A Happy New Year to one and all.
We have a lovely view of Edinburgh castle from our apartment. This includes a warm, interior view of the Hogmanay fireworks on New Year’s Eve. By kind permission of Mr Tracks, here is one of his photos from last night.
You can see the whole set of his 2013 Hogmanay fireworks pictures (and those for previous years for that matter) here.
Meanwhile, I have been considering the likely and various stages of wakefulness and delicate dispositions in which you dear readers might be. It may alternatively be the case that it is already 2 January for some of you and you are raring to go.
In any event, as the delightful Eckart Tolle would undoubtedly say, the time is ‘now’.
So I have for you two completely different offerings to suit your mood. Both are wonderful. Both are favourites of mine. Both are deserved starters of the New Year.
First up is for those of you needing gentle and tender care. Maurice Ravel’s Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) was originally written for solo piano, but Ravel later wrote an orchestral accompaniment. It is this latter version which I recommend and you can hear here. Despite it’s sad title, accordinging to Wiki, Ravel was not paying tribute to any particular princess. He is said to have replied when asked about the title, “Do not be surprised, that title has nothing to do with the composition. I simply liked the sound of those words and I put them there, c’est tout”.
It is to my surprise and regret (chagrin, as the Frenchman Ravel would say of course), that this is the only music of his that I have on my iPhone – something to note on my Wishlist page for remedy after I have reached ‘Z’. His piano music is enchanting – he was writing as part of the impressionist music movement along with Claude Debussy.
Turning now to something for those of you who still want to party, how about a blast from the past?
I know absolutely nothing about the group called The Motors. Again, I see from Wiki that they were a ‘British pub rock/punk band’ formed in 1977′. Goodness me. I care not about such things, however. I simply love their single ‘Airport‘ released in 1978.
Broken down into its component elements, there are so many hidden gems within this track. The occasionally over-the-top drum track; the driving bass; the backing singers with their ‘do-do-do-do’s’; the futuristic pronounciation of ‘airport’ in the chorus; the fabulous melody picked out on keyboard; the desperate lyrics – “airport – you’ve got a smiling face; you took the one I love so far away”.
They all come together so perfectly. I could listen to this over and over again. Also for amusement and nostalgia (UK readers especially I guess), here is a particularly funny clip of The Motors appearing on the BBC music programme Top of The Pops. They do a reasonable job of miming to the song, but the lead singer is clearly taking it very seriously and not at all amused that the rest of the band is mucking about behind him….
PS – I have only just found out how to activate the falling snow on my blog – better late than never 🙂