Filling in the gaps

New habit (ish). Not listening to the radio or watching the TV news at any point during the day. If I am working at home then generally speaking I’ll either bask in carpeted silence, or allow random thoughts generate searches on Spotify.

Yesterday, I went from Joseph Horovitz’ Captain Noah (yeah OK, via BBC iPlayer Radio), to his Clarinet Sonatina, to David Bedford’s Ronde for Isolde, Gregson’s Festivo, Davies’ Galaxies for Wind Band, Gregson’s concerto for tuba and orchestra, before Dvorak’s Wind Serenade, before stumbling on Bernstein conducting the New York Phil in a rip-roaring studio performance of Smetena’s Bartered Bride overture and three dances. Terrifying.

I love how random back-of-the-head thoughts can generate music choices that aid focus whilst, from time to time, command such attention that something new can be discovered. Yesterday was an exciting day of listening.

Today, different.

Emails in the morning. Print deadline sought after for a review, website work (lots of fiddling around with logos for the homepage), more emails, purchase orders confirmed, and a bit of fumphering around with a funding application.

Slumped on the sofa around 4.30pm to hear Mark Carney deliver the terrifying reality about a no-deal Brexit – did anyone need further clarification of the blindingly obvious? Then a knock on the door from a neighbour collecting a parcel. He comments on how I’m ill again. I struggle to know how to deal with this.

I realise that I’m providing more detail than I would normally. But the point is this. After a much-needed dose of self-care on the sofa (The Thorn Birds, episode one, Amazon Prime), I end up in the bath listening to Bartok’s fourth string quartet. Spikey. Uncompromising. Dark. Difficult.

There are some pieces of music that succeed in filling in the gaps left by every day life. I didn’t know I needed to hear it. Didn’t appreciate the extent to which I would appreciate it hearing it either.

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