As any visitor will see, my blog progress has been very slow … in fact, non-existent for some time now. The reason/s? There are several: firstly, writing my thesis has absorbed all available writing time and energy. Once I am finished, which will be in the next couple of months (touch wood) I will be … More 2018
January arrived more than two weeks ago, and, until now, I have not written anything for this noble medium. But, this indolent state of affairs will now change. I decided that a decent break from all ‘brain activities’ must take place, coinciding with the Christmas closure of VUW from 23 December-9 January. During those two-and-a-bit … More 2017
We’ve just reached the time of year in New Zealand when arts organisations reveal their programmes for 2017. In the last few weeks, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Orchestra Wellington have launched new seasons. The programmes are ambitious and stimulating, an embarrassment of riches that will bring to audiences a mixture of outstanding local musicians, … More Notes beyond notes
This article by Ellen Boucher (the title is a little bit misleading) has provoked some thoughts. http://chronicle.com/article/It-s-Time-to-Ditch-Our/237530 Firstly, I can see the value of Boucher’s argument, especially for students who are experiencing tertiary education for the first time, the ‘first generation’ in their family to attend an institution of higher education. I can also appreciate … More Deadlines
During a concert on Thursday night, it occurred to me that while we often think about the capacity of beautiful, eloquent, sublime music to move us, it is less often that we eulogise the ability of music to strike cold, stark terror into our minds and bodies. The experience of the ‘heilige Schauer’ is a … More Scary music
You Can’t Go Home Again, the novel that Edward Aswell extracted from from a vast manuscript by the then-dead Thomas Wolfe, is an exhausting read. I spent some time grappling with its proportions on a windy night somewhere near Exeter, lying on a lumpy futon, under some bedclothes that smelled of a compulsive blend … More Can Can’t
Last week, a very great musician and writer of my acquaintance, who is an outstanding musician, teacher, and, of course, writer, said that while she struggled mightily to sit down and write things, she had just discovered that she had to ‘pretend convincingly enough to myself that I don’t care if I’m a bad writer, … More Writing about writing…Oh, must you?
Part I The title of this post is taken from a frequently recurring comment on the grade sheets my pupils received after taking a variety of ABRSM exams this term. Sometimes they ‘attempted dynamic contrast’, sometimes they ‘achieved dynamic contrast’ and one even ‘demonstrated imagination in dynamic contrast.’ Examiners speak in riddles sometimes, but I … More Dynamic contrast
Alas, I’m afraid it is. But probably the only one I’ll do. Every man, woman (actually, it’s mainly women) and their canine pets seems to have a swimming blog, particularly if they are the sorts who rejoice in swimming in unnecessarily cold water, muddy water, brackish water, ice-slush ‘water’, or bodies of water between two … More Please, not another swimming blog
My parents first acquired a VHS machine in, I think, 1990, and one of the first videos we had in the house was Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni. This provided an opportunity for my mother, whose tendencies always lean towards the didactic, to educate her children, then aged about 7 and 15 months, not only about Important Opera, … More Avoiding death in a sack.