As we go through life i find more and more that the things we love most are often things that you have thrust upon you by a friend. Without really knowing you find yourself opened up to all kinds of new kinds of music because of a list of recommendations given to you by someone you respect . Music , Books , Films the best way of coming across things often needs a personal touch. My next set of lists is a personal investigation into music that has been recommended to me by my best friends. Starting with a list from Danny Norbury... well its my list of Danny's best recommendations for me over a period of a few years danny has bought me a fair few records and burned me a right good bunch of CD's to check out. Before i go on i have to say that these kind of acts of thoughtful listening have shaped my record collection and sent me in directions that i would have never looked towards. invaluable is a good word to describe it.
so here are my favorite of Danny's recommendations to me over the last few years.
10 : Six Organs of Admittance : For Octavio Paz . Perfect gentle music for an afternoon alone. i would almost feel a little wrong sharing this kind of music with another person. It would have to be a special person if i was to sit down and listen to this with someone i suppose that says something about danny sharing his music . which i think he sometimes finds hard letting it into the world as it is very true, honest, personal music that he is sharing after all . sometimes i find myself being recommended records and i have so so many of my own that i want to listen to that i don't even get around to listening to CDr's that people burn for me. sometimes i dont even listen to a proper cd... for months after i have received it . it sometimes takes an event a quiet day alone or a empty afternoon to get down and actually spend some time taking it all in . The next "group of albums" i was given by danny was a different kind of story. They sounded too good to ignore so i went home and listened to them straight away and was blown away !
9. This one is for Ross and Jase... its totally essential listening; British, Futuristic, like steel and glass in a cold cold space i have since got the vinyl copies of this but originally danny burned me the whole box-set when it was re released a few years ago i had no idea what it was until i put on This Heat : This Heat . . . then Health and Efficiency, Stunning . Flying lizards and also the touch tape General Strike ... all this amazing british music was opened up to me through these 6 cds This Heat - Out Of Cold Storage box ! Mind loosening music !
8. Danny used this on his Mix cd that we did together both the movie and the soundtrack totally blow me away. The Gentle Friendliness of the film is awesome and silent at the same time. This film has become one of my all time favorite films and Wim Wenders best film by a mile in my opinion i still watch his new films but the overall quality of Wings Of Desire is just astounding. Angels in the Architecture : Penguin Cafe Orchestra : The sound of someone you love who's going away and it doesn't matter. Thats my response to that one.
7. A Cheap tip that is worth infinitely more than the pound (or less) that it will cost you to find this beautiful record. i think danny played me the Serenade To Music track first as we were doing a classical music Dj set together a few years ago at common... it didnt go down too well in a busy bar but this music is another personal quiet moment favorite of mine. The Lark Ascending is also a perfect piece of music that requires your attention. Thankyou again to danny for playing me these i cant help but buy up every nice copy i see now especially because it only costs me £1!
6. No idea how danny ended up with this CD but its beautiful and i hold this responsible for triggering this set of lists in the first place. i was listening to it while doing my grandparents decorating the other day and my grannie thinks that the musicians all sound as tho they are playing different songs. Its not as polished as some of the other items coming up on this list but its a great album all the same joy filled music that inspires the same kinds of feelings brought on by albums such as come on feel the illinois by Sufjan Stevens another of Danny's faves but slightly too obvious for this sort of investigation !
5. A solid number five something that i was aware of but a little bit bemused by this is probably some of John Cage's more Accessible music especially in comparison to the Winter Music Lp that i gave to danny. Twinkly and unpredictable prepared piano this is another world that danny opened up to me by lending me Silence, this record is the starting point for the heavy heavy hitters that are in the top five !
4. i'm not sure that i fully get Janáček but it definitely is something special. This is something that danny rates with the highest respect i still find it very difficult and often really quite scary in places. it has to go up high on the list because it really is deep dense music and listening back to it again i feel that i probably have not given this record enough of my time. i tried listening to the opera Z mrtvého domu which means 'From the House of the Dead'. Hard hard listening this kind of music is for people who want an undiluted look at fear . Scarier than most Horror soundtracks for me... possibly because i'm not fully getting it yet . time will tell with this one.
3. More fear here with some interpretations of Hiroshima this is also not music for the faint hearted my personal favorite is Alle Vittime Di Hiroshima. its not the sort of music i would recommend to anyone . At this moment i'm not sure i should be listening to it myself as its making me feel really tense.
2. Rothko Chapel by Morton Feldman ; Danny gave me this as i was getting better from quite a serious illness and the calming sounds on this record i definitely do get! in retrospect all these last 4 classical masterpieces in Danny's top ten are all very deep meaningful records that have a very delicate sound. This one is an album to aspire to an album of quiet space and soothing sounds to impress good colours onto your soul. This is not easy music to get into either and it is a little bit eerie . Another record i will keep forever . Timeless.
1. Christian Marclay : Record Player . WOW was my first reaction. this DVD is pure inspiration for me i am lucky enough to own a copy thanks to danny. Its a DVD that i always go back to to feel inspired again and again . i strongly recommend that you watch this DVD if you get the chance its incredible what Christian Marclay has done in his life . Some of the most groundbreaking and memorable artworks that i have ever seen just happen to be made by him this Youtube clip doesn't really work as well as the original version but its good all the same . I would really like to see this piece again ! thanks danny thats your top ten recommendations
Christian Marclay's Video Quartet - Excerpt #1