Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thirty-nine Part Invention

Listening to ….

… well actually listening to Tehillim by Steve reich.

I am not allowed to stream Radio 3 at work (as it should be I admit) so I have to rely on the Media player. It has struck me how Christmassy Tehillim actually is – all sort of wintery wassailing despite being based on Hebrew prayers.

So what about all this Bach on Radio 3 then? I worked from home yesterday and it was very nice having the digital radio piped through the speakers of the PC – to be surrounded by all that baroque brilliance. It is true that some of the more Sturm und Drang stuff is a bit much to take – shouty German is always slightly suspect these days I suppose. A particular highlight was the Trio Sonata in C, BWV 529 for Organ which was on as I drove in this morning. The guys who play these pieces must have separate brains for each limb. I am sure that this is a subconscious theme throughout Godel, Escher, Bach, all that stuff about how it was near impossible for JSB to think up Chromatic pieces with so many parts. I was also reminded of GEB by the stuff about termites in yesterday’s Life In The Undergrowth. I seem to remember quoting a paragraph about termites with reference to Wholism and Reductionism – it was apt honestly though I am sure the nice guys at Private Eye might have put the extract on a shortlist for Pseuds’ Corner.
Two interesting articles in The Guardian today :-

This one about the recent court ruling that Intelligent Design may not be taught in science lessons (and due to the requirement for a separation of Church from State – not taught in any lessons – officially). For some probably quite heated argument go here. I have just had a thought about how the complexity that advocates of Intelligent Design use as a form of proof of their solution can always be explained by some form of very complex random development. This random development is like the ‘faith’ element in the more religiously-based theories. The difference is that in most cases a bit of complex thought about something can always explain it. Every time! No Question! No need for faith.

And this one trying to encourage people to attempt the Cryptic crossword. We used to try the telegraph one in the office when it was free online but with us all being scattered and access requiring subscription, that pleasure is infrequent. Maybe the Telegraph will be bough once or twice over the next week or so. We actually finished it once or twice and one Saturday I did the whole thing on my own.

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