On Friday I was lucky enough to see a talk between Richard Dawkins and Brian Eno. I have an interest in the works of both men and this was a chance to hear them conversing about whatever took their fancy. The chat was in front of hundreds of people in the Oxford Playhouse (it was a fundraiser for this excellent place) and I suspect several people were expecting something more of a fight. I’m sure they were expecting the combined brain power of Eno/Dawkins and the Playhouse staff to put on a talk with fewer technical glitches too, but that’s what happens when you introduce complexity into an event. Overall, I enjoyed it greatly. Partly for the (non-combatative) discussion and the theories and ideas it raised. Partly for the joy of hearing great stories.
The question and answer session was less edifying for the usual reasons. Eno’s request to keep questions short and relevant to the fact that he and Prof Dawkins were both on stage was mostly ignored. The last question “Where do you see evolution leading us next?” was the evolutionary biologist’s equivalent of asking an author “where do you get your ideas?” and you could plainly see the frustration on Richard Dawkin’s face (although he did answer the question).

In the music world I’m getting ready to make more music for my Texan collaborators and feeling ready to play live with the Eclipse trio. Positive news about Bridge Street and Soul Beaver is just around the corner too. Also this week I’m working on ear training with my bass. I’m trying to improve my identification of intervals and so far the results are promising. The upshot is that I should be able to play what I hear without so much fumbling around for the ‘right’ notes.

And in other news, my dad is getting used to being told, “see you again in two weeks,” by those of a medical nature. My daughter, meanwhile, is starting nursery this week. There is other news, but that’s for the next post.


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