Tag Archives: Music

A Musical Interlude

13 Oct

Here’s a little something I did with my choir, The Greater Manchester Voices, to cheer us all up in this season of not meeting and not performing.

Not MY choir, of course; the choir of which I am a member, usually lurking on the back row so I can sing my heart out but no one can actually hear me.


I Need A Dance Song

1 Mar

Three points:

  • I love writing but it is tedious at times, especially when you’re as anal as I am
  • I have no money
  • I like to reward myself when I finish something
  • I can’t count

When I completed my first two (unpublished) collections, at various stages I danced: a reward for sticking with the drafting/editing/proofing process. Dancing is better than money. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

The habit began by accident.  I wrote my South African collection over twenty years. One day, it occurred to me that I had unwittingly written a themed collection but it needed crafting. I listened to Mango Groove, a South African band, as I worked on it, and I felt like dancing after weeks slaving over a hot computer, so I put on Dance Sum More:

When it came to my second collection, Wholly Man, the South African vibe was all wrong, so I found this:

My third collection, published this summer, is a lighthearted look at menopause and motherhood. I have just completed the first draft and sent it off to my publisher* – literally ten minutes ago – and I was appalled to realise I have no dance song to celebrate.

Any suggestions?

It has to be cheerful and danceable and related to menopause and/or motherhood.

Find me something – I know you love a challenge.

*Which is why I haven’t yet replied to your comments; but I will, I promise…as soon as I finish reading my next course text (once I begin reading it) and write a poem based on it, due in tomorrow lunchtime.


Joke 939

18 Oct
Conductor illustration

Conductor illustration (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

A conductor tells a little joke:


Q: How do you know when there’s a harmonica player at the door?
A: He doesn’t have the key, he just comes in whenever he feels like it.


And the harmonica player returns the favour:


Q: Why are conductors’ hearts so coveted for transplants?
A: They’ve had so little use.


Q: What does a good conductor weigh?
A: 28 ounces, not counting the urn.


Q: What’s black and brown and looks good on a conductor?
A: A Doberman.


Q: A conductor and a violist are standing in the middle of the road. Which one do you run over first, and why?
A: The conductor. Business before pleasure. 


From vocalist.org.uk

13 Jul

These guys are really good; check them out.

Jenny's Serendipity Art Blog

Hello Everyone!

Here is my promise to my nephew, Rhett.  ( the one with the glasses 😉 )

The singers are Linda Davis, Miky Tayoba, and Rhett. Thomas Mcarthy on Cajon, Trevor Fields on electric guitar and Produced by Sam Bashor. They started as friends and decided to form a band late 2011 in Santa Clarita, California.

Go check them out!

Hope you guys enjoy! 😀

Please like and Follow Dublin Inc. at: 

FACEBOOK: Dublin Inc.

TWITTER: Dublin Inc.

Thanks you to Trevor Field for recording and editing the song

Hayden Scott for standing in for electric guitar

Nate Bashor for lending the camera, ligthing equipment, and editing software

Linda Davis – Vocals

Everett Bichara – Vocals

Miky Tayoba – Vocals/Acoustic Guitar

Thomas McCarthy – Percussion

Trevor Field – Recording Artist/ Sound Editor/Electric Guitar

Sam Bashor – Producer/Video Recorder/Video Editor

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We’ve Got Gigs Coming Out Of Our Ears Here

25 Jun

Bailrigg fm festival

Tory Boy phoned last night.  Not to chat to his mother or tell her how much he loves and misses her and he should never have left home to go to university, leaving her bereft and jobless.

No, he called because he wants me to promote a music festival he’s helped organise.  Fair enough: I’m a mother; doing as I’m told by my adult children is part of the job description.

When: TODAY from 12 to 9

Where: Lancaster University and bailriggfm.co.uk, so anyone can listen, anywhere in the world


Price: FREE

The festival has been organised by Bailrigg fm, the student radio station at Lancaster University.  It is the first time they have tried something like this and they are hoping to make it an annual event.  The students have organised everything, including the food (done at the last minute by Tory Boy himself, so you know who to sue).

TB will be doing his DJ sets at 12 – 12.15 and 12.45 – 1, UK time, so please check him out if you happen to be online.  Click here for an international clock.

Then report back to me: I can’t be doing with all that nasty, modern music.

Imelda May; I Definitely Will

24 Mar

I’ve recently come across this Irish singer; she’s brilliant.  Her album could be described as neo-rockabilly.  She made painting the ceiling fun.

No Contest

20 Feb

When you’re feeling down, what music cheers you up?

Blog Posts I Have Loved

7 Feb

I saw this on Musing‘s blog and had to share it with you:

I meant to post it days ago but I forgot.

As I have lifted one item from another blog, I might as well compound my crime by sharing this, which had me laughing out loud, and not just in a polite lol way.  It’s too good a story not to share.

Vivinfrance wrote an interesting piece about haggis; this was one of the comments, from The Poet’s Quill.

I’ve never been anywhere where haggis was served. I would love to try it. I’ve had both fried rattlesnake and alligator, of course they are cold-blooded critters, but they were good. We had a difficult time getting a recipe for rattlesnake, but I’ll never forget the recipe we got from a friend’s mother. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. My friend said that she would have a recipe if anyone would. This is how she thought they should be prepared.

Cut off the head and discard, the thing still can bite even if it appears dead.
Skin it.
Remove all the intestines.
Cut it into three-inch lengths.
Take the three-inch pieces and flush them down the toilet.


WordPress Prompts – The Blogging Equivalent Of Catholic Guilt

28 Jan

The WordPress prompt about things happening for a reason so enraged me that I haven’t responded to any prompts since. 

I think I’d better answer a few before I’m excommunicated from the postaday2011 family:

Do you want to live forever?

Don’t be ridiculous!  What would I do once the Maltesers ran out?

If stranded on a desert island, and could only bring one music album with you, which would it be? What is it about this music that never gets old for you?*

Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell.  I’m always fourteen when I listen to it.  Fourteen year olds don’t care where they are so long as they can play their music at full blast, all day long.

What is your favourite sound?

Someone else saying, Dinner is served.

How do you define the word friend?

Someone who, when you ask her to pick up the Maltesers, refuses to take payment for them when she arrives.


*All grammatical errors WordPress’s own.

Monday Music

29 Nov

We’re starting with The Kane Gang.  I always loved this song but I haven’t heard it in fourteen years; a Facebook friend posted it yesterday.  Only trouble is, those mean people at Sony say I can’t share the video with you, so here’s the audio version:

Everyone on Facebook says it reminds them of the British summer of 1984 but it reminds me of video tapes and that I was in South Africa.  Another reason to resent my parents.  Oops, sorry: I’m on the wrong blog.


Another week, another episode of the X Factor.  I was sorry to see Katie Waissel go, her pornographic grandmother notwithstanding.  I thought this was her best performance:

I loved Rebecca Ferguson this week; I think she’s fabulous but it was all becoming a bit samey so it was good to see her liven up a bit:

But the performance of the night for me came from Matt Cardle:

I Am Not Amused

4 Sep

My baby is taking my baby to a Muse concert today.  Spud thinks Christmas and his birthday have come all at once.  Actually, they have: the ticket was a joint Christmas & birthday present from Tory Boy.  Since December 25th 2009 we have heard nothing but Muse Muse Muse I can’t wait it’s going to be great Muse Muse Muse from an excited teenager.

It’s okay for him – he’s the one with the great time to look forward to; what have I got?  A 21st birthday party at which I can eat drink and be merry, when instead I could be sitting at home worrying about his safety.  I don’t worry about Tory Boy anymore because he’s been living without me for two years and he’s still alive proving that either a) I did my job as a mother properly or b) I am properly redundant in my job as a mother.

Incidentally, it is 11:30 in the morning; doors open at four, and Spud is already ready to go.  Old Trafford cricket ground is only twenty minutes by car from here so he could walk it and still be first in the queue.  I never thought I’d say this, but I hate Christmas!


2 Jul

We haven’t had any music for a while, so here’s something mellow to set the tone for the weekend; you’ll know it when you hear it:

There’s not much to report today. 

I suggested to the Hub that he might try acupuncture to relieve his pain and he asked me was I sure I didn’t mean voodoo? 

I must try not to be nice to him; he’s so suspicious, I might get found out.

Have a great weekend!

Word Music?

15 Mar

On Saturday I took Spud and Spud’s best friend to the art gallery to watch (hear, surely?) some live music.   Not classical this time, but a  mélange of styles from across the borough.  Due to an unfortunate timing issue, we missed the beginning because Stockport County’s match had just finished.  The ground, Edgeley Park, is just up the road from us. 

When we arrived, there was a young band playing and the musicians were good, the boy wasn’t bad but the girl was flat with a capital flat.  Then our old friend Paul Usher came on, he of the no nits.  Paul (several of us from our writing class had promised to support him), the chance for two teens to experience live music and the fact that it was free are the reasons I went.  I hope to be like my mother one day, who saw the Beatles at the Cavern before they were famous; Spud, his friend, my writing buddies and I can all say, ‘We saw Paul Usher at Stockport Art Gallery before he was famous.’  He’d better be famous because I’m tired of being let down by the boys’ school friends who form bands, let me watch them, then split up to go to university or work.   P.U. was amazingly good; much better live than he sounds on the net, and his playing is fabulous.  One of my writing buddies spoke truth when she said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be the act that follows him.’  As it turned out, nobody did.  Want to be that act, that is.  Spud and SBF were not impressed by the country & western duo who followed, though the woman was pretty good.

The best was yet to come, however.  One of the gallery’s staff advised us to stick around and listen to the next band: ‘A lady who chants poetry to music.’  Hmm.  You can’t whack a good poem, it’s true; but try listening to a woman in a Harry Potter cloak and her wild-eyed band mate – if I tell you he could look at the pictures on either side of the gallery at the same time, you’ll get my drift – read what was possibly good poetry but we couldn’t tell because all we could hear was ‘Mmffff ggghh hhhrret tttssd ddeeyy uhnx nmdjdhggfh’ from him and a wobbly, reedy, way flatter than the earlier girl, ‘Can’t get you outta my head’ from her, interposed after every fourth line of  ‘Mmffff ggghh hhhrret tttssd ddeeyy uhnx nmdjdhggfh.’  The boys needed to leave immediately so they could laugh outside without choking.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for experiments in poetry and music and supporting local artistes, but the boys are in favour of breathing and they just couldn’t stifle their laughter any more.  They will definitely remember the band, called Word Music, because they made up poems and interspersed them with increasingly hysterical  ‘Can’t get you outta my heads’ all the way home.


If Music Be The Love Of Food, Play On

12 Mar

[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger.  ~John Chesson

Bramall Hall Photo Gallery
Photo – Bramall Hall and lawnsPrevious | home | Next
an image of the Park and Hall

 All photographs from http://www.bramallhall.org.uk/gallery/index.asp 

I had a fantastic time on Wednesday night.  You know how when you intend to go out drinking you line your stomach with a good meal? Actually, that’s not something I do because I’m not really a drinker and I hardly ever go out in the evenings unless there’s a college course involved, but I think it’s a good life principle in general and I always eat before I go out anywhere, just in case whatever I’m doing runs over my next scheduled meal time.  Unfortunately, my love of food remains with my stomach and doesn’t often extend to my brain, with the result that at least twice a week I forget to take out dinner from the freezer, as happened on Wednesday.  Fortunately, I am blessed with the best of sons who now becomes No.1 Son over his older brother: Spud had food and came home with a chicken chow mein that was not only edible and plentiful, but delicious.  But, even more importantly, it meant that I DID NOT HAVE TO COOK.  That was what moved him up the rankings.*

