Spiegel im Spiegel

This summer, while I wasn’t blogging, I acted on the advice one of my brothers gave when I told him about my planned break. He suggested I take notes of things and music that resonated with me. He and I share a love for the idea of those happenings in life considered “chance,” which weContinue reading “Spiegel im Spiegel”

The Blizzard

Yesterday, when I shared my return-from-holidays blog post of a song by Nanci Griffith (1953-2021) on my Facebook wall, I made a comment that more summer stories would follow. Well, Judy Collins’ “The Blizzard,” her tribute ballad to the beautiful state of Colorado, USA isn’t a summer song by any stretch, but it does evokeContinue reading “The Blizzard”

Sway

Earlier today, after morning routines, chores and a bit of reading, I caught up on another instalment of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, the May 23, 2021 edition, “Birthday Mentions Galore.” A song that really drew me in played about halfway through the program was “Sway,” sung by American singer and actor RosemaryContinue reading “Sway”

Destination: Anywhere (from the film, The Commitments)

Happy Friday! Destination: anywhere? These days, it’s more like destination: nowhere. But being at home isn’t so bad now that summer is here. And my oh my, is it ever here. It was only two weeks ago that gardeners in Winnipeg, Canada were covering their plants overnight to protect against frost. Today, the temperature reachedContinue reading “Destination: Anywhere (from the film, The Commitments)”

Lakmé, Act I, No. 2: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais

Occasionally I’ve listened to Colorado Public Radio’s online classical music stream lately, and have enjoyed their programming and insightful host commentary. That station was where I heard “Gather Round the Table” (posted here on May 10), and today I heard several bookmark-worthy pieces. YouTube is another source of suggestions and is where I found aContinue reading “Lakmé, Act I, No. 2: Duo des fleurs / Sous le dôme épais”

In Your Eyes

In 1993, Peter Gabriel was touring in support of his 1992 album Us. I’m not sure all the places that his Secret World tour played, but during two nights at the Palasport Nuovo in Modena, Italy, a crew filmed the concerts. The resulting film was Secret World Live, released in 1994 on VHS tape, thenContinue reading “In Your Eyes”

When Your Mind’s Made Up (from the film, Once)

One of the first songs that caught my attention when skimming over my digital collection this morning was “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” from the soundtrack of the Irish romantic musical drama Once (2007). Most of the characters in the movie are referred to by their gender or occupation: Glen Hansard (who has a minorContinue reading “When Your Mind’s Made Up (from the film, Once)”

Breathe Me

Today I took a look at my digital music collection to find something I hadn’t listened to in a long time. I landed on “Breathe Me” by Australian singer, songwriter, vocal actor and director Sia (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler). I first heard it around ten years ago when my sweety and I watched the TVContinue reading “Breathe Me”

The Last Exit

The few songs I know by the British/American band Still Corners all have an aspect of long-distance driving… and apparently, that’s not by accident… Such was the case for “The Trip” (from their 2013 album Strange Pleasures), the only other song of theirs that I’ve posted. I like hearing that song when I’m in theContinue reading “The Last Exit”

Vincent

The American singer-songwriter Don McLean is likely best known for his hit song “American Pie,” but one of his most remarkable compositions has to be “Vincent,” which came from the same album, American Pie (1971). Often misidentified by its opening refrain, “Starry, starry night…” “Vincent” is a beautiful, poignant homage to the Dutch post-impressionist painterContinue reading “Vincent”

To Build a Home

Last week, when working on my post for the Nina Simone (1933-2003) cover of “Lilac Wine,” I found a list of other bands that had covered that song. Among the other artists was the Cinematic Orchestra, and I wrote how I enjoyed their version of the piece. The band name stood out for me atContinue reading “To Build a Home”

Your Song (from the film, Moulin Rouge!)

In addition to directing the dazzling, colourful and audacious 2001 movie musical Moulin Rouge!, Australian Baz Luhrmann also produced the motion picture soundtrack. Similarly, with his modern-day film adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy Romeo + Juliet, he produced two CDs of music from the film. “Your Song” is an Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition, which JohnContinue reading “Your Song (from the film, Moulin Rouge!)”

Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans

Two days ago, I posted a song by David Bowie (1947-2016) on the 74th anniversary of his birth. Today is the fifth anniversary of his death. On Sundays since June 2020, I’ve been posting classical music pieces. Today, I’m sharing one that has a deep connection to Bowie’s music, written by American composer and pianistContinue reading “Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans”

Maple Leaf Rag

Released on Christmas Day in 1973, the film The Sting starred American actors Paul Newman (1925-2008) and Robert Redford as a pair of grifters who join forces to pull a complicated con job on a mob boss played by British actor, playwright and novelist Robert Shaw (1927-1978). George Roy Hill was director for the filmContinue reading “Maple Leaf Rag”

Paul Meets Chani (from the film, Dune)

Today on “Classical Sunday,” I’m featuring a piece by the 1980’s pop-rock supergroup Toto. Yes, that’s right, members of the band composed the original motion picture soundtrack for David Lynch’s 1984 epic science-fiction film, Dune. Brian Eno, who produced the album, also contributed a piece, “Prophecy Theme,” that he composed with brother Roger, and DanielContinue reading “Paul Meets Chani (from the film, Dune)”

Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice

Today I ponder on the eve of the eighth anniversary of one of the pivotal days of my life: the day our dear friends’ daughter was killed along with 27 other people: children, educators, the killer’s mother and himself in two incidents (at a home and a school). Upon returning to my office from aContinue reading “Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice”

