Wednesday, July 23, 2008



I must be, quite possibly, the worst blogger on the planet. Aside from my lack of posts, I've had no impetus to keep this going - but things seem to be changing, and I feel more inclined to unleash my polemic upon you (whoever you are...)

I was intrigued to hear of this - and I know I'm not the first, and certainly not the last, to see the irony that the 'Butcher' has been living life as a fugitive, and has become an authority on alternative therapy and meditation.

Has he turned his life around? Does he repent? Can he justify his karma to the world? I don't think we'll know until he defends himself.

I hear on the news, and read on a lot of blogs, that some people seem to be totally confused as to how someone can lead this 'double-life' so successfully. Don't forget that this man was a former psychiatrist, and worked his way up to the top of the totem pole. As such, we can safely assume that the ensuing battle of hearts and minds - to be fought fiercely on both sides, for and against Karadzic [for those who are unsure, it's pronounced 'Kah-rah-ji-ch' - I have that on authority from a Serbian friend... ;-) ], will be very well put together from both points of view, in respect to whether you believe his actions were justified and heroic, or despotic and murderous.

Many have also mentioned in the media as to how this will affect the admission of Serbia into the EU, but I do not think that it will have that great an effect - Croatia, a country much further down the line than Serbia (part of NATO and invited onto the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member), is still being relatively hounded by the EU prior to its own admission. In this respect, this is only a small victory for Serbia, and it still could go either way depending on how Keradzic and his relation to Serbia is portrayed to the rest of the world.

This should be quite interesting to watch unfold... but what do I know... I'm a musician!

Sapere Aude.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

The show must go on...


The things you do for a couple of hundred pounds - I've been playing in a show all week, that is, every night I got to a theatre in *Town name* (there aren't that many, thankfully) and play in a show. They get great audiences, the cast are reasonable for an amateur band (still the odd comical duet/soprano or tenor top note that brings merryment and mirth to the pit - not due to the fact that it's a G&S, but that it's done so...err...differently to what's scored...) and they seem to rake in the audiences (I rekon that they've already recouped their losses, and there's still a night to go).

I've been leading this one - that means playing in the No. 1 violin spot. Whilst this is fun, it can get a bit monotonous having to lead every entry for a total of 42 numbers (yes, the show has that many songs - none of them different, is G&S after all...). Irony - I've just been asked to play pirates of penzance in march for another week - sometimes, fate is cruel...profitable, but still cruel!

Sapere Aude.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hmm...I guess I return!


Well, looks like I'm back - my other half has decided to embark on a blog of her knitting endeavours which can be found here.

Well, must go now - will update this as to what I'm currently doing as soon as I can!

Sapere Aude.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Blog, blog, blog, blog....


The problem with Blogs is updating them. If you don't, you feel more and more guilty until there comes a point whereby you feel dirty just thinking about how you have ignored them completely.

Well, I just forgot, but I imagine that some people have felt that ;-)

I've been too busy for words, and so none have flowed from my fountain. My apologies,

Hopefully this will all change soon.

Sapere Aude.


Monday, August 07, 2006

The problem with Audiences...


Performers depend on their audiences. That much is a fact.

No Audience, no appreciation, no money and thus, no performer. The cultural and creative arts suddenly vanish off the face of the Earth.

The Liverpool Philharmonic ( - of whom I know a fair few of its players - is suffering from a distinct lack of audience.

I'd like to say that it's because of more interesting cultural events, or that the programmes aren't quite 'audience friendly' - i.e. only the 'connoisseurs' of music (those who profess to know more than they do, claim to be able to do more than they can, and drop names at every juncture) would attend - but it isn't the case.

Recently, they refused to renew the contract for their now leaving director, Jerry Schwartz. He is being replaced this coming summer by Vasili Petrenko - a young Russian conductor whom local critics, audiences and the Phil members themselves are keen to see at work.

If you are reading this, please book a ticket to a concert - any concert - and help them out. If you don't live in Liverpool, go and support you local orchestra!

