Quarantine week 1

Like so many people in this country and across the planet, I am isolating myself. Luckily with family, so I’m not totally alone, but nevertheless it is a strange and seemingly sudden change to how we live.

One thing that impresses me is how we have all adapted so very quickly to this new reality. How companies have changed how they work, how authorities have changed how we do things, and how regular citizens have, for the most part, agreed to change how they live their lives.

No one has a clear idea of how long this will take, or how the world will look once it is over. We take things one day at a time now, there’s no other way.

But, on the upside, it is a chance to catch up with loads of things that our busy lives precluded us from doing. Listening, reading, experimenting and making. Personally I’m finding that there’s time for a doing a range of things that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages now.

Perhaps I’ll post about some of the things I’m finding time to do.

Whatever you’re up to, whatever you’re finding to fill your time, I hope you’re well and safe.

A very small Tangerine Dream exhibition

I was glad to get along to this. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan. In fact, it was really only 2018 when a friend asked me if I wanted to come along and see them live. I went. I was really impressed. It was an amazing night.

Since then I’ve listened to bits and pieces, including, very recently, the entire “In Search of Hades” box set. Which was quite a big thing to listen to. So I thought it would be worth checking this out.

To say that this was a small exhibition would be something of an understatement. It was to be honest, tiny. It is tucked away in the Barbican library music section. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but I do think that a band of this stature really deserves better. Perhaps something thoughtfully curated. Something that provides a deeper understanding to the music, the ideas behind it, the process itself?

Personally I’d like that. This, at the Barbican, was fine as a taster, but essentially it wasn’t enough. I understand why it was small, but I do think that someone like the Barbican could have done more to make this something to celebrate and show what an enormous contribution this band has made to electronic music specifically, but also to music making and musicians in general.

Revisiting Survivors

Survivors is a relatively little known TV show from the 1970s. It was about a virus that killed off almost the entire population of the planet. The people who were left were the ‘Survivors’. This is of course the subject of quite a lot of TV shows and films these days, but back then I think it was quite ground breaking.

It only got 3 seasons on TV, but, a few years ago, Big Finish, a company that makes some of my favourite audiobooks brought it back, with the three lead actors as well. Big Finish produced 9 seasons of it, each with 4 hour long episodes. It was brilliant. In fact, so much so that I’m revisiting the whole thing this year. Starting with the TV series. Which, in my opinion, stands the test of time, and is actually better than a lot of TV these days.

Survivors from the 1970s took a slow approach to storytelling. Or maybe that was the norm back then? Either way, it took its time in each episode. It had a natural feel too that somehow made it more believable.

I’ve enjoyed watching this again, and remembering the characters, the story and the where it took us.

Now that I’ve finished watching it I’m going to move on to listening to all of the audio stories that Big Finish Productions created. There are 9 box sets of these, so that will probably take me a while to get through I should think. When I do, I think I might post a summary of my thoughts on the whole thing.

Troy at the British Museum

This was a good exhibition on the whole. Not entirely successful in my opinion, but overall quite good. I especially liked the 2nd half of the exhibition. Which was more about the impact of Troy on art and culture. That was the most interesting part from my perspective. I found that quite fascinating.

Some random music

Randomly generated music created using Processing Code

I actually made this quite a while ago, but decided to revisit it as I thought that I might do a little more in Processing this year. I know I’ve said that before. There’s no guarantee that I will in 2020, but I might.

I was always quite pleased with this sketch though. It was fun and interesting to play with. Above is just a video of the sketch in action as I can’t work out how to embed the sketch here so it can be played. I’d like to be able to do that too, but it might take me a little while for me to figure it out.

Anyway, if I managed to do anything else with Processing then I’ll share it too. That is, if it’s good enough.

A Wotja a day

I make a lot of music, very little of which I share anywhere these days. For the most part I make music for my own enjoyment, which is much more productive I feel. Anyway, I digress. The point of this is that at the start of the year I decided that I would try to make a small track each day with an app that I really like and enjoy. It’s called Wotja.

Wotja is a generative music system for iOS, although it’s been around a lot longer than that. I’ve actually been a fan of it since around 2007, which kind of puts things in perspective. Of course it’s changed a lot since I first started using it.

Anyway, once again I digress a little. The point of this is that I started on the 1st of January, and so far I’ve kept it up the whole time. So here’s the first. I’ll post the others, probably in small batches, periodically. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep it up all year too.

The Dark Crystal

THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE

When I first heard that Netflix was going to make a series based on the Dark Crystal, I have to admit I was somewhat skeptical about the whole thing. However, I knew I was going to at least give it a try, as I’d been a fan of the original film from when it first came out.

I was, like many others I suspect, very happily surprised by just how good it was. Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is an excellent series that is entirely in keeping with the original and very respectful to everything that the film did. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve now watched the whole thing twice, and gone back to watch the original movie too.

In fact, I’ve now started reading the Dark Crystal Creation Myths graphic novels too. I suppose I’ve become a little obsessed with it, although there’s nothing especially wrong with that.

I was very pleased to hear that another season is also in offing, and I’m certainly looking forward to that. Personally I’m not sure I can get quite enough Dark Crystal for now.

But why is it so compelling? Why has it been such a hit? Sure, there are plenty of people who remember the original movie and have nothing but fond memories of it, but I think it’s more than that. Dark Crystal is a very traditional story of good versus evil. There’s nothing new there, but it isn’t always as simple as that. It’s about community, and joining forces, about loyalty and innocence and friendship too.

THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE