Off The Staff: visualisations of classical music (digitally generated using free music notation software Muse Score and Open Score) by ‘designer, data freak and fractal nut’ Nicholas Rougeux.
Above (from top): The Four Seasons: Winter, Antonio Vivaldi; William Tell Overture, Gioachino Rossini and Flight of the Bumblebee, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
In these circular sweeps, as if laid down by the minute hand of a clock, each instrument is represented by a different colour. Each dot represents a note in the score. Pitch is indicated by the distance from the centre of the image, while the time at which the note occurs is given by the angle from the 12 o’clock position. The size of the dot indicates the duration of the note.
Rougeux (who, rather adorably, can’t read sheet music) adapts the traditional representation of scale, telling MyModernMet:
I did away with that and showed all notes in their natural position on the scale—distance from center—no matter how high (farther) or low (closer) they were. Essentially, while sheet music shows notes from different scales on the same staff, my project shows different staffs on the same scale—hence the name, Off the Staff.
From top: Bill Graham; BP Fallon; Dave Fanning; NPR‘s Bob Boilen; Lester Bangs; from left: Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, MayKay of Other Voices, and Donal Dineen
Last Friday we asked you to request a piece of music as a shout out to your favourite rock writers, jocks and other evangelists.
In fact, the specific sentence that needed filling was:
‘I would like to dedicate__________to ___________for sharing with me his/her impeccable taste and love of decent music.’
In the balance was a newly-minted voucher for twenty-five euro, redeemable at any of fourteen Golden Discs locations, including the brand-new Vinyl Lounge , upstairs in the chain’s flagship Cork location on Patrick Street.
The running was tough, but there could only be one winner…
Specific Gravity, with the clincher:
I would like to dedicate New Grass by Talk Talk to Donal Dineen for sharing with me his impeccable taste and love of decent music. Insight, foresight, more sight, the clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight… And so would begin a few hours of nightly magic. Dineen’s shows remain the pinnacle of musical broadcasting in this country.
He just let the tracks do the talking and despite his obvious breadth and depth of knowledge, was never preachy or arch about introducing lesser known but massively talented artists from around the globe. It was like a muso mate sharing some recommendations they thought you’d like to hear.”
In other highlights:
OUCH: “I would like to dedicate Henry McCullogh by BP Fallon and David Holmes to both BP Fallon and David Holmes, for sharing with me their impeccable taste and love of decent music and this amazing tribute to a legend of Irish music. They’re two men whose recommendations have help me discover some amazing music, it was an interview with David Holmes that first made me seek out Histoire de Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg, easily in my all time top ten!”
MCGENIUS: “I would like to dedicate this beer I’m supping to Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast for sharing with me his impeccable taste and love of decent music. And for introducing me to Puddles’ Pity Party and his unbelievably awesome Johnny Cash/Pink Floyd tribute.”
SCOTTSER: “I would like to dedicate Nobody’s Hero by Stiff Little Fingers to Lester Bangs for sharing with me his impeccable taste and love of decent music. “A hero is a goddamn stupid thing to have in the first place and a general block to anything you might wanna accomplish on your own.”
LIAM DELIVERANCE: “I would like to dedicate American Townland by Interference to the producers and researchers, and indeed the hosts, of Other Voices for sharing with me their impeccable taste and love of decent music. The series which has been running for fourteen years, continues to introduce music of a high quality from artists old and new, and to do so in a warm and reliable format. Great music, knowledgeable hosts, beautiful scenery and moments of pure magic.”
PAT WALSH: “I would like to dedicate Ballad of a Thin Man by Dylan to the late Bill Graham of Hot Press, for sharing his knowledge & passion for music with me & thousands of other readers.”
LIAM: “I’ll dedicate MBV’s Sometimes to Dave Fanning, whose evening Rock Show got me through secondary school and also introduced me to the likes of the Pixies, Primal Scream, REM and the Cure, way, way back in the day.”
Dublin Digital Radio spends another weekend comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, via the medium of broadcast. A big weekend in the works, and some great new shows on demand.
DDR collective member Emily Carson writes:
Some good listening from the last week includes XXX: Proto Techno filled with songs from the 70s and 80s that have inspired techno producers near and far. The newest episode of Quiet Angry Women has even more music from women who are ‘quietly ferocious, quietly angry and lots more in between’ and there’s even more more trans-continental selecting on ‘From East Ghost to West Ghost’.
It’s been a good work for fans of decent irish hip-hop, with two big live gatherings getting releases over social media this week.
Write the shadowy enmascarado bosses from the Unscene:
Back in January we unleashed Mankyy’s ‘Character Development’ EP, a debut release perhaps most remarkable for its artistic maturity, not only on the production front but also from the assembled cast of young rappers Aswell, Jonen Dekay & Same D4Ence alongside the more grizzled vet Spekulativ Fiktion. A few weeks back we gathered for a post-release get together at Music Generation Limerick City HQ, here’s a taste of what went down. Big ups Stephen Savage on the vid!
Meanwhile, over at 2fm last week, Friday-night beatslinger Mo K. presented the second in his series of live on-air cyphers, featuring multi-man verbal throwdowns featuring Big Siyo, Ger Kellett, Nugget, Linco & Kreo Ghost. Streaming in its entirety above right now.
