I’ve been very busy recently, with not much time to post here. But today I came across a radio programme that I can share (quickly!) with you. It’s from BBC Radio 4 and is called “Something Understood“. In the programme, Mark Tully negotiates the challenges, pitfalls and delights of translating ideas, emotions and even music, into […]

Today, 2 June, is the Festa della Repubblica, Italy’s National Day. So for my Italian readers (and everyone else too!) here’s a song from Naples performed – in the Neapolitan dialect – by my daughter, Olivia. About Reginella “Reginella”, written in 1917 by Libero Bovio and Gaetano Lama, is a bitter-sweet song about lost love and innocence. The singer sees his old love, his […]

Yesterday’s guest post, Language, music, and me, by Elisa Bonora, was about listening to music while you work. It sparked quite a discussion on Twitter, between those, like Elisa, who find music an inspiration and those, like me, who (sadly) find it a distraction. What about you? Take our poll and let us know. And […]

Do you listen to music while you’re working? I’d love to be able to, but sadly I can’t – my brain just doesn’t work that way. When I’m reading or writing – even just a simple email – the music distracts me and I just can’t focus. I know that  lots of people do manage to […]

Today is Burns Day, when Scots (here in Scotland and just about everywhere else in the world) celebrate the life and work of Robert (Rabbie) Burns. The celebrations often take the form of a Burns Supper at which the haggis takes pride of place, along with poetry and, of course, whisky. Here’s a wee round-up […]

A week or two ago I heard a recording on Radio Scotland of Dawn Upshaw singing ‪Baïlèro, one of the Songs from the Auvergne: a collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France arranged for soprano voice and orchestra or piano by Joseph Canteloube between 1923 and 1930 […] in the local language, Occitan. […]

This is great fun. For anyone who’s got old printer/fax/scanner hardware kicking around. All you need is a bit of creativity. Brother ‘Printer Orchestra’ by Chris Cairns from Partizan on Vimeo. Disclosure: having tried — and not at all liked — Canon and then Brother, I’m delighted and very relieved to be back with Epson. […]

One of my very first dates with my (now) husband was a concert by Lucio Dalla and Francesco De Gregori in Taranto, in 1979. We were to meet in the doorway of the apartment block where I was living. Vito was about half an hour late, having forgotten the time while in the shower. For […]

This blog is primarily about language, but words take on a special power when they’re combined with music. So I’d like to dedicate this and the next post to two singers who died this week and who both meant a lot to me at different stages of my life. The first is Davy Jones, an […]