Martin Simpson’s New Album

Topic Records has given us a teasing glimpse of the new album by Martin Simpson. It’s certainly grabbed my interest at a time when my interest in Music generally is waning!

Here’s the preview below:

Advertisements

Next…

I thought that I might start taking my time and make a proper effort with the blog. Perhaps re-organise and give all posts a structure and may be even rename – take out the ‘Music’ from the title as it’s as much about books (and children’s in particular) as is it about Music.

Thoughts?

 

Photograph of meself on the North Yorkshire Moors.
‘Tis I, on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Terry Pratchett

Crivens! It was “Wintersmith” what done it!

Wintersmith
Photograph of the cover of Terry Pratchett’s “Wintersmith”. Illustration by Paul Kidby copyright 2006.

As I’ve stated elsewhere, I’m late to the joyous party that is the writings of Terry Pratchett. I’ve just completed reading his third Tiffany Aching novel and he has leapt into  the distinguished company that is my favourite authors. Notably, he is the first male author I have included. He sits with Rosemary Sutcliff, Philipa Pearce, Joan Aiken and Ursula K Le Guin (as I said – ‘distinguished company‘).

Like Le Guin, Pratchett is able to stage epic battles that are fought and won without bloodshed or with very little bloodshed (the way that Tiffany Aching deals with the Wintersmith is a fine example) and he writes about the finiteness of human existence with rare beauty and a certain kind of poetry (the passing of Granny Weatherwax in “The Shepherd’s Crown” is beyond simply moving). And he loves people but hates injustice, that is crystal clear.

Tiffany Aching is a heroine very much in the mould of Joan Aiken’s Dido Twite though far more introspective with her first, second and third thoughts to guide how she acts and reacts. As a Pratchett witch, she constantly puts the welfare of others before her own and strives to learn from each action she takes, often putting aside a response until she has considered alternatives . My kind of protagonist!

Of course, TP spins the narrative with many puns asides and much social commentary. I love the way has footnotes augment the main text.- my particular favourite is *’Werk’… (page 340 of my edition). He has the uncommon ability to create characters that are engaging and complex and this is true equally of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

I’m continually struck by the cinematic and visual quality of Pratchett’s storytelling. He must have imagined these novels as moving pictures, surely!

I have two more Tiffany Aching novels to read – the second and the fourth and then it’s back to the main Discworld novels for me!

But first… I shall treat myself to a reread of “Wee free Men” and “Wintersmith”… you can’t have too much of a good thing.

 

 

 

UKLG notes

Thanks to calmgrove, I’m seriously considering a series of pictures (and perhaps music) inspired by the writings of Ursula K Le Guin. I thought I might share some of the notes I’ve been taking from “A Wizard of Earthsea“. Apologies for the untidiness, handwriting never was my forte.

hi_res_scans082
Picture of vocabulary from “Wizard of Earthsea”. Copyright Ursula K Le Guin.

hi_res_scans083

Also, this from the UKLG website, looks fascinating (though, as always, I’m somewhat late for the party): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arwencurry/worlds-of-ursula-k-le-guin

Photos @ The Chapel

I didn’t take a lot of photos at last night’s Tony McManus gig – it always seems a shame to spoil other people’s enjoyment by setting off a flash and the internet is populated with thousands (if not more) of pictures of gigs. It’s a wonder that any artist can make a living when there are so many photographs and videos available. I did ask Tony and the concert organisers permission before I snapped away.

The photographs are:

Tony’s set up before the concert started (It was great to get close enough to see the signature PRS).

The inside of the venue (beautiful chapel, well maintained).

Tony signing my copy of “Mysterious Boundaries” in the interval (Bought three CDs and had three in mind).

Tony tuning up before the second set began (I just took this to have a picture of Tony with an instrument in his hands).

A brilliant night, I can’t believe there was an audience of just 49 (I counted them), has nobody in south Wales heard of this VERY talented man?

 

Tony McManus John Mann’s

The first in a fantastic set of videos from Tony McManus filmed at John Mann’s guitar vault. There’s some hilarious playing later in the series with “Stairway to Heaven” played in various styles, some groan worthy jokes and demonstrations of SE guitars plus a very special guest for a duet. Downside is the constant talking of the audience – they wouldn’t put up with it in any venue in my locality!

I’m hoping to get my ticket for this Thursday’s concert in Abergavenny, Wales, UK later today.