Saturday, 7 November 2015

EVENSONG, A NEW FRAGRANCE IN THE GARDEN OF SONG. JULIA LEZHNEVA ~ "Exsultate Jubilate" MOZART / PORPURA " Alleluia" 2013

Cruising in Cromarty, last weekend, I listened to a Radio Three show in which the presenter, a parfumier, attempted to match pieces of music to fragrances - a Brahms string Sextet to Chanel; a bit of opera to Coty L'aimant; some jazz guitar to Jimmy Choo; a piano and flute piece to, what was it now, I think it was Guerlain's Shalimar. I may have the combinations completely misremembered but you get the idea - one piece, because of its composition and rythmn and instrumental colour,  suggested to the presenter a type of perfume. He knew all about the molecules, the palette, the notes of fragrance and he had a slightly dogmatic view of the music, which could only have the interpretation which he provided and no other, for its mating with the perfume to work. Although I knew most of the music and most of the fragrances the show made no sense to me; although it worked for the presenter, it was an attempt to connect things unconnectable, well, unconnectable by me, anyway.

I love perfumes, and buy them recklessly;  I rarely wear them but I love it when I do,  I have loads of them, boxed still, little used, pure hedonistic wastrel shit.  No matter, mrs ishmael gets through hers like she was gonna die tomorrow. And if I, figuratively speaking, should die tomorrow I am sure that she will find purpose for my collected colognes.

Other smells I love through a nostalgic nose, the old-fashioned, dilute-to-strength Zoflora air freshener, Dettol, mown grass;  all the Nivea products I associate with a mother I barely knew, yet others I associate with worthiness and utility - WD40, Brasso and best of all a beeswax furniture polish, Liberon Black Bison, which dresses the air of the house with a hint of ancient affluence and with  both Purpose and Accomplishment, as well as maintaining and highlighting the furniture to which it is applied.  I often polish furniture not because it needs it but because I like the smell of the polish, my reward is that brief olfactory uplifting, which like that provided by concocted perfumes and scents, while transcendent is transitory.  There are worse compulsions than sniffing polish and I am not ashamed.

I heard this Mozart piece on the radio tonight and on the strength of the high note in the alleluia, (here at about twelve minutes) went looking for it on the youthing. Comparing young Julia, here, with others, like Kiri te Kanawa, however, I realised that she had been squirted from a different atomiser, she plays herself differently, moves to different impulses and although she sings the same notes as Dame Kiri, Julia's is a different musicality. Mike Heron had a lovely verse for Dame Kiri's stunted interpretation - Ah, you know all the words and you sung all the notes but you never quite learned the song, I can tell by the sadness in your eyes that you never quite learned the song. Somehow, at an early age, Julia has learned the songs and their meanings quite perfectly, smells their high, heart and bass notes and sings them, naturally.

 It may just be that, as in sport,  there is a virtuosity-nouvelle, created by punitive training and by competition for ever greater rewards, whatever has caused it Julia Lezhneva's singing, like Wolfgang  Amadeus, himself, seems to be the very Love of God, both a joy and a wonder.

Ordinarily I cannot tell one soprano from another, not unless I see them.  I think I can tell a good one from an indifferent one but they all - classical concert musicians - seem amazing to me.  But seeing the uniqueness of this  performance I started to think that maybe we all of us, to our doings, bring our own fragrance;  maybe the brickie has his own Lily of the Valley around his boots and his trowel and his line; might the plumber's work not be drenched with  almond blossom and Forget-Me-Not, might not the quilter's needle and thread imbue the work with her own heart notes, her own lavender and rose?

It is a Hot Medium, the radio, it is a week since, parked on the firth shore, I heard that  muso-parfumier and I'm still cudgelling my brains for his meaning - does music smell, do perfumes sing?
I suspect, however,  regardless of those questions, that in the fertile, creative presence of the Divine Lezhneva there grows a Garden of Earthly Delights.


57 comments:

Nike said...

I love the smell of carbolic soap in the morning; it reminds me of.....

Dame Kiri, I dare to suggest, was lauded not only for her voice, but also for her Maoriness. I think you have to be a central European to sing Mozart, just as you need to be Italian to sing bel canto (exception Mario Lanza).

