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May 2016



Whether the power of the riff compels you, twisting & shouting in sympathy for the devil is your thing or you prefer the hills to be alive with the sound of music, this month’s theme of #songread (spinal) taps into the great convergence of music and reading. From the plethora of genres and sub-genres of music styles a wealth of lyrical poetry has been generated, as well as the ones we will blame on the rain.

#songreads opens exploration of the evolution of the musical landscape from indigenous traditions, through the great composers and into the modern era when science & technology have increasingly shaped the sounds we listen to as well as the way we listen to, record & access music.

Biographies of people such as Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant (Peter Grant: the man who Led Zeppelin by Chris Welch) take us behind the scenes with rock gods and chart the evolution of the business of music.

Titles like Daniel Mason’s “Piano Tuner” & Steven Galloway’s “Cellist of Sarajevo” take us into historical and conflict situations through stories of music.

An investigation of an instrument such as in “Theremin: ether music & espionage” by Albert Glinsky opens the ideas of engineering & invention as well as the emotion & mood which music conveys. The theremin, as well as synthesisers like the famous Moog, earned renown as the spooky backdrop to countless horror/sci-fi movies and television shows.

Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon & “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby highlight the music shop culture of hunters & collectors. The seekers of that elusive musical diamond, maybe even Neil.

Electronic music is an important part of the gaming experience as well as the boom in music as a game (Guitar Hero, DJ Hero) and easily accessible software such as Garage Band on the Apple platform also being relevant to the #songread discussion. Jason Newsted, ex-Metallica bassist, produced his recent album on an iPad with this software!

Magazines of all kinds, from big names like Rolling Stone, Spin & Mojo to favourite out-of-print titles and fanzines, are a vital part of youthful musical exploration and taste development for many people.

Watching is often as important as listening. Live concert films (Woodstock, Sunbury), epic events like the Eurovision Song Contest, modern song and dance competition shows, classic movies (Blues Brothers, Grease & The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as well as composed movie scores and soundtracks all contribute to the Soundgarden of #songread and the quest for musical Nirvana.

There will be a twitter discussion on 31 May starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time.  6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am; 2pm – 4pm; 6pm – 8pm BST.  Note this is a staggered discussion.

Use the tags  #songread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of  #songread, so others can join in the conversation too.

Read on you crazy diamonds!!!

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