Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brain Food

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I haven't been watching much lately in the way of movies or shows. The occasional YouTube videos, I guess. Still been making time for music and reading, of course. As usual, the photos accompanying the writing having no connection other than they're recent pictures I've taken and enjoyed for various reasons.

Listening to:
  • Interview with Freeman Patterson on Ideas -- I'm enthralled with Patterson's photography books, and I found this interview very enjoyable. It confirms that his voice matches his writing and pictures.


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  • An excellent audio essay by Paolo Pietropaolo for CBC's All Points West about the proposed national park in the Similkameen, just to the southwest of us.
  • Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass -- After one of our early rehearsals of my songs for string quartet, Martin (the cellist) asked if I had ever heard this album (I hadn't) -- he had it in his car and lent it to me for a week. After the performance, I also had an exchange with Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich -- he graciously watched the videos from Red Rooster and offered some wonderful feedback. One recommendation was that I should seek out and listen to the same album Martin had suggested. And I love it -- rich, complex music that gets better with each listen.


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  • Sigur Rós and Jónsi -- reflective, intense music that has been suiting my mood lately. One of the very few musicians I can tolerate hearing sing in a language other than English.

  • Pantera -- sometimes it feels good to be angry, and our November felt that way a bit too much.

Reading:
  • Man Facing West by Don Gayton -- this one was a bit of a departure, exploring some fictional elements to go with his usual astute observations about ecology and experience. Still the same warm voice and hilarious parts, so I enjoyed it immensely.


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  • Interwoven Wild, also by Don Gayton. I had borrowed this from my mom months ago, but finally made time to read it on the flights to and from Manitoba last month. For a book about gardening, it is extremely funny and personal -- one of those reads where you're having so much fun you don't realize how much you're learning.

  • The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 -- biography of Beethoven, focusing primarily on his ninth symphony, which I should seek out. Although it provided me with several nice evenings of reading on the couch, I didn't finish it after having it out for two months.

  • Listen to This by Alex Ross -- I read an essay by this guy from the New Yorker and it really resonated with me. It's ambitious and smart, covering the progressions (and regressions) of modern music. I'm diggin' it, and hope to finish it over the holidays.


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  • Understanding Exposure -- straightforward photography manual, good refresher.

  • Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang -- Classic old favourite that gave us some good bedtime-reading laughs and provided something fun and light after the HP marathon.

  • The Mad Misadventures of Emmaline and Rubberbones -- this series has been our latest bedtime project, and we're nearly done the second book in the trilogy. The first one started out a bit slow, but since then it's been a great it, with lots of laughs and cliffhanger chapter endings.
  • Piles -- and I mean piles -- of picture books with Ez. I bet we go through a couple of dozen a week, just so our brains don't implode from repeating them too often.


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