Belly full, I was collected at six-thirty by my good friend J.  I was going to call her the Taxirhymist because I wanted to mention that she is extremely generous with her car, ferrying me from workshop to college to gala performance to writing group to art gallery without accepting any petrol money; and she is a talented poet but has only discovered her talent in the last year; but it sounded pretentious when I read it back and she is certainly not that, so I shall simply call her my good friend J.  Me, mgfJ  and three other writing buddies all performed at Bramhall Hall on Wednesday night, along with the poet Terry Caffrey and a string quartet from Manchester Camerata.   I wasn’t expecting much, if I’m honest: we attended a workshop at Stockport Art Gallery on Saturday and discovered ten minutes into it that we were going to perform some of our work the following Wednesday.  I hadn’t even heard of the Camerata at that point.  I think Terry was disappointed that none of us snatched at the opportunity and had to be gently bludgeoned into perhaps possibly maybe thinking about it.  However, of the six people at the workshop, five of us turned up, so the message that this was a big deal must have got through.

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. ~ Gustav Mahler

Bramall Hall Photo Gallery
Photo – a view of the Lesser HallPrevious | home | Next
an image of the Lesser Hall

 We were greeted in the Lesser Gallery by two men who seemed quite excited to have us there; poetry reading is not usual for the Hall, apparently. They were delightful hosts and showed us into the Chapel whilst someone went to fetch Terry.  That gave me and a writing buddy time to look through teh rpintouts and notice that our poems weren’t in there.  This might have been a hindrance to our reading if it had not had the foresight to bring along our own copies for just such an emergency.  In my case, I wanted to bring a copy because I had made changes to my poems since submitting them to the gallery the day before.  This was also the moment when I knew I had been right to single out mgfJ for the honour of my being my good friend J: our printer is out of ink so I had emailed my copy to her and she had printed it out for me and, more importantly, brought it with her.   What a woman!

 When words leave off, music begins.  ~Heinrich Heine

Bramall Hall Photo Gallery

Photo – Bramall Hall Chapel

Previous | home | Next

An image of the Chapel

Terry found, greetings greeted, and apologies made for the omission, which wasn’t his fault, he took us upstairs to meet a couple of Camerata wigs (I hesitate to call them big because I have no idea if they were) and to have a quick run-through of the running order.  Then it was time for a toilet break.  I should mention at this point that the house has been built and added on to since the Eleventh Century.  It is mentioned in the Domesday Book.  Never having read the Domesday Book, I don’t know if there’s a map in it pointing the way to the public lavatories, but I could have used one.  When I came out of the loo I found myself alone in a corridor with doors on every side.  I had no idea where I was or in which direction I had come or needed to go.   I felt a little like Alice and I would have appreciated at that point a wine bottle labelled, ‘Drink Me.’  Not having the option to sprawl in a corridor and get plastered, I tried opening each door until I found one that led to some stairs that I remembered we had come up.  More doors at the bottom and lots of dark, empty rooms later, I found the wheelchair access ramp which indicated I was almost home.  I stopped to ponder the absurdity of a wheelchair access ramp leading to an upstairs toilet, and decided that there must be a downstairs disabled toilet, surely?  It was the law.  Then it occurred to me I was in a fantasy world of my own when I should be finding my own rabbits to follow, and I ran and ran the three steps that took me to the very door I needed, leading into the Great Hall.

Image of the Great Hall


Music is one of the best ways to enjoy the present.  It’s not much fun to look forward to hearing music or to remember what a song sounded like last week, but music right now absorbs you and places you in the present moment.  ~Sonnett Branche




Music is what life sounds like.  ~Eric Olson

Bramall Hall Photo Gallery
Photo – a view of the Great HallPrevious | home | Next
an image of the Great Hall

