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,… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #125: Richard Galliano, accordionist
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… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #121: Musical Lineage
Opium fuelled orchestral music at it’s finest! Un Bal from Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique is one of my favourite pieces of all time. It is pure escapism to turn it up and wallow in the decadent romanticism of 1830. As Bernstein said, “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #118: Berlioz
Spring is on the verge of bursting forth, the sun is shining and that to me is walking weather. ‘Walking Happy’ is the perfect song to put a spring in one’s step, maybe even a little skip. Here’s a very cheesy but highly entertaining version by Cissy King & Bobby Burgess. They’ve got the moves.
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,… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #110: Jacques Loussier
I love “Alice in Wonderland”t by Sammy Fain, written in 1951. Sammy gave us lots of other great songs, including “Secret Love” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”. I haven’t sung this song for a long time, so it was lovely to give it a whirl upon request at tonight’s gig. The Bill Evans trio made… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #105: Alice in Wonderland
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,… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #104: Playing piano
The School of Life and Alain de Botton’s philosophies on everyday life are quite enlightening (despite Alain’s frightfully posh British accent). Watch this video for a clear and simple explanation of the power of music over the human heart and mind. Then go and stick your favourite CD in the player.
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… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #102: Sam’s Song
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… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #97: Quantifiable Progress