Saturday, 30 January 2010

Music, music, music...

Quite a productive week. Although, all the new songs for my new album are completed there are some unfinished songs that Mark & I thought we would finish too. Well… when a song doesn’t want to be written there is nothing you can do !! An enticing melody is indifferent to feeble lyrics no matter how enthusiastically you try to sing them, and a predictable middle eight cannot be made more interesting by the amount of times you say,"Oh, that will be interesting once we add…" It never is. Thankfully, we had also set aside time to record some new podcasts. Martin Winning, who plays clarinet & saxophone, came by and joined us on these recordings too, a real pleasure since he is both a lovely player and a very entertaining story teller. I will post those podcasts soon, and hopefully I will soon wake up with the solution to those unfinished songs! love, tt.
ps : the photo that illustrates this post is totally irrelevant but I really like it ! It's called noodles ! Photo courtesy of Sylvie Bardet [link]

Monday, 25 January 2010

Sister Rosetta Tharpe : Up Above My Head

I've been in a real guitar mood recently so this week's wake up song features the legendary guitarist and singer-songwriter Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Blending Rock n'Roll and gospel she influenced many, many artists not least Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Aretha Franklin ! Her playing is wonderful and the age of the clip makes the guitar sound even better ! Love tt

Friday, 22 January 2010

Sungha Jung

I was delighted by this version of "Twist in My Sobriety" played by young Guitarist Sungha Jung. I’m a bit jealous too, he plays it much better than me and I wrote it !! Love tt

Saturday, 16 January 2010

DVA - France trance

This video by DVA really made me smile. The band are new to me (even though the video is from 2008) all I know about them is what I have read on their myspace page [link]. They are from the Czech Republic & have also played live music accompaniment to the classic silent film "Dr.Caligari" which makes sense once you hear the music ! Love tt.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Charlotte Mendelson / Writer

The first person to take the TT test this year is Charlotte Mendelson [link], a writer whose novels have garnered so much praise it’s almost embarrassing ! Her second novel "Daughters of Jerusalem" was awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize & Somerset Maugham Award and her third, "When We Were Bad" was short listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for fiction. She has written for the Guardian, TLS, and Independent among other publications, is an editor at Headline Review and I have heard a rumour that she also plays the French horn ! I’m very happy that she is taking part in the TT test ! What is your wake up song at the moment ? "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. I am obsessed with it. In fact I have a friction burn from dancing to it on Christmas day and then sliding across the floor dramatically at the climax. Maybe I love it TOO much. Which work of art or single event has most influenced you in your chosen profession ? Difficult to say; I've always read and so many books have helped me to become a writer; I could name a hundred. But I do remember that when we read "The Dragon Book of Verse" at school my brain fizzed with excitement at what words can do and that feeling has never left me. If you could travel back in time, which period would you most like to visit and why ? I've always thought the eighteenth century had a certain sexy charm, but as I wouldn't have been an English duchess with a complicated love life but a poor cross peasant starving to death in Central Europe, I'd better choose Paris in the 1920s... any Friday night at 20, rue Jacob. I love eating out and discovering new restaurants, can you please recommend one to me ? Jin Kichi in Hampstead for fantastic Japanese [link] - try the pork and shiso skewers. What is the best advice you ever been given relating to your professional/creative life ? Craig Raine, poet/novelist/critic, told me to stop worrying about inspiration or subject-matter or Being A Writer and just... write. He was right. BONUS QUESTION : You are quoted in an interview with the Guardian as saying "I do think that choosing a life that makes you happy takes bravery. It takes a lot of courage if you're a person who cares at all", I find this really intriguing, can you tell us a bit more about what you mean ? I was talking about trying to be as fulfilled and as happy as possible, rather than accepting the life that society, or family, think you ought to live. This particularly applies, at least for me, to writing and to love; I could have been an academic or a lawyer, and married a man, and made everyone happy - except me. Choosing a more uncomfortable, complicated life took much more courage, which I didn't even know I had but has been the making of me

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Charvela Vargas: Volver,Volver

My wake up song this week is a voice and a song that can easily thaw this freezing weather ! The song is "Volver,Volver" sung by the amazing Charvela vargas. A woman whose life is like a movie: in her youth she dressed like a man, lived hard (alcohol, guns & cigars), had many passionate love stories (including Frida Kahlo), endured a time in the wilderness where she managed to beat alcoholism and then a triumphant return in the early 90s embraced by such artists as Almodovar, in fact you can hear her music in some of his films. When asked if she had any regrets after living a life that must have at times been very difficult she answered, “I was me and I lived.” Well, you can’t argue with that. Hope you enjoy this wonderful performance, lots of love tt

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Podcast 8

Podcast 8 has been added !! If you haven't already just sign up to the mailing list to gain access to the Attic to listen to the podcast. Hope you enjoy, lot's of love, tt

Monday, 4 January 2010

Lhasa de Sela

Very sad to hear that Lhasa de Sela has passed away. She had such a rich musical universe and beautiful voice. She will be greatly missed. Love tt