Musings

Taiko ten years after

So, a decade ago this week – the 28th, if we’re being exact – I did one of the biggest things I’ve done in my life.

I played as part of a taiko ensemble, on stage at an international competition in Tokyo. We were the only non-Japanese group that year.

And if you’ll look to the left, you’ll see…

We won.

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Planning the pages: 2019 edition

Another year, another list.

Buncha words. I still should mop the floor.

As I did last year, I’ve decided to try and remove a fair bit of the indecision that surrounds my reading. I’ve got a metric fuckton of unread books to go through, and I get paralysed with choice when I finish something. Which of the thousands – yes, literally – comes next?

So, I made a list. This one might be a bit more legible than last year’s one, but it’s probably just as unattainable, completion-wise. That doesn’t matter, though: the list provides some structure, and something that gives a good endorphin burst each time I can put a red read line through anything. (more…)

Movin’ on from Mubi

So, I’ve just cancelled my subscription to Mubi, the online streaming service that specialises in arthouse and foreign film. I’m a bit sad about leaving, as I’ve discovered some really good things on there – and been made to watch things I’d always meant to get around to – but increasingly I’ve been viewing it with more side-eye than anticipation. I’d like to say that the decision to exit was purely financial – there’s a house being built, after all – but it’s not quite that simple.

CHRIST NOT MORE CHRIS FUCKING MARKER.

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One week, one hundred guitarists

It’s a nice reminder: two guitarists busily strumming away is a jam; a hundred playing for dear life is a fucking movement.

That quote is something I came across a couple of days ago. It’s Tristan Bath writing in The Quietus about A Secret Rose, a piece by Paris-based composer Rhys Chatham. The whole review is worth reading because it bears some resemblance to a piece I took part in, A Crimson Grail.

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As Malcolm Young would have said, hit the bugger!

The piece, performed as part of this year’s Sydney Festival, is pretty enormous. An antiphonal piece, it generates a huge sound – though not as loud as you’d assume – with elements passing around the audience, who sit in the middle of the performance space. Players can’t really get a sense of how the whole works – not the way the audience can – because they’re so close to their particular section. But for those in the middle, it’s epic, to say the least. (more…)

Planning the pages

So there’s this.

Words.

Buncha words. Also, I should really mop this floor.

As I wrote just a couple of days ago, 2018 is the year I’m going to take the whole reading challenge thing a bit more easily.

I usually try to shoehorn 52 books into each year in some kind of book-a-week plan. Some years I’ve done more than 100 book per year. But mostly, I feel kind of hampered by there being a goal at all: I know I want to read more, and I know that how many books I read, I feel I should have read more. (more…)

2017 CONSUMPTION: A LOOK AT SOME STUFF I LIKED

Oh, look at the time. It’s that time again: the time I write about the stuff I liked or consumed this year, briefly, for the edification of myself and nobody else, most likely.

idolbyi
Previous versions are here, here, here and here if you need an introduction.
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Gunna, get it?

When I was a teenager my parents and uncle delighted in calling me Gunna. Gunna Martin. At first, I thought this was kind of cool, because as a kid I’d loved a book called Drummer Hoff, but apparently it was Not A Good Thing.

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Check out those cheekbones.

It was Not A Good Thing because it referred to my inability to do things in a timely fashion.  Mowing. Picking up the dog shit. Cleaning my room. Homework. Anything that didn’t involve pissing time away, most likely. And so whenever anyone reached the point of extremity, out it came: Gunna Martin, that’s you.  (more…)