Ex Die in Diem


Wrapped Up In Books

This week I’ve had two assignment deadlines, one for each course I’m currently doing with the OU. This has meant a lot of studying and university work, and over the last seven years, university work has meant three things: Music, Books and Tea. With a sufficient supply of all three, I’m confident that there’s nothing that is out of reach.

Of course, one must be selective about the music one listens to whilst studying: it is all too easy to become distracted even at the best of times, and I find that mostly instrumental tunes are called for. I have two segments of my music library that I seek out when I need a tune rather than a song, namely classical music and Scottish folk. Today I’d like to talk about the latter.

As I say, I’ve been fixated on music with little vocal element for the last week or so, and the guitarist who has come to my aid in this regard is the talented Kris Drever. I’m amazed most at the versatility of the music he has created as part of various collectives and on his own.

What I mean by this, since it is far from an obvious statement, is that it’s possible to just listen, to lose yourself completely to the compositions and performances and not need anything else to do, see, or think about, but also it is possible to appreciate the shape and colour that the music gives to another activity, in this case study.

If you wan a great example of this, go and buy a copy of Horizontigo, preferably a live version. Go now, I’ll be here when you come back. Go on.

Ok, now listen to it, loud, through the best setup you’ve got. For me, that’s my headphones, as discussed earlier. For you, it might be a nice amp and speakers. Make sure it’s clear, and make sure it’s loud enough. Don’t do anything else at all while you listen, just focus on the music: it’s an amazing piece.

That done, find a book or a picture you love to stare at and study, or some sewing or knitting or crochet you enjoy, and put that same piece of music on in the background. It’s a whole other experience.

And now imagine how much better that is with tea.

See you next week.

This is from the