The NeverEnding Story

A few days ago, I came upon a song that made me think of some studies I did back in the 1990s. I’ve mentioned before here that from 1993 to 1996, I was at home full-time caring for my sons as that was the arrangement that best suited our family at the time. I supplementedContinue reading “The NeverEnding Story”

Thank You for Being a Friend

Most people will remember the song “Thank You for Being a Friend” as the theme for TV’s The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985 to 1992. The show used a cover version recorded by Cynthia (Cindy) Fee. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Andrew Gold (1951-2011) wrote the song and recorded it in 1978, and itContinue reading “Thank You for Being a Friend”

Yumeji’s Theme (from the film, In the Mood for Love)

Today, on Classical Sunday, I’m featuring music by the bass player and leader of the Japanese new wave rock band, EX. Former bassist/leader, that is. Shigeru Umebayashi began composing film scores in 1985 after the breakup of EX. As I opened up a previously-watched title (“Flight from the City” — and, if you haven’t checkedContinue reading “Yumeji’s Theme (from the film, In the Mood for Love)”

Grace

It feels like it’s time for another piece of ambient music. Yesterday, on the first official day of autumn, Sweety and I drove to the beach and spent all afternoon and early evening there. Strangely, more insects were chomping on us than any time this summer, but I suppose they were just stocking up. WeContinue reading “Grace”

Deep Blue

The most powerful films I’ve seen leave me rapt in attention to the music at the ending credits… often wishing the film just wouldn’t end. In my imagination, I’ve pretended that some of my most favourite songs were the ending themes to movies. I mentioned in my post on Dire Straits’ song “Sultans of Swing”Continue reading “Deep Blue”

Clear Desert Night

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Sweety and I planned to drive out of the city last night to try to view some of the Perseid meteor shower.  We left home a bit before 10:00 pm and arrived at Birds Hill Provincial Park about three-quarters of an hour later. We tried viewing the sky fromContinue reading “Clear Desert Night”

A Model of the Universe (from the film, The Theory of Everything)

This week’s classical Sunday piece comes from the soundtrack for the film The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. The score was written by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who died in 2018 at the age of 48. He had composed soundtracks for numerous films; among others are Arrival, Prisoners, Sicario, and Mary Magdalene.Continue reading “A Model of the Universe (from the film, The Theory of Everything)”

Hold You in My Arms

I am not sure where I first heard American singer-songwriter and musician Ray LaMontagne’s music; it may have been in a film or TV (as his music has been featured in numerous soundtracks). Or perhaps it was on late-night radio, though film/TV seems more like it is correct. In August 2011, I bought his secondContinue reading “Hold You in My Arms”

Lawyers in Love

Today I thought of the Jackson Browne song, “Lawyers in Love,” from the 1983 album of the same name. And whenever I think of it, I recall one of my brothers asking me what I thought about the keyboard part echoing Browne’s “love call” in the then-new song. I honestly didn’t catch that at first, butContinue reading “Lawyers in Love”

Gabriel’s Oboe (from the film, The Mission)

The earliest I recall hearing the music of Ennio Morricone, who died this past week, was in the 1960s Fistful of Dollars series of director Sergio Leone’s western movies that starred Clint Eastwood.  I was four years old when A Fistful of Dollars came out. For a Few Dollars More was released the following year,Continue reading “Gabriel’s Oboe (from the film, The Mission)”

The Poet Acts (from the film, The Hours)

The first time I heard of the American composer and pianist Philip Glass was through his score for the 1982 experimental film, Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. I remember being in the theatre, mesmerized by the movie and the paradox of simplicity in many of the scenes of slow-motion/time-lapse photography, wordlessly set against the complex,Continue reading “The Poet Acts (from the film, The Hours)”

The Boys Are Back in Town (from the film, A Knight’s Tale)

Happy Friday! Where the heck did that whole week go? Thin Lizzy released the album Jailbreak in 1976, the year most of my school friends were getting their drivers’ licences. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I did not get mine until I was 19; after failing the road test the first time, I wasn’tContinue reading “The Boys Are Back in Town (from the film, A Knight’s Tale)”

Streets of Philadelphia

Full disclosure, here at the start: I’ve never been a big fan of Bruce Springsteen’s. But, I honour him as a significant musical presence in the world. We just have never really clicked… for the most part. But I hope you’ll read on anyway; I am sure it will be worth your time. One songContinue reading “Streets of Philadelphia”

The Dark End of the Street (from the film, The Commitments)

Hands up if you remember the musical-comedy-drama film, The Commitments. Directed by Alan Parker, it was released in 1991, the year before I became a daddy! It’s a fabulous film with a brilliant soundtrack that I haven’t listened to in full for a long time, though I’ve heard individual tracks from time to time. IContinue reading “The Dark End of the Street (from the film, The Commitments)”

Sunshine on Leith

If you’re from or have lived in Manitoba, Canada, you’ll know about the local phenomenon, “the social” (when I was very young, it was called a “social evening”). It’s a big sort of party, usually in a hall or community centre, with a music person playing unbearably loud music well beyond the negligible acoustical accommodationsContinue reading “Sunshine on Leith”

Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)

Content warning: this post contains discussion of suicide. A half-dozen friends and I went to see the movie, Local Hero in 1983. They all hated it. I loved it. All the characters had such magnificent and unique personalities and the story was wonderful, playful and touching. I won’t give it away if you haven’t seenContinue reading “Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)”

January 6, 2020 – Deep Blue Day (from the film, For All Mankind)

When I bought my first stereo in around 1976-77, one of my brothers told me that the first record I really needed to buy was Brian Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). I found it, and was very glad I did; it touched off a lifelong love for Eno’s music. From his time as theContinue reading “January 6, 2020 – Deep Blue Day (from the film, For All Mankind)”