […]

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Thursday 28th July

July 28, 2011

A recipe for orzo pasta with basil, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts. First, as he pigeons coo softly near the open window on a summers day, bring a pan of water to the boil. Add a load of dried orzo to the pan, roughly three times as much as you really need, and […]

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Tuesday 26th July

July 26, 2011

No post tonight I’m afraid. After a one day at work I picked up some pizzas and chilled cider and Julie and I have decided to spend an evening doing little, relaxing in a somewhat decadent manner, and, as I type this, we are watching a nice BBC documentary on St Ives, Cornwall and its […]

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Sunday 24th July

July 25, 2011

Today was a day for me. I woke late, read the paper (digitally) before getting out of bed, and then spent the majority of the day recharging well worn batteries by sitting in the garden reading (Beckett, who has recently become a real obsession again) and my only trip out was to get food for […]

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Tuesday 19th July

July 20, 2011

I’m going to duck out of writing a post tonight I’m afraid. I got in at about half past midnight, having gone straight over to Julie’s for dinner direct from work. I have been listening to a CD for a couple of days, and played it again in the car all day, so tonight I […]

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Saturday 16th July

July 16, 2011

Well we are having a lovely time, wish you were here. No actually, I don’t. Despite the day beginning with torrential rain (which actually sounded great against the roof of the old converted coachouse we are staying in) we still made it down into the City of Bath today, which is nice I guess, a […]

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Friday 15th August

July 15, 2011

So I’m writing this from our cottage/apartment down in a village near Bath. I worked all day, then we got straight in the car, fought with the weekend escapee traffic on the M4 and headed West for an hour and a half to where we are now. We arrived a couple of hours back, unpacked, […]

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Wednesday 13th July

July 13, 2011

No review here tonight I’m afraid, partly because I’m exhausted after three tough days at work, but also because I have been writing a review that will post automatically on Saturday when I am going away with Julie for a couple of days to celebrate our tenth anniversary together. This is one of the benefits […]

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Sunday 10th July

July 11, 2011

OK, so I aimed to complete seven CD reviews in seven days, and I haven’t quite managed that as I’m not going to write one tonight, but I did manage six and threw in an extra post about the Twombly/Poussin exhibition so I don’t feel I’ve done too badly. Today, to be honest I chose […]

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Sunday 3rd July

July 3, 2011

Today I listened to quite a lot of music, but after a long and hard week at work, and evenings spent writing for these pages and for The Wire I chose to listen for pleasure purposes only. I worked my way through a number of CDs I had put to one side recently with a […]

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Tuesday 28th June

June 28, 2011

Apologies, another cop-out post tonight. I’m just knackered to be honest. I barely slept last night as the heat was too oppressive for my delicate soul, and then was up really early helping my brother out and then looking at potential cars to buy before heading off to work until late this evening. Then I […]

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Sunday 26th June

June 26, 2011

Despite today being a very nice day indeed, I have no post of value for you tonight. A heatwave hit the UK today, and so much of today I spent either hiding from the heat or going out for a walk with Julie, in which we walked literally yards before collapsing under a tree in […]

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Wednesday 22nd June

June 23, 2011

So I popped into London again this afternoon after an early shift at work and went to my favourite bookshop, the London Review of Books Shop to see Keith Rowe perform a couple of solo sets, one a realisation of a page from Treatise, one a realisation of Wolff’s Edges. I’ll try and write something […]

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Tuesday 21st June

June 21, 2011

OK, no post tonight because at the last minute I diverted my journey home from work and dropped into Oxford city centre to catch a concert performed by various members of the Oxford Improvisers Orchestra and a handful of the SET Ensemble musicians. The concert was a mix of composed pieces of varying types under […]

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Saturday 18th June

June 19, 2011

Another long tough day then resulting in no real post here, but today at least I have the excuse of attending a concert in London. I was up at 5AM and put in a nine hour shift at work before heading over to the big smoke to catch the first of the two night residency […]

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Wednesday 15th June

June 15, 2011

No post tonight I am afraid, primarily because since getting home from a long day at work I have had my head buried in no end of php code trying to get the new design for this site rushed through and in place. I’m nearly done with it, and I hope to have at least the basic framework up here by this time tomorrow with just some embellishments left to tie up. I am off of work tomorrow, and hope to get the required work here finished during the day, so if you are passing through at any point on Thursday and things look a bit peculiar here fear not there might be a bit of a transition period while I get everything aligned. The new design should hopefully be simpler than the current one, with some new bits and pieces, but hopefully, and most importantly, my coding this time, given that it is much less maverick than the last attempt, should hold up better as the various bits of software, plug-ins etc become more advanced. Now, if none of that meant anything to you, fear not, its all very dull.

