Friday, 31 July 2009

Saturday 1st August 2009

OK, so why is this post up when it's only July 31st?

Well, the post will doubtless be expanded on Sunday, but I shall be unable to post tomorrow night. Thought you might like to know Y Not!! Following the link will explain!


OK, here I am, a couple of days late, but catching up now. Here's the full list of what my ears heard on Saturday:

In the car on the way to Derbyshire for the Y-Not Festival:
Reverend & The Makers - The State of Things
The Boxer Rebellion - Union
Pendulum - In Silico

At the Festival (check out the link above if you need more detail on the bands):
Rugosa Nevada
Cara Roxanne
[Drumming by Zambula as part of a workshop]
The Moutown Project
Max Raptor
This Town Needs Guns
Bombay Bicycle Club*
The Boxer Rebellion* (FANTASTIC)
Noah & The Whale

Personal highlights for me are *d. Really enjoyed everything we heard though. Seriously muddy day - I was very glad we'd decided not to camp and to drive up to my Mum's house in Yorkshire for the night! Great day though. The Boxer Rebellion, who we'd gone to see, were in great form - I even totally forgot that I was up to my ankles in mud during their set. I'm hoping to get time to write up the whole experience on my main blog soon.

As far as The Wonderspouse & I can remember, The Boxer Rebellion setlist ran thus:
Flashing Red Light Means Go
We Have This Place Surrounded (in its customary third position)
These Walls Are Thin
All You do is Talk
Semi-Automatic (my personal fave)

In the car on the way to my Mum's:
Radiohead - The Best of
Kasabian - Start of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Some day for the ears!

Friday 31st July 2009

Rather nice to end a month on a Friday, feels like everything's finishing at once. In fact, I feel pretty much finished now - disc of our book goes to the publisher tomorrow, maths assignment gone to my tutor, car MOT done for another year.

Yes, sorry, get on with the ears!

OK, in the car on the way to work this morning:
Nirvana - Nirvana (a perennial fave)

At work on the iPlayer, from the Proms:
Berlioz - Overture Benvenuto Cellini, La Mort de Cleopatre
Mendelssohn - "Hymn of Praise"
(ah, Mendelssohn. My relationship with Mendelssohn is slightly complicated. At one stage in my life I was going to become the world's Mendelssohn expert. Hmmm! My relationship with this piece is even more complicated - I had to sing the soprano solo part in it in a concert one night for my ex-boyfriend, who had subsequently become my music teacher. I REALLY didn't want to be there because I wanted to be at a dinner in Oxford getting very drunk. Ho hum, such is life.)

So, I set off on my constitutional without Mendelssohn, but with:
Pendulum - In Silico
(just wonderful. VERY happy walk. Memories of a fabulous gig last November).

Then back to the iPlayer and, following a link from a tweep:
Ravel - Serenade Grotesque (from Composer of the Week)

Then checking out my facebook inbox, a message led me to:
which was the most disturbing thing I've heard in a long time. Much stranger than Mendelssohn by FAR!

In the car on the way home:
The Kills - Midnight Boom (playing this leads to an extremely happy Wonderspouse)
Reverend & The Makers - The State of Things

At home, my newly arrived, signed by Rev, CD had arrived:
Reverend & The Makers - French Kiss in the Chaos.

So there you are! Today's ears.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Thursday 30th July 2009

Well, it's been a long day, working on a maths assignment. While my brain & hands have been busy, my ears have kept themselves entertained with:

In the car, taking Wonderspouse to & from the bus:
Janacek - String Quartet No.1 First Movement

At my desk this morning:
Reger - Suites for Solo Viola
Bach - Solo Cello Suites, arranged for Viola

Mozart Piano Concertos from No.14 onwards, all through the afternoon.

James Rhodes CD - Bach, Beethoven, Chopin etc. as previously described.

After supper, while copying up:
Muse - Black Holes and Revelations.

I couldn't actually get through days like today without a constant soundtrack. I'm hopeless at working in silence. The music is an essential part of the enterprise.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Wednesday 29th July 2009

A different day from yesterday for the ears today:

Car music:
Smetana - String Quartet No. 2
Bruckner - Symphony No. 7

Home music:
Reger - Viola Sonata, Romance, & Suites for Solo Viola

That's it! Pretty short post really!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tuesday 28th July 2009

Not a very musicy sort of a day I'm afraid. The rest of me has been so busy that my ears have been somewhat neglected.

