Friday, September 22, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Music for the autumn equinox, by JD

It is now autumn with the equinox being saturday 23rd (this year) and now we shiver our way into winter. Did we have a summer this year? It feels as though we slipped silently from vernal to autumnal without turning off the central heating.

"Autumnal equinox, two moments in the year when the Sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length; also, either of the two points in the sky where the ecliptic (the Sun’s annual pathway) and the celestial equator intersect. In the Northern Hemisphere the autumnal equinox falls about September 22 or 23, as the Sun crosses the celestial equator going south. In the Southern Hemisphere the equinox occurs on March 20 or 21, when the Sun moves north across the celestial equator.

"According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the autumnal equinox also marks the beginning of autumn, which lasts until the winter solstice (December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere)."


Meet Me On The Equinox \ [w/film footage] (Video)

Celtic Music - Equinox

Lisa Thiel - Mabon (Autumn Equinox)

John Coltrane - Equinox (Original)

Friday, September 15, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Ola Gjeilo, by JD

 "Ola Gjeilo is one of the most frequently performed composers in the choral world. An accomplished pianist, improvisations over his own published choral pieces have become a trademark of his collaborations. Although Norwegian by birth, it is perhaps Ola’s adopted country of America that has influenced the composer’s distinctive soundworld the most, evolving a style that is often described as cinematic and evocative, with a lush, harmonious sound.

"Ola grew up in a musically eclectic home listening to classical, jazz, pop and folk, a broad background he later incorporated into his classical composition studies at The Juilliard School, the Royal College of Music in London, and currently as a New York City-based freelance composer. He is especially inspired by the improvisational art of film composer Thomas Newman, jazz legends Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, glass artist Dale Chihuly and architect Frank Gehry."

Ola Gjeilo - The Lake Isle ft. Tenebrae

CWU Chamber Choir: Gjeilo - "Luminous Night of the Soul"

Ola Gjeilo - The Rose

Ubi Caritas (Ola Gjeilo) - Ensamble Oikos

Ola Gjeilo - Tundra

Choras Bel Canto: DREAMWEAVER (Gjeilo)

Friday, September 08, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Samara Joy, by JD

Samara Joy McLendon is a Grammy Award-winning American jazz singer. She released her self-titled debut album in 2021 and was subsequently named Best New Artist by JazzTimes. Her second album, Linger Awhile, was released in September 2022, winning the award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and herself for Best New Artist at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Joy was born in 1999 into a musical family. Her paternal grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, were founders of Philadelphia gospel group The Savettes. (A few of their videos can also be found on YouTube.)

In 2019, as Samara McLendon, she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Working with producer and eventual manager Matt Pierson, she recorded her self-titled debut album while still in college, Samara Joy was released on July 9, 2021, on Whirlwind Recordings. Jazz Times named her Best New Artist for 2021. In an interview, film director Regina King called her "a young woman who seems like Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald are both living in her body."

Pasquale Grasso - Solitude (Official Video) ft. Samara Joy

Samara Joy - Guess Who I Saw Today

Emmet Cohen w/ Samara Joy | I'm Gonna Lock My Heart

Samara Joy x Jason St.Clair EDM "Blessed Assurance"

Samara Joy, Antonio McLendon - O Holy Night (Live Performance)

Sunday, September 03, 2023


La Tomatina is a Fiesta held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol near to Valencia in Spain. Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to participate in this, the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

The following is an edited and slightly amended version of a description of this year's Fiesta taken from the newspaper El Mundo:
The red of 150,000 kilos of tomatoes has coloured the central streets of the Valencian town of Buñol as every last Wednesday in August for 78 years. La Tomatina has once again been festive, international and massive.

The party, whose images go around the world on television and social networks, began at noon, with the slow parade of six trucks loaded with 150 tons of tomatoes -30 more than the figure provided yesterday by the cooperative that supplies them- ripe and juicy, not suitable for consumption but ideal as ammunition in this pitched "battle", in which everyone fights everyone with a clean tomato.

The President of the Generalitat, Carlos Mazón, followed this celebration from the balcony of the City Hall with some 20,000 participants and in which a helicopter and more than 200 Civil Guard agents, in addition to other security forces, have been deployed to monitor and attend to any incident arising from the crowding. Mazón has assured that next year he will go in a swimsuit and will live it from the street.
This year many citizens of India have been seen mobilized by a Bollywood movie, although there were also those from the United States, Australia or Japan, among other nationalities.

For an hour, the tomatoes have "flown" in this "war" that started almost by chance in 1945; in fact nobody really knows how it started, you can take your pick from the many tales as recounted in the Official Website pages below.
They have already started selling tickets for next year's Tomatina which will be on the 28th of August 2024 and you can even book your place for the following year when it will be held on the 27th of August 2025. Details are on the official website here -

Friday, September 01, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The Everly Brothers, by JD

The Everly Brothers were an American country-influenced rock and roll duo, known for steel-string acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing. Consisting of Isaac Donald "Don" Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip "Phil" Jason Everly (January 19, 1939 ), the duo were raised in a musical family, first appearing on radio singing along with their father Ike Everly and mother Margaret Everly as "The Everly Family" in the 1940s. When the brothers were still in high school, they gained the attention of prominent Nashville musicians like Chet Atkins, who began to groom them for national attention.

