October 13th, 2014



It rained heavily overnight. The front path is under water. Ailz's rain gauge- which was 7/8th's full last time I looked at it- was overflowing this morning.

I dreamed I was in a room with a leaky ceiling and having to put jugs and bowls in place to catch the drips.

The Musical Culture Is Changing

Alex James- formerly of Blur- has started writing classical music. He was interviewed on Countryfile last night. He said pop music was like drawing with crayons- and classical music- well, he didn't pursue the analogy but you can see where it's going.

Paul Morley, the rock critic, has been saying the same sort of thing.

The Rock and Roll revolution has run its course.  A new century, searching for styles of its own, is going back to basics. I'm sensing it myself. Suddenly and more or less out of the blue I'm feeling the need for a little Beethoven in my life.

Pomp And Circumstance

There's anxiety and a frenetic gaiety in Elgar but underneath everything- like a bass drone- lies the melancholy. Even that great tune that got itself turned into Land of Hope and Glory is- in its original orchestration- sad. It suggests repletion rather than triumphalism. We're at the high point of empire, poised at the top of the turning wheel; it reminds me of Kipling's Recessional:

Far called our navies melt away
On dune and headland dies our fire.
Lo, all our pomps of yesterday
Are one with Nineveh and Tyre...

There's that word again- pomp. It always makes me think of summer clouds- enormous, solid-seeming, impermanent.