On a similar theme to perfume and song: I've drunk and awful lot of wine in my life, and hoping to drink a lot more. There's no doubt in my mind that a wine tastes differently with good food and good company.

BTW, welcome back Mr I, I trust you are in fine fettle.

Mike said...

Mike not Nike - not sure if the predictive text think got me or a fat finger.

call me ishmael said...

Morning, mr mike, down where the storm has passed but the wild dingoes still call. I noticed her features, Kiri's, on the clip I watched.

I had been looking forward to your review of Julia, if you have the time; the encore is meaningless but the alleluia is mind boggling.

Much is enhanced or diminished by the company and while I sometimes savour that of others I mostly prefer my own, which is why I am here,speaking to you at five thirty in our morning.

I have a week left of treatments, down in Aberdeen and though they worked inasmuch as they have restarted and moved-on what had become a static situation and will continue to do so I will be happy to be done with it all.

I never know about the fineness of mt fettle, mrs ishmael is a keen observer, however, and tells me it is finer than for a long time, thanks. Are you now resettled, back home; I expect I will take a time to do so.

Good to hear from you, anyway, mr mike.

Mike said...

Thank you Mr I, I'm looking forward to listening to Julia later tonight.

I have seen that hyperbaric treatment is much used by sportsmen as it aids and speeds recovery - forcing oxygen into the blood stream if I understand it. Chris Boardman, the cyclist, was I believe an early adopter when he was in training for his 1 hour record.

Unfortunately, I'm not settled, and am planning next years journey - El Camino Frances (http://www.caminoadventures.com/camino-frances/) in May. If that goes well, then the following year will be the via del Plata (Granada to Santiago); and then the final journey, so to speak, Canterbury to Rome. Though my Persian friend recons we should carry on from Rome to Mecca - not sure about that?

call me ishmael said...

I keep telling Scottish people that they should do something similar but shorter - travel from Berwick on Tweed down to Lindisfarne, Jarrow, Durham, York, Lincoln and Ely to Canterbury, many have never even been to England and somehow never heard of the places I mention, or never taken any interest, despite England's phenomenal influence on the rest of the world; the Proclaimers, though, Celtic and Rangers football clubs and Billy Connolly, them's proper culture.

I can see the appeal of Mecca but I think I'd only chance to visit in a very heavily armoured vehicle. It all sounds very good, your trips, although due to millions of swarming Japs being there Canterbury disappointed me. I suppose it is the symbolism of that journey, though, to Rome, I expect everywhere is now happy to entertain millions of Chinese nouveau riches. I hope they seal the borders by next Spring or you and your journey'll be fucked six ways to Christmas. I am Syrian refugee, give me money for pregnant wife back home or I take your car, no? Am refugee and only want is to work hard but need money now for grandmother, over there, in field, can see?. If no cash has can do transfer to my bank, here, can do online on i-phone, or can take nice watch and sell to colleague in field. Am refugee and need your money and stuff, is for pregnant wife, back in Syria and children, also, at University, reading Refugee Studies and Strategies and need money for Big Fat Muslim Wedding, with feast and herd of camel and all cousins and uncles can come. You has house in England? With spare rooms? Maybe can go there, now and look after until you come home, just give to me keys and me and my cousins
can go and look after, have cousin at Channel Tunnel can help with place on lorry. Only need few hundred of pound from you to cover his fee. Bismillah. Thank you and a nice day have.

Bungalow Bill said...

Now that's what we've been missing, radiant stuff all round thanks. She's extraordinary this young woman and, as you say, the mere act of high-level concert performance is remarkable. The body and its delight in the world, Mr I.

Hope the last stretch goes well.

alphons said...

"cha·cun à son goût" is my feeling on these matters, as long as Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton are left to get on with real music.

Caratacus said...

Breathtaking ... I shall be looking a bit further afield this evening for more of this young lady's work. Thank you muchly for the pointer.

On the matter of different senses being used where they don't normally apply; I am reminded of Master Po from the TV series 'Kung Fu':- "Listen for the colour of the sky. Look for the sound of the hummingbird's wings. Search the air for the perfume of ice on a hot day. If you have found these things, you will Know".

tdg said...

