Monday, September 24, 2018

Classical sacd round up part ten - two from the Atlantic

As I am road testing the second update to Pale Moon to see if they've been able to make it stable enough to use I am listening to some discs that I intend to talk about today,
 Leonard Bernstein was many things, composer, music teacher, advocate of the Arts and a great American of the last century.
I have a good number of his compositions originally recorded for Columbia (UK/Canada: CBS) records conducted by himself in a 7 cd Sony Music cd box set and a few choice extras such as the 1993 recording of On The Town.
Recently over here, the London symphony Orchestra's own cd label issued a recording in Super Audio cd (also playable in regular cd) taken from a live performance at the Barbican Arts Centre, London of his Wonderful Town musical.
Set in the 1940's but written in 1953, it tells the story of Ruth and Eilleen quest to make it big pursuing careers in writing and acting moving from Ohio in the Midwest to New York's Greenwich City  from the cramped basement apartment they moved to.
Along the way they meet colourful characters they'd never lived cheek by jowl by before in this city that never sleeps and the score reflects this being a a bright and cheery love letter to it.
The infectious jazz influenced score includes such classics as 'Ohio', 'One Hundred Easy Ways' and  A 'Little Bit in Love'
This performance is exhilarating, never letting up and technically superb.

Seeing this years Proms season ended September 10th thoughts went back to composers of the WW1 era.
 I have a good number of cds by by the mystic Gustav Holst and spotted this 2008 recording by the late Richard Hickox in a series of his Orchestral works he started and whose baton has been picked up by Sir Andrew Davis
This Chandos Super Audio cd has the popular Ballet from "The Perfect Fool" conceived as a an opera but written to ballet form in 1922 plus the much less popular but worthy The Lure ballet and Golden Goose choral ballet together with The Morning of the Year ballet the last two being composed in 1926.
I found this recording most enjoyable.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Read and in uniform

The weather is a bit better than it had been from the start of this week so I start with saying the last few entries that have been a little different from the the norm on this blog have been fairly well received.
I have been continuing with refreshing some items of my uniform although in certain  others areas I'm well stocked adding a  few replacement blouses and a green jumper to it.
 As most people know I usually look very much like her never happier to be wearing our school dresses although I dare say if I were to accidentally cause the netball to land though Miss Green's window I may well know it for a while!
Seeing it is early September I have been working my though some past stuff connected with roles and courses I've had that were very much paperwork heavy  tidying things up as there comes a point where most of that is no longer needed it just takes up unnecessary space with notes, bulky folders and so on.
As well, I also got around to reading Little Women although I'd had it for a while which is a timeless coming of age story of the four March sisters set in the post Civil War period in the States as though through childhood to adulthood, helped by their mother learning to navigate what it means to be a young woman from sibling rivalry to love, loss and marriage.

Monday, September 10, 2018

A walk around

It's been a damp weekend here  meaning going out was more a matter of picking a spot when it was either dry for a short while or just drizzling a little and given how I've been over the last month or so such venturing out has taken me beyond my usual haunts.
I normally go into town which as more seasoned readers will have worked out is a rather old market town with black and white buildings just out of the sprawl of the North Staffordshire conurbation but closer to edges of it are still just about detached villages admittedly with much mid twentieth century ribbon development prevailing along the main road.
 There are for me two ways of starting this trek, one is on foot, the other is to take a bus so normally I walk from my place passing the woods around the local rather imposing Hall and vast Estate at Rode with farms passing the main Anglican church to arrive at Scholar Green.
As I was walking I noticed signs of the onset of the Fall such as the changes in colour of the leaves and that thanks to the recent rain, fields and gardens have started to repair themselves from the summers high temperatures.
Although in recent years the number of Public Houses has fallen, there remains rather more than what the local static population would warrant and one famed both for its food and ale plus its architecture which has a Grade Two Listing being built in 1936 replacing a older ne on the same site but having a thatched roof.
This does a great passing trade.
Passing it I walked toward Lawton Woods where you can toward the sprawl that starts from Red Bull and Butt Lane and doesn't stop until Blythe Bridge and Trentham in the south or the woods that form a part of the barrier between it and the cluster of detached villages that increasingly function as detached suburbs of the sprawl.
One thing I like about this area and it is also true for much of the South Staffs conurbation too is the relative ease in which for all the built up environment it is easy to get to the more quieter countryside that you can walk and enjoy the flowers, trees and farm life at a more slower pace.
It's a close to the best of both worlds you can get.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Gender Spaces

