Why writing about jazz is maybe just a little bit like ‘dancing about architecture’ – @robgarratt on jazz

The oft-quoted dictum that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” – credited variously to sources from Laurie Anderson to Frank Zappa, but attributed by scholars to comedian Martin Mull – is, of course, clap-trap. Words carry meaning more … Continue reading Why writing about jazz is maybe just a little bit like ‘dancing about architecture’ – @robgarratt on jazz

How the Middle East’s underground went overground: Selected writings on alternative Arabic music 2014-18

The past few months have seen alternative Arabic music enjoy an unprecedented mainstream embrace – nowhere more so than in the UAE, with the first third of 2018 welcoming second editions of scene-stealing indie festivals Wasla and Step Music, and … Continue reading How the Middle East’s underground went overground: Selected writings on alternative Arabic music 2014-18

The Dictator’s Cut: How Stalin blocked a happy end for Romeo and Juliet in Prokofiev’s classic ballet

We probably don’t need to print a spoiler alert here warning you about the tragic turns taken in the tale Romeo and Juliet. The Shakespeare classic is, after all, the best-known love story ever written, moving millions of readers, viewers and listeners afresh every year – and inspiring countless of artists of the stage, and beyond. Away from the theatre, The Bard’s play has stimulated creatives across the arts for more than 400 years – from Romantic poetry to pop songs, opera to Bollywood and Pre-Raphaelite painting to Japanese anime. Many of these spin-off works have become household fables in … Continue reading The Dictator’s Cut: How Stalin blocked a happy end for Romeo and Juliet in Prokofiev’s classic ballet