However, they did get fed in the car:

On the way to work:
Noah & The Whale - Peaceful The World Lays Me Down

On the way home from work:
The Dead Weather - Horehound

While driving to collect the Wonderspouse from a semi-distant place (he got on the wrong bus tonight):
Elbow - Seldom Seen Kid

On my phone this morning while on my walk:
The Boxer Rebellion - Union

So that's it really. Terribly terribly busy, at work, sorting out life, doing maths. Poor ears, bit of a slow day for them. Will make it up to them soon.

However, they are delighted to hear that they now have 3 followers! Thank you!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Monday 27th July 2009

Grrr. Something has made me very frustrated & cross just now, which is no state in which to type up today's ears, but maybe the ears will calm me down.

Today's car music (for driving Wonderspouse to and from the bus stop):
Radiohead - In Rainbows

At home this morning:
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Mozart - String Quartets K464, 465, 387, 421, Divertimenti K136, 137, 138

On Grooveshark, recommended by tweep @5357311:
Ultra Vivid Scene - Mercy Seat

Mozart - Piano Concertos from No.14 onwards.

Interrupted briefly to listen to:
Ligeti - Viola Sonata
Reger - Various bits of viola music on You Tube

Then back to:
Mozart - Piano Concertos (still going, and continuing until sleep time I expect).

Listen to Mozart, keep calm, do not allow myself to be frazzled.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday 26th July 2009

Been quite a sparse day today listwise:

This morning:
Schubert - 'Unfinished' Symphony
Beethoven - Symphony No.3

This afternoon:
Muse - Showbiz
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (on repeat, still going).

Remarks - listened to Beethoven 3 again because a facebook friend had put it second from bottom on her Beethoven number. Grrr!

Kasabian. Love. Kasabian. Love.
Before this album came out I was seriously worried because I adored the first two so much. Thought it couldn't possibly be as good. But now:
Kasabian. Love. Kasabian. Love.
How did I ever live before West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Saturday 25th July 2009

First, a confession, listened to a bit more music after posting last night. Not much, because I fell asleep, but I did hear Oasis doing Champagne Supernova at the i-tunes festival. Just thought I should mention it for completeness's sake!

OK, now down to today's business.

First thing this morning I settled down with:
Morton Feldman - The Viola in My Life (just got the sheet music to number 3, new project)

Then, since it's all now available I downloaded & listened to:
Muse - United States of Eurasia

After breakfast I returned to the Beethoven (see yesterday's post):
Beethoven - Symphony No.6
Beethoven - Symphony No.8

Then the postman arrived, bringing my newly ordered CD:
James Rhodes - razor blades, little pills, big pianos (Bach French Suite 5, Beethoven Op.90, Chopin Ballade No.4, Bach/Busoni Chaconne, Moszkowski Etincelles Op.35/6, Bach/Siloti B Minor Prelude).

If you do not know James Rhodes, I'd thoroughly recommend this. How to be sensitive AND exciting all at once. I love his interpretations. Great disc! How fabulous it arrived on a day when I was able to listen to it properly.

After lunch:
Mozart - Quintet K614, Quartets K458 & K428

In the car on the way to see XH558 (Vulcan) arrive at Brize Norton:
Horrors - Primary Colours (end)
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Radiohead - In Rainbows (start)

Back home:
Bach - French Suite No.5 (James Rhodes disc again)

On TV tonight, the Prom:
Elgar - Overture "Cockaigne"
Delius - The Song of the High Hills
Holst - The Planets

I think that's it for today. If there's anything else goes on tonight, I'll report back tomorrow. Think the plan is to go to bed with the TV on though - and it's not music stuff tonight!! Do hope you're enjoying all this!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Friday 24th July 2009

Wow, it's been quite a day. Deep breath, here goes:

Car to work this morning:
Green Day - American Idiot

At work, on iPlayer, while filing invoices:
Mahler 9, Prom from Monday, LSO, Haitink *YOU MUST LISTEN THIS WEEKEND - GORGEOUS*

On phone, while walking:
Handel - Dixit Dominus & Nisi Dominus (very old faves of mine)

Then the twitter "Beethoven number" thing started. The idea being that you have a "Beethoven number", which is the numbers of your fave-least fave Beethoven symphonies lined up in order (easier to explain when you haven't been on the beer, as I have now).

Copy from earlier facebook post:
Been playing a slightly mad "game" on twitter today. Loads of musical tweeps have been discussing their "Beethoven number" (put all symphonies in order, fave first, decreasing faveness) that's it! Mine is currently 396457812, but I've decided it's a variable rather than a constant! Been fierce debate about 9!! Twitter can be HILARIOUS sometimes!

