Posted on Wed 25 July 2018

Three for July

My album of the month is Heaven & Earth by Kamasi Washington, an album I was introduced to by a friend via social media. This is a jazz concept album with Earth representing Washington’s outward view of the word and Heaven the world as he sees it inwardly. On my vinyl copy of the album there is also an extra record called The Choice hidden (actually hidden — I had to carefully cut it out with a scalpel) in the packaging. That’s five records and a lot of music!

With a title like ‘Heaven and Earth’ this album should deliver a big sound and it really does. If you enjoy jazz this is an album to immerse and bathe in for a few hours.

Prompted by a recommendation from Patrick Rhone I decided I should read a book on Mindfulness and selected Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. I have been trying to be more mindful without every having really learned much about what it means. Having read the book, what I found most valuable was a better understanding why and how Mindfulness can help manage your inner reproving voices and to understand how these thoughts occur in the first place. I find the idea of daily meditations intriguing but have still to make time to try these in a more structured way. Even so, just that better understanding has helped me manage stress and worry more easily.

My wife and I watched La La Land together this month, then later I watched Moonlight. We were both struck by how little tension there is in La La Land; it was a good film, a very big film, but not a great film. Moonlight is a small, intimate, film that focuses on three phases in the life of a young black boy growing up in Miami. Moonlight is my film of the month (I know: I come to this late!) and it has tension and uncertainty and risk in almost every scene. I actually came to first hear of Moonlight through listening to the marvellous soundtrack album and it was doubly enjoyable to hear that familiar music in context. Where La La Land was life on the big screen, Moonlight was a life under the microcope and all the better for it.

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