Filed under music history

Writing Non Fiction

Writing Non Fiction

Writing fiction or non fiction requires the ability to get inside a story, and inside the heads of characters. But non fiction has to go further – it has to be checkable, you need to protect yourself from challenges. But the process of research and writing can change you for the better. I am a … Continue reading

Aida versus Political Correctness

Last week the papers ran yet another story that makes me fear for the future of this country. A student production of Aida has been cancelled due to charges of “cultural appropriation’, as the leading roles were likely to be played by white actors. The production was not to be the original, by Verdi, but … Continue reading

Jews and Slave Trading

Jews and Slave Trading

The British Labour party seems to be ripping itself apart on a number of levels, one of which involves the matter of anti-semitic comments. Jackie Walker, vice chair of Momentum, the group that supports its present leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Momentum, made some comments that were deemed offensive, and was suspended for claiming Jewish people financed … Continue reading

Social Mobility by English Rock Stars

The music business has long been seen as a means for poor people to make a living, but in the late 1960s/early 70s there were some truly stellar rises by the few fortunate enough to become famous.  The following snippets come from Dominic Sandbrook’s book The Great British Dream Factory: Bill Wyman had grown up in … Continue reading

Bowies Eyes

Bowies Eyes

One of the most famous aspects of one of the world’s most famous men, was that David Bowie had different coloured eyes, a peculiarity that set well with his unique life, that marked him physically different to the rest of us mere mortals. This week, a koala with different coloured eyes, caused by a rare … Continue reading

Origins of Mechanical Music

Origins of Mechanical Music

I’ve been trawling through my archives, unearthing scraps of paper with indecipherable scribblings on them, but found one that got me thinking. This is a bit of a rambling post, (no surprise there?) so please bear with me. This comes from Humphrey Jennings’ Pandaemonium 1660-1886 The Coming of the Machine as seen by Contemporary Observers. … Continue reading

The New Gypsy Kings

This is a documentary by Liviu Tipurita investigating the rise of a new form of Roma music in Romania called manele. Romania is home to a large population of Roma, which he claims have an 80% unemployment rate. They are denied access to banks, so have to rely on loan sharks when they need extra … Continue reading

Octagon Chapel Bath – Update

This chapel was the first subscription chapel in England. William Herchell was organist there and his sister was in the choir. It is one of he most beautiful Georgian buildngs in Bath, but when the Royal Photographic Society moved out it struggled to find new purpose, especially after the main street entrance was sold for … Continue reading