I identify as you. Now try arguing with me.

Friday, June 02, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Four Maestros, by JD

Yes, four maestros for the price of none - Johann Sebastian Bach, Karl Richter and 'Vater und Sohn' David and Igor Oistrakh!

One of the most recognisable tunes in the whole of the 'classical' music canon is Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue (BWV 565) I think most people will be familiar with it but without being able to put a name to it. Such is the power of Bach's music. 

It must be more than fifty years since I bought my copy of the Deutsche Grammophon recording by the organist Karl Richter. I cannot find the actual recording on YouTube, it may be hidden somewhere but I did find this version by Richter which has the added advantage of allowing us to see him playing with both hands and both feet and all from memory too; no sign of any sheet music!

Karl Richter - Toccata & Fugue In D Minor - BWV 565

After that rousing hurricane force music, something a little quieter and more refined with another from Herr Bach which I also bought more than 50 years ago:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043
00:00 - I. Vivace
04:14 - II. Largo ma non tanto
11:45 - III. Allegro

David Fyodorovich Oistrakh (1908-1974), Violin I
Igor Davidovich Oistrakh (1931-2021), Violin II
George Malcolm (1917-1997), Harpsichord
Sir Eugene Aynsley Goossens (1893-1962), Conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Recorded 19th February 1961, in Brent Town Hall, Wembley, London, Great Britain.


Relax with your glass of Riesling and enjoy the music!

Friday, May 26, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Mathematical sounds, by JD

I recently came across some videos which used numerical constants to create music. They were created by Michael Blake who decribes himself as a musician and filmmaker. Apart from that tiny piece of information I know nothing about him but his four musical creations are fascinating. His website is here - https://www.youtube.com/@MBlakemusic/about

I have added two further videos which also illustrate the Phi ratio otherwise known as the Golden Section or Golden Mean.

What Pi sounds like.

What Tau Sounds Like

What Phi (the golden ratio) Sounds Like

"The number e is a mathematical constant, approximately equal to 2.71828, which appears in many different settings throughout mathematics. It was discovered by the Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli while studying compound interest, where e arises as the limit of (1 + 1/n)n as n approaches infinity.

"The number e is of eminent importance in mathematics, alongside 0, 1, π and i. All five of these numbers play important and recurring roles across mathematics, and are the five constants appearing in one formulation of Euler's identity. Like the constant π, e is irrational: it is not a ratio of integers. Also like π, e is transcendental: it is not a root of any non-zero polynomial with rational coefficients"
What e Sounds Like

Fibonacci sequence in music

1.618 Phi, The Golden Ratio, God Creator of Heaven and Earth

Friday, May 19, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The Rutles, by JD

The Rutles were one of the biggest bands of the 'beat boom' of the 1960s but for some reason the Prefab Four have been written out of the history books. So here is a selection of their groundbreaking and inventive music before it too is buried and lost forever.

And a special bonus from Rutland Weekend Television with one of the Fab Four singing with the remnants of the Prefab Four -

Friday, May 12, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, by JD

The Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) were an avant-pop band led by English guitarist Simon Jeffes. Co-founded with cellist Helen Liebmann, it toured extensively during the 1980s and 1990s. The band's sound is not easily categorized, having elements of exuberant folk music and a minimalist aesthetic occasionally reminiscent of composers such as Philip Glass.

Simon Jeffes died in 1997 and here his son explains the origin of the 'orchestra' and its music -

“My father, Simon Jeffes, was in the south of France in 1972-73, where he got terrible food poisoning from some bad shellfish and spent 3 or 4 days with a terrible fever. During this, he had very vivid waking dream – a nightmare vision of the near future – where everyone lived in big concrete blocks and spent their lives looking into screens. There was a big camera in the corner of everyone’s room, an eye looking down at them. In one room there was a couple making love lovelessly, while in another there was a musician sat at a vast array of equipment but with headphones on so there was no actual music in the room. This was a very disconnected de-humanising world that people had made for themselves…

