Igor Stravinsky, Tupac Shakur and the uncanny

The Player Piano was the Tupac Hologram of its day. The most thrilling of our inventions are the ones that return to us a person we’ve lost or that recall a scene from the past that we couldn’t have experienced or a place we couldn’t have known. There’s a rush, a kind of zipwire effect.… Continue reading Igor Stravinsky, Tupac Shakur and the uncanny

Total radio – six reasons BBC Radio 3’s ‘Spirit of Schubert’ was awesome

The ‘Spirit of Schubert’ finished a week ago. It was Radio 3’s biggest ‘takeover’ yet – over 200 hours of output devoted exclusively to the work of Franz Schubert. Every one of his ‘performable works’ was played, many in brand new versions, some for the first time ever. It was a remarkable thing – and… Continue reading Total radio – six reasons BBC Radio 3’s ‘Spirit of Schubert’ was awesome

Three reasons #PromsXHQ is important

Radio 3 have improved the quality of their live online stream – it’s an experiment called #PromsXHQ (‘XHQ’ for Extra High Quality). For the final week of the Proms you can listen at 320kb/s AAC: a big improvement but not, on the face of it, a big deal. I think it’s important, though.Why? 1. It’s… Continue reading Three reasons #PromsXHQ is important

Really suffering for your art

Everyone says music is getting more physical again. We continue to get our daily sounds from ever more insubstantial sources, floating above us like those glittering landscapes in Neuromancer, but we’re going to more concerts and festivals than ever and buying more stuff while we’re at it (merch. fancy limited editions. Even musical instruments are… Continue reading Really suffering for your art