Music & Light (Day 69)

St Marylebone Parish Church London W1

I’m writing this post in the sunlit, leaf-strewn churchyard of St Marylebone Parish Church, with the bells ringing. That’s a stark contrast with where I did most of my work on Day 69 which was in an armchair by a fireplace in the Soho Hotel off Dean Street. I’d been to a meeting at King’s Cross Station, beneath the new fan-lattice glass roof which I’d never looked at before, with a British-based academic/innovation expert originally from Kiel. She is focusing on the shift from the self-centred world of work to a group/team/pluralistic focus, concentrating on corporate contexts. Whilst there is without doubt an interface between her research and what I’m writing about, coming at the subject from the perspective of individual artists or creative catalysts and their immediate (usually friendship) circle is an angle I feel much more comfortable with. Making rewards and performance relate to sharing, open and altruistic behaviour in corporate contexts is not simple and without that in place it is easy to conjure up an exploitative scenario.

soho hotel

So back at the dimly lit fireside I tapped away for several hours on Factory and Tony Wilson. I also landed a class interview with a key member of a prominent band of the era. I was reflecting earlier in the day how many of my teenage heroes I’d ended up meeting and working with during my career. In almost every case it seems a highly unlikely  scenario [Word of the Day] from the perspective of those youthful days, which is what always makes it a kick.

Rounded off the day at a film screening downstairs in the hotel (hence the choice of venue) – the Coen Brothers’ latest one, Inside Llewyn Davis. Enjoyed the film, especially the music performances set in 1961 Greenwich Village, though suspect I will be among a relatively small appreciative audience, it’s quite far from the mainstream and I have a particular interest in Dylan and his precursors.

After the movie my Other Half and I had a drink upstairs in the hotel and got a chance to chat with both Oscar Isaac, the talented young star of the movie, who plays a character based on Dave Van Ronk and was very nearly the second Bourne after Matt Damon (finally losing out to  Jeremy Renner by a whisker), and T-Bone Burnett whose soundtrack graced the picture. Both of us are fans of T-Bone’s Crazy Heart soundtrack and we had a terrific chat with him about both music and modern day surveillance (a subject he seems currently much bothered by). He was a total gentleman in both his elegant, tall bearing and his easy manner. The perfect person with whom to end a week of writing about Music, openness and generosity.

Inside-Llewyn-Davis Oscar Isaac

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3 comments so far

  1. catalanbrian on

    Dave Van Ronk is one of my musical superheroes and I am really looking forward to seeing the movie, although I suspect that I shall have to purchase the DVD as the movie is unlikely to make the big screen (well not that big actually) in rural Catalunya. His album ‘Van Ronk Sings’ is a classic

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  2. ArkAngel on

    Hang Me, Oh Hang Me is the emblematic track in the movie – three and a half minute performance blows you away http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/inside-llewyn-davis

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  3. catalanbrian on

    A great traditional song – and here is the Dave Van Ronk version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksLh9uYgZdc
    I also notice that the song The Shoals of Herring is also on the soundtrack – a beautiful song. Here is a fabulous version by Ewan McColl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ov81aogaxg

    Enjoy

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