I have been listening to some music tonight, and I even managed to write a paragraph as an introduction to a review, but when it came to putting my thoughts into words I found that they weren’t there, and my attention this evening just hasn’t been focused enough to be able to share anything of any value, particularly as I didn’t like the CD in question all that much, and if I am going to write anything negative I want to be sure my thoughts are straight before I do so.

A quick plug then for a two day residency this coming weekend at London’s Café Oto for Axel Dorner, who will play various sets with various local musicians. Work has meant that I have had to miss a few concerts lately that I really had wanted to attend, but I should make it along to these two. Say hi if you come along.

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Monday 13th June

June 13, 2011

So as you can see I haven’t been able to fix the problem with the site so have switched back to the old design that I used until a couple of years ago. I kept a copy of it saved just in case something like this happened. This will just be a temporary fix. It probably won’t come as a surprise to long term readers that I have actually been working for a while, very slowly and with no real intended completion date, on a new design for the blog, something more simple but with more modern features. This little hiccup has suddenly made that project much more of a pressing concern, but I hope I should have a new design up and running within two or three days. The content here by the way, is not affected at all. I use a wordpress framework here that holds the content, which is then overlaid with a design that arranges everything on screen. The design broke last night, but the content remains intact. It might just look a bit odd here for a few days.

So while I have been scurrying around trying to make this place readable I haven’t had a chance to write anything for tonight’s post. I was up early and home late from work today, so time has been limited. One silver lining to today’s cloud though was finding the new issue of The Wire in the post when I got home, and opening it finding my John Wall piece, as well as a review of the i and e Festival tucked inside. As a reader, I have bought every single copy of the magazine since early 1992, and so finding four or five pages of my writing in this new issue felt strange, and it made me proud to show it to Julie when we went for a short walk earlier. Its no big deal, I know, but then I never intended to ever write professionally, on any kind of scale, and seeing my name there feels as bemusing as it does satisfying. if you get a chance to read it I’d appreciate knowing your thoughts.

So, time to switch into Olaf mode again…..

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Friday 10th June

June 11, 2011

Urrgh. I’m writing this at 4AM, because I was too rushed / forgot to write earlier. I have just got back from a long long journey up to Manchester and back, so barely have the energy to turn this computer on and write here. I worked overnight last night in the dayjob, and got home at 7AM, went to sleep straight away fro a few hours before setting off again at about midday to pick up Patrick Farmer and deliver him to a particularly disconcerting church in central Manchester in time for tonight’s concert at which he shared a bill with John Tilbury, who played a realisation of a score he had written that essentially transformed Beckett’s Worstward Ho novella into a text and music piece. I’m far far far too tired to even begin to write anything about it tonight, but it was all good and a thoroughly enjoyable time was had. The only downside to the evening, (apart from the eight hours travelling) was the low turnout for the event- maybe just twenty people there, which for a rare Tilbury solo showing in Manchester seemed crazy. Anyway, I’ll write a report tomorrow evening.

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Wednesday 8th June

June 9, 2011

No real post tonight I’m afraid. I’ve managed eight reviews over the last nine days though so I don’t feel the need to apologise on this occasion… I have actually been listening to music all day, since I had the day off of work, but I just haven’t quite worked my way through anything solidly enough to be able to write. Tomorrow I am working through the night, from 6pm to 6am on Friday, so I will have some time tomorrow lunchtime to write a review of the music I have been playing today. Otherwise today has been good, a lazy day really, a few administrative jobs done, though the pile of CDs on my desk that badly need sorting and filing away on shelves is still sat there, leaning slightly towards me in a menacing manner… This evening was lovely, a nice meal cooked for me by my better half, a while watching a pigeon wander aimlessly around the garden, followed by a hedgehog doing much the same thing but with far more purpose, and then we watched the last in the series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, which has been masterfully brilliant from start to finish.

