April 22nd, 2011


Steel Pan Warning!

Going on twenty years ago, when I bought my first CD player, I wanted to build a collection quickly but couldn't afford many CDs, so I sent away for a couple dozen samplers from various labels, most of which I got for the cost of shipping. Among them was a sampler from the jazz label DMP, and among its ten tracks was a remarkable piece called "The Songlines," performed by the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble. Although I liked the music and always intended to buy the album, I never got around to it. There was always something else to spend my limited funds on. A few years later I got Sluggo, the digital money pit, and spent much less time listening to CDs, though I would still dig this particular one out now and then.

Because the band was so obscure, I never expected to find the piece on YouTube, but guess what? It's not the same recording, but its the same group doing a slightly longer version (about nine minutes, as opposed to a bit over seven on the record) of "The Songlines" in a live performance. The audio of the clip is not as good as the CD, but it's still worth listening to. YouTube also tells me that the composer, who wasn't named on the sampler, is Andy Narell, and there is also this video on which he plays a shorter, solo version of the same piece.

I think Farah is going to have her kittens tonight. She was quite restless this evening, and meowing persistently at me. Where she will have them is a mystery. She didn't look as though she had a place picked out. I put some soft towels in a lower cupboard on the back porch (I know she knows about the cupboard because she's always opening the door) and more in a box in the shed in the back yard, but I don't know if she'll want to have kittens so near a place that other cats frequent.

I have to keep watching the yard in case raccoons show up tonight. I'm not worried about the other cats myself, as Tommy Two-Tone never bothered Farah and her litter mates when they were kittens, and Alger stays away from Farah if she just hisses at him. As for small gray cat, she's a very shy and gentle little kitty. I'm going to make sure Portia doesn't go out back, though. She doesn't like Farah at all, and I doubt she'd like new-born kittens any better, except maybe as a snack.