So, my Beethoven number is 396457812 (although I still maintain it is a variable, not a constant).

Having established no Beethoven symphonies were installed on my phone, I found:
Beethoven 7 - on iPlayer. Kleiber :)
Was followed by Arvo Part - Fratres (violin & piano version)

Then to friend's house for lunch, accompanied by:
Vaughan Williams - Wasps (Radio 3)

Then watching slideshow made by my friend - music was:
Bach - Goldberg variations opening
Bach - St Anne Prelude (piano trans) opening

Then a drive home to:
The Horrors - Primary Colours (hope I can hear them live someday)

Once home, it was back to Beethoven:
Beethoven 9
Beethoven 3 (followed by Grosse Fuge)

Quite a day really. DO listen to the Mahler if you can. It's GORGEOUS.
And Beethoven 3 is definitely top of my list!

Oh, and a celebration for "A Year With My Ears"! My ears have received their first comment and now have a follower. They're chuffed to bits with this news. If I could waggle them I would, but I'll probably just give them a bit more Beethoven tomorrow as a treat!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Thursday 23rd July 2009

Car listening today:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz

This morning was Schubert, more Schubert, then the same Schubert again:
String Quintet
Piano Trios

This afternoon:
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (played loud to drown out sound of neighbour's kid playing football)

Later on:
Allegri Miserere, Tallis Spem in Alium, Other assorted works by Tallis, Gibbons etc.

This evening:
Mozart String Quintet in D Major K593

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Wednesday 22nd July 2009

Back to work today, here's the soundtrack:

Way to work in the car:
Elbow - Seldom Seen Kid (nice, uplifting & calming - is it embarrassing to like Elbow? I do)

Mid-morning walk (listened from phone):
Dvorak - Symphony No. 5

Way home from work:
The Killers - Hot Fuss

At Home:
Schoenberg - Verklaerte Nacht, Variations Op. 31 (two of my FAVES)
Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition, Rimsky Korsakov - Capriccio Espanol
Strobegirl - New song on Reverbnation - Beating for you

Mussorgsky again to finish!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tuesday 21st July 2009

Another slightly odd day. I've been in a strange mood all day because I'm going back to work tomorrow after a month off sick. Been strangely distracted and not really able to settle.

Ears got slightly sparse rations of:

The Streets - Swine Flu song (downloaded from tweeted link from @skinnermike) 3 times!

The Streets - Everything is Borrowed (The Album, not just the song)

Reverend & The Makers - Tracks from A French Kiss in the Chaos, played on

Elbow - Seldom Seen Kid (in the car).

Is my lack of listening a result of my edginess, or is my edginess the result of a lack of listening? Hmmmm!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Monday 20th July 2009

Ah, that's better, the ears are getting well fed again!

This morning in the car:
Chopin - Piano Concerto No.1 1st Movement

At home:
Mozart - Piano Sonatas 1, 7, 10, 14, 16, 6, 9, 18.
Noah & The Whale - Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (x3)

In the car on the way out:
Chopin - Piano Concerto No.1 Complete

While out waiting:
Bit of Shostakovich Viola Sonata (on my phone).

In the car on the way home:
The Dead Weather - Horehound

At home:
The Streets - Everything is Borrowed
The Streets - Think Think Think (@skinnermike & @tedmayhem both tweeted the link tonight - such COOL peeps)
Messaien - First 6 (so far) of Vingt Regards (link tweeted by @MessaienProject - thanks)

1. I love having loads of music on my phone.
2. The Streets write the BESTEST lyrics - so cool!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday 19th July 2009

A very quiet day today:

Beethoven - "Spring" and "Kreutzer" Sonatas (Violin & Piano)
Shostakovich - Viola Sonata

That's it! Watched a lot of Golf, so not much listening! Sorry!

Saturday 18th July 2009

Sorry didn't manage to post last night. Here's what I listened to yesterday:

In the car on the way to my friend's house:
The Kills - Midnight Boom

In the car with my friend on the way to Fairford RIAT:
Beethoven Late Piano Sonatas

In the car on the way home from Fairford & back to mine:
Schubert Early Symphonies

The best noise that reached my ears yesterday was the beautiful music made by the engines of Avro Vulcan XH558. What a wonderful sound. A sound I thought I'd never hear again. Thanks to everyone at Vulcan To The Sky!

And before you all rush and tell me that nothing is better than Beethoven, I've had plenty of opportunities to listen to Beethoven in the last 15 years, but the engine noise of a Vulcan has been absent from my life!!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Friday 17th July 2009

Oh crumbs, how to remember today.