If you are anywhere near Manchester, or can get there on Friday even if you are not, then it would be crazy to miss John Tilbury’s performance at St Margaret’s Church in Whalley Range, a reworking of Samuel Beckett’s wonderful novella Worstward Ho. Details can be found here, complete with misspelling of the Beckett piece and a woefully dated bio of Tilbury, but still, we should be very pleased that these guys have made this concert happen. Support will come from Patrick Farmer, or at least it will do if I manage to deliver him there on time!

Finally, British readers of roughly my age will be saddened to hear of the death of Roy Skelton today, the man who gave a voice to Zippy and George. For many of us this is very sad news. Very few ‘people’ had more of an affect on my very early years than Zippy. A few people have even noted the resemblance between our characters today. The only real difference is that when Zippy went on and on somebody could reach over and zip up his mouth. In my case I don’t think that you could do such…..

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Wednesday 1st June

June 1, 2011

OK, so I have completed three straight CD reviews before bottling out again today. I actually have genuinely tried to listen and write today, as I have had the day off of work and have in theory had the time for once, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. Having been so rushed in every aspect of my life of late I spent today trying to catch up on all of those little tasks that needed doing, and well, I underestimated how much there was to do and how little energy I had to do it!

Plus, I spent much of the afternoon unexpectedly arguing with EasyJet. I booked a flight online for my parents, but in my rush I booked it for the wrong day. Trying to immediately amend the booking online could not then be done without accepting a £70 charge for changing the date. It should be noted that I only wanted to move the booking back one single day, from a Sunday to a Monday, and that the listed price for the flight on both days was exactly the same. The change of booking would have been entirely automated, no human would have been involved, and yet still apparently this justified a £70 charge… So i phoned EasyJet, several times, and eventually got somebody to agree to change the booking “As a gesture of their goodwill” without the £70 charge. I was however then told that because there was a difference in price between flights on the same plane booked online and over the phone there would still be £20 extra to pay. Looking into cancelling the flight altogether showed that there would still be a £70 charge. Really, it should come as no surprise that I haven’t had the chance to focus on music today as this was a seriously annoying situation, but what can you do? I could write to someone, but ultimately they can do whatever they want.

Sorry for moaning…. I have been able to listen to quite a bit of music today, albeit whilst arguing on the ‘phone. One of the CDs I heard was a disc tucked into the back of a Japanese book titled Substantials #04, which is the journal of a number of workshops and talks held in Japan by Toshiya Tsunoda, Akio Suzuki, Keith Rowe, Marcus Schmickler and Jim O’Rourke. Its an interesting document and a good, if quick read, plus the CD, featuring music by each of the musicians is quite good. I’ll try and write that one up soon. I also have been listening a lot to the new 2CD set from Hubbub, a release that’s been spinning freely here for a few weeks, but I just haven’t known what to write about it. I’m still not sure I know, but will get there eventually.

So I am off to Julie’s right now to cook dinner with her. A better post tomorrow then. The image above is a self-portrait I took of myself this afternoon.

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Friday 27th May

May 28, 2011

Wow, tonight’s concert went well. Oxford doesn’t see all that many concerts that fall under the vague umbrella of music that I write about here, so it was really good to not only help out with the organisation of the Koboku Senju concert in Oxford this evening, but also to see a really healthy turnout of around forty people come through the door at the Art Jericho gallery. Julie and I have been on the go all day, driving tables and tubas and Tetuzis and Toshis about and trying to remember how to pronounce assorted Norwegian names, so we are both exhausted and neither of us is in the mood to write a review tonight, but Ill get something done after work tomorrow. The biggest congratulations are probably due to Patrick and Sarah of the Compost and Height corporation, with some help from Stephen Cornford who did all of the hard work putting the concert together tonight. So a little more about the concert tomorrow but for now, yes, another brief post, but I’ve been told not to apologise for writing these, so I won’t.

