To Cello or not to Cello

I gave in earlier today and ordered the 1998 recording of Bach’s “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” recorded by Yo Yo Ma. I should probably point at that I know almost nothing about classical music. I first came across Bach’s Cello Suites as part of an explanation about recursion in computer programming. If you think that sounds interesting, then read this book.

Yo Yo Ma it turns out is hailed as one of the best cello players in the world today, and even people who never go near classical music are likely to have heard his playing, he recorded all of the cello score for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. In 1985 he recorded the Cello Suites for the first time, in a recording that is generally regarded as being technically outstanding. In 1998 he worked with six different artists to explore the six different suites using their art, and then re-recorded the Suites introducing the “conclusions” of this exploration. This recording is entitled “Inspired by Bach” though the only bits he has interpreted differently are the phrasing and emphasis and various other things not explicitly denoted on the surviving scores. Basically he didn’t interpret by playing it using a metal bin and a broken bottle or anything quite so modern as that :-)

Since my recent photo course I have been keen on this idea of using art forms to explore personal thoughts, feelings and so on. In fact you could say I have finally woken up to the (really rather basic) concept. At least I understand it now, where is before I could talk about it, but never really knew what it meant. I think the thing that most hit it home for me was when Karl (the tutor on the photo course) told us not to be scared of allowing bits of our personality to show though, and that in fact, you can’t really be artistic if your not willing to show something of yourself in it.

On that note, I decided that given a choice between a technically pure or a artistic exploration, to go for the latter. Jess, who I will soon be sharing a flat with (and is indecently a classically trained music critic), has ordered the original (purist) recording, and when we find and move into our new flat we are going to drink red wine and compare them. If you think that sounds dull, then tough, I like the sound of it so there – but if you think it sounds cool, then why not come and have a listen too…

By |March 29th, 2006|General|1 Comment

Welcome back me!

I have been beaten over the head (metaphorically rather than literally) quite a lot over the past week or so – by lots of different people – all with the same question: Why don’t you update your blog more often?

The answer is mostly because I’ve been lazy. I have been on holiday, and just generally not caring so much about updating my blog for the past month or so. But, to your great relief, I am back. At least for this post :-)

So what’s been going on in my life since I last posted I hear you cry, or not. First, the PhD is over. Its done, finished, over. I handed in the final final copy almost a month or so ago now (though it was another few weeks before I received confirmation that the corrections I had done were adequate – but that’s another story). I have a job! The interviews passed, all went very well. I even had a final round interview with Google before I decided to accept the best job I interviewed for (note, that’s not the best job I applied for, but the best job I interviewed for). From next week I will be working at Foviance, developing their web analytics software. It’s a pretty big claim that it’s the best job I interviewed for, so I guess I had better back that up. The work they want/need me to do is a perfect combination of what I’m very good at, and what I most enjoy. That’s a big plus. It’s a small enough company to still have a good atmosphere, but not so small there are constant worries about being paid. The money is great, and its in almost the perfect area for me. Can you tell I’m looking forward to starting?

With the new job accepted (and the contract is even signed!) I can start to look at moving. I want to move to the Angel, and I have a flat mate sorted out, and lined up, and even started looking at flats. No great finds so far, but flat hunting is only fun if it’s actually a hunt, getting the perfect place straight away is just dull. So that’s going to be a lot of fun.

So that’s what’s been going on. More blog posts to follow in April. I’m going to try and post 2-3 a week throughout April, and see how that goes. Who knows, I might enjoy it and keep it up into may.

By |March 28th, 2006|General|0 Comments