Thursday, 5 January 2017

Music to Do Sums By.

Sorting my 2015/16 receipts today to the tune of the Paul & Linda McCartney album Ram made it a far more enjoyable experience.

One thing I don’t do much of at the moment, as I’m not doing any muso work, is to have a really good sing. I tend to listen to music when I get ready in the morning, and will often join in with it a little (much to the consternation of my neighbours or anyone walking past my bathroom window), but outside of the occasional bit of bath-based Karaoke, I’m not keeping my voice in shape. I did give it a stretch today however, whilst knee-deep in bank statements and receipts, and if you going to do this, an album like Ram is a good one to work out to.

The vocal parts are literally all over the shop, which is meant as a compliment. It was McCartney’s second post-Beatles album, which was slated at the time - largely fed by him supposedly being the root of the Beatles' breakup - but has been critically re-evaluated over the intervening years. It’s a slow-burner and isn’t necessarily his most instantly accessible work, but it’s brimming with melodic ideas…and consequently, it's a welcome distraction from getting your tax records together.

Second on the Ephgrave Self-Assessment Jukebox playlist today was Bowie’s The Next Day, which was a similarly spiky audio accompaniment. It perhaps wasn't the best choice for what I was doing as - like Ram - it’s pretty full-on, but I still enjoyed it. Tomorrow, I’ll go for something a bit more mellow (not that I’m planning ahead).

Putting the tax stuff to one side, I really should get my voice back into shape. I’ve become very lazy of late, only doing vocal warm-ups when I’m gigging and seldom doing scales. I go through phases with it; when I was doing Buddy, I’d be warming up every day, but these days, not so much. It’s similar to being an athlete in that if you don’t train, you quickly get out of shape. Perhaps I should pull my proverbial finger out and book some singing lessons - and get this: I can stick them in my tax return as a business expense.

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