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Thursday 26th May

May 26, 2011

No post of value again tonight, but rest assured I have been working hard again, and I’m pleased to say I have now finished the first revision of the John wall piece for The Wire, adding an extra thousand or so words int he process, and extending it from four pages in the magazine to six. I notice that the daily readership here has fallen very slightly over the last week or two, and I’m not surprised as I have clearly not been able to put the effort in here that I usually manage, but I can only say again that I have been working on a few projects that mean a lot to me and that eventually all will see the light of day. All of my deadlines run out after this forthcoming bank holiday, so normal service will resume here then if not earlier. Tomorrow I will be tied up with the Koboku Senju concert in Oxford, an event I am very much looking forward to as much as I will be relieved when it all passes by without hitch. If you are able to make it along to the concert please say hello, and if anyone out there feels like they would like to write a review of it please let me know. I don’t think I will be able to do so objectively, and while I mischievously intend to try and convince Julie to write something for me tomorrow about the gig another more informed opinion could be good as well. So that’s it for now, I don’t have anything else to plug I’m afraid and apologise again for the dirth of anything interesting here, Will do better soon. The photo above is of Toshi and Tetuzi of Koboku Senju soundchecking in Manchester this evening.

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Tuesday 24th May

May 24, 2011

So I have written a couple of thousand words today, but alas none of them for this website as I have to leave you with another evening of spacious excuses. I did actually set out very late tonight to try and write something about another cassette release, this one a piece of music by Adam Sonderberg issued by Entr’acte and named American hours with German efficiency, but having only started listening to this piece early this morning before work, and despite playing it several times tonight I still don’t think i have heard it enough to pass comment on it as it is a curious, difficult to grasp set of two short pieces. I will try and get a review written tomorrow anyway. My workload remains heavy but as I return home from work a few hours earlier tomorrow I should be able to get more done. I an only assure you that I am not being lazy or wilfully neglecting these pages and that the current overload is the result of a few things landing here coincidentally rather than any ongoing situation.

Now I aim to get some sleep before my typing fingers seize up completely and before my MacBook’s screen completely blurs into one big blob, but not before I polish off the large Irish whiskey I have been nursing for much of the last few hours. The photo above is a random one taken in Ireland last weekend. Its a graffiti’d shop window if I remember correctly.

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Monday 23rd May

May 23, 2011

OK, so no real post tonight, but I have been working hard today, during every one of the few hours I was not at work in the dayjob writing and rewriting stuff for The Wire. I will get all of this finished soon and return to more regular review posting here, (I have to, the pile of stuff to write about is getting ridiculous again) and well, I have still managed three CD reviews over the last four days, so its not been all bad. I try and avoid self-promotion here, but it has been gratifying and humbling over recent weeks to be asked to write a few different things for different places. Ultimately I am only an avid listener that decided to start a blog to house all of his overexcited burbling in one place. Its good to know that the hard work I put into this blog doesn’t go unnoticed anyway. I just wish I had the time to do it properly, but I guess that will never come.

Something else close to self-promotion then- on Friday there will be a concert in oxford by the Norwegian/Japanese group Koboku Senju, who are also playing in London at Café Oto tonight and tomorrow. This isn’t really self-promotion though as reports that I might have had anything to do with the organisation are wildly exaggerated- Patrick Farmer and Sarah Hughes, aka Compost and Height’s dual head honchos have done all of the organisation. I’ll probably just stand near the door looking important on the day. I’m good like that. The suggestion that I designed the concert’s poster, which can be seen full size here aren’t really even true. I spent ten minutes resizing the group’s album artwork, the overworked fraud that I am… Still, if you are anywhere near Oxford on Friday night please come along. The city doesn’t get all that many concerts of this kind and every bum on a seat might mean future events could happen easier. Bring a friend if you can as well. Even if they don’t want to come. You never know, they might thank you for it.