For those of you who don't think that it's your scene - I heard of a story from one of the BBC Phil Trombonists who was really stunned when, whilst playing in a concert in the PROMS series, saw two teenage girls in tears. I can't remember what they were playing (some opera, I think) but it had a profound effect on those two members of the audience. Simillar scenes were seen at Glastonbury when sections of Wagner's 'The Valkyrie' was performed.

Hope to see you there,

Sapere Aude.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"You mean my whole fallacy's wrong?" - McLuhan

Well, after the fantastic weekend of concerts (magic and music do go together! - watch this space for more). The Bassist and I both performed very well, and hoefully more gigs on the way! I was reminded of talks with a friend of mine (a musician/producer who I've worked with - CB for short), we got into a discussion about McLuhan - 'the Medium is the Message'.

We got onto the subject of the internet - and after much meandering around various fallacious and circular arguements, none of which make sense, and all of which are arguing the same side - we landed upon the idea that the Internet is, essentially, a mirror of our society, insofar as our communication and social dynamics are concerned. However, it is a simulacra - and a dangerous one - one that is beginning to replace our normal methods of communication.

Whereas McLuhan said that electric wires in computers etc., correlate to our nervous system, each Dial in/DSL/T1 connection is a potential line of communication. We each have the potential to communicate with each other, as long as we have a common medium. Until the Internet, this was language, but with the internet, language is overcome by 'online translation engines', and so now, in this day and age, our ability to communicate and function as a human being is embodied by our access to a telephone line or computer connection.

Memetic transference is the only thing that the Internet can handle. It acts as a 'universal' medium, self regulating, self enhancing, but it still has a vulnerable jugular (the 13 'master DNS' servers in the US). Still, the Internet is so ingrained into our lives that we can no longer function as we do fully without its presence. Yes, we can replace it with longer, more complicated methods of transferring ideas from A to B, but they would take time to mature to such a level as that which we have now.

As such, the internet as simulacra or our minds' desires has left us as kings of our own domains, rulers of our LANs', forever defending our realms from the likes of other invading marauders. Some users choose to go around like thieves in the night, likening themselves to ninjas or pirates, whilst others build up great Temples of their own, filled with their Great User's Dogma, Writings, Memes and other such personal rubbish (this site being an example). This kind of self-righeousness allows people an outlet through which they can bestow their hopes, fears, loves, hates and all manner of their psyches' concerns.

What sh*te, eh?
(whilst involving McLauhan - is this site Hot or Cold medium? What do you think?)

(who got that joke?)

We eventually decided that such things were best left to proper and thinking, and not just two blokes sitting in a concert venue waiting for the show to start (given that I was in the show, my departure became quite important!).

Well, feel free to post your utter disgust at this over-generalisation of the Status Quo of the Internet. As McLuhan is quoted - 'I may be wrong, but I'm never in doubt' ;-)

Sapere Aude,


Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Sleep paralysis and hypnopompic hallucinations..."


Well, this week, Thereminisation has taken toll! Been working on a few things, and gave a demonstration of the Theremin and magic at my old college - many new faces, many old, and all baffled, amazed and amused!

There was a great diversity of audience - and those who I would normally take to not get into magic really took to it - which is reassuring (Lucy, Rachel, Jack, Ellie & co. - hope you enjoyed it ;-) ). It was great to meet all of these people, and all whom I met were great people. To all those who were 'put under' - don't worry, I've been doing this a while ;-)

Well, looking to the magic/music concert next Sunday, I'm commencing preparation with the other player - hopefully will be a good show!

Ah well - off to carry on watching the Skeptics Society 2005 conference DVD (which is where the title of this post comes from ;-D ). I was reminded in this DVD (Michael Shermer didn't know who it was, suprisingly) of a quote from Sidney Morgenbesser:

During a lecture the Oxford linguistic philosopher J.L. Austin made the claim that although a double negative in English implies a positive meaning, there is no language in which a double positive implies a negative. To which Morgenbesser responded, "Yeah, yeah." (Some have it quoted as "Yeah, right." See litotes for the actual linguistic status of this hypothesis.)

Have fun.