8 February 2022
What are you listening to?
I’ve been trying to make the most of this downtime to make myself a better trumpet player and musician, and part of that is listening to great trumpet playing. This performance of Herman Bellstedt’s variations on Napoli by Norwegian trumpet soloist Ole Edvard Antonsen (a friend of our music director Rune Bergmann) has been a great source of inspiration for me — what effortless playing!
Outside of ‘classical’ music, I’ve been listening to the album ‘Planetarium’ by Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister. A musical catalogue of cosmic objects similar in form to Gustav Holst’s The Planets, this is written for a vast array of electronic instruments, voice, drums, piano, string quartet, and seven trombones. Wide-ranging and extremely colourful, it’s been fun to use my ears in a different way. I’ll be listening to this for years.
What are you reading?
I’ve been reading a lot of Octavia Butler, she’s always insightful and relevant. I just finished The Parable of the Sower (1993), which is set in a disconcertingly close-to-reality dystopian 2024. I also recently read Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was much more straightforward than I expected it to be, so don’t let it intimidate you!
Of musical interest, I read and greatly enjoyed The Path to Artistry by legendary trumpet player Timofei Dokshizer, which I would recommend to any brass player or curious listener.
What are you watching?
We’ve been enjoying Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones, a series by Danny McBride with John Goodman and Edi Patterson. Everyone is crazy about Succession, but I just can’t stomach it. Gemstones has a lot of thematic overlap with Succession, but does it in a way that puts a smile on my face (and doesn’t make me feel sick!). McBride has mastered the art of using the perfectly wrong word, it’s delightful.
I’m also looking forward to Season 4 of Stranger Things, whenever it arrives this year.
What are you cooking?
Sempre la pasta. I got the great American Sfoglino by Evan Funke early in the pandemic, and it’s never spent much time on the shelf. Get yourself a giant rolling pin and build yourself a skill you’ll always be glad to have!
Yesterday I got a copy of Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson, which I’m looking forward to digging into.
I’m also really excited for the release of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s new book, The Wok. Kenji’s Youtube channel has inspired me to step out of my kitchen comfort zone in many directions through the pandemic, and I expect this book to be as great as his widely acclaimed The Food Lab.
What is your favourite place to be outside on a winter day?
There’s something particularly meditative about a freezing cold, late evening dog walk. On evenings when you just want to hunker down and go to bed, the pleading look asking for just one more walk today always leads to a feeling of really being glad you got out. One more way a dog is good for you.