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Friday 20th May

May 21, 2011

OK, so it was inevitable that this would happen from time to time. I worked long and hard in the dayjob today, and then on arriving home, complete with headache, I sat and listened to some fine music, the album Horsky Park by the duo of Thomas Lehn and Tiziana Bertonici, a disc that has been playing here a lot over recent days. Anyway I cooked dinner, ate it, or rather ate most if it, and feel asleep on the sofa before finishing, while the CD played. I woke soon after, and made my way upstairs where i had a hot bath to try and freshen up, made a strong coffee and put the CD on again. At about 11PM I seem to have fallen asleep again though, and now at half past one I’ve woken to silence, as the CD has long ended, and my body aches and is telling me it needs to be resting. So yet again I must leave you without a review, and apologise. My workload on several fronts right now is putting a lot of strain on this blog, but things should level off soon. Tomorrow evening I will have time to relax and will get a review of the Lehn/Bertonici written and posted. Until then please bear with me, and above is a picture of a particularly nice, and very strong cup of coffee I had in Dublin. i could do with one like that right now.

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Tuesday 17th May

May 17, 2011

So, after promising that, without a doubt I would write in more detail this evening I’m going to have to go back on my promise and give you yet another content-free post. I have been writing today, both for this blog and other places, and my review of the i and e festival, or at least, the one I’ll post here is close to finished, but not quite. Today I have found it quite hard to focus and operate properly doing just about anything, primarily because I’ve been falling asleep every ten minutes or so, but also because I’ve spent a lot of time with Julie, planning to finish the review late tonight, only to find out without much notice that I have to go into work at six in the morning, which means I have to be out of bed at half four, which is only a few hours away. The review is going to have to wait until tomorrow then, apologies for the lack of stamina today!

In the meantime, here is another set of photos from the festival at the weekend, courtesy of Cif. Some nice shots here that manage to capture the intimate, communal aspects of the festival well. While I’m here, my apologies to anyone awaiting a reply to an email, I have a few days to catch up on but will get there very soon. Apologies then to all for being a bit crap right now, this has probably been the longest I have gone without a proper post since beginning my daily blogging routine, but  normal service will be resumed very soon.

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Monday 16th May

May 16, 2011

Boy oh boy I’m tired again tonight. We flew home late afternoon and then drove straight to Oxford where we headed straight over to the Folly Bridge pub to see Nate Wooly play with Paul Lytton upstairs. The gig was actually really good, fiery and yet wonderfully controlled stuff, but I was just so exhausted that focussing properly was just about impossible. The drive back home from Oxford alone this evening was particularly tough as well, hard to keep alert, though sitting on wasabi peas that a certain someone had been throwing about in the car earlier kept me awake in true princess and the pea style.

I am very aware that I have now written four or five rubbish posts in succession, but I hope you understand how hard it is to keep this blog going daily while away and sharing the company of others as I have been. As I have little to write about tonight, and as I will certainly, definitely, without a doubt write in far more detail tomorrow, I will take this opportunity to thank David, Paul and Cliona for the great festival and for the fine hospitality once again. I had a great time, though its also good to be home. The first half an hour tonight was spent opening jiffy bags full of CDs and records, the ten minutes have been spent writing this post, and then next I’m off to soak in a bath with an Irish whiskey before bed and then I’m going to see my ever patient girlfriend in the morning. The photo tonight is of Jean-Luc Guionnet and Seijiro Murayama playing outside at the festival Saturday night.

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Sunday 15th May

May 15, 2011

Back in my little apartment here in Dublin much earlier tonight, mainly because I only had three and a half hours sleep last night, because I went to sleep at about 5AM just as the sun was coming up. Then today eight of us when for a long walk around the coast south of Dublin, hoping to see some seals as we have done before, but alas no luck today. The walk was great though, just what the doctor ordered after a couple of days sat in a dark concert space listening to music. The festival has been great as ever, a review will follow when I get home, but as always its the social element of this great little festival that I have loved as much as anything, and today’s little excursion underlined that side of things again.