I put liberons black bison on anything I can get my hands on, most recently a wall I clad in steel chaotically chemoplated with copper sulphate.

But I wish I knew what gives the ancient Russian reindeer hide dragged up from the sunken Metta Catharina its scent. And if only it came in tins.

call me ishmael said...

I am often in and out if the Ching, king caratacus, and the Art of War but I can never rid my head of that make-believe voice, saying, When, Grasshopper, you can walk on the rice paper and leave no trace, then you will have learned. An extraordinary series, Kung Fu, America already had Zen Beat Hipsters, had Zen in the Art of Archery, had a Buddhist celebrity fringe, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Watts et al, but a full-blown TeeVee series, about a Shaolin warrior-priest, in the slot previously occupied by Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Wells Fargo, well, that was, like, far-out, man. Humility's super-hero, Kwang Chai Caine.

I think there is something of Zen in Julia's performance, such apparently effortless Self abandonment delivering such absorption in the Now and such unflinching control of the How. Her audiences must weep, for what she has and for what they lack.

call me ishmael said...

But none of the Jazzmen, mr alphons, flow so freely, so coolly as did Wolfgang Mozart, the divine reed through which God let's us hear His Improvisations.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, mr bungalow bill, and if you delight in my chance encounter with the young Russian then my day is the more worthwhile.

call me ishmael said...

I will be suspended by my ankles, mr tdg, and dipped in shit, at the revelation that you have even heard of Liberon products, let alone the fact that you are an adept.

I have, by chance, maybe a hundred litres of Briwax and Fiddes wax pastes, yet it is the tiny tin of Black Bison, used sparingly, which delights the most, even though, lacking the solvents in the others it is draggier, much harder work, requires greater patience. On the other hand, should you take a fancy, they used to make a Special Pale French Polish which made that process not child's play but relatively easy, it was brushable, although you could still destroy your wrists, as I have, rubbering it on in endless figures-of-eight. I know nothing of the Commie Reindeer but I will ask, on the Information Boulevard.

inmate said...

Good to hear you're well MrI.
The Perfumier may have been onto something, well according to our favourite Professor Mr Jim Al Kahlili. He explained in one of his, I know it all, BBC theory of everything programmes; that our olfactory nerves do not smell fragrances but hear them. Apparently the 'movement' of the molecules in a fragance is what excites the nerves to give the brain the sense of smell.
I could only smell bullshit, but what do I know.

SG said...

I can't recall encountering any parfumiers in my time Mr I - though I seem to recall the fate of a certain parfumier's apprentice...

call me ishmael said...

Ah, mr inmate, long ago, when I was another one, in another when, I do recall feeling the olfactory vibration, mescaline's tuning fork is how I would now describe that sensation but back then it was just really cool acid. Dr Jim was right.

call me ishmael said...

Who was that, then, please, mr sg? I don't get the reference. Is it someone we all know?

SG said...

I reference a work by Herr Süskind Mr I...

call me ishmael said...

Right, that looks interesting, mr sg, one for the library to source, or mrs ishmael's kindle thing. I guess perfume must figure in lots of fiction, although the only one I have, still unread, is the blessed Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume. Robbins is a joy, by the way, especially Even Cowgirls Get The Blues but all of them, well, the three I have read.

Alexius said...

Good to see you back, Mr Ishmael. Have you heard Emma Kirkby sing it?

Rightwinggit said...

I hate to tell you this Mr Ish, but I use Black Bison as part of the finishing process on furniture I have made....

Mike said...

Mr Alexius: I've listened to both - very fine expositions, makes the hairs tingle, and its down to personal preference - but does that matter anyway. Is Emma Kirkby's version live or a studio rendering? Was it Mozart who was said to hate sopranos, hence he wrote such difficult pieces for them.

I'm no expert, but my first thought was that I would like to hear this from a male voice (albeit a very difficult piece for a young voice); then I googled and found it was written originally for a castrato. Not many of those around now - except in Government, and they sing to a different tune.

Alexius said...