They began writing and recording their own music in 1956, and their first hit song came in 1957, with "Bye Bye Love", written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. The song hit number 1 in the spring of 1957, and additional hits would follow through 1958, many of them written by the Bryants, including "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have to Do Is Dream", and "Problems". In 1960, they signed with the major label Warner Bros. Records and recorded "Cathy's Clown", written by the brothers themselves, which was their biggest selling single. The brothers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1961, and their output dropped off, though additional hit singles continued through 1962, with "That's Old Fashioned (That's the Way Love Should Be)" being their last top-10 hit.

Everly Brothers International Archive : Brothers in Arms (2005)

The Everly Brothers - Wake Up Little Susie ( 1957 )

The Everly Brothers - Bye Bye Love (Shindig, Nov 18, 1964)

Everly Brothers - Crying In The Rain

Everly Brothers, Silver Haired Daddy of mine

Everly Brothers Country Music Hall of Fame Video

The Everly Brothers - On The Wings Of A Nightingale - Platengala 1984 - 13-10-1984

Saturday, August 26, 2023

AI does Climate Change

 Having just watched (by chance) an old video talk given by Professor Ian Plimer on the Earth's history and the many factors influenceng climate, I asked our robot thinker ChatGPT to do a mini essay:

Itemise and evaluate factors other than carbon dioxide that may affect climate change

Climate change is influenced by a variety of factors beyond carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These factors can have both natural and human-induced origins, and their impacts can either amplify or mitigate the effects of climate change. Here's a list of some important non-CO2 factors:

  • Methane (CH4): Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a much higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 over a short period. It primarily comes from sources like livestock digestion, rice paddies, wetlands, landfills, and fossil fuel production. Addressing methane emissions is crucial as reducing them could provide significant short-term climate benefits.
  • Black Carbon (Soot): Black carbon consists of fine particulate matter emitted from incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels, biomass burning, and industrial processes. It absorbs sunlight, warming the atmosphere and contributing to the melting of snow and ice, thus accelerating the warming of certain regions.
  • Aerosols: Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere that can either reflect sunlight back into space (cooling effect) or absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere (warming effect). They can originate from natural sources like volcanoes or human activities like burning fossil fuels. Aerosols can have complex and sometimes counteracting effects on climate.
  • Land Use Changes: Deforestation, urbanization, and changes in land cover can influence climate by altering the Earth's surface properties. Forests, for instance, act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2, while urban areas with dark surfaces (such as asphalt) absorb more heat, contributing to the "urban heat island" effect.
  • Albedo Effect: Albedo refers to the reflective properties of a surface. Light-colored surfaces, like snow and ice, have a high albedo and reflect sunlight back into space. Dark surfaces, on the other hand, have a low albedo and absorb more heat. Melting ice reduces the planet's albedo, leading to more heat absorption and further warming.
  • Water Vapor: Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and its concentration increases with higher temperatures. While it's not directly controlled by humans, it acts as a feedback mechanism, amplifying the warming effect of other greenhouse gases.
  • Solar Variability: Changes in the sun's output can influence Earth's climate. While variations in solar radiation are relatively small and play a minor role in recent climate change, they have contributed to past climate variations.
  • Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions release aerosols and gases into the atmosphere, which can have both warming (due to greenhouse gases like CO2) and cooling (due to aerosols reflecting sunlight) effects, depending on the type and magnitude of the eruption.
  • Ocean Circulation Patterns: Ocean currents play a significant role in redistributing heat around the planet. Changes in these currents, such as El Niño and La Niña events, can influence regional climates and weather patterns.
  • Industrial and Agricultural Emissions: Besides CO2 and methane, other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural practices and industrial processes also contribute to climate change.
  • Human-made Reflective Surfaces: Urban planning and infrastructure choices can impact local climate through the use of reflective materials that reduce heat absorption.

Evaluating these factors involves considering their magnitudes, lifetimes in the atmosphere, and interactions with other components of the climate system. Addressing non-CO2 factors requires a comprehensive approach to climate policy that goes beyond CO2 reduction strategies.


It missed the Milankovitch (Orbital) Cycles but there's plenty to chew on there.

I liked the talk - and the crack about plate tectonics ridding Australia of New Zealand ('and that's a good thing') and hope to find a cheap copy of his latest book, Green Murder - WOB just sold out.

Friday, August 25, 2023


VOCES8 is a British vocal ensemble originally founded in 2003, and regrouped in 2005, by brothers Paul and Barnaby Smith, both former choristers of Westminster Abbey. For most of its history, the ensemble has contained two sopranos, two countertenors, two tenors, a baritone and a bass. By 2018, one of the countertenors had been replaced by a female alto.

The ensemble has a diverse repertoire including early English and European Renaissance music, traditional folk song, classic jazz, pop and their own arrangements. They have appeared internationally, touring especially in Europe, Asia and North America.

Voces8 are (currently) -

Andrea Haines – First soprano (2008–present)
Molly Noon – Second soprano (2021–present)
Katie Jeffries-Harris – First alto (2018–present)
Barnaby Smith – Second alto/countertenor & Artistic Director (2005–present)
Blake Morgan – First tenor (2016–present)
Euan Williamson – Second tenor (2019–present)
Chris Moore – Baritone (2018–present)
Dominic Carver – Bass (2022–present)

VOCES8: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232: 
Credo: Et In Unum Dominum Jesum Christum

VOCES8: Ave Maris Stella by Edvard Grieg

VOCES8: Sleep by Eric Whitacre

VOCES8: The Deer's Cry - Arvo Pärt

Voktett Hannover & VOCES8: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber)

VOCES8: Miserere Mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri