Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fantastic evening last Thursday going to a hearing of Eliane Radigue's work at a church near Bank - an 84-minute piece of deep minimalism in which everyone sat in a circle, eyes closed, concentrating on the music.
Going to the ‘concert’ (in reality a public broadcasting of her work) made me realise that many live gigs are actually the worst places imaginable to concentrate on music: there’s the mobile phones aloft, the toilet queues, the uninterested half-drunk audience at the back drinking Carling beer (the only on offer if it’s the ‘Carling Academy’), the unavoidable sound of someone’s mundane conversation near you…Thursday’s experience offered completely a different experience, where all you could do is concentrate on the oscillation vibrations of the music. Sometimes I think The Luminaire (RIP) were right with those signs telling people who liked to talk in the middle of gigs to go downstairs, as puritanical as it sounded. Thursday achieved a kind of beauty and purity with its hypnotic hour and a half, leaving everyone spellbound and drowsy at the same time by the end. ‘Somnambulant’ I think is the word I’m looking for – but in the right way rather than in the pejorative sense. Now I know what they mean by the phrase 'Deep Listening'.

Me interviewing current indie-pop heavyweights The Pains of Being Pure At Heart on Pennyblackmusic's updated edition this week...fascinating to find that they've played two venues in London that yours truly has also played at (The Betsy Trotwood - officially London's smallest venue - and the Brixton Windmill). When I was (very) young I thought in my naivete that playing these venues meant that you were a guaranteed rock star. How things pan out as you get older...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It may have escaped your notice, but World Oceans Day happened recently, which celebrated...well, I think you can guess what it celebrated, given the title. You only have to go on the Events page to see just how extensive the festivities celebrating awareness of this day were. The oceans of the world are in as much trouble as some of the problems plaguing land, with overfishing and climate warming leading to alarming conclusions from scientists. So I thought I’d play my part by including a song (which you can stream below) on a local compilation which was released celebrating WOD. It’s a cover of The Dirty Three’s Sirena, which featured on their Ocean Songs album (you can hear the original version here). Sirena was a mermaid-like creature in mythology who lured men to the bottom of the sea, never to return. Perhaps less glamorously, the above pictures were taken by me at Brighton Sea Life Centre, in which you can go into a tunnel underwater while various sea creatures float around you.

Sirena by DominicSimpson