Listening Day 2: The Ink in the Well

Day 2 of my listening experiment had better results I think. I found it easier to concentrate on the music today although that could be because of the music itself and the mix which I found less distracting.

Interesting that the mix can distract you from the music though, I hadn’t really given that much thought before.

As for the song, I really enjoyed it. ‘The Ink in the Well’ is one of my favourites from that album (Brilliant Trees), and is more upbeat than some of the other material. It is from the 1st side of the album, although that kind of distinction doesn’t really make sense any more. The more poppy set of tracks I guess.

Personally I liked both sides of the album for different reasons, and my next track will be from the more experimental side.

Listening Day 1: Red Guitar

So today I started my listening project with David Sylvian’s ‘Red Guitar’. I sat doing nothing but listening with my eyes shut throughout the track. Not a way of listening that I’m used to, but one that had very interesting results.

I found myself drifting from listening and at times visualising the video to the song as well. The mix was intriguing too. As I was so focused on the track I heard the mix in quite a different way.

It wasn’t easy to stay focused on the music, and I did start to think about other things whilst listening, but even so I really enjoyed the experience and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

As for the track itself I mentioned the mix sounding different which was odd, but aside from that it was very interesting to focus that much attention on just one piece of music and nothing else. I’m looking forward to the rest of the month and the other tracks by Sylvian that I’ve selected to listen to.

More tomorrow.

Listening in January

I’ve been thinking more about my idea to critically listen to 1 song or track per day in January. I’ve been wondering which artist I should listen to. I really want to restrict it to 1 artist for January as it makes sense to listen consistently over the whole month.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve thought that I could only listen to David Sylvian in Jan. It makes sense, to listen to an artist where I have a significant number of songs, and I do, and even though I thought of lots of different ideas for music and artists I kept coming back to David Sylviam, so that’s what I’m going to stick with.

The next thing to do is to work out how I organise my listening over the month. I’ll be giving that some thought over the next few days.

Thinking about listening

A while ago I wrote a post about listening and not just consuming music, and ever since I wrote that it has been on my mind. I have wanted to do something that demonstrates what that listening to music is important, at lease to me.

To begin with I thought I would start a listening group. Something a bit like a book club or reading group, but for music instead. I think it is a good idea, but I’m not sure that I am ready for it just yet, and I think I’d want to plan out how to do it properly first.

Then I had an idea as I was thinking about January and what I wanted to do in the month. I thought that perhaps I would listen to a song each day for a month. That might sound fairly straightforward, but there would need to be some strict criteria wrapped around the listening experience. Such as:

  1. I can’t be doing anything else whilst listening to the song, like working, using any kind of computer etc
  2. I have to listen to the song all the way through. If I have to stop for some reason then I must take a break and start again
  3. If possible I should have my eyes shut whilst listening
  4. I can listen to more than 1 song by the artist on a given day, but the main purpose is to listen to 1 song critically each day

How does that sound? I’m starting to think about the songs and artists I’d like to listen to in January. At the moment I like the idea of listening to material I know already as a way of getting into the listening process, and if it works well I might consider doing something different in Feb.

Anyway, that’s one thing I have planned for January, I have a few more ideas too, but perhaps I’ll write about those tomorrow.

Ending in the word ‘git’

I finished listening to Alexei Sayle’s book “Stalin ate my homework”. I have to say I really liked it. It was at times funny, sad, thought provoking and insightful.

It is one of those books you wish there was more of when you get to the end of it. Even so it was a good place to stop. I especially liked that he read it himself. That added a great deal to the listening experience.

I think that some of it will stick in my mind for quite some time to come although my own childhood was nothing like his, but even so, there are things that resonated with me.

It was, it is, a great book.

Dusk, Snow, Woods and Alexei Sayle

I walked home tonight just at dusk hoping that the light would hold for long enough for me to get through the woods before it got dark and I started to walk into things or get lost.

I was ok thankfully and just made it.

I continued listening to Alexei Sayle’s “Stalin Ate My Homework” on the way back which is an excellent read, or in my case listen as I’ve got the audio book version. I would recommend it to anyone. Unless of course you don’t like Alexei Sayle in which case you probably shouldn’t bother with it.

I must be over half way through now and I’ve really enjoyed it. It is funny and poignant at the same time, and a deeply personal reflection on his quite unusual childhood.

I’ve especially enjoyed the way the book doesn’t so much tell the story of his childhood but more meanders through it in a seemingly haphazard manner. I guess in many ways that childhood is like that. Today it made a good backdrop to my journey.

Stalin Ate My Homework

My latest audiobook listen is Alexei Sayle’s “Stalin Ate My Homework“.

When I bought it I didn’t know what to expect except that I’ve always enjoyed his sense of humour. So far it is a great listen. He’s reading it himself and as it is about his life it is full of feeling. It is funny and sad and very unusual. I’m only about 3 hours into it and it is 8 hours long, but I’m enjoying every minute of it,

Dr Who: Demon Quest

I finished listening to part 3 of this story today. The remaining parts still haven’t been released. Another 2 are due.

Demon Quest is the second new story that Tom Baker has recorded. The first one, Hornet’s Nest was really good and I enjoyed it a lot, but this one hasn’t grabbed me as much, or that is it hadn’t until today. I think that part 3 was much better than the 1st 2 parts of the story, so I’m hopeful that the next and final 2 parts will be good too. They’re released on the 2nd of December, so it isn’t long to wait.

In the meantime I’m going to listen to Alexei Sayle’s ‘Stalin Ate My Homework’, which should be fun.