Recently I found myself in the unusual position of having time to kill, following the collapse of a musical project I’d been feverishly working on.
The project in question was Siegfried Bassoon – a musical autobiography of Siegfried Sassoon (for Bassoon). I had poured hours into a promising first draft of the piece, but the project collapsed when it transpired that Britain’s foremost bassoonists consider themselves too important to travel to Carrickfergus for a weekend of intensive development work, despite my assurances of an 8% share of any future profits. I suppose I will now have to focus my efforts on Wilfred Bowin’ – a musical autobiography of Wilfred Owen (for Cello). I hear cellists are a much more reasonable breed, equipped with the sort of foresight that is foreign to the mind of the eminent bassoonist.
Read more “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbelievable Lapper”
Somebody suggested to me recently that J Mascis is in fact the same person as Saruman the White.
Naturally I laughed at such a ridiculous concept, and berated them for their utter stupidity. “Sure, J’s got long white hair”, said I, “But he’s an American grunge pioneer, not an immortal sorcerer from the Land of the Valar! Where is his staff? Show me his cloak! You are a total idiot, mum.”
But later that night, I confess my mind returned to the matter. I was working into the small hours on my seminal Tolkien musical suite, The Seven Sons of Fëanor, when the comment resurfaced in my thoughts, like a stealthy Russian Shark-class nuclear sub, unseen until it breaks the waves.
Read more “Wizard Rock”
Imagine a deadly duel between two of fantasy’s greatest swordsmen.
The setting is some unreal dimension, transcending the boundaries of great works of fantastical fiction. Weird creatures soar through smoky skies, and raging fire-pits pock the landscape.
On a forsaken plain at the heart of this unusual world, two terrible enemies face each other.
To one side stands the newly-crowned King of Gondor, Elessar Telcontar, handsome and fell, and taller than most. His storied sword, Andúril, glints in the light of a nearby fire. Aragorn son of Arathorn is in complete control of his lengthy weapon, and it silently awaits his command. The man’s Númenórean face is wise, and his robust jaw set firmly against his opponent.
Read more “At last… King Elessar Telcontar vs. Elric of Melniboné”