Mar 18

MRI Scan Symphony

Today I try to describe the sounds heard from the machine when I had my first MRI Scan and ponder the question: Is it music?

I had thought this was going to be a very boring half-hour with nothing to do but keep still and put up with it. I had no idea this would be such an entertaining time.

You may experience a little noise he said.

That was no kind of warning for what happened.

It started off innocuously enough. There were whirring and clicking sounds, something that sounded like a small pump and a little heart beat sound in the background.

It was all really quite relaxing – I may well nod off I thought.

Then more sounds were being introduced, something like in  Mike Oldfields “Tubular Bells”, but without any melody.

After a while it’s beginning to sound like I’m at a gig of some (How shall I put it?) electronic, synthesiser band that’s gone heavy metal.

I am beginning to enjoy this. This is not boring at all. In fact, I am so entertained that I am beginning  to wish I had a recording device so I could play it back at some time.

Then.

BADA BADA BAD DADA BADA BADA BAD DADA

So much for keeping still. I must have jumped six feet.

This goes on for a while but then stops and I get a reprise of the earlier sounds.

There may l have been a new section here but with my bad memory it may well have been some of the earlier sounds again.

It’s just beginning to get slightly boring now, getting a bit repetitive, when sounds start dropping out and it’s not long before I am back outside.

Was it music?

For:

It was entertaining, it sounded to me like music. With a bit of editing you might even get something that people would listen to, maybe, even pay for.

Against:

The only against I can think of at the moment is that it was not written by a human being, just the by-product of a machine doing it’s thing.

If anybody has any views about this, either for or against, I would love to hear from you.

Jul 29

Gandalf’s Fist – A Modern British Prog Rock Band

Prog Rock or , to give it its full title, Progressive Rock had its heyday in the early 1970’s but is still alive and kicking today. Although I was big fan in the original days I haven’t been following it recently so missed the emergence of this band, Gandalf’s Fist, in 2005.

Comprising of Dean Marsh and Luke Severn they hale from Maryport in Cumberland and give their interests as drinking whisky and hunting Orcs.

Signed up to Out of the Box Records they have already released three albums, The Master and the Monkey, Road to Darkness and Songs from the Solway. They are currently in the process of writing their latest album From a Point of Existence.

I love this video – what more does any self-respecting knight need than a dragon to slay and a damsel to rescue.

 

Jun 03

The Devil doesn’t have all the best tunes

This morning I watched Songs of Praise, not a programme I would normally think of seeing, but I was round friends having stayed the night and it was just before the Thames Jubilee Pageant.

Listening to “I Vow to Thee My Country” was very moving and reminded me of the days as a young boy when I was made to to go to church on Sundays. I was bored with the services but enjoyed singing some of the hymns my favourite being “Jerusalem”. God does have some good music.

Also from the show “We Will Stand Together”, was sung brilliantly by the operatic quartet Amore and I also enjoyed the Commonwealth anthem, “Stronger As One”, helped by the fact it was sung by the beautiful student soprano Laura Wright.

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Mar 01

Davy Jones Of The Monkees Dies

I have just heard that yesterday Davy Jones died of a heart attack in Florida at the age of 66.

Although he had been in Coronation Street and played the Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver in both the West End and Broadway, I remember him best as the British member of the Monkees.

The original manufactured boy band, The Monkees were recruited for a television series of the same name that ran for two seasons.

I fondly remember their madcap adventures in the late 1960’s and the music wasn’t too bad either, my all time favourite being Alternate Title.

Ah ha. Just found out that it really was an alternate title. Released in America as Randy Scouse Git it was renamed for the UK release in case it offended Brit sensibilities.

Oct 11

Peter Gabriel New Blood

Peter Gabriel has just released (10 October 2011) his ninth studio album New Blood. The album is an orchestral re-interpretation of some of his greatest hits including San Jacinto, The Rhythm of the Heat, In Your Eyes and Red Rain.

As much as I like the work of Peter Gabriel I shall not be rushing out to buy it. I have never been keen on the orchestral reworking of rock music, the whole idea seems to me to be a bit naff.

Apr 28

In The Beginning

This is the song that started it all: Dancing With The Moonlit Knight from the album Selling England By The Pound by Genesis recorded in 1973.

I never did manage to see Genesis live while Pete Gabriel was in it so I missed all this theatricality.

Lyrics

“Can you tell me where my country lies?”
said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes.
“It lies with me!” cried the Queen of Maybe
– for her merchandise, he traded in his prize.”Paper late!” cried a voice in the crowd.
“Old man dies!” The note he left was signed ‘Old Father Thames’
– it seems that he’s drowned;
selling england by the pound.Citizens of Hope & Glory,
Time goes by – it’s “the time of your life”.
Easy now, sit you down.
Chewing through your Wimpey dreams,
they eat without a sound;
digesting england by the pound.

Young man says “you are what you eat” – eat well.
Old man says “you are what you wear” – wear well.
You know what you are, you don’t give a damn;
bursting your belt that is your homemade sham.

The Captain leads his dance right on through the night
– join the dance…
Follow on! Till the Grail sun sets in the mould.
Follow on! Till the gold is cold.
Dancing out with the moonlit knight,
Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.

There’s a fat old lady outside the saloon;
laying out the credit cards she plays Fortune.
The deck is uneven right from the start;
and all of their hands are playing apart.

The Captain leads his dance right on through the night
– join the dance…
Follow on! A Round Table-talking down we go.
You’re the show!
Off we go with – You play the hobbyhorse,
I’ll play the fool.
We’ll tease the bull
ringing round & loud, loud & round.

Follow on! With a twist of the world we go.
Follow on! Till the gold is cold.
Dancing out with the moonlit knight,
Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.