One noticeable element of the trip this time has been watching the city get ready for its first visit from the British Queen for a very long time. She arrives the day after we depart on Tuesday. Listening to people here the british monarch is understandably as disliked as ever, and I can’t quite fathom out why she is visiting somewhere that clearly doesn’t really want her around, but then there’s quite a lot I can fathom out about that woman… One legacy of the visit though that will last for many months are the yellow spanner silhouettes sprayed in paint on every manhole cover in the city. It appears as the Queen’s visit is such a high security risk that every manhole cover has been lifted, checked for signs of a bomb hidden under it and then sprayed as in the picture above. As the paint is permanent is seems that this odd symbol will remain plastered underfoot int he city for a long time yet, a reminder of the legacy of the British monarchy, as if such a reminder could ever be needed…

More tomorrow then, and probably another briefish post until normal service is resumed on Tuesday. until then…

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Saturday 14th May

May 15, 2011

OK, so my apologies for not writing about yesterday’s music earlier as I suggested I would today. I did get an opportunity earlier but to be honest I was a little too frazzled to get my words in order and I grabbed an hour of sleep instead. I’m glad I did so, as its now well past 4AM and I’ve only just got back to my room after another great evening of music followed by serious discussion and debate of the kind that can only really be found at 3AM in Dublin…

Fear not, a review of some kind will appear here at some point soon, and there has been some great music to write about, but for now it has to wait until I have some time at a sensible hour when I’m not tired out. Tomorrow a bunch of us plan to travel out to the coast south of Dublin to undertake what has become a bit of an annual walk for me, in search of seals, beaches and a little respite after a hectic couple of days. Hopefully the weather will hold, but if not, we shall get wet. So, I will try again and write at more length in the morning (It’s already the morning really, I’m quite often just getting up at this time…) but for now I need to sleep.

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Friday 13th May

May 14, 2011

So its almost half past two in the morning and I am back from the first evening of the i and e Festival in Dublin, and post-concert drinks and discussions. I will certainly try and write something about the music tomorrow morning if time allows, but tonight I am a little exhausted and still processing the evening’s entertainment to some degree. Certainly though there were sets that I enjoyed a great deal and others I couldn’t connect with. I am also writing a review of the festival for The Wire so I will write a review from a slightly different slant tomorrow than maybe I might usually.

This morning however I had the pleasure of visiting the National Gallery here in Dublin in the company of Sarah Hughes and Keith Rowe. The gallery is under a lot of maintenance / pointless overhaul work and so much of it was not open, but the parts we saw included the highlights of the gallery’s collection, which is pretty great in itself. It was of particular pleasure to see Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ along with Keith. This is the painting that inspired the MIMEO album The Hands of Caravaggio, and is a truly stunning work that was made all the more interesting when viewed with Mr Rowe. However as good as the painting is, I was possibly personally even more moved by the small Vermeer painting that sits int he next room, Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid. this painting, even as one of Vermeer’s lesser works has something special for me. Both the Caravaggio and the Vermeer have had incredible histories, the Caravaggio famously only being discovered relatively recently (1990) having been wrongly mistaken as a copy of the great painting for many years. The Vermeer though has also been stolen and recovered twice, and has a remarkable story of its own. What makes The Private Life of an Easter Masterpiece for me, alongside the remarkable skill involved in the work’s creation, is the subject matter…. Vermeer made something special out of the very ordinary. He brought his camera to bear on what was, and still seems, a very simplistic, uneventful occasion, at least when compared to the sheer drama of the Caravaggio. While the latter painting tells the incredible (Most likely far too incredible) tale of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, or at least captures one dramatic moment in that tale, the Vermeer, while a far, far quieter and less eventful painting manages to speak with a quiet intensity merely by casting a light upon the thoroughly average and uneventful. Such a way of thinking always appeals to me.

Still, a really great day then. All being well I should be able to share some at least brief notes on tonight’s music tomorrow morning. Until then.

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Thursday 12th May

May 13, 2011

So we arrived safe and sound in Dublin this afternoon, settled everyone into their various places to sleep and then this evening dinner and drinks were had, with Messrs and Ms’s Lacey, Vogel, Rowe, Harmey, Farmer, Hughes and Jones present at different times. This is, I think, my tenth visit to Dublin in a little under six years, and each time I come I immediately feel welcome and at home. This time, with so many good friends in one place, and more due to arrive tomorrow it feels even more special than usual. The music starts tomorrow evening, so tomorrow morning may well involve taking in a gallery or two, but for now, having had one or two drinks, and having been on the go since about seven this morning I’m going to get to bed in the little apartment I have booked for the stay, which has, as you may well have figured out, a good broadband connection, so I hope to be able to write regularly and easily during my stay.

