Naturally all us artists have had a great deal of time away from the stage over the past months. While I’ve been grappling with several new pieces, other musicians have returned to more familiar works.
Last month I was so excited to discover we’ve all been given the rather unexpected and brilliant gift of Martha Argerich’s recent live performance of Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, a work which is rumoured she has not performed the work publicly since the 1990s.
It is a passionate and energetic performance, but most striking to me is the way she organises the work through spontaneity.
Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon
In my normal life, I’m d0n’t watch many films as it’s hard for me to carve out the hours in my schedule, but recently I’ve found myself with much more time on my hands. Having asking some movie-buff friends from recommendations, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon kept getting mentioned.
As many have described, it might possibly be the most beautiful film from an aesthetic point of view. The scenes, costumes and lighting that ties it all together is pure magic. This surface beauty is balanced out by a dramatic arc that pulls you in within minutes and keeps you on knife’s edge for the duration.
Did I also mention the soundtrack is phenomenal? In particular, Kubrick’s use of the slow movement of Schubert’s E-flat Piano Trio captures the ambiguities and sense of anticipation that so pervades this complex and intense film.
I’m really drawn to Midnight Diner, a Japanese show about a diner in Tokyo only open between 12am and 7am. The show follows the lives of the patrons as experienced by the diner’s proprietor/chef, who also functions as a sounding board to a variety of stories, conflicts and interactions among the patrons.
In our age of social distancing, this show is so cathartic for me, eliciting feelings of nostalgia for the simple pleasures of sitting at a counter, ordering simple but delicious food and drink, and making comfortable conversation with strangers one might never see again or who might turn into lifelong friends…one never knows! Ah, how I miss it all.
In an attempt to minimise my consumption of animal products to conserve our planet’s resources, I’ve been experimenting with eating more plants than animals. Despite this new vegan outlook, one thing I seem unable to give up is sweets, so I was so happy to discover several phenomenal vegan dessert recipes. These sweet potato brownies (I know, bear with me!) really taste like the real thing, and considering I’m a bit of a chocolate snob, this says a lot!
Speaking of chocolate, I love a great chocolate chip cookie, and here is one that replaces all dairy products with tahini, making it rather healthy.
Board game recommendation
Settlers of Catan is a favou
rite in my family. Also Monopoly is pretty popular these days.