Music of the Ghosts

A few hundred years ago – according to legend – an inhabitant of one of the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland heard a strange, eerie tune floating out of the night air. He grabbed his fiddle and tried to imitate it, creating a tune that was eventually named Port na bPúcaí – the music of the Ghosts. And there the tale remained, with the resulting tune becoming part of Ireland’s rich heritage of traditional music.

Until the mid 1990s when musician Ronan Browne was going through some tapes, and to his great surprise heard the opening notes of Port na bPúcaí. What was on those tapes? Recordings of the songs of killer whales, which are well known to swim by the Blasket islands on their migrations.

We can’t ever know for certain that the tale of the composition of Port na bPúcaí is true. But if it is, then think of that islander, out alone at night, hearing the mysterious songs of the whales wash across the island and frantically scribbling down the notes of a tune from another world.

U’m Raptured uz Bro!

Go Tell it to the Whales

Last week there was a bit of a stir in the local media over a whale caught in fishing lines off Rottnest island. A rescue attempt was launched, but had to be abandoned due to oncoming storms. They did however manage to get a GPS tag attached to the lines so they could go back and free the whale later.

They finally got around to it yesterday (or was it the day before? I forget…). They got the rescue team together and headed out in boats to track  down the tag. They found it alright, still attached to the tangle of lines, but there was no whale!

The media are all saying that the whale managed to free itself. But, what if that’s not the case? What if the whale was raptured!?

C’mon, you (and Harold Camping) know that it makes sense! ;D

And on the subject of good ol’ Harold, he’s announced that the rapture that didn’t happen on Saturday did happen, it’s just that it was a mystical/spiritual thing rather than a physical thing, and the world is still going to end in October. Yeah, you just keep on truckin’ Harold!

What a lucky man he was!

This is your whale. This is your whale on drugs.

Hmmm, well I haven’t done much posting recently have I? I’ll put it down to getting back into the swing of work and spending much of my time uploading and annotating photos from my UK trip. I’ve almost finished the first day’s worth!

I’ve also got caught up in a writing challenge on Whitechapel. It’s the first time I’ve tried writing anything but mindless blog drivel and role playing material in ages, so we’ll see how it goes. The deadline is November 1st – with luck it’ll actually be readable by then.

Kraft has come to it’s senses and realised that “iSnack 2.0” is one of the worst marketing decisions in history. They’ve posted a bunch of more popular names to their website for the public to vote on and will be announcing the replacement name this week. I didn’t bother to vote – I’m just happy that clueless tech-speech abomination is being banished. Anyway, the only name I would have voted for is ‘Voldemite’ and that wasn’t on the list.

Before I go I’ll direct everyone’s attention to this song, which I discovered over the weekend – “Lucky Man” by Emerson Lake and Palmer. The song itself is (in my opinion) nothing special, a fairly dreary rock-folk dirge about a guy who goes off to war and gets shot. What makes it remarkable is the play out, the only explanation for which I can come up with is that they got a humpbacked whale in to do guest vocals and dosed it up on LSD.

Listen to the first 20 seconds or so to get the scope of the piece (it’s all like that), then jump to 3.20 to be astounded by the assorted wails, shrieks, groans and howls you get when you pump twenty litres of hallucinogens into a giant sea-going mammal!

That’s all I’ve got to say.

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