The blog's been on the backburner for the last few days while I spent some time in the US. Nothing to report musically as there's simply not much going on at this time of year. Instead I got some art kicks from the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem - rather chaotically set out, but a truly comprehensive look at the 'first American surrealist' - and that goes for the terrific interactive website too. Like Charles Ives, whose music he admired, Cornell is still curiously underrated considering his innovation and influence.
Even Austin, self styled 'music capital of the world', was fairly quiet, but I did make it to Music Lane:
It was a relief to escape Austin's sub-tropical 92% humidity and get back to London in time to catch the unbelievably talented Squarepusher at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He managed only half an hour or so of solo six string bass, followed by another short set pairing jazz legend Evan Parker on saxophone, with a brief Evan Parker solo in between. But it would have been hard to take in any more. Although Squarepusher is, in the great British tradition, an art school boy rather than a trained musician, his technical virtuosity is staggering and his entirely personal style light years away from the 'noodling' he's sometimes accused of. Parker's playing too needs space around it to be fully appreciated. With his impeccable circular breathing technique and his lightning fingerwork he creates swirls of rippling sound so complex they sound like two instruments playing at once.
And then back home to watch Pappano conducting Rossini and Berio at the Proms nearly-live on BBC4. Austin 'music capital of the world'? --not tonight.