Of course you`re right, Mike, it comes down to personal preference (and Julia is superb!) I am biased towards Emma because hers was the first version I ever heard - I almost wept for joy. I have seen her perform a few times at the magnificent St Mary`s, Warwick - mausoleum of the mighty Earls and Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester. What a wonderful personality she has.

Quite agree about the castrati in Government.

call me ishmael said...

I lived that way, once upon a time and i was just last night looking at a picture of St Mary's in Warwick, mr alexius, we used to go to the Christmas concerts there and it is as you say, magnificent. I wonder how long it will be before the wise ones, in the interests of community relations, turn it into a mosque, until the county towns of England echo largely to the rattle of Mandarin and Urdu, the Bear and Ragged Staff replaced by some contorted dragon or Moorish crescent and scimitar.

I don't think I have heard of Ms Kirby but will take a look and listen, it is a good Yorkshire name for which I have great affection.

call me ishmael said...

No, mr rwg, it is great that we are brothers in wax. I was just surprised, perhaps unfairly, by mr tdg, who has never before so much as hinted at his practices and practicality, but in all three cases it is a delight that some of us here have found our way to a product and a process unknown by most. Something to do with an appreciation of and hankering after quality. It's not like Pledge, Black Bison.

lilith said...

I read that Tom Robbins bloke when I was 19 and loved it. The one with the Camel pack on the front. I then re read it a few years later and tossed it away in irritation. It seemed to consist of the bloke telling the girl HOW IT IS, (presumably because she was to thick to work shit out for herself). Too preachy, like the Guardian.

My girl and I once sat down and listened to a dozen or so different renditions of The Queen of the Night. Some had me in tears, some freaked me out with Mother issues, and one or two made me want to offer the poor girl a Strepsil. Mozart was the Man, but he didn't half take the piss out of his Sopranos.

call me ishmael said...

I heard those old recordings of castrati, mr mike, and neither the aesthetic nor the sound much appealed to me. I did see the Vienna Boys Choir, as well as many English Cathedral choirs and remain convinced that the boy soprano or treble voice is superior. I had heard that story about Mozart - or one of them - attempting to defeat the soprano, if it was Mozart's intent, it certainly failed to flummox Julia.

I kind of think it is we who are their castrati, enthusiastically giving up our privacy, embracing our constant surveillance, enslaving our children to a digitised reality; surrendering our emplyment terms and conditions; delegating the scrutiny of politicians to a clutch of their chums and former schoolmates and genuflecting before that grubby old woman and her extended clan of inbred poncing degenerates. Hard to see the balls in any of that.

Maybe the sensible thing is to heed mr bungalow bill's counsel, not dissimilar to your own and lose ourselves in grape or grain, reappearing in the pained echos of some ancient, lonely Byrd Mass or in the fervent supplication of Julia's Alleluias.

Caratacus said...

lilith - have you ever heard Florence Foster Jenkins' rendition of The Queen of the Night aria? If not, you have a treat in store ... certainly brought a tear to my eye when I first heard it over fifty years ago.

call me ishmael said...

That's right, ms lilith, and proper, too; same thing happened with me, and my attempt to re-read Cowgirls, some of that explosion of new US fiction doesn't work twice, The Dice Man, Catch 22, Kerouac, Catcher in the Rye, Hunter S Thompson, come to mind as being exhilerating and dazzling but only the first time around. I would still recommend them to others. And do. I think the failure is not in the books but in our exoectation that they somehow sit on the shelf renewing themselves.

I think that if a still time ever comes and we assess and eulogise the newspapers then what Alan Rusbridger did to the Guardian will attract complete damnation, where once it campaigned and exposed, now it polices the social manners, purchases and mores of its self obsessed readership while ignoring the wicked and unGodly, alongside whom it has holiday homes and schoolruns.

Sounds like a useful time with Calfy, well done that woman.

As to Wolfgang, I suppose that he is the most recogniseable, the most Instant Delight, the most vivacious, serene and probably the closest to Creation's spark plug. Others, though, have different gifts, different voices, there are many gods and godesses dwelling in Apollo's heaven and like the late Dr Lou, still, I'm waiting for my Man.

lilith said...

Caratacus, bless her! Mopping the blood from my ears as I write.

