Archive for Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather (Billie Holiday)

Posted in Jazz with tags , on January 26, 2016 by telescoper

 

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Stormy Weather

Posted in Biographical, Jazz with tags , , on January 3, 2012 by telescoper

The weather has been inclement since New Year’s Eve, but today it got even worse.  Things are even more scary elsewhere in the UK; I heard from friends in Edinburgh that gusts of 102 mph have been recorded at the Royal Observatory, for example. I hope they’ve battened down the hatches. Here in Cardiff its pretty windy too, but the main problem has been heavy rain. There are flood alerts all across South Wales, including on the River Taff very close to my house as I write this. Since I’ve got a few things to do I think I’ll go and take a peek. The last time such a thing happened, the city’s flood defences held but the Taff did break its banks on Pontcanna Fields (which is actually meant to happen, to take the strain off the flood barriers nearer the city). Anyway I’ve got a few things to do so I think I’ll take a walk to the river and see how it looks. If I don’t come back please send a lifeboat.

In the meantime, here’s a piece of music to calm the storms, by the great Ella Fitzgerald accompanied by the equally great Joe Pass on guitar. ..

Well, back from a short trip down the Taff Embankment, here are a few pics of the scene…

The SWALEC Stadium is to the left, water level about 2m above the pitch right now, but protected by the embankment

The trees are usually above the water level, the nursery beyond is about 2m above current water level

I have seen the Taff higher than this, but only once!

White Water with Weeping Willow

The Millennium Stadium is just beyond the Bridge

Stormy Weather

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 29, 2010 by telescoper

Tough day, for various reasons. Perhaps more about that tomorrow. However, I thought I’d end it with  a flashbackto my youth. I went to see Derek Jarman‘s brilliant screen adaptation of The Tempest by William Shakespeare when it came out around 30 years ago, roughly the same time that I did. Critics were divided, especially about the ending, although I loved it all, especially the ending. The cast of the film included Christopher Biggins and Toyah Wilcox, so it was never going to be a straightforward Shakespeare adaptation but even if you don’t like it you have to admit that it’s beautifully photographed. Jarman decided to change the usual ending of the play, which is Prospero’s Epilogue:

Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own,
Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As youth from crimes would pardon’d be,
Let your indulgence set me free .

Instead the sublime Elizabeth Welch (who was 75 at the time, and died in 2003 at the age of 99) sings the wonderful song Stormy Weather, to a bevy of handsome sailors. A bit camp? Yes. But I think it’s sheer genius. In fact, I think  it’s one of the most fabulous-est endings to a film ever.