A Personal View



Music and Other

YouTube Music

“New Age”

I am not particularly a fan of a lot of the New Age philosophies basically because most are a mish mash of the old, the new and the crazy. A lot of the philosophies also tend to be very self centred. So New Age philosophies can include useful practices such as meditation (which is really "Old Age" regurgitated) but can also include things like crystals. However this said I must also say that I like some of the music that has come out of this genre.

Sacred Earth

Sacred Earth are a duo who are based in Queensland. Their music is great and I particularly like this song which I have heard them perform live. I seem to remember them saying at the time that it was a prayer or a call to Shiva, the Hindu God, to destroy all misconceptions so that they may see the world clearly as it really is. As I don’t understand the language that the song is sung in I can’t verify this. For really beautiful songs I don’t believe that it is necessary to understand the words.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1gXh6gidis

Temple of Silence - Deuter

This is a little bit more music in the New Age genre. This music is very beautiful and relaxing.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwxga8udIio


Caoineadh Cú Chulainn (Lament) - Davy Spillane

This performance appeared in the middle of the Riverdance show and was easily the best aspect of the show. Davy Spillane playing the Uilleann pipes (which some people say is the Irish version of the bagpipes, but it is really quite different). It is very mournful.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwxga8udIio


Nessun Dorma - Pavarroti

Pavarotti, the best tenor of our era singing one of the most popular operatic arias. Can't get much better than this. None Shall Sleep - not with that voice around.


O Mio Bambino Cara

Talking about popular opera, another hugely popular aria. This time sung by someone who has the one of the sweetest voices in opera.


Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

What can I say about this piece. It is so beautiful yet so sad. Which is understandable when you learn that the composer, Henryk Górecki, was inspired to write the music and words after reading the words scratched into the walls of Nazi concentration camp cells.


Moonlight Sonata - 1st Movement - Wilhelm Kempff

For some beautiful light finger work you don’t get much better than Wilhelm Kempff. Brilliant touch. Some versions of Moonlight Sonata sound like elephants stomping on the keyboard – not this bloke. Thoughtful finesse. I love his expression – he is really feeling it.


Moonlight Sonata - 3rd Movement - Tina S Cover

I am not sure I even like this interpretation of Beethoven. But you can’t deny the talent and skill. I had no idea an electric guitar could be played that way. Amazing. She was 17 when she performed this.


(For a more traditional treatment see - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqSulR9Fymg)

Hildegard and Palestrina

I was only recently introduced to Palestrina and Hildegard and the music of the Middle Ages. Simply lovely. I will have to get more.

Hildegard Von Bingen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6qFCYRQKVA

Palestrina - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pp0XUU6Rmk

Concerto de Aranjuez (2nd Movement) - Pepe Romero

Another beautiful piece of music with a sad back story. It was written by the composer at a time he and his wife were mourning the loss of their child - hence the very mournful second movement.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye-FvKCZp3s

Pie Jesu – Angelis


-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfN8j9r-jGQ&feature=fvw

Marble Halls - Enya

Often when a popular singer tries the classical repertoire it doesn't work. That is not the case with Enya. She sings it better than most operatically trained singer - you can understand each word of the song. (Often it is worse when operatically trained singers try to tackle the popular repertoire - usually it doesn't work, their over trained voices just don't suit the style.)

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnvKPQ26U_g

Recent / Popular

To Her Door - Paul Kelly

One of my favourite singer songwriters.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZrfG9P6_D0

From Little Things Big Things Grow

Kev Carmody, is another good singer song writers - for some of his songs. His 2 CD set - "Cannot Buy My Soul" is one of my favourites - though another CD set of his that I bought was nowhere near as good. Here Kev is at the top of his song writing form as he sings this popular song with his co-writer, Paul Kelly.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tHEGo-g3mw

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

Many have tried but none have succeeded in performing a better version of this song. He sings with a smile in his voice.


Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Roger Waters

Roger Waters, ex of Pink Floyd, singing a Bob Dylan classic.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOW_yOGXx8A

Song of Bernadette - Jennifer Warnes

Jennifer Warnes is the best interpreter of Leonard Cohen's songs. Her CD "Famous Blue Raincoat" is a must have for any music collection. I wonder why she never did another CD after this one dedicated to the vast repertoire of Leonard Cohen.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZIFavgLd38 


Another Leonard Cohen song this time by Alison Crowe. Just disproved my earlier statement - others can sing Cohen songs very well. Its the quality of the music and writing that makes it so good (though what are the lyrics really about?)


