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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Friday 26 January 2007

New from Cold Blue Music

A couple of noteworthy new releases from the peerless Cold Blue Music:

Michael Fahres's The Tubes: "weaves together the breath-like sounds of the Atlantic Ocean as it strikes tubular volcanic rock formations on the Island of El Hierro (the westermost of the Canary Islands) with the breathy tones of Jon Hassell's trumpet and Mark Atkin's didgeridoo, creating a starkly beautiful study of breath patterns and the sounds of air in tubes".

Charlemagne Palestine's A Sweet Quasimodo Between Black Vampire Butterflies for Maybeck: "a piece for two pianos played simultaneously in a tremolo style that Palestine calls "strumming," a technique that has defined his piano music since the late '60s. It spins out its sonic tapestry in surges and ebbs, and dense sonorities with hypnotically dancing overtones grow from its few opening pitches. This live recording from the Maybeck recital hall also contains Palestine's short comments about his life in California in the '70s and, accompanied by a rubbed brandy snifter, his singing of a few very short "ritual" songs in his unique falsetto vocal style".

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Reader Comments

Friday 26 January 2007

Michael Richards says...

Your music recommendations are as intriguing as your literature posts, but it would be marvellous if you could somehow include music samples on your site or direct us to where they might be found. Someone playing tubular rock formations might produce sounds of rare beauty or a din - it would be great to hear for one's self what they are like.

Readers with an interest in the more inventive use of percussion instruments might be interested to know that there are still a few copies available of Steven Schick's book, The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams. More than just a book about drumming, Schick's writing is as imaginative as his music, and this reasonably priced book from the University of Rochester Press includes a CD with works by Charles Wuorinen, David Lang, Edgard Varese, John Luther Adams, Brian Ferneyhough and Iannis Xenakis.

Friday 26 January 2007

Mark Thwaite says...

Hi Michael,

Yes, streaming some music on RSB would be nice, wouldn't it? I've been thinking about it, but I want to do it right (and well), and it'll take a bit of time to organise. But, in principle, yes.

And thanks for the tip-off to the Schick volume. Looks good.


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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
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