topic: music

Phamie Gow releases her Stone Dance music

In 2003, I had only known Phamie for a year, but she had already become a cherished friend. She was only 22 years old then, but had already recorded two CDs of her own compositions; in the intervening years, she has gone on to release many more albums of her own music and to build a successful touring career. She sings and plays the piano, but it was her mastery of the clarsach—the Celtic harp—that […]

a new renaissance?

Sunday past I went to a performance of Philip Glass’ 1000 Airplanes on the Roof in a hangar, at East Fortune in Scotland, that has been built around a decommissioned Concorde. It was a promenade concert – allowing us to walk around as the piece – a “melodrama in one act” – was acted out, and the music played. I found the conductor Jessica Cottis to be more worth watching than the actor. She conducted […]

life and art in one gear

motion blur

In writing, and in other art forms whose expression occurs across a span of time, pace is important, however I feel that we are, as a culture, somewhat obsessed with it, and I would like to lightly explore why this may be so. Let me admit from the outset that some of my work has been criticized as moving along at too slow a pace, and so you may say: I would say this, wouldn’t […]

harpsichord

Charle Babbage's difference engine

I find the sound of a harpsichord (cravo in Portuguese – a word that is also used for the carnation flower and cloves – perhaps some kind Portuguese speaker could explain this), and other related instruments such as spinets and virginals, exquisite – though prolonged listening to it can become a tad wearing. Recently, at night in a tent on the shoulder of a mountain beside a ruined Roman fort (nothing wrong with setting the […]