I’ll probably write a little in the morning before going out then. For now I bid thee goodnight with a picture taken on the rather awful ‘plane flight over today, a detail from the Ryan Air safety procedures card. You can work out what exactly the man in the image is meant to be doing…

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Wednesday 11th May

May 12, 2011

Well I had planned to write about a CD tonight, as I am away for the net few days in Ireland, and while I should hopefully have a broadband connection in my room I probably won’t write any CD reviews while away and posting will be the usual commentary on my visit to Dublin. Still, the day today has been a little hectic, a trip into Oxford this morning to undertake the world’s most pathetic attempt at flyposting took up the first few hours of the day, then I did a little clothes shopping before heading home to pack a case and then go over to my ever patient girlfriend to see her for the evening before I go away for a few days. Even then I made her watch the second episode of Stewart Lee’s new series before she was allowed to go to bed. As I said, so patient…

Anyway, if you are cool enough you will already be heading to Dublin yourself for this weekend’s i and e Festival, but if not, if you have somehow managed to miss my endless plugs for what is actually a really great little annual event that deserves every bit of support it can get. Click here for more details, and come along if you possibly can.

Another repeated plug as well for anyone within easy (or even quite difficult) travel distance of Oxford, the concert I’ve managed to put up about five posters for today is on the 27th May. Details for that one are here. Sorry then for repeating myself, and for the dull post, I will try my best to make the next few days of posts a little more interesting.

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Sunday 8th May

May 8, 2011

I worked again today, yes, even on a Sunday, and then once I got home I was sat behind the computer writing for places other than here, so no review tonight (I managed three on the row before tonight- Surprised even myself!) I am in London tomorrow, attending an undoubtably tedious conference as part of the day job, but then once that is over and done with I’m on holiday for slightly more than a week, during which I will escape to Ireland for my annual soirée at the i and e Festival in Dublin. I am in bad need of the break, and the stimulus of good music and good company, so it can’t come soon enough.

So not much else to say then, but I’ll leave you with a link to a rather beautifully filmed clip of John Tilbury and Michael Duch performing their Feldman’s Durations 2, reworked for bass rather than cello, last Monday at the Freedom of the City Festival. This is one of many great films made by Helen Petts over recent months that she has posted on You Tube, so archiving some great performances from the London scene. Several people do this, but Helen’s film work is particularly good, as this short film shows, nothing complicated or showy, just one straight static shot, but with great contrast to the lighting and a well chosen viewpoint.

Anyway, a longer (and I imagine somewhat happy) post tomorrow.

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Wednesday 4th May

May 4, 2011

I did half intend to write a post tonight, but I was up at 4.30AM, did a day’s work, ran around after that catching up on a number of things, then went over to Julie’s for a chance to relax, came home around 11PM, with every intention of writing about the CD I’ve spent time with the last couple of days, but then ended up watching the first episode of Stewart Lee’s new series on BBC TV and have run out of time, given that I am back up for work again at a similarly ridiculous time tomorrow morning. I did warn you that reviews may be a little thin on the ground for a few days, apologies for not being able to do any better.

Oddly, as the piles of music to listen to and write about build again, I have, at a quick glance, seven different multi-disc sets here to listen to, which is a bit unusual as in our area of music they aren’t that commonplace. These present an additional challenge in themselves as they take so much more time to listen to. I’ll keep on going though, and get as much done as I can before I head over to Ireland next week for the i and e Festival again. Certainly there is some tasty looking music sat on the end of my desk here again, so I look forward to the next few weeks of listening with relish, I just wish I had the time to spend with some of it now.

Until tomorrow then… I will probably put up an earlier post than usual tomorrow, but it will include a CD review, promise! For those in the UK, don’t miss episode one of Mr Lee’s new series here.

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