Einstein on the Beach

I think it was 35 years ago when I was introduced to "Einstein on the Beach". Of course that was a vinyl recording. At the time, I knew the work was conceived and presented as an opera, but obsessed by music as I was then (and still am) I did not give the visual and performance side of the work importance it clearly deserved. All this changed at the Barbican when I was mesmerised by the performance, and the staging.

It is billed as a five hour work, and there is no interval, but patrons are encouraged (allowed?) to come and go as they please. I fully expected to take part in this flow, and had intended to leave the auditorium for refreshments and breaks whenever necessary.

However, once the work started I was transfixed, fascinated and mesmerised. Apart from standing up occasionally to look into the orchestra pit I did not leave my seat in 4 1/2 hours. That is a real testament to the power of the piece and the performance, because in no way did I feel that I was undergoing an endurance test, or a marathon. The same cannot be said about the performers on stage. The dancers showed incredible stamina. The whole ensemble were as inspirational and committed as they were joyful.

The audience were by and large very attentive, although there were annoying chats taking place here and there around me. At one stage I had to implore some audience members behind me to keep quiet. Thankfully they complied.

I learnt a great deal about Opera experiencing this work at the Barbican, because I gained a vast extra understanding and enjoyment of the piece as a result of the staging. This made me realise how limited I have been in attempting to understand and enjoy opera through audio recordings and radio broadcasts alone. Of course, it is usually very expensive to go to the opera and often there is a kind of formal stuffiness that I do not enjoy, although this was not the case at the Barbican that night.

Nevertheless, in the future I shall pay much more attention to staging and theatre when investigating and enjoying Opera, even if the change I make is as small as buying DVDs instead of CDs.

I had a wonderful seat at the Barbican (that was expensive!) on Row C right in the middle, and I know that contributed to my enjoyment and the whole experience. It was seeing that seat on the website and thinking it had my name on it that encouraged me to go, weeks ago when I booked the ticket.

The work started at 6 PM, and I was busy in my studio beforehand, so when it came to be time to leave I felt irritated and frustrated that I had committed (by buying the ticket) to the performance that evening. To be honest, I didn't really want to go in that moment.

This was yet another moment in my life where something that I didn't really want to do it turned out to be incredibly important and inspirational. Still learning that, after all these years and some many positive experiences.

I felt I had waited 35 years for this performance. It was worth the wait.



David's Lyre

Dropped in at the 100 Club to hear the short D L set - always great to hearth songs. Drums and Bass very loud, so I guess the Sound Person had not heard the LP Happy

Young Dreams

Young Dreams at Madam JoJos (last Tuesday) and The Lexington. I am hoping to mix an LP for this Norwegian band - so it was very inspirational to see and hear them perform live. An extra dimension to the whole experience. A realisation that it is a focused and energetic 7 piece. That energy is something I would love to bring over in the mixing. Madame JoJo was a good gig but The Lexington gig was really outstanding.

Crazy Heart

Really enjoyed Jeff Bridges - unlikely that his character could have pulled Maggie though.

I'm in a Rock and Roll Band

Interesting series - very focused on gang culture and lifestyle. A bit more about chords and melodies and grooves and songs would have been interesting, but still I enjoyed all the episodes apart from the last one which was ridiculous.

Wild Palms

WILD PALMS SINGLE LAUNCH at Elektrowerkz. Part of a “One Little Indian” evening. Really enjoyed hearing the band in their new line up, and teh crowd seemed to appreciate it too.

Le Mystere de Voix Bulgeres

Le Mystère de Voix Bulgères at the QEH. Wonderful concert. We were right t the back but felt very close. Touched. Never experienced this sound live before and was mesmerised. Loved it. Nice short pieces too. Easy Listening?


Grinderman at Hammersmith. Great show but Warren was too quiet I felt.

Depeche Mode at RAH

Really enjoyed DM at the Royal Albert Hall.
I took some pics on my iPhone. Available here
Also a couple of Audio Boos. Applause. Alan and Martin

Animal Collective

Animal Collective. Merriweather Post Pavilion. Double Vinyl, gatefold sleeve. A gorgeous record. A year after the release - I’m glad I bought this on Vinyl.

The Blueprint

Jay-Z. Double Vinyl. Excellent. Brash and exciting.

Four Tet's Essential Collection

On Radio 1 iPlayer Great. An education and an inspiration.

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss “Raising Sand” Produced by T Bone Burnett. Great players showing us how it is done. I love “The Long Road”