Sunday, October 14, 2007


Its been a while since I've been here to update the blog. I could draw out a whole long list of reasons - excuses really - but that would be boring. The last few weeks seem to have flown past in something of a blur, the weeks blending into one long excess of work, work and more work or so it seems on occasion. The weekends, those pleasurable interludes, are just that, fleeting moments of rest and escape when I seem to struggle to find the energy to do anything much, let alone update this blog. So here I am, just before 10pm on a Sunday night, finally summoning some energy to prattle away for a few paragraphs and I am listening just at this moment to one of my favourite pieces of music from The Mission.

I first saw The Mission at school. I am not quite sure why we were watching it but it was part of our Religious Education lessons and all I clearly remember is being completely drawn in by the beautiful and wondrous music. Whenever I am feeling in need of a lift or some inspiration or just a quiet moment of reflection, I can think of nothing better than listening to this soundtrack. As film scores go, it has hardly been bettered in terms of evocative emotions and beauty.

I find often that music will catch me unawares. Like the other evening, I was flicking through channels on the TV and happened to come to a rest on Classic FM TV. The second track I saw was Elegy for Dunkirk from Atonement, which accompanies a breathtaking sweeping shot in the film of the British forces marooned on the beaches of Dunkirk. Again, simply beautiful and moving.

Ironically it is one of my great personal disappointments that although I can be moved to tears by music and find it emotionally exhilarating, I have absolutely no sense of rhythm or timing and can barely string a couple of words together from any song that I like let alone sing it. I wish I could express my love of music in some way more creative rather than passively listening.

I've bought quite a few CD's over the last few weeks, mainly classical and pieces by composers that I've heard over the summer particularly during the Proms. One of my delights was finding a CD of Aaron Copland's Symphony No.3, which I may have mentioned before. I heard this piece at the Proms and it has a rousing final movement, which incorporates Fanfare for the Common Man, an earlier work by Copland that is perhaps one of his most famous compositions. Another composer whose work I heard at the Proms is William Walton and I got a bargain 4-CD set of his work yesterday including some of my favourites - Crown Imperial, Belshazzar's Feast, Symphony No 1 and pieces that I had not heard before like the Cello Concerto and Hindemith Variations.

I started watching Heroes during the catch-up weekend on BBC 2 in September and although I think it is very good, I've found it difficult to keep up with. Mainly because I've been work late quite a few nights a week, I've often missed it or realised the next day that it was on the night before! I made a similar error watching The House of Cards, which was repeated last week on BBC 4. I don't remember watching this when it was first on, maybe I was too young to appreciate it then anyway, but what a great series. A deliciously good performance by Ian Richardson and one which I will always remember him for as the cold, scheming and power-hungry Francis Urquhart. I love the fact that the audience is drawn into his plots and end up rooting for him to succeed.

Anyhows, enough prattling on from me for now. Hopefully I can keep a better check on updating this blog going forward. Just need to be more organised...


Carla said...

good to see you back! have you checked out my new blog??

jamie. said...

how come it seems all my interesting and well-educated friends all rave about that house of cards...? i remember when it was first on telly,but never saw it.