“So where was I?”

It has shamefully come to the point that not only the year, the month and the day of the week are regularly blundered by me.  This afternoon while driving the car I couldn’t recall whether I had already washed the car today!  Now that’s bad!  At least on the face of it, it’s pretty bad. There’s not even a 24-hour window of requital. I confess I nurture hopelessly obsessive conviction to habit and miscellany. By way of partial defence it was but moments afterwards that I recalled having sprung from the lair pre-dawn this morning to prepare for a planned outing to the grocery store. That particular midnight venture was itself part of a larger scheme to accommodate His Lordship’s late-morning appointment at the dentist. After dropping him off at the clinic I drove into Stittsville and had the car washed.  As things subsequently evolved I ended prolonging the day and widening my compass by having to take the car to the dealership concerning some trifling matters. The reward for having withstood these irritations was an earlier than usual return to the hearth where I have since anointed myself with the very agreeable piano-bass duet (1996) of Dave Young (who incidentally is Canadian). This selection is but one more example of the proficiency of Mr. Apple. Through his algorithms he has automatically added this and many other albums of varying genres to my “For You” collection of jazz.

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a finite sequence of well-defined, computer-implementable instructions, typically to solve a class of problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are always unambiguous and are used as specifications for performing calculations, data processing, automated reasoning and other tasks.

The wizardry of technology – while indisputably marvellous – does not however always predict an abandonment of the so-called “old favourites“.  As sensitive as my ear may be to sound, I suffer the embarrassment of ignorance when it comes to musical variety.  My knowledge of classical music began and ended with my limited study of piano – composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. Jazz reached its acme of influence through the Verve collections to which I was introduced by His Lordship. The more perverse renditions – such as the now forgotten Tubular Bells or the decidedly exoteric Ivor Novello – were both recommendations of the late Douglas Peterson, PhD whose personal interests collided with more visceral matters generally.  I can only assume that both he and I derive similar pleasure from ingenuity and tradition.

Tubular Bells is the debut studio album by English multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter Mike Oldfield, released on 25 May 1973 as the first album on Virgin Records. Oldfield, who was 19 years old when it was recorded, played almost all the instruments on the mostly instrumental album.

The album initially sold slowly, but gained worldwide attention in December 1973 when its opening theme was used for the soundtrack to the horror film The Exorcist (1973). This led to a surge in sales which increased Oldfield’s profile and played an important part in the growth of the Virgin Group. It stayed in the top ten of the UK Albums Chart for one year from March 1974, during which it reached number one for one week. It peaked at number three on the US Billboard 200, and reached the top position in Canada and Australia. The album has sold over 2.7 million copies in the UK and an estimated 15 million worldwide.

There is an odd consequence of the pandemic.  Without the frequency of social visits and going to stores and restaurants we’ve fallen victim to that lofty philosophic debate about whether things really happen if we don’t see or hear them? Few of us measure our days by the hour.  It is so much more convenient to isolate a time with a particular event. And it obviously contaminates a calculation if certain of the ingredients are missing. If I were to assess the dilemma I base the fulcrum of the anxiety upon the unpredictability of the future not so much upon the disturbance of the present. And believe it or not, in spite of my unquenchable affection for story-telling and historic accounts, the instability of the future concerns me deeply.