Monday, 16 July 2012

Seen and heard: June 2012

Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) sermon for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations - on dedication and public service. It was attacked by the Daily Mail, so he must be getting something right.
Julia Fisher, Bach Violin Concertos - with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Ordered this CD after hearing the first movement of the double violin concerto played on ClassicFM: great sound, great rhythm!
Inca - band specialising in South American music, after the manner of Incantation, one of whose members is in the new group. Nice to hear them perform live at The Stables, but afterwards it was an Incantation CD that I bought.
The Stone Book Quartet, by Alan Garner. For those who think of Alan Garner's books as being about magic, there's no magic here - except for the magic of landscape and language, of stone and iron and wood, of the craft of the hand and the bond of the family.
The Identity of the History of Science and Medicine, by Andrew Cunningham - a collection of articles by my friend and former colleague, including our jointly-authored and already-anthologised "De-Centring the 'Big Picture': The Origins of Modern Science and the Modern Origins of Science" (History of Science, 26 [1993], 407-432).
Antigone - cracking production by the National Theatre, using a straight-to-the-point modern English translation (everyday language, without being colloquial), and a top-notch performance by Christopher Ecclestone. Bang up to date, with modern army uniforms and an opening scene echoing the assassination of Bin Laden, and its themes of authority and morality, power and defiance, terror and fate; a play about Now, not about then. Truly, as the Chorus says: "Today it has happened here."
Amerzone - 1999 adventure game by Benoît Sokal, which led to his later greater Syberia. Lovely artwork, but this being a first-person game (in the mould of Myst) I missed the presence of a protagonist; I think there's a good reason why more recent narrative games have gone for the third-person approach.

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