Started this morning with the Vivaldi Lute & Mandolin Concertos again.

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Radiohead - Amnesiac
The Cure - Greatest Hits
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
The Horrors - Primary Colours
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

In the car on the way to the Vet:
Nirvana - Nirvana
(it is, of course, well known that the best way to calm stressed cats is to play Kurt Cobain singing "Rape Me" loudly at them!!)

This evening:
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.3 (last movement)
Poulenc Concerto for 2 Pianos
Bruckner Psalm 150
(all from the first night of the Proms - fitted round other things to do tonight - but will be watching the whole concert as soon as possible).

Ooh, nice bit of Organ Music played by Simon Preston!
He's a very jolly chap - met him at an organ recital that he gave in ChCh last year. When the friend I was with introduced me, he said "Oh, I've heard all about YOU".
Crumbs - my past catcheth up with me!!! I had a slightly mis-spent youth!!!

Having to add a bit more:
As far as they've given us so far Muse - United States of Eurasia (from The Resistance). MORE PLEASE!!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Thursday 16th July 2009

Well, in between all sorts of other goings on today, the following music has entered my ears:

In the car this morning while driving Wonderspouse to bus, and driving to my neighbour's doctor:
Blur - Midlife

At home, while at my desk:
Radiohead - The Bends (Still my fave Radiohead Album)

Spicing things up a bit:
Ligeti - Grand Macabre (earlier version) Disc 1

Downloaded from their website:
Reverend & The Makers - Professor Pickles (New album French Kiss in the Chaos out July 27th I believe - yippeeee!)

In the car driving to my friend's house & home again:
Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
Nirvana - Nirvana

At home, at my desk, being peaceful & refined:
Vivaldi - Concertos for lute, lute & viola d'amore, mandolin, 2 mandolins, etc.

Haven't yet had my bath, but I have music lined up ready:
Shostakovich - Viola Sonata.

A pretty busy day for the ears. A pretty mad day for me. Actually, feeding stuff into the ears really helps me to cope with whatever life throws at me. That's probably why I keep doing it. Such a good job that one's ears don't get obese, no matter how much you feed them. If they did, mine would be enormous!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Wednesday 15th July 2009

This morning I finally got to some Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique.
London Classical Players with Roger Norrington. Brings back great memories as he did a several day workshop when I was playing with the orchestras at the RAM. Very interesting orchestral layout - the violas all in a "horizontal" line across the middle!!

Then I had Mozart - Symphonies 38, 39, 40, 41. Old friends of mine :)

Then Steve Reich - Different Trains & Electric Counterpoint.

Then Black Christmas by Stuart Estell (one of my tweeps @5357311), downloaded from his site a while back. This is real black on black with a black background stuff. I'm going to save it to listen to when I'm going bezerk at Christmas time with all the nonsense that pertains at that time of year. Thanks Stuart.

Then Radiohead - In Rainbows
and another outing for The Dead Weather - Horehound.

Don't tell me I don't feed my ears a varied diet!!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Tuesday 14th July 2009

A very quiet day for the ears. Been so tired that I've spent vast swathes of time asleep, so listened very little.

This morning, at my desk:
Chopin Piano Concertos & Other stuff for piano & orchestra.

The Dead Weather - Horehound (this is GOOD - Wonderspouse bought yesterday - he has a thing for Alison Mosshart!!!)

In the car driving to & from the bus stop as Wonderspouse's taxi service:
Bits of Blur Midlife.

Shocking really. I was going to listen to some Berlioz for Bastille Day - thought about Harold in Italy, but finding the tape seemed too hard. I really should get a CD or MP3 of it some day!! The will was there, maybe the energy will be tomorrow.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Monday 13th July 2009

Still going - this is almost the longest diary I've ever kept!

This morning, at my desk:

Mendelssohn - Piano Concertos 1&2, Prelude & Fugue Op35/1, Variations Serieuses, Rondo Capriccioso.

Reverend and The Makers - The State of Things (going to see them in the Autumn :))

The Boxer Rebellion - Union. Precious CD, tour edition, signed by the band!

Russian Music - Borodin Polovtsian Dances, Rimsky-Korsakoff Russian Easter Overture, Mussorgsky Night on a Bare Mountain, Rimsky-K Capriccio Espagnol.

In the car while going to friend's house and back:
Nirvana - Nirvana
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Blur - Midlife (first few songs).

At home:
Bartok String Quartets 3, 5, and 6. Alban Berg Quartet
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 (only part, supper was ready, will resume tomorrow).

