Happiness as Anarchy #125: Richard Galliano, accordionist

I was blown away by the music of Argentinian legend Astor Piazzolla at a concert in 2012 by French accordionist Richard Galliano. He was joined by the Piazzolla Forever Septet and it was an incredible concert, like a fire on stage. With all the depth and variety of the slow burn, the crazy roaring fire, beautiful flickering flames and everything in between. The recital centre auditorium was only half full, and most of us were sitting in the cheaper seats towards the back, but they gave what was, for me, probably the best concert I’ve ever seen, and three encores. I’m very excited to be heading off to hear that music in its birthplace.

Happiness as Anarchy #121: Musical Lineage

My musical lineage has some rather distinguished names in it and makes me feel I’m carrying a certain responsibility to keep playing. If I trace back the teachers, it arrives with J.S. Bach. He taught his son, C.P.E. Bach, who taught Haydn. Haydn taught Beethoven, who in turn taught Czerny. He taught Parratt who taught Nickson, who in turn taught Keck, who taught me.

Musical Lineage (1)


Happiness as Anarchy #110: Jacques Loussier

Bach and jazz, I hear you say, what do they have in common? Well, J.S. Bach was the master improviser and innovator when it came to music. Had been around in the 20th century he surely would have been a jazz star, doing all the amazing harmonic and melodic things that make him a genius, but with a swinging beat. French pianist Jacques Loussier took Bach into the modern world in the 1950s – playing jazzed up Bach. It is nothing short of exquisite, not to mention incredibly skilful.




Happiness as Anarchy #104: Playing piano

Playing piano has always been a meditation-like exercise for me. Whenever I was grumpy as a kid my mum would tell me to go and play piano, as she knew it would fix whatever was wrong. I’ve had a difficult day and driving home I was contemplating wine or chocolate (or both) as a remedy, but walked in the door and realised that what I really needed was for my fingers and ears to commune with my piano. It only took 15 minutes at the ivories (although I could have happily stayed there for hours) to restore the balance of things.

McCoy Tyner's hands
Close-up photo of the hands of jazz pianist McCoy Tyner as he performs at the Jazz Showcase, a jazz club in the Printer’s Row neighborhood of Chicago, 1970s. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)

Happiness as Anarchy #102: Sam’s Song

Here’s a happy tune, you’ll love to croon …
I discovered this fabulous little song on a Bing Crosby duets album that I picked up in an opshop one day. Ridiculously cheery and guaranteed to put a spring in your step even on the gloomiest of days. Bing’s brother, Gary, does a wonderful job of the second time through with a bagful of extra lyrics. What for others would be a blur, Gary delivers beautifully articulated mouthfuls of words.

Happiness as Anarchy #97: Quantifiable Progress

As a qualitative researcher, I’m normally quite suspicious of quantitative measurements. However, there are times when the numbers are both meaningful and deeply satisfying. I just updated my song list document – I haven’t done it since January when was sitting around the century mark – and discovered that it now numbers 180. That’s a lot of new songs, and I hadn’t realised just how many I had crammed into my cranium until I made the list. The quantitative data, on this occasion, makes me feel like a good girl!
For my regular monthly gig at Craig’s Royal Hotel next Wednesday I’m asking the audience to choose the songs. If you’d like to be part of that, here’s the list (with Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits at the end):

A Child Is Born
After You’ve Gone
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Alabama Song
Alice In Wonderland
All About That Bass
All of Me
All of You
Anything Goes
At Last
Autumn Leaves
Beautiful Love
Better Him Than Me
Black Coffee
Blue Moon
Blue Skies
Blueberry Hill
Box of Stars
Brahms Lullaby
C’est Magnifique
C’est Si Bon
Careful With My Heart
Ces Petits Riens
Come Away With Me
Comes Love
Dance Me To The End Of Love
Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree
Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Drink A Little Poison
Drinking In Pyjamas
End of Every Day
Everybody Loves My Baby
Five Foot Two
Fly Me to the Moon
Frère Jacques
Frim Fram Sauce
Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
Gentle On My Mind
Georgia On My Mind
Give Me One Reason
Gone Fishin’
Have You Met Miss Jones?
Honeysuckle Rose
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
I Hear Music
I Love Paris
I Touch Myself
I Wish I Was In Love
I Won’t Dance
I’m Beginning To See The Light
I’m Walkin’
I’d Love To Make Love To You
If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Sit On It
In These Shoes
Inch Worm
J’ai deux amours
J’suis snob
Java Jive
Je Cherche Un Homme
Je te veux
Just A Gigolo
Just One of Those Things
Just Squeeze Me
King of Starting Over
King of the Road
L’il Liza Jane
La Mer (Beyond the Sea)
La Vie En Rose
Lazy River
Le déserteur
Le Tango Neurasthénique
Les Caresses
Les Yeux Noirs
Let’s Do It
Let’s Fall In Love
Let’s Misbehave
Louisiana Fairytale
Love Is Just Around The Corner
Lullaby of Birdland
Mack the Knife
Melancholy Baby
Memories are Made of This
Miss Otis Regrets
Moonlight In Vermont
Ne Joue Pas Au Soldat
Nearness Of You, The
Never On A Sunday
Non, je ne regrette rien
Only Ghost
Parlez-moi d’amour
Peacock’s Feather – Paddy Fahey’s Reel
Peel Me A Grape
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
Quand Je Danse Une Java
Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours?
Que Sera Sera
Santa Baby
Secret Love
Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Stand By Your Man
Stompin’ at the Savoy
Sugar In My Bowl
Sunday Kind of Love
Sweet Georgia Brown
Taste Of Your Smile
Tea For Two
Tennessee Waltz
That’s Amore
Perfect Spot, The
Taste of Your Smile, The
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
They Tried To Tell Us We’re Too Young
To & Fro
Too Darn Hot
Un Eléphant
Under Paris Skies
Underneath The Arches
Way You Look Tonight, The
We’ll Meet Again
What the world needs now is love
When Doves Cry
When You Wish Upon A Star
Willow Garden
Winter Waltz
You Don’t Own Me
Your Heart Is As Black As Night
Your Place or Mine?
I’m Leaving The Table
Chelsea Hotel
Take This Waltz
Le Partisan
Tonight Will Be Fine
Dance Me To The End Of Love
Alexandra Leaving
Bird On The Wire
Heart With No Companion
Tango Till They’re Sore
Shiver Me Timbers
Diamonds On My Windshield
Little Drop of Poison
Jockey Full of Bourbon
Gun St. Girl
Picture in a Frame
Chocolate Jesus
Walkin’ Spanish
House Where Nobody Lives
Kiss Me
The Piano Has Been Drinking
Jesus Gonna Be Here
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Jesus Gonna Be Here