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Silencing the noise of the self (listening to Arvo Pärt)

Silencing the noise of the self (listening to Arvo Pärt)

On Sunday in a quiet inner city church, the Gloriana chamber choir sang Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem Domine. And I was reminded of Gorecki’s No. 3, of lying on the carpet in an apartment above Lavender Bay in Sydney, very late one night in the mid 1990s. The soprano was Dawn Upshaw. It was like […]

When David Heard Absalom was Slain (Sunday choir)

When David Heard Absalom was Slain (Sunday choir)

As someone who is about as musical as a boiling kettle, hearing a song in Latin doesn’t give much of a leg up. But after attending the Gloriana choir’s quarterly concerts over three years you do get used to it. (Blogged here, here and here.) You just sit inside these phrases as they billow like […]

Only an Expert (Laurie Anderson)

Only an Expert (Laurie Anderson)

S’what I’m listening to at the moment: Laurie Anderson’s Homeland. The pixieish techno-imp arrived in 1981 brandishing her amazing Big Science album. She is still talking about her favourite subject after all these years: being American. Homeland is about security, control and paranoia. Of course. This catchy, mischievous track is called Only an Expert. Now […]

In the Falling Dark

In the Falling Dark

Driving very early one morning, and this magical song fills the pre-dawn darkness. Bruce Cockburn wrote it in Ottawa on the 9th of March 1976. He says, “I was sitting on the roof … watching the night come down.” In the Falling Dark is a meditation on the strange moments when we watch the world […]

Two songs to cheer up a depressing day

Two songs to cheer up a depressing day

Some days you barely have to look up to glimpse all the stuff that can bring you down, or even crush you; but who said life was meant to be easy? Still, one can choose not to be depressed, which is not the same as being happy. In neutral. When one stands in the centre […]

Dachshund U.N. – a sign of hope for dogs and mankind

Dachshund U.N. – a sign of hope for dogs and mankind

Woof! Ruff! A-Rooo-ooo! In the moody blur-grey of a late autumn afternoon on the forecourt of the Melbourne Museum, a gathering of 47 dachshunds drew hundreds of well-wishers together in hope. They were the quadruped delegates of Dachshund U.N, an “architectural installation and performance work” by Bennett Miller. The project is “a joyful and chaotic […]

Oona Yma, Oona Ava, Oona Eva, Oona Aga … (laugh? I nearly cried)

Oona Yma, Oona Ava, Oona Eva, Oona Aga … (laugh? I nearly cried)

Anne Bancroft’s Yma Dream: My wicked friend David said to look this up, so we can thank him for this link to Bancroft’s superbity in this bit of surreal wackiness. If only more shrink sessions were like this.

What Men Want

What Men Want

Wynne prize controvery – You may be looking for this post: A Wynne-lose for Sam Leach and his judges +++ Back to yesterday’s post: Last week, I posted this graphic below, which I thought was wonderful. Inevitably someone pointed out that you have to have loved before you’ve lost – so the Lost circle cannot […]

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Inserting heart into the chill of a Venn diagram: mathematical, bureaucratic Venn becomes a Zen perception; lap dances slide into overlap chances; two bright notes coalesce into one dark tone. I heart this graphic. It’s by the designer Aaron Krauss from a little corner of his website. +++ Here is a musical co-relative, Everytime We […]

Chatroulette and Ben Folds being brilliant, ditto Jon Stewart

Chatroulette and Ben Folds being brilliant, ditto Jon Stewart

I was going to write about Simon Schama’s Power of Art (Sundays, ABC2) but can’t resist putting up this wonderful distraction. Sorry, Simon-san. (Afternote, before: this was going to be such a simple post; but it was a shaggy dog in disguise. Grr!) At this point you should be playing the youtube which is what […]