So, seeing as I was already doing the Great Ireland Run 10k this Sunday, I thought it right to try and raise something to help his family. Given the short notice before the event, even if we only manage a couple of quid, it’ll help.
Pictured above, clockwise from top-left: Kevin Burke, Power of Dreams, The Golden Horde, Rollerskate Skinny, Auto da Fe, Aidan Walsh (Master of the Universe)
Last week, in our Friday Golden Discs competition, we asked you, rather than for any genre in particular, your favourite Irish gem that’s been forgotten by the march of time.
In fact, we asked you to finish the following sentence:
“I regard_______________________________as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because__________________________’
At stake was no more than a voucher guaranteeing its bearer a handsome twenty-five beans at any of Golden Discs’ fourteen locations around the country. And the competition was really, very tight. But there, as ever, can only be one winner.
Harry Molloy, one of Broadsheet’s regular commentators, with the well-deserved clincher:
I have found the most underappreciated but greatest Irish song that there is – this is especially strengthened by how much we tend to appreciate and replicate anything of value from this genre of music. Suitably, it is a song which no one I knew had heard of, and no once since has, until such time as it had been introduced to them.
It is ‘Mrs Gilhooley’s Party’ from Kevin Burke of the Bothy Band. With a song title like that you would be well excused to ignore, but I challenge you to stop and have a listen. Its best qualities are the fact that it is decent trad, of good caliber, it’s really funny, and you can’t watch it and not think how great it would be to see someone take that on live.
From an editorial perspective, this was an absolute heartbreaker to boil down to a few runners-up, but indeed, here they are. All of these tunes are also in the playlist embedded above, for your convenience.
Liam Zero: “I regard Season by Last Days of 1984 as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because, like the rest of the album it came from, it is one of the most wonderful pieces of music made on these shores, and it evokes joy and nostalgia and happiness and love and bliss and warmth and a late summer vibe that perhaps never actually exists in this country but which seems like a certainty this year once you hit play. It’s aural MDMA that doesn’t require you to go buying some dodgy pill from some dodgier bloke and then suffering the dodgiest comedown. It’s all the high and none of the low. It’s sunset and sunrise. It’s we’re going to be friends for EVER. It’s homebound contentment. It makes you gush this sort of rubbish. And it never got the love it deserved. It was forgotten from the start. But it’s goddamn fucking beautiful and I love it.”
Ferret McGruber: “I regard November, November by Auto da Fe as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because of Gay Wood’s evocative singing and bonkers stage performances, and Trevor Knight’s superb, ethereal keyboards. When it was released in 1982 it wasn’t like what anyone else was doing at the time. It’s also significant for being produced by Phil Lynott. Still makes me wonder what more he could have achieved had he stuck around.”
Gorugeen: “I regard Speed to My Side by Rollerskate Skinny as a forgotten Irish classic because it’s a rollicking, big sound and brings me back to Fibber Magees, main dance floor and the crowd going mental to it. But, nowadays all I get is blank looks when I mention the band or song. They should’ve been so much more.”
Me: “I regard Friends in Time by The Golden Horde as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s a great song, with a Larry Gogan cameo in the video, but most of all when I went to listen to it on Spotify a few months back I couldn’t find their version, only the Ronan Keating cover.”
Baron Von Botter III: “Dudley Corporation’s Divil the Bit has it all. Swaying and lurching, threatening to topple over yet staying tight and lyrical. Abruptly ends after barely two minutes. All the elements of a classic.”
Friscondo: “It has to be one the the greatest Irish pop songs, Those Nervous Animals’ My Friend John. Great tune, great lyrics and now almost totally forgotten. I defy anyone not to love it on their first listen. Sligo has never produced anything better.”
Smith: “I regard Feeding Frenzy by National Prayer Breakfast an absolute forgotten Irish classic. An anthemic Phantom FM staple, with lyrics and jangly guitar representing true indie music away from the manufactured sound of mainstream radio.”
Al Jeers: “I regard ‘Master of the Universe’ Aidan Walsh’s Community Games as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s the only song to my knowledge to conceptually decontruct that most Irish of all sports meetings.”
Donal: I regard Arclight by The Fat Lady Sings as an absolute forgotten Irish classic, because it’s still a cracking tune and it was our summer anthem at Ballyfin Jamboree in 1993.
Bertie Blenkinsop: Foremost among a number of great suggestions made by Bertie, who played a blinder here, was Power of Dreams’ Stay. – Mike
Goosey Lucy: Revelino’s Happiness is Mine. Listened to it non stop as a teenager.
Frilly Keane: Cypress Mine – Sugar Beet God. So good live that Zig ‘n’ Zag covered it.
The video for The Laws of Nature, the new single from Dublin singer/composer Candice Gordon, featuring dancer Zoe Darling. A foreboding visual for a foreboding slice of noirish psychedelia. Says Gordon of the video, and the Butoh dance through which Darling tells the song’s story:
“Butoh is a Japanese dance form where you see a lot of transformation through animals. In the video, the dancer makes very slow dance moves and you see her transforming into different life forms.
I wanted parts of it to be unclear and uncanny. It’s a very wytchy song, it’s about being under the spell of the natural order,” said Candice.
The single is taken from upcoming album Garden of Beasts, available for pre-order here and released via Proper Octopus.