The big photo shows the Hall set for dining but on the night there were plush blue chairs laid out in rows.   Despite its name it is not a huge room; there were about fifty people present and it felt cosy.  The musicians had set up in front of the magnificent fireplace (see small photo above).  I was relieved that we had back row seats because I expected to fidget a lot.  I have never been to a classical music concert before, unless you count Cliff Richard, and though I love the likes of Vivaldi and the well-known classics, I’m not familiar with much in the way of the good stuff.  My expections were massively confounded.  The Camerata began with Mozart’s String Quartet No. 18 and followed it with Dvorak’s Romance (listen to me writing as if I know what I’m talking about).   The Mozart was nice but the Dvorak – cliché alert!  but it’s the only way I can describe it – absolutely blew me away.  I had noticed a man sitting with his eyes closed during the Mozart and thought he was asleep at first, before spying his nodding head and deciding he was a poseur, but I offer him an apology right here, right now, because I found myself listening to the Dvorak with my eyes closed and being aware of nothing but the music.  There is nothing in the world like live music played by polished professionals at the top of their game in an intimate setting with a thousand years of history behind it.  I highly recommend you try it.  Even better if you get to do it for free.

As I was carried away on violin strings to another realm of being (or, to give it its technical term, ‘listening’), I wondered how many wandering minstrels, bards, players, Robin Hood rejects and the like had stood in that very spot and entertained people through the ages.  It made me feel much less nervous: nobody remembers them so it wouldn’t matter if I messed up because nobody would remember it but me.    I stopped worrying about my nervous gut; stopped praying, ‘Please don’t let me break wind up there, please don’t let me break wind.’  I didn’t stop having a glass of wine in the Banqueting Room, of course: it would have been rude; I’m sure I saw an invisible sign saying, ‘Drink Me.’  Trouble is, I had to down it quickly and so I found myself praying while I was waiting to read, ‘Please don’t let me vomit up there; please don’t let me vomit.’

Music is love in search of a word.  ~Sidney Lanier

Bramall Hall Photo Gallery
Photo – the Banqueting RoomPrevious | home | Next
a photo of the banqueting room

We didn’t have much time in the Banqueting Room because we gathered for another quick run-through and for photographs in front of the fireplace.  Fortunately, only one with me in it came out.   I know it’s true that the camera adds ten pounds but, to quote Friends, just how many cameras were on me that night?


Motley Crue

Terry is second-left; MGFJ is in red; ‘The Blob’ auditionee is second-right.

We were introduced by Frank.  I have no idea who he was or in what capacity he was there, but he was lovely.  He explained that Terry would explain why we were there, then Terry stood up and explained why we were there.  Then we read out our bits  and the writing buddy who went first thanked Terry for the opportunity and mgfJ who went last thanked the audience for having us.  Then Terry thanked us and thanked the audience and it was all very civilised.  The audience just looked bemused.  They had come to a concert expecting to hear the Camerata, and found a group of giggly – but extremely polite – poets hogging twelve precious music minutes.  However, they charitably clapped the Stockport Art Gallery Writing Group, which was how Frank and Terry introduced us; it surprised us all, because no-one had told us that that’s who we are.

The evening was rounded off by the Camerata’s performance of Janacek’s String Quartet no. 2 (Intimate Letters), the hideous music upon which our poems were based, and the point of us being there.  But you know what?  The magic worked again and it was wonderful – lots of plinks and plonks and stalking soundtracks, yes; but the passion and the obsession was tangible through the music.  I have to say that I will never, ever listen to it on a cd, which is how we first heard it at the gallery; but if someone offers me the chance to hear it played live again, I might just accept.

The evening ended with appreciative applause for the musicians, who took several bows and exited, then came back for more applause, bows, etc.  All well and good for the three violinists, but what about the poor cellist?  I swear she had a hump. 


Music is the poetry of the air. ~ Richter    


                                                                                                                                            All quotes from:  http://www.quotegarden.com/music.html 


*Don’t worry, Tory Boy: it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and you have more money than your brother so you can easily regain your place.

Seasick Steve

4 Jan

Check this guy out:

I had never heard of him until last night’s episode of Top Gear; isn’t he brilliant?


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