Category Archives: Music
There is still a prevalent idea that witchcraft was predominantly a mediaeval thing, representing the remnants of pagan religion amongst the peasantry. In fact, the wave of superstitious belief in witches, pacts with the devil and so on was an early modern phenomenon beginning in the sixteenth century, and was at its height of “witchfinders general,” show trials and so on in the following century. Witchcraft was actually very rare in mediaeval times.
It came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, From heaven’s all-gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing.
Having gone through “the once in a century pandemic” without even knowing anyone personally with definite COVID, on receiving my college gazette this week I got to hear of the death of a friend from it, over in Canada.
Preach it, Van…
Here’s a new song/video I’ve done on YouTube, being a reworking of one I wrote a long time ago. With very minor updating it expresses what, and how, I feel about the crime against humanity that is the international handling of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
One for you music-lovers. Back in 2014 I did a couple of pieces on the musical concept of “swing,” to demonstrate how central human subjectivity is to important things, and in this instance, to the beauty of music. The links are here and here, though unfortunately most of the YouTube links are broken now. Great music is something generated by the human spirit, and is not simply tapping into mathematical concepts of rhythm, harmony and so on (though it builds on those).
A reader has asked me to comment on the widespread phenomenon of “shruggers.” The term refers to that majority of people who downplay the significance of our situation: the suspension of the world’s economy for what is, in dispassionate terms, a run of the mill novel virus, a shut-down presaging what may be the deepest recession in historic memory; and riots which openly seek to overturn the entire basis of western civilization and its history, which leaders in politics, communication, business and even the church seem to encourage. The worst future shruggers anticipate is expressed in their mumbling about a “reboot” of society that may well, they say, turn out … Continue reading
Here’s another lockdown video for you , once more from a remix of an old recording of one of my songs. The views of The Vegetable Man have been encouraging, so the effort seems worthwhile. This one’s in darker vein than the last, and would probably be more effective when countries produce their first emergency budgets after lockdown and, in the UK particularly, reveal just how big a knife we’ve stuck in the economy. The Nobel Prizewinner Michael Levitt estimates that, whereas the usual averaged cost of a death (using “quality added life years,” or “QUALYs”), and therefore the “economic” health cost of saving it medically, is £40,000, the cost … Continue reading
Here’s another lockdown video, in rather sillier vein than the last couple, to cheer up those still confined. It’s another remix of an old song of mine.
I’ve posted another remix of one of my songs on YouTube, accompanied by another attempt at video support.