Monday, 8 September 2008
PHP? I'd rather be listening to the Esbjörn Svensson Trio
I've been sitting at the computer grindstone over the last few evenings, battling with blogs and the technology that lies behind them and drawn a blank. PHP? It's not for me. I can barely get my head round entry level HTML. Anyway...
...I let Last.fm - what a wonderfully simple hyperlink, by the way - drive me on, as I play with coding that is going to eventually raise up its head and spit me in the eye. This magical radio station supplies a fantastic range of music to the ears of unrevenged, low-level, techy nerds such as myself (see my previous entry Rediscovering Music with Last.fm). I know I am being hard on myself but when you come to the realisation 21 years after you discovered computers and signed-up for a COBOL programming course (which you sensibly abondoned), that you ain't got what it takes, then it's time to take stock. Just as well I'm a Producer-Director-Writer in the creative world of Video Production and all this computer stuff is just a hobby. (Hobby? Obsession, more like). Where was I? Ah yes, music...
...Well, in a way I blame Last.fm for driving me on in my hopeless pursuit. Can I sue an internet radio station for keeping me focussed on the unconquerable tasks in front of me? Probably not. So there I was trying to get my head round how to customise a template in Wordpress by jigging with it's CSS, when through my headphones comes the sounds of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Yes! I can get this code to do my bidding, I think (re-energised by the "jazz piano" tagged music). I'll hack it and crack it and blow its house in! I'm sitting up straight in my seat, leaning over my computer with authority, trying not to bang the keys in a smart-arsey, syncopated way to the intricate rhythms of the music, because it is, after all, 2am in the morning and I might wake the kids up. The track is called "Eighty-Eight Days in My Veins" and to date it has only been played 301 times on Last.fm (20:52 08/09/2008). What a discovery! The piano and double bass melody took me on a journey, a trip dare I say, where I was slaying PHP coding snakes and dragons all around me...
..the need for sleep eventually kicked in. The taste of defeat still slushes around my palette but my ears have received all the benefits of great tagging and my brain is slowly working out the potential benefits of getting out more.
What a shock to read in Friday's Guardian, an inspiring article by Jamie Cullum about the band's leader, Esbjörn Svensson, who died in a scuba-diving accident in June. This is a band I would have turned off the computer for and driven miles to see. If you hurry you can download MP3s of "Tide of Trepidation" and "The Well-Wisher" for free.
Slogan of the day:
Don't let great contemporary jazz piano music trick you into thinking that you have slewn the coding demons that are really only sleeping when you should be.
05 Sept 2008 - Jamie Cullum's article - Farewell to a maverick.
16 June 2008 - John Fordham's article - Jazz pianist Esbjörn Svensson killed in scuba accident.
Some good photos of EST live by Manuel Cristaldi on Flickr - Esbjörn Svensson Trio photos.