In the bath:
Kraftwerk - The Man Machine.

Been quite a busy day for the ears!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sunday 12th July 2009

Today's listening:

Mendelssohn Piano Trios Op.49 & Op.66. Raphael Trio.
I'd forgotten how wonderful the first movement of Op.66 is!

Shostakovich Violin Sonata Op.134 & Viola Sonata Op.147
I LOVE Shostakovich. Not sure the Wonderspouse did - he closed his study door 5 minutes in! Maybe he was just trying to concentrate?

T in the Park sets on the BBC iPlayer:
Franz Ferdinand
Kings Of Leon
The View

In the car on the way to collect Chinese Takeaway:
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (from West Ryder Silver Bullet onwards).

While relaxing in a leisurely bath this evening:
Monteverdi 1610 Vespers.

The ears report that they have had a pretty good day!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Saturday 11th July 2009

Today my ears have enjoyed:

Kasabian - Kasabian
Kasabian - Empire
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
(on the way to Devon in the car).

Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
Muse - Absolution
Muse - Origin Of Symmetry
(on the way home from Devon in the car).

Beethoven Symphony No.5
Beethoven Symphony No.7
(Carlos Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic).

Kasabian "live" on Jonathan Ross on Radio 2 - by iPlayer.

Plus there's been a bit of rather less enjoyable thudding from a wedding going on in the village. Too loud to ignore completely, not loud enough to hear properly! Ho hum!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Friday 10th July 2009

Today's listening has been quite mild after last night's Oasis gig at Wembley Stadium. Ears have been digesting amazing sets by Reverend & The Makers, The Enemy, KASABIAN, and Oasis!

Palate cleanser this morning:
Allegri Miserere, Tallis Spem in Alium & assorted choral works by Gibbons, Purcell, Weelkes, Byrd and their pals.

In the car on the way to the butcher:
Kasabian - Kasabian

This afternoon on repeat play:
Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Comment: Kasabian are the best band on the planet.

A Year With My Ears!

Today is my birthday, which is great, because I get to eat cake, and I like cake! However, since I have recently become a bit of a blogger, I thought I would celebrate this birthday with a new blog.

I’ve already got a blog, which most of you have probably been reading. That blog is about many and various things. It is written in paragraphs with full sentences, and is already assuming a life of its own. This blog will be a bit different.

It was partly inspired by the tweets of many of my twitter folk. I follow quite a lot of musicians because I like music, and they often tweet about what they are listening to. Sometimes this gives me ideas of things I’d like to listen to. Sometimes I listen to things on links they send me.

It was also inspired by the website of a new tweep of mine @whatkatiewore, which I discovered through my wonderful tweep @strobegirl. The website is fabulous: Katie is on a mission to wear a different outfit every day for a year, and her boyfriend takes a picture of her wearing the outfit and writes a paragraph about it.

I love this idea, but I’m afraid a blog about my outfits might be SERIOUSLY dull. Many days I just stick on a pair of jeans and an old t-shirt (today’s attire is a pair of jogging bottoms and a Red Nose Day 1999 t-shirt (and that’s one of the more youthful members of my wardrobe). Even my creative husband would struggle to make interesting words out of most of what I wear!

However, I do listen to A LOT of music. And it’s generally quite varied music. So I’m going to invite you all to spend “A Year With My Ears”. I shall make no attempt to write any further posts in paragraphs (unless I really feel I want to – the beauty of having a blog is that I can break my own rules if I like). I shall TRY to post every day, although there will be times when I am unable to post and I shall have to catch up later.

If you’re very lucky, my ears will have a fantastically interesting year and you’ll have something new to look at (and maybe listen to) every day. I don’t promise to provide detailed information about my listening, but I’ll try to include everything I hear on CD or MP3, on the radio (which I listen to quite a lot at work), in the car (where I constantly listen to music), or even on the TV (watching concerts and that sort of thing – I’m not going to mention hearing the theme tune to Eastenders 4 nights a week)!!!

If you’re less lucky then I might run out of steam, make only patchy entries and have to abandon the project before my next birthday (hope that won’t happen). Or worse, I’ll spend 4 solid months listening to one CD as I did a few years ago. In case you’re interested, it was a disc set of Bach Piano Transcriptions made by Rummel with which I became completely and utterly obsessed. The ever patient Wonderspouse spent every car journey for 4 months listening to 25 tracks, and was, I think, quite relieved when I moved on to pastures new!

Welcome to “A Year With My Ears!” Enjoy!!