Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Desert Island Discs

I have done more since (I have nearly three shots drawn out) but here is a very short test for one of the flashback sequences. Both are shots that can be completed fairly easily as they lack precise backgrounds but they have some of the more complicated movements in them; one features a dog (and four-legged walk cycles are not my strongest point - anyone who has seen my eca sting featuring a cat limp instead of walk can vouch for this) and the other features Jay run and kick a football. The latter is the one I'm working on and the entire shot is looking passable... for the moment. Needs more inbetweening. For now, here is the very short test.
Hopefully, I should have this shot finished, scanned and possibly coloured by the end of the week. That could be me getting ahead of myself though.

Other than that, I've been listening to Desert Island Discs and wondering what I would choose if I was on the programme. For those unfamiliar, each week the guest on Desert Island Discs is asked to choose eight songs which they would take to the desert island they have found themselves stranded on. They then have to choose just one song out of the eight, as well as one book (the Complete Works of Shakespeare and The Bible or whichever religious text that is relevant to them are given) and one luxury item that will not help them escape the island or allow them contact with the rest of the world.
Naturally, I have come up with my own list because I love playing these sort of games for some reason. And naturally, because you're so desperate to know, here is my Desert Island Discs list:

Song One: Four Sticks by Led Zeppelin

It's very hard to choose, but I tend to say Led Zeppelin are my favourite band. This is probably because one of their members is one of my favourite musicians and I've probably chosen this song because it showcases his talent (let alone the others'). John Bonham was the drummer for Led Zep and I absolutely adore him. I was very tempted to pick Moby Dick for the four minute drum solo, but I'll go with Four Sticks because it amazing, Bonham played the track using four drumsticks, hence the title.

Song Two: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

This song has the distinction of being my most played song on iTunes by nearly 100 plays. Peter Gabriel is fantastic and this song makes me feel stupidly happy and stupidly sad at the same time, and that's an accomplishment. It is beautiful. Jeremy Clarkson picked this song for his Desert Island Discs. Now, I don't care what you think of Jeremy Clarkson but one thing is for certain in my eyes: the man has excellent taste in music.

Song Three: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

This isn't a song, but there we go. Mussorgsky is probably my favourite composer (I have a great love for the Big Five Russian composers) and this is my favourite piece of classical music. The sequence this was used for in Disney's Fantasia terrified me when I was younger but I even then I still thought the piece was outstanding.

Song Four: The Bell by Mike Oldfield

Tubular Bells II is my favourite album is this is the last track from Side One. Continuing the ideas showcased in Tubular Bells, Oldfield created a beautiful little melody and asked Alan Rickman take up the wonderful Viv Stanshall's post as Master of Ceremonies (although Rickman was uncredited on the album). This reminds me of driving around Anglesey with my family in the summer, automatically making me smile.

Song Five: Serenade To Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Vaughan Williams has written some of the most sublime pieces of music but methinks this has to be my favourite, even if it is because I have very strong ties to this piece. When on tour with the Hallé Youth Choir in France in the summer of 2006, this was one of the pieces we performed. This piece provided the most memorable moment of the tour for me; performing on an open air stage set in a great hillside in Fayence, we sung this as the sun set behind us. Imagine hearing this as the sky turns shades of orange, pink and purple before turning inky on a balmy night. I very nearly cried at the time.
EDIT: For anyone who is interested, here's part of Serenade To Music being sang by the Hallé Youth Choir as part of the Bridgewater Hall's 10th Anniversary concert in September 2006. I am singing in this performance but you won't be able to see as a) the quality of the video isn't that great and b) someone's head is in the way of where I was onstage anyways.

Song Six: Ask The Lonely by Journey

This could be seen as a little ironic if you're stuck on a desert island on your own, but no matter. This also shows how much Journey have taken over my life. They've always been a favourite of mine but they've shot up the rankings recently, managing to knock the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Waterboys, Family, Roger Chapman, Kate Bush, Jethro Tull, Supertramp and the Groundhogs out of this list, which is impressive. This isn't my favourite Journey song either (that would be After The Fall). This song just makes me dance about like a complete idiot, it's fantastic.

Song Seven: The Rio Grande by Constant Lambert

Again, I have quite strong personal ties to this piece but it's still fantastic so that doesn't matter. Not very well known and extremely difficult to find recordings of, Lambert's The Rio Grande is classical music infused with jazz, which is a great combination in my eyes. I performed this with the Hallé Youth Choir as part of the Hallé's 150th anniversary concert that was broadcast live on Radio 3 on 30th January 2008. I desperately want to get hold of the sheet music to this again, as the recording I have from our concert is not the best quality so at least I could sing all the Alto 2 parts again.

Song Eight: Manchester by The Beautiful South

I felt I needed a song to remind me of home and what better way to do that than to combine it with the acerbic lyrics of Mr. Paul Heaton. I am fiercely proud of being from the Manchester area so I'd happily share that with any sea creatures nearby.

The book I would take would be The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: A Trilogy of Four by Douglas Adams. Hitchhiker's has long been my favourite book and the Trilogy of Four would give me most of the series in one book, which is very handy indeed.
My luxury item, I feel, would be my lovely alto saxophone, which I have named Sonny, and an endless supply of reeds. Since I finished my lessons (not by my own choosing, may I add) in 2005, I have become rather rusty and if I had all the time in the world and nothing to do then I'm sure I could improve and do justice to dear Sonny. David Suchet of Poirot fame chose his clarinet and reeds so I feel this is a sensible decision to make.
And the one song that I would chose over the others? Serenade To Music. It is etched so deep within my being that I will never grow tired of it.

A pleasant distraction from inbetweening, but it's also music such as this that gives me the motivation to finish my film.


  1. Wow! Your header looks swish!
    And, excellent choices for your desert island discs :D

  2. @Christina F.
    Haha, the header is a revamp of a doodle I did years ago when I was doing the autobiography task in my Creative Writing class. I shall have to find the original doodle soon.