Talking of the Man, Elby has taken to playing a Bach Cantata every Sunday evening. I have no idea how J.S. passed me by all these years.

Mozart is sublime and uplifting, but he also helps me get my accounts done in a way that Chuck Berry never could.

call me ishmael said...

Certainly brings a tear to the ear, that; tear as in torn.

call me ishmael said...

That's what I mean. I seem to find a new JSB every few weeks, anytime, in fact, that I take the trouble to look. youtube, why isn't it owned by the UN? Instead of those bandits at Google. Only not Florence Jenkins. She shouldn't be owned by anyone. It has always been a sore subject, around here, I can't do anything to music, except listen to it, don't even drive to music and firmly believe that in-car entertainment is a wholly, criminally irresponsible concept. I do believe Chuck is still performing, isn't he, although it will be unspeakable, and my rock'n'roll heart is always warmed by the memory of his treatment of Keef Richards, discussed here, with you and others, 2000 light years ago.

lilith said...

Very dangerous for me to drive to music, or football. Buggered my sub frame once when Brasil scored. On the other hand the talking radio gives me road rage so generally have to content myself with concentrating on the road. OMG, young Chuck is still with us! Thought he'd gone some while ago but he'll be 90 next year.

If youtube was owned by the UN it would be a very different apple and most of the videos would be young people telling us to feel guilty about how we live, as they search their iphones for the nearest Frappacino/safe space.

tdg said...

I only use the darkest variety, mostly on tan colour bridlehide thereby blackened, and blued steel; if it goes on wood it is usually on something scorched hard with a blowtorch. These things will surprise you less, I imagine.

There is something peculiarly civilising about wax, it humanizes materials that otherwise force their alien qualities unpleasantly on us. It even bridles glass.

call me ishmael said...

Alright, then, not the UN, me. I could own it, on behalf of cyber ishmaelia. Have a skyful of clouds filled with the Grateful Dead, just for mrs and mr lilith; mountainsidesful of servers bursting with Byrd and Tallis and Pallestrina and Monteverdi for mr bungalow bill and megatrillobytes of Joni Mitchell for mr mongoose.

You know when some sanctimonious arse tells me presumptiously that I don't- do I - want to be handing-on mythical debt which is nothing to do with me to stupid people who are nothing to do with me, it's those Frappacino babes I think of, tapping on their slave phones, like they were Lieutenant Uhuru, navigating through galaxies, instead of dumb asshole, wasting their brief lives on shopping.

lilith said...

I don't think there is a soundboard recording of the GD that Elby doesn't possess already. He has kids on the web thinking he's Father Christmas as he uploads them to Dropbox. He has them both on the pc and in hard copy in the eves cupboards. What I will do with them if he fucks up and predeceases me?

Yup, the debt will be all theirs. And the black outs and the curfews, the re-education camps and the travel passes. But the main thing is that it will all be "Fair" and no one will be allowed to make it unfair by having opinions.

call me ishmael said...

Somebody once explaine waxing to me, mr tdg, the eventually glass-hard mirror waxing which I do, on furniture and doors and such, as the conversion of my own body energy into the friction and heat which transforms the applied soft paste into a hard, reflective coating, I still find the process, I dunno, sacramental, mystical, maybe; I know that when I demonstrate it most people are open-mouthed. For some years I would use a drill-mounted brush for polishing turned table legs, as it would facilitate polishing into concave turnings but would also, leaned-on judiciously, create a darkened, bruised effect which is most appealing and which exaggerates the reflected light, a bit of your humanising idea, perhaps. I only use the power brush, now, on doors which I am waxing, preferring, for furniture - which I now only do for pleasure- the self-flagellant, monastic pleasure of painful hand-polishing. If a thing is worth doing well, it's worth doing painfully. (I like that inversion, it just arrived, this second.)

My surpise was caused by my albeit flimsy perception of you as classically scholastic and intellectually rigorous, qualities not usually associated with artisanship or - in my case- manual labour, but the blowtorch and hide and steel and glass suggest a bold artistry, rather than my own, utilitarian, Zen-Presbyterian-Marxist furniture restoration.