Another week and one update to Pale Moon and that still hasn't cured the browser of freezing over so we're still in Firefox which as much as I don't like the interface does work very well.
Spaces are a contentious issue as anyone on Tumblr knows only too well and some of that also applies into off line life too as well as what people do when we allow them into our own.
One area I think worth talking about is gender spaces where yes most of us say people should be free to mix with whoever they want, take part in activities together and not be barred from an activity just because of their gender. 
This you might think is the end product of decades of arguments won when it comes to equal opportunities and as such the very last word but today it's not.
Unlike perhaps a few of you I've been in the work place and it isn't uncommon for female employees to actually have their own social groups that they keep to just women going out together or spending time at each others places.
Even in 2018 here in Great Britain there are Universities that only accept women being founded expressly for female higher education and women have voted to keep them that way because they prefer a all female ethos and under English Law at at least a private members club can be all female only too.
Part of the argument is it is nice to have a place just to talk and share things with without men around who as nice as they are would  change the feel by just being there and maybe inhibit conversations people needed.
There is a chunk of me that goes with that, indeed in my area Secondary Education is organized on gender lines unless you go out of town because that's what people here prefer feeling it's less distracting to study and children do better academically with girls feeling more able to show an interest in things like the sciences not trying to be a 'bimbo' or letting the boys take a dominate role and boys more able to express feeling in say both English's without feeling either a 'nerd'  or a 'sissy''.
If you accept the idea that some spaces should be able to be gendered if females wish, then we have to bear in mind we cannot then object if boys and men may also prefer a few   themselves to kept that way such as men's clubs where they may socialize and talk about things that wouldn't happen if a women was there.
That's different than arguing that say a woman shouldn't be allowed to a sports club that runs competitions such as golf clubs where teams are mixed.
Perhaps more give and take on gender spaces rather than battle cries might better suit our needs?

A Mars Bar is can be claimed for anyone spotting the typo in the illustration. 😁

Monday, August 27, 2018

Check and replace edition

Here we are on a August Bank Holiday over here having to use Firefox as Pale Moon, the browser of choice on my ageing Windows 7 laptop is having stability issues and and so I am waiting for a major bug removing update for it as it is not reliable enough for blogging.
Today I have been out for a walk and across this week I have been  sorting through my old clothes especially woollens for winter between those that simply need to go due to wear and tear like holes in elbows and those that just need a wash and airing out.
One thing I did do was replace a sweatshirt I have had for a number of years for another with slightly longer arms in it apart from obviously being new in better condition that I tend to wear  with my grey and green pleated skirts.
As well I did toss out some old ankle socks for new longer black ones as they were showing signs of wear in the toes and heel.
Think Ill just rest now and relax. Roll on September!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Rolling Stones on CD part II

This week we resume the music posts that go back to November 21 2016 no less where I did discuss my collection of Rolling Stones cds.
 As explained at the time in as far as their recordings before 1971 go, they are the property of Abcko Records who have released them as they felt fit and whose last re-issue series goes back to 2002 although in 2006 that series was reissued on standard cd in jewel cases.
Why did I say Standard cd?
Simply because in Europe, Japan and North America they all were issued that year on Super Audio cd with a layer playable on regular cd players too so that on those Super Audio cd players you would get a sound much closer to the original analogue recordings.
I bought a good many of them at the time but apart from missing the odd US only title that had little to offer over the UK one I didn't get around to picking up this one.
It is the least understood album of theirs of that era entitled Their Majesties Satanic Request and issued originally in December 1967 in mono which came on cd in the Rolling Stones in Mono box set and stereo.
The original sleeve used a 3D art insert of the band in the centre but this was dropped several years later as it was way too expensive to make and assemble.
 The whole theme of the album is so "The Summer of Love" it was almost dated on release but while it does contains a number of great songs it's biggest downfall was the the combination of the group using the recording sessions to just drop in the studio, goofing about without a producer to say "enough of that" and turbulent events around the including arrests and group founder Brian Jones increasing drug addiction with all the issues from it.
They had to pull bits up to make a album very quickly from very little that could be regarded as releasable.
Throw in experimenting widely with a psychedelic sound in the studio, incorporating unconventional instruments, sound effects, string arrangements, and African rhythms and what you had was an album far removed from the rock sound they had only created the previous year on their groundbreaking Aftermath album, Paint It, Black and Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows? singles.
It took me a while to get into this album mainly on the back of hearing free form jazz and even then some touches like the snoring segment before 2,000 Man which was covered by Kiss, still don't make any sense.
It's a interesting album to listen to especially in SACD but the group clearly learned from their experiences making this album bring in producer Jimmy Miller and a more disciplined approach to recording for their next album Beggars Banquet.

We *may* also have to go back to using Firefox on the Windows laptop until some issues with Google's Blogger and that resolve themselves on Pale Moon since the major change on version 28 in the last few days get bug fixes.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Play and what we play with

 I'm feeling better this week so I thought I'd write something a little different than usual.
 Something I started noticing several years back when I first started buying my own stuffies and especially dolls was a difference between what some bought them for and what I did before getting involved around the world of littles.
One of things I found odd was what I later called the "collectors mentality" where people bought them in the original packaging and kept them permanently in that state, boxed up at best on shelf or otherwise in a storeroom.
To me they seemed to see them as objects that admittedly they liked  but the bais was clearly on maintaining that collectors item look and monetary value to the point they weren't handled and cherished even if they were intended for children who would play with them.
Personally, I buy my dolls and stuffies to play with although my porcelain ones are because of their delicateness are more handled than played with.
I take them out to sit by, hug whenever I feel the 'need' to hug or carry on in my hand around the house or wherever I am staying. I create stories featuring them which I then play with in real time together freely.
That's for me apart from those 'special dolls' they are my toys which as an adult child I play with in much the same way that I did as a child and as some saw me recently even gently rocking a pram with dollies.
It's what I get from playing with them that matters more to me than that whole collectors thing.