Sunday, 8 February 2009


We had the lovely Mardi Dungey and her son round this evening. Mardi is back in Cambridge from Tasmania for a week. It was great to see her and to hear that Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror is in the bookshops in Hobart. We miss her and Ross a lot.

Earlier in the day I went over to Sainsburys to do a rare supermarket shopping trip and Radio 3 had David Daniels as a guest. I have never really 'got' opera. It is just about the only music form that leaves me cold and I get a little tired of how it is used as some sort of cultural benchmark. I see no reason why people singing drivel in often quite silly voices should have any greater inherent value than jazz or country and western. It certainly did not have that status originally.

That said, I can't remember who it was, but I heard someone on Radio 2 picking some favourite pieces of music and one of them was David Daniels. What an extraordinary voice. It is easy to say that he sounds feminine, but that misses the point. His voice has a weird unearthly quality because he is a man and yet sings in that beautiful clear voice. I am normally immune to men with high voices (with maybe the exception of Curtis Mayfield) but David Daniels is incredible.

Just as I suggested with the very different Howard Devoto (and boy is that an understatement), download a track and bang up the volume. It will give you goosebumps.

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