All entries for November 2004

November 09, 2004

Where to live next year?

It must have been a record – we'd only just got to week 4 and a fresher asked me about accomodation for next year. Like Christmas, this gets earlier every year.

So, after being here for 6 years, here is my advice on living off-campus whilst studying at Warwick. Now this is liable to be contraversial, and some of you will surely disagree. Fair enough, but these have stood the test of time, and the vast majority of people I speak to agree with me on this.

1. Don't panic. Freshers start looking for houses earlier and earlier each year. Don't rush into it and end up with a cr*p house with people you don't like. By all means, don't leave it late, but you don't need to start looking until the second term. There are always houses available in the third term still, and even on into the summer holiday.

2. Don't settle for a house you don't like. If you don't like it, don't take it. Get your creature comforts – you will miss Gas Central Heating in the winter if you haven't got it.

3. Live in Coventry. Unless you have a car, travelling from Leamington takes far longer in the mornings. You can cycle from Earlsdon and be on campus in 15 minutes easy.

4. Before you sign a contract, show it to the Advice and Welfare people in the Students Union. Ken is their housing expert (he used to be a solicitor), and he's a great guy. Use him well.

5. As an unbiased opinion, I thought I'd print this comment a (2nd-year) friend of mine has recently made:

I live in Leamington this year, mainly because that's where most of my hall-friends wanted to live but also cos I thought Earlsdon was a dump. Leam is ok but the buses take an age to get to campus, although I think it is slightly better than at the beginning of term, they only take about 1/2 hr in the mornings now. I think we rushed into choosing a house, or rather my housemates did cos I didn't see it before we moved in and consequently it is a bit crappy. My advice would be to stick out for a house that you really like wherever you want to live, there are some nice houses available. Despite this I don't regret living in Leam, although I think I may be tempted closer next year.

November 04, 2004

Highlights from European Brass Band Championships 2000

Writing about web page

4 out of 5 stars

3 reasons to buy this CD:

  1. Tallis Variations
  2. Dove Descending
  3. Windows of the World

and, oh look, they're all performances by YBS.

Wilby, Graham & Sparke. What a combination.

'Tallis Variations' is a truely exciting set of variations on the Tallis 'Third Mode Melody' by Philip Sparke. Joyous to hear the Tallis psalm setting played by brass instruments and then a combination of some moving and beautiful solo writing (and playing) and some electrifying ensemble music.

'....Dove Descending' is a major work by Philip Wilby. Enough said.

The recording of 'Windows of the World' is the premiere of this piece by another master of brass band writing, Peter Graham. "The music represents a tour of South American, African, Far Eastern, Celtic and North American music styles" and features several of the bands outstanding soloists.

The track listing of this double CD also includes the Bourgois 'Concerto Grosso','Lyric Variations' by Ray Steadman-Allen (yes, look, he's not just about hymn books) and also the 'Coronation Scene'from Boris Gudonov by Mussorgsky, amongst others.

This is definitly not a CD of cheese – it shows off some of the best modern composers the brass band movement has, writing music which is great to play and always enjoyable to listen to.

November 01, 2004


  1. The piece Philip Wilby used as the theme for the last movement of his 'Lowry Sketchbook' is the Movement 1 (Prelude) of the Violin Partita No.3 in E for Violin by J.S. Bach.
  2. "Nothing Exists Until It Is Measured" Niels Bohr, 1930.
  3. Philip Wilby wrote 'Laus Deo' at the bottom of his score for 'Jazz'; this is latin for 'Praise be to God'. Composition for Philip is an 'act of worship'.
  4. "An artists job is to captivate you for as long as he's asked for your attention." The West Wing, Season 4.
  5. 'Gaudeamus Igitur' – the original student drinking song. Midis & History and Words .

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