My last post was about going to WOMAD, and since then I’ve been thinking about why I like festivals so much, especially ones like WOMAD, in fact, especially WOMAD.
A lot of UK festivals are just too big for me. I like smaller festivals like WOMAD where I can wander around easily and go from one stage to another quite quickly. That’s one of the things I love about festivals I can check out lots of different acts during the course of a day and stay for 5 minutes or watch the whole show.
It is like a kind of musical buffet where I sample some things and don’t get on with them, and others I have to eat the lot. If you know what I mean.
In some ways this goes against what I’d said before about listening and consuming music. I guess that this buffet approach to must is further along the consumer path then the dedicated listen. However, in many ways it is different from that argument.
I always enjoy coming away from WOMAD with a few new things to listen to, and this year they were.
The first time I saw The Portico Quartet was at WOMAD a few years ago. They were amazing and made a really big impression. Of course, now they’re no longer the Portico Quartet, and they’re just Portico, which is fine. Their music is quite different now, but I still like it. However, for me I…
Another great memory from WOMAD days was of Nouvelle Vague. I went to see them in the Big Red Tent and thought they were amazingly good fun. I subsequently bought quite a lot of their tracks. I say their tracks, of course for the most part they are covers, but what excellent covers they are.…
As I was thinking about WOMAD I started remembering some of the high points over the years and I thought I’d share them. One such high point was when WOMAD was back in Reading, before it moved to Charlton Park in Wiltshire. I remember seeing Mitsoura for the very first time there. They were amazing.…
I wasn’t able to spend the whole weekend at WOMAD this year, I was only able to go for the day this year. Which was ok. The weather was pretty awful on the Friday, so the Saturday was a good option in the end. So as always here’s the obligatory photo of the flags. I…
I think I’ve been going for about 10 years now, so in some ways it would be a shame not to go, but the line up isn’t inspiring me this year, which is a shame. I’m thinking about it, but not convinced as yet. I may just go for the day. I’ve done that a…
They only released two albums and the last was a long time ago. Dura Dura Dura (their last album) was excellent as was their first album but it’s been years since they did anything. It’s a shame. I wish they’d done more. I’ve checked their site occasionally and there’s never anything new. I suppose it’s…
This was a great talk from Mr Ware from Heaven 17. I really enjoyed it, he had some great insights into the development of synths since the 1970s. Of course it wasn’t for everyone, but I thought it was awesome, especially as synth 20 was an OP-1!
I felt compelled to get this nice little box set at WOMAD this year. I’ve got quite a lot of the tracks already, but it’s really well put together and it came with a load of bits and pieces like postcards and stuff, most of which have actually survived the weekend and trip home. I…
It’s become a bit of an annual thing really. Whenever these three are at WOMAD some sort of live open mic thing must be done. It’s always fun and it always involves me doing some kind of electronic thing. This time on my iPhone and also on a Kaossilator 2 as well. I enjoyed it…
I go every year and love WOMAD, but, not in the rain, and this time around it rained and rained and rained. It was a shame as the day had started really well. But by 9pm it was wet, muddy and cold. I hope it’s better next year.
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As many of you who are reading this will know, I am a big fan of mobile music technology. It gives you the ability to do so much on the move and take so much with you on the go too. I still have an iPod classic with my entire music library on it and that’s great to be able to take with me wherever I go.
But there is a downside though. Often I find myself flicking through my music library in the same way as you might flick through TV channels. There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing it all, but it does change the way we listen to music, and in my opinion, it moves along the line from listening to consuming.
Of course, there are now a vast array of services to help us do just that, from iTunes, to Spotify and lots more, and whilst lots of these services are great for discovering new music they do push us along this line from listening to consuming.
This was brought home to me a little while ago when a friend asked me over to play some of my vinyl. I hadn’t just sat and listened to an album for a long time. Sure, I’d had an album on while I was out, or while I was working or generally doing something else, but not just sat and listened to the music. I found the experience liberating.
It made me realise that I do consume music most of the time and I don’t really actively listen a great deal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a soundtrack to my day whether I’m working, driving, walking through town etc. But the experience of just sitting still and absorbing music as an active participant rather than as a passive consumer is one that I rarely take part in.
As a result I started to think about ways of adjusting the balance back from consumption to listening. It made me think of book clubs. where people read and discuss a book at great length. It made me wonder if such a thing existed for music.
I think it would be wonderful to go to a sound club, or a music club where the point was to listen to a piece or an album once a month then get together and discuss it in great detail.
I’ve no idea if such a thing exists, but I hope it does.
I already have this album, I got it when it first came out, but when I heard that Steve Jansen was selling off the last remaining stock and signing them I thought I ought to buy it again. It’s always lovely to have a signed copy of things and this album especially so. I hope…
I’ve been a fan of Laurie Anderson for as long as I can remember now so I was so pleased to finally get my physical copy of Homeland together with a signed 12″ of ‘Only an Expert’.
Homeland is a great album. I remember seeing Laurie Anderson perform it at the Barbican a couple of years ago. What an amazing show that was.
One of the things that I really enjoy about her music and especially her lyrics is the way she sees things from a very different perspective to the everyday. It’s more than just a step back and look at things with fresh eyes, it’s more of a step back and to one side and repeat for quite a while. If that makes sense.
Getting a different perspective is so important. I constantly find myself bombarded with news and opinion from every direction, be it the internet, TV, radio, print. Sometimes in the midst of all those competing opinions it is hard to find your own perspective, your own voice. Listening to Laurie Anderson reminds me that it is still there.
I’ve been wanting to see this film for ages now so when it came up at the Tate Modern I was really pleased. But when I got there the added bonus was she was there too. Which was amazing. She gave a little talk at the beginning and then answered questions at the end. It…
I was at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival recently, which was great as it I had seriously thought it would never run again. The festival has had a few years off due to funding woes and for most festivals that normally means that they won’t be seen again. Not so for Beyond the Border. This year they were back just like there had been no break at all and I was very happy to be there.
It was a superb festival with lots of amazing music and stories from all over the world. Whenever I get to events like this I’m amazed at how riveting storytelling can be. How just listening to one person telling a story can captivate your imagination.
I’m so impressed at the immense cultural heritage that’s gathered in one place. It also reminds me of how easy it is to forget our own cultural heritage, and how in large cities we can forget our stories.
Stories are important, they help us to understand where we are in the world and make sense of things. Living in cities can disconnect us from our stories, and being at an event like Beyond the Border helps reestablish that connection, helps us remember our own stories and reminds us to continue to tell them.
It feels good that Beyond the Border is back. It should be on again in 2012, and I hope I’ll be there.
Having written a blog that’s just about mobile music for just over 4 years I thought maybe I’d start to write something about me and what I’m up to. A more personal journal if you like. This blog won’t be about the world of mobile music. Although I’m sure that there will be lots of creative stuff that I want to talk about and some of that will inevitably be mobile related in some way. But that’s not essentially what my own blog is about. Having said that, I’m not entirely sure what it is about, but I can tell you what it won’t be about, which is at least a start.
It isn’t about:
Boring rants and complaints about the state of this, that or the other in the world / neighborhood
It isn’t about what I’m having for lunch
It won’t contain excessively dull family details about holidays and days out
It won’t just be a another Palm Sounds, although there’ll be a little bit of an overlap
What it will be about will evolve over time, and as it does it’ll be interesting for me to see where it goes.So don’t feel bad if you decide not to read this blog and just stick with Palm Sounds. That’s fine with me.If you do stay with this, the please let me know what you think. As always, I’m interested in comments.