Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

A piano in every Victorian home …

Posted by Susan Tomes on 7 December 2017 under Books, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I’ve been reading ‘Tales and Travels of a School Inspector‘ by John Wilson, an account of travelling round the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the Victorian era, in the years after the groundbreaking 1872 Education Act which gave every child between the ages of 5 and 10 the right to schooling. If the children […]

Different attitudes to the artist’s mental processes

Posted by Susan Tomes on 27 November 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  4 Comments

Today I was at a major exhibition, ‘Ages of Wonder – Scottish Art from 1540 to now‘ at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art in Edinburgh (it’s free, and very enjoyable). As I went round, reading the plaques which explained the artworks, I was struck by how often they referred to ‘the artist’s practice’ and […]

Chopin pops up in a jazz concert

Posted by Susan Tomes on 12 November 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

Italian jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello was visiting Edinburgh from New York last night and I went to hear him. The jazz musicians in the audience ruefully acknowledged that Sportiello’s elegant appearance had put them to shame. Beautifully pressed grey suit, pink silk tie with matching silk handkerchief tucked in the jacket pocket, a gorgeous haircut […]

Folk song and the power of words

Posted by Susan Tomes on 1 November 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  4 Comments

The other night I went to hear a great Irish folk band, Lankum, at the Traverse theatre bar. I first came across them in a BBC Alba television programme when they were called ‘Lynched’, a name they have understandably ditched. Their talent stuck in my head, so when I saw they were performing in Edinburgh […]

Musicality and where to find it

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 October 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Travel  •  1 Comment

Last week, when I was in Italy, I went to a concert of a well-known ensemble (I’ll be discreet about who and where). Firstly I should say that the large audience appeared perfectly happy with the performance and applauded enthusiastically, but for me as a professional musician there were signs that the players were demoralised. […]