This post is inspired by the title of the latest album by Finnish jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola,‘The Dead Don’t Dream’.
I have come across Pohjola’s amazing modern music quite recently and have been mightily impressed by what I have heard.
The musician was talking about the making of the album (dreaming it into existence as he termed it) and remarked that “it’s about embracing life in all of its complex emotions, while we still have it … after all, the dead don’t dream”.
He nailed it for me with that statement.
To live is to truly engage, and to dream. You may as well be dead otherwise.
You can listen to the tune behind the thoughts below (via YouTube):
Peak autumn on the Tamaki River at low tide; the clear blue sky is reflected in the water lying atop the mudflats at low tide. Plenty of time right now for me to likewise do a bit of reflection in the suspended state that is lockdown, whilst out walking.
The perfect mini soundtrack to this all comes from American new age/neo-classical pianist George Winston:
First light on the Tamaki River yesterday – another day, another beginning, another version…
And a previous blog version is to be found here: New Day Rising .Last time around I shone the light, so to speak, on the album cover of Husker Du’s ‘New Day Rising’. This time you can check out the title track below.
Unlike the serenity of the photo, this is one of the most ferocious slices of rock and roll ever committed to tape, so you stand warned.
But I am happy to start the day either way, really…
This stunning modern suspension bridge over the Firth of Forth was certainly worth a picture, as we crossed over it late last year( don’t worry, I took this photo from the passenger seat! ).
As I have been filling my musical boots with vintage sounds of late, may I take you on a transatlantic leap to the somewhat older but equally stellar Brooklyn Bridge, which I was fortunate to have walked over as a young bloke.
Artwork of it features on the cover of a 1982 album ‘The Bridge’, by jazz/fusion keyboardist David Sancious. Sancious may be better known to rockers as an early member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
A YouTube link to the sublime title track ,an old favourite of mine, is below, if you have the time to embark on a sprawling aural trip of your own…
Over Christmas music yet? Well, may I give some respite from the sheer awfulness of most of it – here is a prime cut from my album of the year, Devendra Banhart’s ‘Ma’.
A typical offbeat piece of Venezuelan/American Banhart’s warm songcraft, enhanced by a surreal video. Enjoy! If it’s not your cup of tea ,it could be worse (‘Little Drummer Boy’ anyone…?).
(By the way, the recent photo features a community piano in a central London shopping mall . Some outstanding young talent created amazing sounds for free – I love community pianos for their surprise element!
Genius musician is proved slightly wrong in the form of this stunning traditional wooden Malay house on stilts . Okay, that is a massive lyric/subject non- sequitur,but I just love both the song and the house, and there really aren’t that many songs about nails…
Or houses without nails – not a single one was used in its construction, according to the owners. Mainly interlocked timbers, like a gigantic wood jigsaw puzzle. Amazing.
Right near top of the list of coolest houses I have ever visited.