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29th March 2003
Saw Vladislav Delay
at the Custard Factory
gallery space, accompanied by groovy visuals.
24th March 2003
Doing a search to see if the Hugh Walpole
quote (1st March) was elsewhere on the web, I came across this: http://www.learningtoloveyoumore.com/reports/14/toby.php
- people who've written their life stories in one day. I've not checked out the whole site, but it appears to be some kind of collaborative arts project.
21st March 2003
Experimental Seafood Records
at The Electric
Got there about 9, and paid the \xA36 to get in. There was a group of 4 people ahead of us who paid, then immediately left. 5 or 6 people were milling around in the lobby, but the screen downstairs looked deserted. I was wondering if the publicity had failed, and whether we'd be the only ones there!
Upstairs, screen 2 was packed. Music was playing and people were chatting. Cans of carling seemed a popular choice.
The 1st set openned with a film, "Gesture" featuring a man in a empty room making various gestures and naming them, using different accents where appropriate. Then the same guy appeared on stage and spoke, telling a story about a stake-out (I think, it was deliberately ambiguous). While his partner generated electronic music in the background. My guess is that the lead guy had spent some time at drama school - he had that air about him. Anyway, this first piece was striking and interesting. Other pieces included an (anti) war song, and included live guitar. I think there was also a 2nd film. Very good.
The next section was Little Robot Voices
. The room was dark, so you couldn't really see the musicians. The film started, and initially I was so entranced, and the music fitted so well that I didn't realise it was live rather than a recorded soundtrack. The film showed very close up footage of insects, doing their insecty things and living their insecty lives. The music had obviously been carefully crafted to accompany the film, and the whole effect was stunning.
The last act I was was Arcade, who played a kind of "Bedroom Electronica" with a lot of hand waving and swaying about. There were some visuals, but there wasn't the same degree of synergy as in the Little Robot Voices
set and the audience didn't seem to be grabbed by it.
19th March 2003
Found this web-counter which shows the Iraqi body count for the forthcoming war http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
Also on a war theme, I watched the South Park
episode "Christmas in Iraq", in which the chirpy children bring christmas cheer to the kids of Iraq (who are "scared we're going to bomb them"). Doubt this one will be airing in repeat form in the near future.
Heard an interesting program on "The Dudley Bug" and the Wren's Nest
in Dudley on Radio 4. The "Dudley Bug" was the Trilobite, a common fossil in the limestone outcrop.
14th March 2003
Did this Guardian quiz ( http://money.guardian.co.uk/work/iqtest/0,1456,589301,00.html
) which aims to tell you if your pay matches your salary. I got 21/25 - I think I messed up some of the shape questions by taking into account the actual shape rather than just the dots/shading, but a couple of them were presented so differently that they couldn't be the "same" shape even though they were iso-morphic. Anyway, the result is: I'm underpaid - well probably, as their graph stops at IQ 108. Not that I put a lot of store by these things.
13th March 2003
Saw The Drowned World
at The Rep Door
. Enjoyed it, acting was good, liked the set. The play itself is a four-hander, set in a future world where the "radiant" are hunted down by the "citizens". Similar in premise to Herbert George Wells
' The Time Machine
and Fritz Lang
's [Metropolis], it benefited by some insight into the motivations of the Citizens, including the intense lonelyness of non-radient. Don't know the playwright's name, but a very interesting piece. Verdict: not a date movie.
12th March 2003
Saw Richard Herring
doing his show "Talking Cock" at The Glee Club
. I remember RH from his days with Lee And Herring
, including their brilliant "Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World". Richard's writing input into the partnership was clear from this show.
playing at The Jug Of Ale
9th March 2003
Heard BEAST at the CBSOCentre, talking about their experimental 80 speaker sound system, showing new methods of controlling sound (replaying the old "diffusion" method which used faders and - OMG - wires rather than digits). A few pieces were performed too.
One of the things which strikes me about most of this type of music is the very small repertoire of sounds which are used. Given that you can get any sound you want from a computer, it seems very strange. The piece which was most original was the last one, by two research students or RAs, who were moving more towards electronica. There was also an interesting piece using live Cello.
8th March 2003
Went to The MAC
for the film The Revenger's Tragedy, followed by a Q&A session with the screen writer. The film is based on the play by Thomas Middleton
, written (I think) in 1666. Set in a modern/futuristic liverpool, it blends dark humour with even darker tragedy. Music by Chumbawumba (though just snippets really).
3rd March 2003 (London)
Currently breakfasting in Cafe Amici
on the corner of Kingsway and Aldwych. I've been here before but didn't know the name - not bad. It's a good place to sit and breakfast. You can sit and watch the world go by, and the coffee has free refills.
2rd March 2003 (London)
Saw Robyn Hitchcock
at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
. The concert was linked in to his 50th Birthday, which is on the 3rd. It was an all seated venue, with great acoustics, and the sound quality in the 1st half was particularly good. For more info see the Robyn Hitchcock
on Waldour St.
1st March 2003 (London)
Re read The Man Who Could Work Miracles
by Herbert George Wells
, great little story, which H.G. selected for "My Best Story", a collection published in 1929. Also in this is Mr Oddy
by Hugh Walpole
, which I read for the first time today. It contains the following bit of dialogue which I thought reminicent of Oscar Wilde
or Dorothy Parker
. All you need to know is that Tommy is in the flush of youth and Mr Oddy a good deal older.
"And did she love you," Tommy asked eagerly, "as much as you loved her?"
"Nobody, my dear boy," Mr Oddy replied, " loves you as much as you love them; either they love you more or they love you less. The first of these is often boring, the second always tragic."
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