I don't know, either, if mr rwg's furniture-making is traditional in style but I doubt it involves scorching; mr mongoose, in his Tudor house, would, I am sure, be as traditional as I, mr mike, Down Under, woodworks in an entirely different milieu. It doesn't matter, our ancient covenant with wood has many expressions; the processes and products, blades, fixings, adhesives, abrasives and finishes illustrate our beautiful, imaginative invention, well expresed in:

There is something peculiarly civilising about wax, it humanizes materials that otherwise force their alien qualities unpleasantly on us.

We are all, I feel, romantics.




call me ishmael said...

Now, there's a conundrum, who dies when. And what happens to the stuff? I don't want just anybody using my tools, reading my books, drinking my whisky and I know no-one to whom I could contentedly bequeath them. And what would I do with mrs ishmael's formidable arsenal of sewing stuff, her books, clothes, jewellery. Double suicide by shotgun, followed by automatic arson, that's the answer, burn the fucking house down with everything in it.

It is a dark conjecture you initiate, ms lilith, the posthumous dispersal of mr elby's musical effects.

Dick the Prick said...

They do a 'Bach before 7' every morning on Rd3 and it's rather a joy considering by that point Rd4's bullshit news and onanism has merely briefed on stuff that nobody at all cares about.

There was an article in the LRB (link below) about Castrati which implied they were applauded as much for their otherness as much as the strength of the mature infantilism of their voice. All seemed perfectly plausible.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n19/colm-toibin/ravishing

Mike said...

Mr I: Down here we use tung oil followed a few days later by a coat of Feast Watson (a sort of liquid wax, applied with a mop)on our floors (red ironbark). About once every 5 or so years does the trick. Brings the grain out a bit of the dark red-brown wood. Its one of the jobs I enjoy doing.

lilith said...

Well, if you don't make a decision on that one, the gummint gets 40%, the lawyers probably @20% and any living relatives said lawyers have expensively located will split the rest. Your solution sounds best if there isn't a donkey sanctuary that takes your fancy.

I'm not sure what the government would do with 40% of Elby's Grateful Dead bootlegs, but the lawyers would find a good use for your whisky.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr dick, I have been sliding back to Radio Three of late and even though there is an awful lot of tripe thereon, black american woman talking about the experience of being a black american woman talking to others about the experience of being a black american woman, a forest of self-obsessed mirrors, absolutely intolerable drivel and sounding like that ghastly fucking know-it-all, Bonnie Greer, after a bootle of valium but at least it is not the tedious, repetitive tripe of Radio Four and the music is often interesting. I am rarely up at that Bach time, unless I have been up all night,leaning on the window sill with mr mongoose or mr mike, although much of Bach does sound early-morningish.

call me ishmael said...

Donkeys, Yorkshire terriers, RNLI, ms lilith, there's no shortage of possible beneficiaries, it is just the doing of it. Maybe God will send a thunderbolt and bring about our swift, fiery demise, along with our chattels. Never having had any and seeing it as divisive and un-fair I shrink from the idea of inherited wealth, although mrs ishmael, having had some, differs.

call me ishmael said...

Sounds good mr mike, less obsessively painstaking than my sterile, dust free, painstaking application of stain and varnish to my ancient floorboards. We use a softbrush robot vacuum on them, now, which may lengthen the intervals between restaining and varnishing. The furniture, though, as I said, remains a hardlabour of love.

Caratacus said...

Dear Mr. I., whilst I have some sympathy with your views, on purely aesthetic grounds, about listening to music whilst driving I feel bound to mention, humbly, that my days would be infinitely the poorer if I denied myself a bit of recorded song during my working day. After a fraught meeting where, through superhuman effort, I have quelled the urge to stuff some self-important arschloch into a barrel and thrash the emergent parts with a piece of lead-filled galvy pipe I find that to drive away to, per example, Bach's Mass in B minor can be a most positive experience.

call me ishmael said...

