Happiness as Anarchy #338: Duke Ellington

Ellington seems an appropriate subject for a post on the eve of International Jazz Day. Such Sweet Thunder is a 12-part suite written in 1957 as a tribute to Shakespeare. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (composer/ arranger) wrote the music in three weeks, each piece inspired by a character or idea from Shakespeare’s works. I… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #338: Duke Ellington

Happiness as Anarchy #322: Family practice

The kids decided we should all learn some songs so we can play together. This in itself makes me extraordinarily happy. They wrote a list on the kitchen blackboard and over the last few days we’ve all been practising the very cheery 1935 tune “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter.” And… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #322: Family practice

Happiness as Anarchy #291: Derek Gripper

Apart from having a fabulous name, Derek Gripper is an amazing guitarist. He’s playing in the cracks. In the gaps of various African, Western and just plain beautiful musics. The resulting sound that is intriguing and compelling, and while at first it seemed he wasn’t going to talk much, as the concert went on he… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #291: Derek Gripper

Happiness as Anarchy #272: Disappearing down the music wormhole

Rehearsing is always a pleasure. Especially when it’s for one of my favourite small festivals – Melbourne Ukulele Festival – and one of my favourite songwriters – Leonard Cohen. I was going to post a clip of Leonard singing Come Healing live in Dublin, but the musical wormhole is a rich place. So much material… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #272: Disappearing down the music wormhole

Happiness as Anarchy #257: Mail

Snail mail is becoming increasingly rare these days, so when I open the flap of my mailbox and there’s actually something in there, it’s quite a treat. Today’s mail was a five star rating in the happiness stakes: Corin Raymond’s long awaited CD and book AND a ticket to see Amanda Palmer in Perth in… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #257: Mail

Happiness as Anarchy #253: Going out with my small people

It’s the second day of 38 degrees and everyone is tired from the first week back at school. Hot, sweaty and tired, we tootled off to a delightful gig lead by one of my favourite musicians, Melbourne guitarist Jon Delaney. Gypsy jazz and jazzy Beach Boys played beautifully in a wonderful room. The small people… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #253: Going out with my small people

Happiness as Anarchy #196: Gillian Welch

I only discovered Gillian Welch a couple of years ago. She’s an extraordinary musician in that relaxed, understated way that the best musicians are. Dear Someone is the first song of hers I got to know. Like an old horse picking it’s way across the desert, it’s full of space and constant movement, just ticking… Continue reading Happiness as Anarchy #196: Gillian Welch