That’s all well and good, but how does a flute work?

Lisa and I went to see a concert of harp and flute music tonight, performed by Sally Pryce (harp…as in, she plays it, not a harp called Sally) and Adam Walker (flute).

They were both very talented players, although I thought the acoustics of the church were a little against them; it seemed to project the sound of the flute much more clearly towards the back of the room and as a result he seemed to smother his partner a little.  With different seats I’m guessing the experience would have been a lot more balanced.

Also they didn’t play any AC/DC or Slipknot covers.  Boo.

Joking aside, I thought the format of harp and flute would work well for most of the Nobuo Uematsu stuff as used in pretty much every Final Fantasy soundtrack, ever.  One of the tangoes they played sounded surprisingly close to a battle theme at one point…

…I’m such a geek.

On production values in the hip-hop industry.

Sorry about the lack of posts to date. Packing up the house to move soon, so busy, busy, busy.

Anyway. Coming home from the shops, Jay-Z’s new track “Young Forever”* came on. We were discussing how artists feel about their tracks being sampled – and how as long as the royalties keep coming then not many would be too annoyed about it – when Lisa suddenly stopped and cocked her head to listen to the music properly.

“You can’t really call that sampling,” she said. “It’s just a cover of the song being played and Jay-Z talking over the top of it. It’s like Mystery Science Theatre, but with music.”

So there you go. Jay-Z isn’t actually a music producer. He’s being held prisoner by an evil scientist who makes him talk over the top of tracks from the 80’s, then sells them to the music industry for massive amounts of money.

*Switching the words round obviously changing the track completely, yo!

Beethoven’s Fifth, the new soundtrack to my life.

One of the birthday cards I got last week is a musical one.  It plays about sixteen or so bars of Beethoven’s fifth, lifted from a 2002 performance by the Royal Philharmonic.  I now use it to add dramatic weight to even the most mundane of sentences.

“Want a cup of tea?” DA DA DA DUUUUUUM!   DA DA DA DUUUUUM!

Brilliant.  I’m certain Lisa isn’t quite so enamoured as she was the first fifteen times I did it.

Right now I’m registering and installing the software that came with my camera.  It’s probably not worth the install but my computer is so application-light that I might as well do it anyway.  it makes me feel as though I’m actually using the system as something other than Firefox-in-a-box through which I get my daily dose of “news”.  Today’s “news”, of course, is that a fuck-and-tell blogger with associated book and t.v. deal has revealed her identity to prevent being outed by the Daily Mail.

It’s a laudable aim, I suppose, but that won’t really stop all the students in her department looking at her funny and swapping comments about being “well-travelled” and/or the possession of physiological features that resemble the top end of a wellington boot.

Next week, I suppose, she’ll be telling the papers about how telling the papers has affected her life or some other shit that supposedly eases her conscience and increases understanding but really just pads out her bank balance a little more and makes everyone around her increasing discomfited.

Back on the software thing, I’ve just clicked on my fourth licence agreement during this install.  That can’t be right, can it?  Four licences for one program…or maybe it’s a bundle of programs.  They’re taking long enough to get on the system.  I should’ve just stuck with MS paint.  That’s about my level.

One save draft and a reboot later, and I’m uploading images to Flickr.  Woo, and indeed, yay.  While that interminable process grinds away, I should probably go over what Alistair got me for my birthday.  First up, a bottle of Glengoyne 10 y.o. single malt, which is nice, although I haven’t tasted it yet.  We had a cocktail and a bottle of wine with dinner at Alistair’s on Saturday night and I’m such a lightweight that I had to stop drinking right after dinner to make sure I’d be fit to drive the next day.  It’s not something to be really proud of, that I just can’t drink beyond a certain point anymore, but it’s better that I’m upfront about it.  Not vomiting for the entire day afterwards is a reward in itself.

He also bought me some books: The Stuff of Thought by Steve Pinker, Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf, The Elements of Style by Strunk Jr. and White, and a digital photography book.  The last one I’m not going to link due to me encountering a vicious dislike of the author on opening the book.  He spends a good five pages right at the start promoting his other books, website, newsletter, promotions, etc, and therefore really doesn’t need any help from this quarter.

Hrm.  65% uploaded.  What else can I talk about?

Doctor Who, oh yes.  Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading “Beethoven’s Fifth, the new soundtrack to my life.”

Today’s music is…

First Aid Kit, an acoustic folk duo from Stockholm.  I was listening to Huw Stevens’s show on the Norway music scene on Radio 1, and in between laughing my head off at the various artists all conforming to the stereotypically Scandinavian interview style (i.e. telling the interviewer at great length why their hometown is the best possible place on the planet – because why else would they be here now were it not for Oslo/Bergen/The Musicality of the Swedish Language/Iceland’s Mimetic Legacy of Song etc etc), I actually enjoyed listening to some of the acts.

Not all of them, though.  Some were just plain bad.  Casio Kids, on interview, sounded like really nice guys but I couldn’t really reconcile finding the lead singer to be an affable chap with the less than exciting music they offered up.  Maybe it’s just a question of taste.

Mind you, I found it funny that despite visiting a Scandinavian music festival, pretty much all of the songs they aired had English lyrics, and the smatterings of Norwegian/Swedish/Icelandic/etc were limited to wet jingles that reintroduced the host.  That said, I imagine quite a few artists write and release songs in the “international” form of English to approach as broad an audience as possible.

So yes – First Aid Kit.  There is an album up on Spotify, which is always good.

On a side note, extremely weird web stats for this morning, as I’ve had 2 visitors but 66 pageloads.  Methinks the stats counter isn’t too good at spotting spiders.