I am sure that is so, king caratacus, and entirely proper for you but my own mind is not thus configured, I cannot do it. To digress, but only in the pursuit of background, when I arrived here, in a large house, with metre-thick walls and no neighbours for hundreds of metres I thought to myself, Gosh, I can play Jimi Hendrix's poignant Star Spangled Banner as loudly as I wish, but I never have; the vast silence of my location, no man-made noises, just those of the shore and the fields have always seemed too precious and fragile to corrupt or pollute, even with heavenly Bach. I live very quietly, stepping and speaking quietly, I never hear sirens or alarms or car doors and such sounds now hurt me. That's one thing; another is that cars have always delighted me, enthralled me, how DOES everything work so well together, fuel and combustion and transmission and steering and stopping, never mind automatic screenwiping and aircon and cruise control and radar-operated braking and directional headlamps. I enjoy music and driving so much that to engage with both together would be like Julia peeling potatoes on stage while performing Mozart. I do not require in-car entertainment, driving the fucking thing is entertaining enough, always has been. All this is just idiosyncracy, and maybe rebellion; I don't have a mobile phone, either, although once I was an early enthusiast, as once I cruised Coventry in a Rover 2000, blasting Handel from an eight-track.

I yin and yang on this subject, as I said earlier, maybe music is the only anaesthetic, the Julia performance moved me greatly, to somewhere else, but at the same time I remember that a favourite musician once sang: Music is so-much-less, than what-you-are.......even the birds, when they sing, it's not everything.

I will return to this, the tyranny of Art, I feel sure.

Caratacus said...

And there we are, Mr.I. As I remarked to an elderly - and much revered - lady coach on the archery field this morning when she was pointing to the techniques of an accepted expert in the art, what may have suited him does not necessarily suit others in their quest for the perfect shot.

Anonymous said...

I can - cautiously - second the recommendation of Susskind's "Perfume", which is a vicious gothic feverdream. The caution is called for because of all the killing, but I tend to be more forgiving of this stuff on the page and there's bound to be a sound defence of high satire. I was especially impressed with the double-whammy ending, and a tremendous last line.

"Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" may be the exception to your never-go-back rule...

v.//

Caratacus said...

P.S. I had the blessing to have spent some formative years on Holy Isle (off Arran) in the early '70s when music was an intermittent diversion at best ... ("have ye any ...?" "noooo, we're still waiting for the puffer") so I am at least acquainted with the notion of deferred gratification ...

lilith said...

Perfume by Suskind is the smelliest book ever written. Your relationship with your nose will be affected for some time after reading, I guarantee.

call me ishmael said...

I have it, here, in line of sight, FALILA, and keep meaning to take another look, mr verge, maybe take it to Aberdeen, later today.

call me ishmael said...

Do you know, king caratacus, Zen in the Aert of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel:

"... an unsparingly honest account of how he was initiated into the "Great Doctrine" of archery. At first he was baffled by what he was taught - that art must become artless, that the archer must aim at himself - yet gradually he began to glimpse the depth of wisdom concealed in such paradoxes..........a beautifully lucid introduction to one of the most haunting and subtle spiritual traditions in the world."

Of course, more prosaically, there is always Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt which, I suspect, may be influenced by Herrigel; both, anyway, describe the artlessness of your perfect shot and I think that Julia the Soprano of Now, is similarly surrendered, artless.

Once, inadvertently, I found myself amongs pilgrims on Iona. They were bound for John Smith's grave, bless.

call me ishmael said...

Recommendations like yours, ms lilith, and mr verge's and mr sg's, what can I do but read the damn thing.

mongoose said...

"Cruising in Cromarty" - now there's an unwelcome thought.

call me ishmael said...

Tickled me, too, mr mongoose, to enliven, even scandalise perceptions of such a staid, Presbyterian resort as Cromarty. But what of Julia? Right up your musical strasse, I would have thought.

A mirage made in heaven said...

Just back from Cheshire (where for me, you are banned by Sky) to find you have posted this lovely music. Thank you and welcome back!

I didn't mind Kiri doing that Auvergne stuff.

'Perfume' is excellent and I'm pleased to have both English and German first editions.

Suspect you will agree with a lot of this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06mv4js

Fond regards!

call me ishmael said...

Thanks mr mirage, I can think of nothing about Cheshire, except Runcorn, and that is just a word to me. I must've been there but I cannot recall; is it where Manchester is, y'know, hiw Birmingham used to be in Warwickshire? I will check the link in a bit, after I have shopped online for Perfume and for some more Black Bison.