On Friday I have dinner with Fiona and Kate. And that's lovely! But Fiona wasn't happy with just eating. She wanted added value. And came up with a project. We would each send each other links to three tracks, and listen to the others' tracks before the dinner. Just tracks that mean something to us for some reason. And then we discuss them over dinner. It's quite nice! I don't tend to struggle too much thinking of music to send. I just send the soundtrack of my life in small bits. I have sent music by Tori Amos, 16 Horsepower, The Cure, Sinead O'Connor, New Model Army, Joe Jackson, the Nits, Madrugada and Elvis Costello so far. Enough to still choose from! I haven't even touched the Sisters of Mercy yet, or Placebo, just to name a few. And yes my music isn't very recent. So be it!
Tori Amos; pic by Krissikes
And the others? Most of it is music I didn't know at all, or only barely. I have been listening to Jethro Tull, Tiesto, Andy Partridge, Fleetwood Mac, Frazier Chorus; whatnot! Some music I already know well: Beethoven, Kirsty MacColl, Queen. I'm learning stuff! Some of it I will only listen to for the occasion; some I may listen to more. And I'm broadening my horizon. And sometimes the music sets you on a track! For instance, the Kirsty MacColl track got me wondering about her and finding out more about her life. And I got a bit sidetracked by Billy Bragg as the song had been 'A New England', which he had written. And the Andy Partridge track 'Prince of Orange' reminded me (through the piano work) of 'Sketches of Spain' by the Nits. And that made me wonder if that song had any musical link with the miles Davis album of the same name. I didn't expect so but one can't be sure! So I listened to that too. (And no it doesn't, as far as I can tell.)
It doesn't always work! Kate and I still work full-time so sometimes this extra task can be a bit much. One time she submitted hers late because she had been busy, and then I was too busy to listen to them before the dinner. Oh well! Music doesn't go off. I could listen to it later!
Will we stick with this? I don't know! I think it's the only form of culture of which you could get a reasonable weekly dose. You can't do this with books or films or plays. I can't read three books in a week! Or watch three films. Forget about the plays. And the chances I have read/seen other people's choices are very slim. And the other way around too! My film knowledge is almost entirely based on my time in Amsterdam, and the Tromsø International Film Festival. A bit of a random selection. And many of the books I have read and was impressed by were in Dutch or Welsh or maybe even Norwegian. So that doesn't help!
And in the meantime? I haven't found a new favourite band yet but who knows what will still happen!