Bird Song

Have you ever spent a hour or so listening to bird song?

There are so many places you can listen to bird song nowadays from going outside and finding a quiet park or field, especially early in the morning or by turning on YouTube whilst sitting in your home.

I know that people don’t often tend to buy albums of bird song music, let alone an album at all nowadays. I remember growing up going into garden centres and seeing CD’s of whale song, dolphin song and so on. Sometimes it was just the sound of the animals communicating but other times they have put the animal sounds over music. Some of the these CD’s were sold as relaxing or meditating albums which I am guessing is why the need was felt to add music behind the animal noises.

I know not everyone has a good quality handheld recording device but if everyone just recorded the journey they make to the shops or work and listened back I am sure there would be noises in the background that they don’t normally notice and yet this one recording could change that journey as they may work where certain background noises appear and try to listen out for them.

We can’t all be August Rush (feel free to check out the movie), and hear the sounds of the street and write a symphony but if we could how similar or different would everyone’s version of the world be. Are we all hearing the same sounds? Do some people enjoy listening the ‘journey to work’ soundtrack that plays as the make the trip every day?

I have heard birdsong both ways and I have to say although sitting inside and listening to it is definitely different, you lose things like the wind across your face, the morning sun giving off a little bit of heat plus the smells of the outside, granted not always pleasant on the senses.

I know some people may say that sitting inside is better as you do not get the weird or unpleasant smells, you don’t get disturbed by passers-by, you aren’t too hot or cold, you aren’t getting rained on. I understand that some people prefer the out doors and most, if not all of the elements but I do feel an environment can make a difference as to how you appreciate song in any form.

A few years ago I was sat in an old church watching a classical music concert. I have previously seen classical music concerts in theatres and halls. Granted the performance inside the church was a shorter length but I do feel as someone who feels the cold more that I enjoyed the concert less than I may have done had the temperature been a little warmer. I sat in another church listening to a choir, again beautiful music but the coolness in the air definitely made me enjoy it slightly less than watching a school choir perform.

I hope everyone has the chance to hear bird song in any form but outside would be best in my opinion. Just sitting and listening to it I feel generally can have a calming effect. In these busy days and times with so many things causing us stress anything we can do to calm down a little should help, even if it is only for a day or two. Maybe listening to bird song outside once then whenever you feel stressed just play a little on your laptop and see if you can make your senses remember what it was like to be sitting outside amongst it.


The Parent Track Soundtrack by Alan Silvestri.

Sometimes I will be watching a movie and I will hear a melody in the background and think I really like that and I wish I could find it. The Parent Trap (1998) was no exception. There were several moments whilst I watched the film when I thought how beautiful a piece of music was.

I was in luck when I found the classical soundtrack for the movie by Alan Silvestri. I have enjoyed many soundtracks that Alan Silvestri has done. I won’t name them here but I am sure if you continue to follow my rambles you will see in future posts some more mentions of his work.

One of my favourite pieces of music from the soundtrack is probably ‘Changes’ which if you don’t know is the moment in the film the twins cut hair and pierce ears to look identical. *Spoiler* bit late if you haven’t seen the movie at all. This was a soundtrack that I discovered after watching the film but I am pretty sure having listened to it many times now I would have gone to watch the movie having listened to it.

The overall album I would say is quite relaxing to listen to. I have put it on in the evening to try to help me unwind after a busy day and it definitely does the job. However, once I start listening to the soundtrack I start to see the scenes that happen with the music and it just makes me want to watch the movie again. I do not mind as it is a movie I enjoy and as I never watched it a lot growing up I haven’t got to a stage where I may be bored with the film.

I like the use of instruments throughout the soundtrack, several instruments are shown off and despite it being quite a relaxing album it still has a few moments of tension within some of the pieces.

If you wanted to put on some classical music to unwind at any time of day I feel as though this soundtrack would do the job. As most of the music is at a similar level you would not have to constantly be changing the volume that you set the music at, but I will say if you set it too quiet there may be a couple of moments of music you wouldn’t here.

As I write this, surprise, surprise, I am listening to the soundtrack. I appreciate that the soundtrack even has the Disney logo theme on it.

I also have the pop album for this film, so technically if I got the order right I could have almost every moment of the film playing through my head listening to the albums putting the songs between the classical pieces but that my be considered a little sad. I can’t say I have done that yet but I have definitely thought about it.

I feel I have rambled on a for a while so here is where I will end this view on The Parent Trap album by Alan Silvestri. Thank you for taking the time to read and if you have not listened to the soundtrack I wonder if this will inspire you to go away and have a relaxing hour or so listening to it.

Sleepless The Musical

Sleepless the Musical | Home - Welcome

Six Months ago i saw the last musical theatre production that I would see for a while and as the months went by I did not think that I would be able to see any showcase, musical or play for the rest of 2020. However, I was in luck, there is a theatre in Wembley that with a smaller audience that the venue could hold is willing to put on a show.

