My favourite things, currently; also, a cool thing about Kimbra’s new album

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Portlandia (been binge-watching it on Netflix since coming home from Canada)

Running (I hurt my calves trying to run like an elite athlete. Jenny explained, with the aid of a lady from the internet, how to do good stretches. Now I have a book about running.)

Hendrick’s gin (which I completely ran out of last night)

Kimbra’s forthcoming album, ‘The Golden Echo’ (is that Prince on ‘Everlovin’ Ya’?? addendum: nope, it’s Bilal… Is that Little Dragon on ‘Love In High Places’???)*

* Tom Moon, the reviewer on the NPR site, muses on the album’s title; of how “there’s a trace of magic in an echo. It’s like Narcissus’ reflection, only better”. I was racking my brain trying to place the piano and orchestra melody that appears a couple of times in between tracks — was it Tchaikovsky? Then it dawned on me: Rachmaninoff’s ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini’, variation 18.

This is an inspired choice. The melody comes late in Rachmaninoff’s work, a beautiful tune after a lot of virtuosic fireworks based on the famous Paganini Caprice for violin (you know it…). This new tune doesn’t seem to bear any relation to Paganini’s, though. And here’s the thing — it’s a literal “reflection, only better”. In music it’s called an inversion:

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Rachmaninoff taking stuff he loved from the music of the past and refashioning it. Tip of the cap to you, Kimbra 😉

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