#AtoZAprilChallenge: Vinyl

With the wonders of  “digital remastering” ancient rockers of my generation can enjoy again the pleasures of old  7-inch records, discovering or rediscovering long forgotten musical treasures . Ah! The good old “45 tours” (45 RPM) vinyl marvels, with their fragile paper covers, the beautiful or garish pictures of young stars in action… Ah Gene Vincent, … Continue reading #AtoZAprilChallenge: Vinyl

#AtoZChallenge: April 19, 2013: Q = 九

 In the Japanese numerals system the number “9” is 九, and its name is kyū, or ku, or kokonotsu, identical to the letter “Q”, so that ichi-ku-hachi-yon, 1Q84, Haruki Murakami’s masterpiece, is also “1984”, a reference to George Orwell’s masterpiece. There are three main alphabets in Japanese: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, plus the phonetic version … Continue reading #AtoZChallenge: April 19, 2013: Q = 九

Norway in London… Long Live ECM!

dianajhale

The calendar is full but the future is blank.

The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land.

Snow-fall on the lead-still sea. Shadows

scrabble on the pier

(Black Postcards by Tomas Tranströmer, version by Robin Robertson in The Deleted World)

Last week’s London Jazz Festival featuring many Nordic musicians set me thinking again about national identity, but this time wondering if a combination of nations can have a discernible identity. Nordic (a broader term than Scandinavian which strictly refers just to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, Nordic includes Finland and Iceland and their dependencies) has lately been applied to areas of culture such as crime novels (and their associated TV series, notably Wallander and The Killing), as well as jazz. It has become a useful catchphrase (and of course marketing tool) signifying angst, gloom, icy landscapes, long dark winters, introspection etc. Inevitably becoming cliched such generalisations usually start with…

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