Troubadour Wembley Theatre is a new venue that has opened up with the ability to show theatre shows. The theatre capacity was about half of what the venue could hold to comply with the government social distancing guidelines. I went by myself and they had many single seats available for people in my situation which was useful. When I got to the venue I had my temperature checked and had to wear my face mask from this point throughout my time in the venue except when I was having a drink. When I went to buy a programme they said they were only accepting contactless payments. There were several tables with the large hand sanatising bottles on them for everyone to use. Social distancing queueing did not really happen when people were waiting to go into the venue and despite there being tape on the floor people were not leaving a lot of space.

Overall I would say that the venue did a good job taking care of the governmental guidelines. I understand that there may not be enough members of staff at the venue to enforce the 6 metre rule when queueing.

The show itself was sweet and moved along at a gentle place. As it has been a while since I have seen the film I enjoyed following the story. There was no particularly catchy song during the show or big show stopping numbers. The entire cast seemed to be giving their all which is always great to see. It is not a show I would feel the need to rush back to see anytime soon but if a friend wanted to go I would go with them.

The audience were a little quiet, maybe the masks muffled the sounds of laughter a bit. There was a reasonable amount of clapping after each of the songs and a few audience members even stood during the bows.

If you are an avid theatre goer who has missed going to the theatre then I would say go and see the show as part of your enjoyment will probably come from being back in a theatre as it may have been a while since you have gone. Also, if you enjoyed the movie you may enjoy the musical as from what I can remember it is pretty true to it.

I would like to say a thank you to the cast, crew and front of house team for being brave enough to put on a show at this time.

Nine Night Play

I had the chance to see the understudy run of the play Nine Night at Trafalgar Studios.

Why a performance by everyone on stage. The play was written well and directed beautifully. There is no way one would have know that there were some understudies on the stage watching this show. The cast worked flawlessly together.

Even though a joke or two flew over my head I can say I laughed more than I had expected too and at one point I even had a tear in my eye. The audience watching the show were backing the actors throughout and they regularly roared with laughter. There were even some grunts of accuracy by a few audience members. The show tells a story of death which is always a sad subject but it does it in a way that the audience understands that some people celebrate they life of one who has recently passed on rather than mourn initially.

I had a perfect view from my seat in Row D slightly off-centre. The high backs of the seats I found relatively comfortable and it helped my posture a little too. There was a good amount of leg room.

If you get the chance to see this play please do. Productions by the National Theatre are usually some of the best I have seen and it was a privilege to see the understudy run today.

Company West End

I had the chance to see the West End 2018 production of Company recently and I must say that the show was flawless down to every detail from the singing to the timing of the performers dancing on the stage.

A Sondheim production will always be a flawless production as this man writes great work and it should always be performed so. Though the works are considered a little harder sometimes by testing abilities of performers with word-y numbers the music is a joy to listen too.

The stories which Sondheim tells are stories that applies closely to people’s lives – so in some ways people feel attachment to the shows in some way or another and when one feels an attachment emotions begin to take hold and before you know it a tear is falling down your cheek as you realise part of what you are watching is your life.

It is always good to have people keep you in check about ones live but sometimes it is harder to hear in the spoken word and a musical which depicts some of your life is a slightly easier way to hear what people may be thinking about you.

I myself have reached an age where over the past few years family members have said when are you going to get married and have children. These are both things that I think I do want but seeing some relationships go sour it has made the idea of marriage a little harder especially as I have been brought up Roman Catholic (or Catholic) where divorce is not an option. To add to this I have had some people in my live discuss marriage with me but I had to turn them down as politely as one can as I realised I am not ready for it. I recently went to through a long term relationship (just over 2 years) where at the end of it the other person said we should end it over the phone. Now do not get me wrong I know there are worse ways to have ones heart broken but as far as break ups go that was not pleasant and it has definitely set me back in pursing another committed relationship.

I have some medical issues that I have had over the years which may mean that I cannot have children. This is not a definite but if a partner wanted a child and I was unable to have one of my own — I know one can adopt or foster — then sometimes that can put a strain on a relationship.

This show also made me think about career. I would currently say I have a good job which I get a lot of enjoyment out of and it definitely has some work perks which once received or used make one feel lucky shall we say but having gone down a few different routes in terms of work I still feel I need maybe even a year or so for me to find the job I would want to be in before I am to marry and potentially have children.

I would say as far as a show where in this case many aspects apply to my life – I mean like the person in the show I would say I have a wonderful group of friends who do a wonderful job daily of reminding me to enjoy what life throws at you – I watch a show like this through different eyes to someone who is several years younger than I, married with or without children.

The show has been modernised in a way with it’s changes but these do not take anything away from the show, if anything they make it even more relevant to the world we live in now. The cast are wonderful and seem to have such a great chemistry together. Special mention to the wonderful Patti Lupone who seems to help bring the standard of performance by everyone in the show up a little more with her presence.

The show is wonderful and I am glad I finally got to see it due to TodayTix but unfortunately I will not be able to see it before it closes. Please do not miss out on this show as it is a wonderful show that definitely deserves a much longer run in the West End.

