Sunday, 1 July 2007

Memories of Tom Middleton

On Friday evening, G and I went to the BFI at The Southbank to see Tom Middleton perform a new collection of his music called Lifetracks .

I am a very big Tom Middleton fan. He describes himself on his website as an electronic composer and producer; but I would describe him as the creator of some of the most beautiful, and influential ambient music around.

This concert was even more exciting than usual for having some stunning visual work to accompany the music. The concert was held in a small cinema. The musicians sat in front of the screen and as they played, they triggered elements of the visuals so that images moved in time to the beats of the music

Tom Middleton's music feels like the soundtrack to my adult life. At every significant event, and also during many memorable everyday moments, there has been a Tom Middleton track playing.

Many years ago now, Tom Middleton was part of a collaboration called Global Communication. Anyone who has ever been to our house, or had conversations with G or I after a few bottles of wine, will know how highly we rate Global Communication and their first album 76.14.

When I listen to this album I have so many memories:

  • I fell in love to this album; G and I would go out for a big night together and then crawl home to Brixton or Leyton in the small hours of the morning and let the gentle sounds of this music lull us off to sleep.
  • I studied for all my accountancy exams to this album. Track 2 (variously called The Way or 1431 or the clock track) still makes me want to sit down, get my pens and books out, and start a cashflow or something.
  • In both my labours I played this album over and over again without getting tired of it. O was born to it (but sadly someone switched it off towards the end of my labour with C and he was born to less soothing sound of John Humphries and The Today Programme on Radio 4!)
  • At music festivals I have lain out on a rug in Sanctuary Tents or Chill Tents feeling drunk and heady to these tracks.
  • When the children were small and we were racked with tiredness this album soothed us all.

I haven't wanted to get married, but if I were ever to change my mind this album would be the first music to be played at the ceremony.

So I was expecting a great deal from Friday night's concert. But of course we were not disappointed. The music and the visuals let us soar away and forget about being 30-something parents, tired from work and everyday demands. We fell in love all over again to the sublime, ambient tunes of Tom Middleton and staggered home late that night to fall asleep to Global Communication's 76.14.


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