Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Someone just said...

“I feel so naughty when I get some, like it’s the 50s and I’m buying rubbers.” Maybe this is a Northern Ireland thing, but I always feel naughty when I buy them.

“I’ll take any extra time, any way at all.” I was about to say that I have just sat through a profoundly settling experience, but that doesn’t exactly fit. I have sat here, certainly, sipping my coffee and finding my eyes well suddenly with tears time and again as Keith Jarrett’s tendons exert the labyrinthine variances of attack which break upon your head as wonderful, wonderful music.

I will say, as an almost insultingly formulaic aside, that whereas Radiance is pottery still excitingly on the wheel, the Carnegie Hall Concert is a line of solid and varied bowls, glazed, tempered, jagged, which you will eat from with relish for years. It is to this time in his music as the Köln Concert was to... that time. And taking time, and playing with it in the most inventive sense, is his trademark, and the recent pastime of another:

“Getting there became happiness. And happiness became creativity. Ideas fluttered around me like butterflies. Oh, actually, those were butterflies. Happy, real butterflies...” I had heard Jonathan say this in my mind as if he were there in front of me. Actually, I had been reading the words, and before listening to the Jarrett, so that all those blushing chords were like smiles in a Greenwich kitchen.

I had been tipped off about the recording by him, after all, and one of the encores, entitled The Good America after the fact by Jarrett, simply put the full stop gently at the end of that particular certainty. You can live happily at home, oh yes you can, watering old roots and enjoying the spring of the earth. But there is a reason why, on going home after a long time away, you smile... while pausing and looking at the front door.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006


Coming home from London, where I went for a long weekend last Saturday, always leaves me uprooted for a few days, as if Belfast isn’t quite the right place and London a bizarre halfway-house somewhere between an absolute home and a seething excitement.

So, a lot more than a week on from the start of Autumn, I’m not going to try to offer a post on anything but how it felt to be walking around Tate Modern and suddenly see that these paintings, which I’ve featured on the blog here for 3 seasons, were suddenly there, in front of me, hanging on the walls.

Much larger than I imagined them, also, much more imposing and concrete — and very fitting that I should have been attracted to the online images by accident and then found them inside my favourite art gallery.

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Monday, September 04, 2006


Now, before you think “Oh god, another Fallingwater post”: I know this building has been featured here and in many other blogs before. And I know that the particular way it’s featured here might not be entirely accessible to all readers, but then the real house isn’t either!

So I present to you: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater — rendered in careful, detailed 3D and available for you to snoop around inside! In Half-Life 2, though. If you don’t have that game, watch the video instead.

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