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris is a beautiful musical and to hear the show in French definitely added to the emotion one may feel watching the story about Quasimodo and Esmeralda.

Every member of the cast has an incredibly strong voice and each one of the featured ensemble is given a chance to show of what they can do vocally.

Having the english translation above the stage was useful and I did not find it to distracting. Unfortunately as my French is not too good these days I did have to use it a little meaning I would miss a little of the choreography.

The dancers and acrobats deserve so much credit for their skills throughout the show.

Quasimodo made me cry with his final number of the show which I was not expecting at all.

The show was quite dark but it almost felt more real the story with the darker elements added in.

The bow sequence deserves a mention especially when the cast got the audience to join in singing with them. It was a beautiful moment to be apart of, the audience picked up the lyrics quick and simply and joined it. It felt as though there was a connection with everyone in the room.

I would be intrigued to see this show in English. It is such a shame that it has such a short run as it was a full four levels when I was at the show today and I am sure if it had a longer run it would have done a wonderful job of being 4 full levels for the run.

Maybe we in London will be lucky enough to see the show again in the future, whether in English or French I hope that it comes back to the West End.

Songs For Nobodies

Songs For Nobodies is on at the Ambassadors Theatre until the 23rd February, don’t miss out on this one woman show of amazement.

Story telling is an art and to be able to tell several stories and add in the beautiful dulcet tones of each of the singers is a true talent and Bernadette Robinson’s is a true talent indeed. She has a beautiful tone to her voice and wonderful clarity, every note she sings touches the soul and you can feel it.

I really liked the smell of tea drifting around the theatre, with each new cup of hot water mixed with something that was made the smell grew richer and sweeter, it made me want to go tea tasting after the show.

I teared up a little when a story was told about the stars, it was a delicate moment in the show.

You can book your tickets in person at the theatre, and some lovely folk they were to me or you can book online.

Mary Poppins Returns

I have had the opportunity to watch Mary Poppins Returns twice already this year. The first time I went to the film I was a little tentative because the original Mary Poppins film from 1964 has always been one of my favourite Disney films of all time.

What can I say, the film was wonderful, I laughed so much at the comedy and the music and small references to the original films. I cried a little every time I heard a motif of the original music cleverly hidden in the various songs.

The second time I went to the film I laughed even more than the first time and cried just as much. Disney did a wonderful job with the music writer’s for this film as they really caught the essence of the original films music in this film. I came out of the cinema singing a few of the songs and they are still going around my head non-stop.

I have been told for many years I am a bit like Mary Poppins – whether it is to do with my tidying habits or how much I can fit into my bag. I even once dressed up as Mary Poppins for a fancy dress evening with Guides back in the day. The character is very special to me for that reason.

It was wonderful seeing places in London that I recognise from walking down on my journey’s around the city, especially a certain street that reminded me of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.

I highly recommend seeing this film if you have not and if you feel like it watch the original Mary Poppins film before you go as I did. I am sure you will enjoy the film and come out singing a song or two.

Summer and Smoke

Summer and smoke is an interesting play and the words have an element of rhythm to them sometimes.

The way the piano’s are used in this version of the play was very clever, all the piano’s looked and sounded beautiful especially when they were all played together. I was a little sad to see board’s had been taken off the pianos but the way they used the instruments in so many different ways was really interesting to watch. It really proves how much of a versatile instrument piano’s really are.

All the actors did a wonderful job especially all the actors who were playing multiple roles and would instantly chop and change between them.

Both the songs in the show were beautifully written and each one performed with such care and ease. They did not seem to out of place in this adaptation of the play.

If you know a little background about the author of the play you would know he had an over-bearing father which is seen quite frequently in his plays and he also had a sister he was very close to which in this play can be seen with the relationship with a couple of characters.

A Very Very Very Dark Matter

A Very Very Very Dark Matter is an interesting play giving the viewer a different view on a couple writers, namely, Charles Dickens and Hans Christian Anderson.

This was the first time I had the chance to see Jim Broadbent on stage and he did not disappoint at all, a wonderful actor who held the attention most of the time when he was on stage.

The play was very funny and the audience laughed a lot, even though some of the jokes were simple they still gave the audience a proper laugh.

I initially thought that the play would be good mainly for kids but after watching the play I would say that a slightly older audience will appreciate the jokes and message in the play, I feel a younger audience may miss some of the jokes. Though there were a couple of serious messages throughout the play it worked well as a 2 part play performed straight through without an interval.

If you want to see a slightly different play in a modern venue then please give it chance. As with many things, go in open-minded.

The Bridge Theatre is a beautiful new theatre that is very hip. I was sat in the Stalls section and had a clear view and most seats in this area seemed to, even the seat around the stalls appeared to have a clear view. Relatively comfortable seat. The cafe and bar upstairs seemed quite popular as it is a place you could go to hang out or have a meeting even if one was not seeing a show in the venue. The staff were very polite and helpful.