Ifs and cuts

It’s not often I start a piece for ArtMuseLondon in a state of anger. Or shock. Or bewilderment. Today it’s all three. I could wait for my ire to subside, but see no reason to. In a situation where it seems impossible to do something, at least I can demonstrate I feel something. Arts Council…

Organised K-os: ‘Hallyu! – The Korean Wave’, V&A, London

‘Hallyu’ – the eye-catching title of this big-ticket exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (‘V&A’) – translates as ‘Korean wave’, the phrase used to describe Korean culture’s steady rise to prominence over the last 25 years or so. Informed by a K-pop aesthetic, it’s a heady, day-glo, assault-on-the-senses experience. Throw yourself into it and…

Intriguing and highly personal – ‘From Afar’ by Vikingur Ólafsson

It seems that whenever Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson touches a piano, beautiful sounds flow from the instrument – whether it’s Bach, Rameau, Debussy or Philip Glass. His latest release, From Afar, is no exception, with the added sonic treat of two pianos, offering contrasting colours and timbres. This new album, the most personal of all Ólafsson‘s recordings to date, reflects…

“sensitive, intelligent and vivid writing” – The Ghost Variations by Damian Lanigan

Few writers can truly capture the physical and emotional experience of playing and engaging with music, especially complex repertoire like the Hammerklavier sonata. Not since An Equal Music by Vikram Seth have I encountered such sensitive, intelligent and vivid writing about music as Damian Lanigan achieves here. Added to that, a well-paced, entertaining storyline makes this book a thoroughly good read.

Greatest hits: Joby Burgess, ‘A Percussionist’s Songbook’

A fascinating record with wide-ranging ambition and, surely, mass appeal. Joby Burgess has created a release for classical label Signum that could sit equally comfortably in the rock or ‘world’ genres, such are its broad range of influences and audible sense of adventure. * In his sleeve notes, Burgess mentions his exposure to all kinds…

Debussy’s and Shostakovich’s Preludes performed at King’s Place

For the London Piano Festival at King’s Place, Katya Apekisheva and Noriko Ogawa presented a programme of 20th century preludes.  Preludes are mostly associated with J.S. Bach and his masterly eighteenth-century Well Tempered Clavier, where the prelude and the accompanying fugue represented two short movements written in the same key. Chopin rebranded the prelude and made it a…

Picture This : Australian artist, Daryl Austin, presents his latest work

“Veiled monument, Tarndanyangga, 2022” is one of a series of paintings depicting my immediate urban environment. As a daily habitual walker negotiating these spaces it is evident that they are in a process of continual change and disruption. I try within these paintings to utilise motifs as depicted here of a known/unknown monument undergoing restoration….