What a fantastic year for blogging! Awards for photography, a visit from author Armistead Maupin and Olympic Torch Bearer Mark Healey. Happy New Year to my 500 followers and everyone who’s commented and liked!
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
I’ve been messing around in Photoshop again. Based on some tiny hints from the BBC, I came up with this wild stab at what the new Tardis interior might look like in the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special to be broadcast on Christmas Day.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very proud to announce the World Premiere of my latest video. The Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus sang ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ for the World AIDS Day Partnership’s Be The Light candlelight procession. It was a magical evening, as you can see, and we froze our bits off! But we stopped traffic. This is a little film I made for everyone who volunteered. Let’s make next year even bigger and better!
Take your seats please, ladies and gentlemen because the party’s nearly over. But not until The Fab Lady sings.
Kate Bush is rumoured to be performing Running Up That Hill at the Olympic Closing Ceremony. If it’s true then let me tell you, the top of my head will blow off and all manner of fantasmagoria will erupt like the cover of Never For Ever. The astonishingly inept Amazon might have accidentally posted the Running Up That Hill 2012 remix too early and spoilt the surprise…and then removed it again – so I’m taking that as confirmation that she’s on the bill.
The last time she performed live was 1987 (apart from a mere cameo vocal in 2002 with Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd), and her last tour was in 1979! This a monumental event for British music and Kate’s vast fandom. It’s been a fantastic fortnight of sporting achievement, but this really is the cherry on the cake. I hope she jumps out of one!
We’ll be celebrating in Manchester with Boots’ Chocolate Gold medals and mucho Absolut.
+ + + UPDATE: track available on iTunes, click image to preview + + +
+ + + UPDATE2: Kate Bush no show + bunting taken down + + +
Main picture based on original motion graphics created by Anthem and Mammoth Graphics. Closing ceremony Sunday 21:00 GMT on a TV screen near you, unless you have NBC and then you’ll have to wait for an edited version.
It’s amazing that The Vibes is nearly one year old, and yet you’ve all been spared one of my great obsessions. I just got back from London, where Panos and I went to The Doctor Who Experience, part thrill-ride, part exhibition. It’s the nearest you can get to actually being in the fifty-year-old BBC sic-fi show. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the world of the Tardis, Doctor Who is the perfect story: an infinite format which can be applied to just about anything that’s happened, and everything that hasn’t. It’s all about an alien with a stolen time/spacecraft, roaming the universe in search of trouble, saving lives and planets and fighting evil.
This is a short film of our trip to space, which includes a remix of Delia Derbyshire’s ground-breaking electronic theme, which is widely regarded as the earliest example of techno. She recorded it in 1962. Read it and weep, Detroit.
Watch in high definition and full screen…
“All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?” as the Doctor says to his companion. When it comes to travel, he’s universally free range. The sheer scope of this format means that the show keeps regenerating, much like the Time Lord himself. It never gets boring and big hitters like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are eyeing the film rights as the Doctor’s profile continues to grow. For the madman with a box, this is going to be a great year. There, that was painless, wasn’t it?
I decided to remix Delia Derbyshire’s iconic and pioneering version of the Doctor Who theme to get me out of copyright wrangles when I posted the above video on YouTube. I took three samples, a ‘seething’ sound which was a kind of slithering hiss, the Tardis wheezing and a single bass note, which sounds a bit like a drum. It turned into an epic project and I stalled halfway through. Rather than go insane, I re-recorded the complete half of the track in reverse, and stuck it on the end of the first half, effectively doubling the length of the track and making it sound like I’d done twice the work. George Martin would love me. Delia, however would probably not join me on the dance floor as I threw shapes to the funked up version of her tune. And rightly so: her thundering realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme was the very first example of electronic dance music and about 20 years ahead of it’s time. It’s definitive and unique. No other piece of music has sounded like it before or since, and like a siren it excites and unsettles. It’s interesting to note that this version has never been successfully improved upon, in 50 years of Doctor Who.