Joining the Dots
If you have ever said “I don’t understand classical musi” or “Classical music is boring”, or even “Where on earth do I start?”, this is the book for you. You possibly feel unwelcome in this world of concert audiences and key signatures, and you don’t want to join the club of snobby know-alls+.
Instead, Joining the Dots will give you ways into this rich and wonderful music. It will even help you to understand and appreciate modern music that is often dismissed as ‘noise’, even by people who say they like classical music. It will not give you, however, an in-depth account of the lives of the great composers, and it will not tell you what to think – it will just give you the tools to help you make up your own mind, and provide you with a map to guide you on your musical journeys.
“Most impressive” – Professor David Murray
Published 2009 by Matador ISBN 978-1848760-219
Available from Amazon and all disreputable secondhand shops.
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A Blind Man in the Land of Zen
This book is an exploration of mindfulness and Zen buddhism from the ‘point of view’ of blindness.
It tackles subjects like the nature of Self, meditation practice, the nature and cause of suffering, and the application of Zen and mindfulness to everyday life.
The book follows the path of a one-week retreat by the author, and the chapters follow the stages of a spiritual journey.
It should go without saying, of course, that this journey is personal and ideosyncratic.
Steve Hobson was diagnosed with mukltiple sclerosis in 1992, and was registered blind eight years later.
He is a member of the Stonewater Zen sangha in Liverpool.
“A genuinely original book, and you can’t say that of many” D. Murray, Emeritus Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham
“Beautiful and poetic” Plume Review
Available in paperback, Kindle and audiobook format from Amazon and Braiswick Press.
Waiting For the Downbeat
Amazingly, Joining the Dots was first published eight years ago. We are all eight years older, and in that time more music has been written, my taste has changed a little, I have become a little less evangelical, and technology has revolutionised the way we listen to music. All this needs recognition, of course, but as well as this I have had time to spot mistakes, and the book itself has had time to be reviewed.
The reviews were generally favourable, but I would be foolish in the extreme if I took no notice of them, so some of these comments have been addressed in this new edition.
I hope I have tidied it up a bit, as well. Some new bits have been added and some unnecessary bits have been removed.
Available from Amazon, price £7 or equivalent.