Last night I played tambourin with Rabo De Foguete at Revolution De Cuba in Norwich. I’m really not a fan of clubs as I never know what to do with myself, but the actual playing went fine. We did 3 sets, all accompanied by Brazilian style dancers from London.
Last Tuesday I went to an organ recital in King’s Lynn during which David Boarder performed works by Salomé, J.S. Bach, Sweelinck, Bourgeois (best name ever), Yon, Dubois and Lefébure-Wely. It was nice to see such a varied mixture of periods, right from renaissance to the modern day; although it must be noted it was all ‘tame’ in comparison to Messiaen. I’d never been to an organ recital, and it was really nice to just concentrate on the different timbres that the organ has to offer. This was aided by the fact there was a video stream from the organ box so you could see every time the performer changed manual and stops.
This morning I finished off David Byrne’s “How Music Works”. I’ve never really listened to Talking Heads, or indeed any of Byrne’s projects, so I didn’t really no what to expect from his book. Someone close to me gave me their copy, and for ages I put off reading it because I was worried it was going to be too casual or ill informed for my taste. I was a little bit guilty of ‘judging the book by it’s cover’.
After the last book I read (a dense piece of french political theory that coincided with western music history and it’s socio-economics) I felt like something a bit easier to get into. Byrne’s book was just that and I actually enjoyed reading it quite a lot. He analysed aspects of popular music in terms of performance, technology, business etc. with well informed experience that churned out references to global theatre movements, art scenes, and other cultural music movements. The chapter on business and finance was one I particularly enjoyed for it’s illustrative pie charts showing how album sales are divided, label advances spent and revenue collected. This was accompanied by multiple economic models other than the ones Byrne knew first hand, and even anticipated developments to come. Byrne’s bias towards popular music, defending it against the classical elitism, was thought-provokingly articulated in the last chapter. Even though his arguments were well presented, some of his notions of just ‘not getting’ what the fuss was all about made it lose some sense of authenticity.
Although the writing style was easy to plough through and didn’t have me constantly sifting through a dictionary like some other books, the writing style was a little too laid back. As I already mentioned, I kind of anticipated it, but there were moments when I was just put off by his choice of language.
I bought one of those Noligraph pens that I’ve seen all over Tumblr to use during my degree. I always use plain paper notebooks so this will come in handy with annotating scores and making notes! Also tams are the best.
During this year, although I wasn’t attending school, I retook a couple modules from A2 music as an independent student. This was so I could bump my grade up to an A, in which I was successful! It was fun teaching myself the exam to be honest, and this also means that next year I shall be attending Goldsmiths University of London.
My new tam arrived! It’s the Meinl silent tambourim which has a nylon skin and is used purely to practice. Tams can be really loud and practising in any domestic environment is difficult to do without disturbing people around you. The nylon skin makes, in comparison, a pretty unnoticeable sound and also keeps the feel of a real tam when being struck. After using it all day, I can confirm it does fulfil it’s purpose!
Yesterday was my recital; my first official solo recital at the piano! For a first recital I think it went really well. Nerves-wise I managed to contain myself (I did play a little faster than usual I think) but there were some issues with performing I still need to iron out. Playing an entire Mozart sonata from memory (K333) and Satie’s Gnossiene no.5 went down a treat and I hope I did them some justice. I have a recording to go through yet so hopefully that’ll give me something to build on.
I had a solo acoustic gig Sunday where I played some old songs, some newer ones, and a cover of Cabeleira Do Zezé. A friend of mine held up the lyrics for me (because I wasn’t actually expecting to play it) and at the bottom of the screen was one of those ‘hey single ladies over here ;)’ with some pictured below in her underwear and I just laughed out loud hysterically mid-song.
Last month was the King’s Lynn Festival and I managed to catch 3 of this year’s concerts. I was hoping to go to more but I’ve just been so busy recently I couldn’t find the time (or in some cases the money). I saw a cello and piano duo play in the town hall, with a program that included Schumann, Debussy, Chopin and a premier from Alex Woolf. During the festival there this scheme where everyday a different pub around town held a free concert, and I attended the final one to see the Eblana String Trio. I think the most interesting concert I went to though was when I went to see Evellyn and Zero Gravity, which is a recorder consort. Their program included medieval dances, renaissance/baroque fantasies and new pieces the consort had commissioned this year.