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 camera this time, but I’ll definitely remember it next time I go. The stones set against the red sky of the evening was an incredible sight.

The other thing that has kept me from posting is that I’ve been writing a few reviews to appear at ParisTransatlantic in a few days. Its something of an experiment for me to write a number of formal reviews together at one time, preferring usually to either pitch in with the occasional piece when something inspires me enough to do so, or just keep things informal either here or in music forums where perhaps perfect grammar and restricted wordcounts aren’t an issue.
There is a sense of real achievement for me to write four or five reviews of worth (in my opinion anyway!) in a short period of time, so I am glad I’ve been doing this, but at the same time, its been tough going. Why tough? Well I’m probably just lazy but also to write properly about something I need to know the music very well, and I listened to each album at least five or six times before setting pen to paper (or fingers to Apple Wireless Keyboard however literal you want to be..)
Undertaking this extended listening, and then findiing the words I want to express my thoughts with is tough for little old me, and what I have found is that by the time I’ve finished writing I just don’t want to hear that piece of music again for a long time! The unfortunate Phono_Phono trio disc on Absinth (that I really like and reviewed very favourably) was filed away fast after I finished with it last night, unlikely to see the light of day again for many months. This is why I don’t often review that much, listening to music is meant to be enjoyable!

Yeah I know plenty of people write ten, twenty reviews a week for a living, but as my drunken thoughts suggest in my last post I don’t think I could ever do that. For now though, whilst I have some time on my hands I’ll keep going and see what happens.

For thse that haven’t looked in a while, a couple of new reviews have appeared up at the TAOMUD. blog recently, nicely written and probably of interest to readers here.

A brief note here to say I’ve been listening a lot today to the new Eliane Radigue reissue on the Lovely Music label called Jetsun Mila. This was recorded in 1986 and as I was only 15 then and as its only ever (I think) had a vinyl release I’ve never heard this particular work before and as usual for Radigue of that period it is absolutely enchantingly gorgeously beautiful. (me? hyperbolic? never:)
The thing that grabs me reading the liner notes though is that Radigue recorded the piece digitally, way back in ’86. Well my knowledge of these things is not the greatest, but digital recording of this kind of music that long ago? I imagine at the time she must have been breaking new ground somehow, but maybe I am wrong. Anyway I’m sure I’ll write more on it soon but for now as the moon lights my keyboard through the window and the strong coffee by my side smells fantastic the Radigue is providing the perfect soundtrack as it drifts out of the speakers very quietly behind me.
I’m just an old softy really…

Comment (1)

  • Anonymous

    June 27, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks again Richard for the TAOMUD plug. I’m experiencing similar feelings Richard regarding theis whole review caper. I don’t delude myself into believing that I’m an amazing writer and really have to work at trying to write something that I see as worthy.

    FWIW, I’ve found all of the reviews you’ve written on PT to be of substantial worth and insight. It’s a tricky thing really. I started TAOMUD purely for my own benefit. I wanted to order my thoughts a bit and try and understand this music a little better. That anyone else bothers to read it is a hoot and I’m grateful. But you hit the nail on the head when you said listening to music is meant to be an enjoyable thing. The undue pressure placed upon yourself when you’re trying to write something can detract from this enjoyment. A shame really.


    Matt/legume_mann/sound plague… whatever

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