This is undoubtedly my favourite album of all time. It is a work of tremendous and rare beauty, and every time I listen to it I am stunned by just how complete and unique it is.
I listen to it only when I have the time to devote myself entirely to listening to it without distraction, as it just isn’t the kind of music that you can listen to in the background. At least that’s my opinion.
However, I’ve recently just sat down and read the poems that are an integral part of Uncommon Deities. On their own they are incredibly beautiful. As a part of the whole they’re even better. But even so, I really enjoyed reading them in isolation.
I had completely forgotten that I had this signed numbered copy of Christopher Logue’s ‘Audiologue’. I haven’t listened to it in years and years and it was retrieved the other day to my surprise. It’s a lovely thing to have and I’m thinking about listening to it again soon, although I seem to remember that some of it was heavy going.
This kind of crept up on me today. I just didn’t know that it was national poetry day at all. If I had known I’d have done something to celebrate, I’d have at least read one or two of my favourite poems, but I’ve sort of missed the boat.
Under Milk Wood is one of my favourite poems, if not my favourite of all. One of the best live performances of it that I’ve ever seen was by Guy Masterson. I saw it years ago and it was truly brilliant. So I’ve been going to see Guy Masterson every year at Edinburgh to see his shows, and they’ve all been brilliant. But I’ve always wanted to see his Under Milk Wood again.
So when I found that it was on again this year I knew I had to see it, and I did. It was a shortened version, or as he puts it the “Semi Skimmed” version. It was brilliant. Utterly brilliant. A complete joy to watch, and I loved every minute of it.
In fact, I had thought that it couldn’t really get any better than this, until the end when Guy Masterson said that he had CDs of the complete, unabridged performance for sale.
I had to have one, and so I did, but it got even better, because he signed the CD for me, and I got to chat to him, albeit briefly.
I’ve had this album for some time but never spent enough to really listen to it deeply, but I did that the other week and found it was a work of almost intense beauty and depth. The words and the concepts are unique and wonderful and executed in such a subtle way it has to be one of the most thought provoking albums I’ve heard in ages.
I really want to listen to it again, in the same sort of environment, with the same attention to listening. It isn’t always something that’s easy to do.
I’d been wondering for a while where these poetry cards had disappearted to, and then, when I found my little pencil box which also has an abacus inside it, there were the cards, all ready to use. I was really pleased to have found both again.
I’m a big fan of Guy Masterson’s work. His “Under Milk Wood” was incredible, so when I’m in Edinburgh I always make an effort to see whatever it is that he’s in. This year the only thing that he was doing that coincided with my time at the fringe was “Anthem for a Doomed Youth”. His readings of World War 1 poetry. It was very good. Very powerful, and as always with Guy Masterson, full of emotion and meaning and at times, even humor.
At some point I’d love to see his “Under Milk Wood” again. I really hope he performs it somewhere I can get to at some point.