My parents have been gently harassing me since the end of August about Christmas presents, and now that the weather's getting nippy, I suddenly realised that it's starting to loom and I should really be compiling the Annual Christmas List (usual disclaimer: this isn't a hint, it's a resource for those who may need it). I've struggled a bit this year to find specific things, as most of the stuff I really want at the moment is equipment, which is always rather pricier than appropriate for this sort of list. If I think of additional bits and pieces I shall add them here, but of course random CDs, in particular, are always popular! As always, let Djelibeybi know if you're getting something off this list so he can co-ordinate to make sure there's no doubling-up - if you need his email, let me know...
Books & sheet music
- Alex Ross: Listen To This
Absolutely loving Ross's The Rest Is Noise and this looks an interesting collection of essays... on pre-order discount at Amazon :-)
- Roussel's Jouers de flute sheet music - either from Amazon or Chappell of Bond Street on Wardour Street - not fussy which, but as well to check that the edition contains all four movements - some publishers sell them separately (The Schott edition certainly seems to contain all of them)
- The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
His website has some great stuff on it and the book looks rather intriguing
- Twyla Tharp: The Collaborative Habit
Her other book, The Creative Habit, has been a very important one for me and this one on creative collaboration looks really interesting and useful
- The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook thank you, Da!
Well, there had to be cookbooks in here somewhere, didn't there? Bought this recently for a friend and now really, really want my own copy - some fantastic-sounding recipes in there!
- Rose Levy Beranbaum: The Pie and Pastry Bible
I've been really enjoying Beranbaum's The Bread Bible and while I would still love The Cake Bible, at the moment I'm trying to cut down on the amount of cakes and similar things I'm eating. Pies, however, are mostly fruit, and it would be great to know how to make good ones...
- The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard by Leonard Bernstein and thank you Da again!
Sounds very interesting. Was recommended by... someone. Can't remember who.
- The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn
This one was recommended by @pkpiano - I've read three of his previous recommendations (Art & Fear, The War of Art and Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit) all of which have been fantastic and have shot straight to the top of my best-creativity-books-ever list, so I'm very interested to see what this one's like too.
- Erik Spiekermann: Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out How Type Works
Another one from an earlier list. Still want to read it...
- maybe something from the music minus one (or similar) flute series - these are ensemble/concerto pieces which come with a cd of the other parts so you have something to listen to during your 73 bars' rest.
- Nigel Slater's Tender, Vol. 2
This is the one about fruit - looks fantastic!
- Structural Functions in Music by Wallace Berry
Not light reading, this one, but so far it's an amazing book - really fascinating insights.
- New Nico Muhly CDs
Lovely Decca have got together with Bedroom Community and released two new Nico Muhly CDs - one of his choral music called A Good Understanding (yet another thank you for my lovely Da :-) ) and the other of a ballet score called I Drink The Air Before Me. Either or both would be ecstatically received. If you buy I Drink The Air Before Me from the Bedroom Community site (linked) rather than Amazon, it comes with a digital version which includes bonus tracks not available otherwise - this would be preferable - the more Muhly there is, the happier I am! (FLAC format for the downloads please!)
- Nico Muhly's Mothertongue
Yeah, this has been on the list for about 3 years now and everyone's studiously ignored it. Please don't ignore it. I still want it! Again, if you get the CD + download option direct from Bedroom Community, it comes with a bonus track (yes, FLAC format again please).
- Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel/Why Patterns?
Started listening to Feldman's work lately, but it's really distracting on Spotify, even with a Premium subscription - really needs to be a CD, I feel
- Gorecki: Life Journey
Gorgeous CD of some of his lesser-known works
- Taneyev: Chamber Music
Accidentally found this while browsing a sale on Passionato then followed up on Spotify - a simply stunning album - absolutely gorgeous.
- Iron Man
Trashy, but fun. And Robert Downey Jr. Need I say more?
- Arrested Development
I never saw enough of this when it was on TV and always wanted to except that Channel 7 kept moving its timeslot. Now the whole thing is available in one box. And on sale :-) If you don't know it, it's very cool, very quirky. And it has Jason Bateman.
- Piano stool this one's a yay for Djelibeybi!
The Stagg adjustable keyboard benches at Rose Morris on Denmark Street (near Tottenham Court Rd or available online) look great - comfortable, adjustable for short people and space-saving. I think I'd probably prefer the slightly wider version (with or without the extra padding), just because it feels a little more stable if leaning left or right much - my playing isn't that extravagant but I do need to lean over and swivel a little to get at the laptop while doodling sometimes, so that would be best but frankly I wouldn't sneeze even at the little one - ten times better than using John's squeaky office chair!
- Music stand - thank you, mama for the early present! It's the most beautiful music stand in the world!!
A fantastic board game for two players or more - used to play this at lunchtimes at LBi and it's awesome.
- File-keeping footstool
Had my eye on this for a while but keep putting off buying it, largely because until the bookcase situation is sorted out in the study there's not that much room to put it, but it would be very helpful - easy access to my files, plus allow me to put my ankle up (or just stretch the legs - not just for the injured period!) while I'm sitting in my chair. Note that it may be cheaper in-store than online. Not sure if there are colour options - if so, black to match the chair would be nice, or just the neutral colour that's online would be fine.
Realms of fantasy
- Logic Studio
Yes, again. Still wanting to get this. Still having a hard time squirreling away that much cash and justifying the purchase.
- Vienna Symphonic Library
Well, one can dream! If you win the lottery, though, even a lowly Special Edition package would be brilliant :-)
Because it's driving me a bit nuts having a key compositional tool take itself off for random holidays in Scotland and Australia without me when I'm trying to write a piece! Plus I want to play around with ReBirth for iPad - looks awesome. I'm trying to be good and wait for the second-gen version to come out in the hopes that it might be a little lighter and possibly include a camera (although rumours seem to say front-facing video camera only, which doesn't interest me much) but it's difficult, so if you're feeling generous I would most definitely give a first-gen iPad a cosy home. But then again, I do have access to one already from time to time... if you have that sort of cash floating about, Logic Studio should probably be a higher priority...
- and, of course, world peace and a general restoration of reason for society at large and the UK's politicians in particular would really go down a treat.