Thursday, 1 August 2013

Seen and heard: July 2013

Andy Murray winning Wimbledon

Seemingly inevitable in retrospect, but nerve-wracking to sit through that last game, which could so easily have swung the match the other way. (Had Murray NOT taken it - and he very nearly didn't - the set would have gone to tie-break, which Djokovic could well have won, and then we'd have been looking at a fourth and perhaps a fifth set. And though he was two sets down, Djokovic could have come back from that position; Murray, like Federer, has done so many times.)

Midnight Tango

Vincent and Flavia show tells a whole evening's story through variety after variety of tango. Astonishing dancing, amazing physique, and a very good live band (Tango Siempre). You know when you've been tangoed - and we were.

Send in the Idiots

The author visits five of his school classmates, all of them on the autistic spectrum but who have found their own ways of functioning socially to a high degree (one is a speech writer for the American Democratic Party). Beautifully written and fascinating for what it shows about how not only autistic people but all of us manage to cope with each other - the chief difference being that autistic people have to work it out very slowly and painfully.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 4 (Fly to Paradise)

I've already blogged about this wonderful massive online community choir project, now in its fourth incarnation.

Notes from the Inside

A concert pianist brings classical music to the inmates of a mental hospital, so far so ordinary. But James Rhodes is a former mental patient himself. And instead of giving a concert, what he does is spend time getting to know four inmates and then choose a piece to express what he's seen  in them, which he then performs for them individually, one on one. Deeply moving and genuinely therapeutic - and not just for them. The programme is on 4oD for 30 days from 24 July, and the trailer and other videos are available on the programme website.

Music and Monarchy

David Starkey TV series, tracing the history of British royal music. Unexpectedly illuminating, especially in his own favourite period (the Tudors) when what kind of music you have in the Chapel Royal (or whether you have any kind of music at all) is a major religio-political statement. Great performance extracts too, many of them available on the programme website.

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