Sisters of Mercy - Leonard Cohen

The master himself, Leonard Cohen. Some people don't like his voice, thinking it to be a bit mournful. I think it is perfect for the types of songs he writes. His work is poetry set to music. I was greatly saddened when I heard of his death in 2016.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBFQg7P5YKw

Thank You for Hearing Me - Sinead O'Connor

Another great singer songwriter. Great voice, great songs.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj_xKA5C2vU

Everybody Hurts - The Corrs unplugged

I have a love hate relationship with the Corrs. I hate their over produced music that they generally release. It is produced to within an inch of its life, so much so it has no soul left. However I like their "unplugged" versions of the songs. Please Corrs, you've made enough money now, sack your producers and only do unplugged.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtGZGBvb7ic

Father and Son - Cat Stevens & Yusuf Islam

Another singer song writer (yes he is only one person - two stages of life). It is great the way he varies his voice when he sings the Father's part to when he sings the Son's part. It is also interesting to hear how his voice has changed over the intervening years between the two versions.

Cat Stevens - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-7c4VNGOgU

Yusuf Islam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBO-6n9PVrA

Stop - Sam Brown

Good singer, good song.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muDZD3wgoHI

El Condor Pasa - Simon & Garfunkel

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np-LnAv815k

Solid Rock - Goanna

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t94RBuiOgsA

Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits 

This song has the great quality of pathos. You can hear the world weariness is the singing.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LauDl7qwcA0

I was only 19 - Redgum 

An unofficial anthem of the Vietnam vets. I am very glad I was too young to be called up for that war, or any war. I am sure it would have changed me significantly as it has changed many who were conscripted or volunteered to go.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7TXBuVUQJw

YouTube - Interesting TED(x) Talks

We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads | Zeynep Tufekci -
Be afraid. Be very afraid.


There's more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith  -


Our democracy no longer represents the people. Here's how we fix it | Larry Lessig | TEDxMidAtlantic 
About the US system of democracy, which is more stuffed than our own, but still has some things to say which are useful in the Australian context. Actually the US could learn a lot from Australia if they adopted some of our institutions, such as the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the associated state based organisations. The AEC, for the sake of any US people reading this, is a Government funded organisation tasked with running elections independent of political interference. They set the electorate boundaries considering only trying to make the voter numbers in the electorate even. They determine much of the detail of the voting system and practices. Australia has compulsory voting which has many benefits and which I support - but some don't. Australian elections (State and Federal) are held on a Saturday so less interference from work commitments for more people, though I do like the idea touted of calling a public holiday for elections. Preferential voting is also preferable to simple majority.


My stroke of insight | Jill Bolte Taylor


What animals are thinking and feeling, and why it should matter | Carl Safina | TEDxMidAtlantic


Leaving the Cult of Happiness | Keely Herron | TEDxJacksonHole

Not really about happiness but a good thoughtful talk on confronting social stigma.


My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story | Sue Klebold | TED

You can but imagine the personal impact if the shooter had been a member of your family – it would have been devastating as indeed this woman found out. Fascinating to see how she carefully worked through the issues to get to the place she is in this TED talk. Clearly sharing her story and journey is part of her method of dealing with the tragedy.


YouTube - Documentaries

A Machine To Die For - The Quest For Free Energy

An enjoyable study of eccentricity – and obsession. The lengths they would go to and the contraptions they would build. The big wheel is fantastic - I love the way he counted the spokes as they went past - giving each a little push as they passed. It is not perpetual motion (applied maths and physics teachers - get your Year 11 and 12 students to explain why it isn't). Still it is a remarkable construction. (So why does it go round? Well it would have low friction and a large angular momentum once it got going. And windmills also go round.)

The ball bearing track is great too - perhaps it is a perpetual motion machine! He should sell it to a museum with a money back guarantee if it has stopped working in two years. It would be a great hit. In fact I am sure every museum in the world would want one - if it works - so he could make a fortune manufacturing them and selling them to museums around the world and make a real name for himself in history. Instead he has it locked up in a vault at this house - which may tell you something. 

A lot of the people shown in this documentary don't understand the basics of physics, engineering and the laws of thermodynamics. This is their weakness - but it might also be their strength. Their imaginations are not restrained by the accepted wisdom allowing them to dream up and then experiment with ideas that anyone with the accepted knowledge would have dismissed soon after having the idea. It also means that they can waste an awful amount of time going down dead ends. However it is their time and if they enjoy it then why not. And who knows - they may stumble across something - a breakthrough that works - that others may have dismissed soon after the idea stage. But I won’t be holding my breath. Nor, more importantly, investing my money.

- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6UgV3gVmd0

The Jesus of History versus the Christ of Faith
Fascinating but long. This bloke might have made Sunday School interesting.

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VOMFjQfJ8w

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