Monday, 21 December 2009

Shortest Day and Longest Night

A change of avatar and a last downbeat reflection before the fun and mayhem of the Christmas Holiday proper.

Last night the buyers of music 'rose up and fought back against the X factor phenomenon' by buying Killing in the Name by Rage against the Machine. I wonder did they all look at the lyrics, what did they interpret by them? I'm not saying the x-factor track would be preferable, but sometimes I wish we could go back to tracks with jingle bells, snowflakes and reindeer that we can share with the average 6 year old.

In the meantime, ever since hearing the name of the band and the title of the song, the words revolving in my head have been from Henry Reed's poem, 'Naming of Parts' – I think this is one of the most powerful war poems, follow this link and you will see the words in full and at the bottom of the page an audio of the poem. Today we have reflection, yesterday we had snow and to-morrow morning we shall go Christmas shopping. I am grateful that my life is simple and I am thinking of those who are separated from loved ones, for whatever reasons in the darkest days of winter.

The Spotify playlist to accompany this post is here.  I’d love to know what you think of this collection, in particular the Mathieu Ruhlmann.  Here is what his website says about it “In 1853 while in exile Victor Hugo began conducting séances, as a way to communicate with his daughter who had drowned in the Seine.  During these séances he claimed to have spoken to the Ocean, the Moon, Plato, Galileo, and Jesus. 
During one of these meetings he received a message 'from the otherside' that described the afterlife as a return to the Earth in four states depending on how you conducted your life. If you lived a terrible life you would come back as a stone/pebble and then next step plant then animal/insect and if you lived a good life you would come back as a human again. What interested me in this idea was that life would be involved in everything that rocks, plants, stones hold this history of life in them and by working with these objects you can extract this history sonically.


  1. At the moment blogger is not letting me back in to sort out the typos and font shenanigans but in the meantime...

    The track list for non spotify users:
    Social Code – The Shortest Line
    Naked Lunch – Shortest Straw (Cover Version)
    Harry Chapin – The Shortest Story [Live 1975 Version]
    Simon Joyner – The Shortest Distance between Two Points Is a Straight Line
    Mathieu Ruhlmann – The Shortest Path From Pebble To God 1
    Various Artists – World's Shortest Rawhide
    Karen Sharp – The Shortest Day
    Men At Work – The Longest Night
    Mary Chapin Carpenter – The Longest Night Of The Year
    Frank Sinatra – Saturday Night Is The Longest Night Of The Week
    Barbara Lewis – Longest Night Of The Year
    Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name

  2. I have a particular fondness for Naming of Parts. Suffolk Library actually have a book of Henry Reed poems and it's in County Reserve so you can get it for 6 weeks


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