A flutter on Friday 10 December

Something old…

Well, the burd has survived a week of snow chaos and hell, almost intact.  Though my temper has been more than a little frayed, I have to admit.  But more interestingly, I’ve enjoyed the stark monochrome of Edinburgh in charcoal and white, particularly in the morning and just before dusk.  The light too has been spectacular, all those babysoft hues and so many varied wisps of white, blue and pink.  It’s caused me to pause and gaze skywards on my various trudges to and from work, garnering lotsa strange looks I can tell you.  But hey, if you can’t stop for a minute and just, well appreciate the awesomeness of Mother Nature….

This track is a longstanding favourite and I think captures the mood perfectly.  As it should, given that Sin Fang Bous comes from Iceland.  If he can’t, then who can?

…something new

First up, an album I bought last month and sort of overlooked.  But I stumbled across it again on the shuffle and now I am hooked.  It’s the first solo release by Corin Tucker  in her self-titled band and it’s got more going on than first impressions suggest.  I particularly like this track.

And next, a Scottish band that had also slipped through my radar until now.  A fresh download, the album’s been getting a lot of plays in the last week or so.   Go visit the Scottish Enlightenment’s MySpace page and have a listen.  Little Sleep is the track that is burning the burdz ears.  It’s big, epic stuff, alternately melodic and jarring.  And very, very addictive.

Something borrowed…

This week saw the launch of a digital archive, the Kist o’ Riches – or to give it its Gaelic name, Tobar an Dualchais – and what a treasure trove it is.  The website is a collaborative project by a host of partners and has digitised thousands of oral recordings of music, stories, songs, poems and factual information.  Wonderful.  The burd has already spent an hour trawling the lucky dip option, with each find a delight.  More Scottish cultural projects like this please.

…something blue

Not blue exactly, though somewhat melancholy and certainly seasonal.  Scotland’s Winter by Edwin Muir.  Enjoy.

Now the ice lays its smooth claws on the sill,
The sun looks from the hill
Helmed in his winter casket,
And sweeps his arctic sword across the sky.
The water at the mill
Sounds more hoarse and dull.
The miller’s daughter walking by
With frozen fingers soldered to her basket
Seems to be knocking
Upon a hundred leagues of floor
With her light heels, and mocking
Percy and Douglas dead,
And Bruce on his burial bed,
Where he lies white as may
With wars and leprosy,
And all the kings before
This land was kingless,
And all the singers before
This land was songless,
This land that with its dead and living waits the Judgement Day.
But they, the powerless dead,
Listening can hear no more
Than a hard tapping on the floor
A little overhead
Of common heels that do not know
Whence they come or where they go
And are content
With their poor frozen life and shallow banishment.