"However you could reject that and look further afield, and if you went down this dusty road you would eventually find a ramshackle old building with noise and light pouring out into the dark. It’s a place you just fundamentally want to go into, and this is the Penguin Cafe. There are long tables and everyone sits together, and it’s very cheerfully chaotic. In the back there is always a band playing music that you are sure you’ve heard somewhere but you have no idea where – and that is the Penguin Cafe Orchestra – they play this music." - Arthur Jeffes

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Prelude and Yodel

SOLARIS Penguin Cafe

Birdwatching in Silent Forest (Penguin Cafe version of Cornelius track)

Penguin Cafe Orchestra Music for a Found Harmonium

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Pythagoras's Trousers

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Beanfields

Sunday, May 07, 2023

COLOUR SUPPLEMENT: Northern Lights, by JD

Here is a 'multi media' presentation of the Northern Lights; a video, a painting and a song!

Unfortunately the National Gallery of Canada will not allow me to copy the painting and I can't find it elsewhere. There are others but they do not have the same effect.

Aurora Borealis - The Northern Lights

Here is one of Tom Thomson's paintings of the aurora; one of several he did. It is in the National Gallery of Canada, Thomson being Canadian. This from Wiki:

"Thomas John Thomson (August 5, 1877 – July 8, 1917) was a Canadian artist active in the early 20th century. During his short career, he produced roughly 400 oil sketches on small wood panels and approximately 50 larger works on canvas. His works consist almost entirely of landscapes, depicting trees, skies, lakes, and rivers. He used broad brush strokes and a liberal application of paint to capture the beauty and colour of the Ontario landscape. Thomson's accidental death by drowning at 39 shortly before the founding of the Group of Seven is seen as a tragedy for Canadian art."

And another by the same artist:

The aurora is an effect of the sun's activity, waves of electro-magnetic radiation emitted by solar storms. The intensity of the 'storm' affects the brightness of the aurora.

But what happens if the solar storm is so intense that the pulse of radiation affects electrical supply on earth as happened in 1859? 

The Carrington Event affected the new telegraph system of communication but, that apart, life carried on much as before. But what will happen when the next one comes? And it will come, there is no doubt that it will happen. Well, some communities will be unaffected-

Renaissance - Northern Lights

Friday, May 05, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Golden Oldies, by JD

The theme song to the TV programme "Whatever happened to the likely lads" included the line "..is the only thing to look forward to, the past?" In the world of popular music the answer is a most emphatic yes!

So here are a few more from the past and they were all the seeds from which the 1960s 'beat boom' grew.

Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke - What A Wonderful World (Official Lyric Video)

Del Shannon - Runaway (HQ STUDIO/1961)

Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven (Belgium TV, 1965) - HD

Maybe Baby - Buddy Holly

Fats Domino and His Orchestra jambalaya

Spanish Harlem - Ben E King

Ben E King - Stand By Me - Prince's Trust All Stars Band - Live - 1987

Friday, April 28, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The Alehouse Boys, by JD

The exotic musical sound-world of 17th-century London is brought vividly to life by one of the world's most dynamic and virtuosic performing groups - Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene - plus a cameo appearance by celebrated soprano Mary Bevan.

Beauty, improvisation, melancholy, bawdiness - Purcell, Playford and their European contemporaries bang heads with ballads, ditties, elegies, sea-shanties and folk song. Along with a variety of classical stringed instruments, their own arrangements delight us in a joyful mix of vocals, percussion, harmonium, guitar, charango and storytelling.

Filmed on location in one of London's oldest taverns, The George Inn, Southwark.

Founded and led by Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike in 2005, Barokksolistene is now recognised as one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting groups working in the field of historically informed performance, fusing virtuoso musicianship with flawless ensemble playing. Constantly striving to reach out to new audiences, their passion to engage with folk and experimental music, improvisation, visual arts, dance and story-telling has led them to create unique concert experiences which play to sold-out audiences worldwide.

The Alehouse Boys — Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene — Play Henry Purcell

Alehouse session with Barokksolistene and Bjarte Eike

Neil Gow's Lament with Barokksolistene and Bjarte Eike

Haul Away Joe - the alehouse boys (from the BaS alehouse sessions)

Paul's Steeple with Barokksolistene, Bjarte Eike and Milos Valent

The Alehouse Sessions Corona_Digital_version!