Five Things, Wednesday 30th July

At the Multiplex
Watching Joe, with a great performance from Nic Cage that reminds you of the fact that he’s Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew and therefore should know a good script when he sees one. Pitched somewhere between Winter’s Bone and Mud (and co-starring young Tye Sheridan from that film) it’s really enhanced by a score from David Wingo and Jeff McIlwain that uses unsettling bass drones and atmospheres, with the occasional chorded piano. There’s also a nice Jerry Reed-ish song that tracks the hunt for Joe’s dawg.

At The Royal Academy of Music
With my mother and Yvonne for War Music: Notes from the First World War, a small but perfectly formed exhibition full of gramophones, sheet music (my favourite: “Hello, Central! Give Me No Man’s Land” by Al Jolson) and short films featuring extraordinary scenes of local am-drams preparing shows for the soldiers at the front. I loved this photo of Ivor Novello, and the description of one of his performances. “When he sang, men seemed to drink it in at once and instantly sang the chorus, and as we drove away at the end of the concert in the dark and the rain and the mud, from all parts of the camp one could hear the refrain”.

Novello

 

At The Commonwealth Games
England’s “Jerusalem” is given competition by Kenya’s National Anthem, a strikingly moody piece called “Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu” (O God, of all creation). According to Wikipedia it was originally composed in 1963 by a commission set up for the purpose, and based on a traditional tune sung by Pokomo mothers to their children. “The tune had to be of the right length and quality, yet possessing the necessary dignity. It had to be of such character as to make the writing of suitable words manageable, complicated by being both in Swahili and English. The tune also had to lend itself to appropriate harmonisation and orchestration for performance by a military band, without impairing the original tonality of the melody.” They totally succeeded. It was great to hear it played when Kenya swept the medals in the Women’s 10,000 meters on Day 6. You can judge for yourselves when David Rudisha wins the 800m tonight. [Editors Note, August 1st: this prediction was as accurate as my World Cup ones. Never come to me for betting advice.]

At Caitlin’s House, and my old Bank
Lovely use of a cello shape for storing wine. And for private banking, the less lovely use of a shiny resonator guitar, along with your crystal goblet and Greek bronze to make finance seem somehow, you know, groovy. We’re all rockers at heart, aren’t we? I blame the cover of Brother In Arms.

Wine

At home, finding a great Vanity Fair Questionnaire with Tom Waits
What phrase do you most overuse? “Do as I say and no-one will get hurt”.

Waits

Comments

  1. Gary Lonergan says:

    Hi Martin Many Thanks for sharing the Tom Waits questionnaire.

    Gary Lonergan Internal Communications Design Executive, BBC

    BC3 C1, Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP M: 077 111 94247 | gary.lonergan@bbc.co.uk

    From: Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week <comment+p34kgl-jmvn0ukvjgpkbium@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:44 To: BBC <gary.lonergan@bbc.co.uk> Subject: [New post] Five Things, Wednesday 30th July

    martin colyer posted: “At the Multiplex Watching Joe, with a great performance from Nic Cage that reminds you of the fact that he’s Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew and therefore should know a good script when he sees one. Pitched somewhere between Winter’s Bone and Mud (and co-s”

  2. Great title! Hello Central, give me No-man’s Land. Obviously Chuck Berry was listening. There’s a queer story about Ivor Novello in Simon Napier-Bell’s Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay. He writes that Novello continued to write hits during World War Two, but during the war the government put him in prison. Novello was in the habit of driving around London ostentatiously in his Rolls Royce looking for young men to pick up, highly illegal at the time. The government gave him the choice between going to prison for homosexual acts or for filling his Rolls Royce with black market petrol. Novello chose the latter and got two months. I wonder if it’s true.

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