I have been extremely self-indulgent over the last three weeks. I have treated myself to a ticket to three concerts to hear some wonderful music.
The first concert was by Penguin Cafe. I only became aware of their music last Autumn. My Monday morning art tutor plays some of their very distinctive sound during our lessons. It's a great way to start the week. Drawing and painting, very chilled out, interesting music in the background, and always a yummy hunk of tray bake with a cup of coffee half way through the morning. So very civilised!
So Penguin Cafe - a Bohemian bunch. This is my favourite piece of theirs (that I have heard so far) called Black Hibiscus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-RNsbJbDhQ and there many other enjoyable quirky pieces. It was a great evening at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh. Wall to wall Guardian readers in the audience, and I was one of them (although I do tend to stick to the foodie bits of the newspaper on Saturday and the Observer on Sunday only).
A week later and I was back again at the Queens Hall, surrounded by a different group of Guardian readers but, like me, fans of the Tord Gustavsen Quartet. Tord Gustavsen is a Norwegian jazz pianist and composer. I first heard his music on Late Junction on Radio 3 and I have now been to three of his concerts in Edinburgh. This piece is from the quartet's latest CD 'Extended Circle', https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYnGw_rPT1g. When they start to play the sound just washes over you in a wonderful soothing wave. I just love it.
And then, joy of joys, I travelled up to Aberdeen on the train last Saturday afternoon, to go to a concert given by Jan Gabarek and the Hilliard Ensemble. I have been listening to this incredible combination for many years now. Their album 'Officium' is probably No. 1 on my Desert Island Disc list. I found this really great Youtube clip which is an interview with Fiona Talkington (Late Junction), and if you have a few minutes to listen to it I hope you get an idea of the sublime sound Jan Gabarek and the Hilliards make together. The concert I heard on Saturday was part of the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, more Guardian readers, and from eavesdropping while I was in the queue waiting to go into St Mary's Cathedral, I overhead someone say that this is their last concert tour, so I am very thrilled I managed to hear them live. It was just wonderful and I will never forget it.