2018: A Year In Food
In 2018, my gym coach assigned me to keep a food blog so he could track my meals. Through developing healthy eating habits to satisfy all of my nutritional needs and a rigorous exercise programme, I lost the 21 kg between January-August 2018 I'd gained on anti-depressants.
I wanted it to be somewhere more private rather than being shoved down people's throats (literally) through Instagram/WhatsApp. Hence I've posted my culinary creations here.
Being vegetarian and/or vegan always presents a challenge in terms of hitting the protein target so this was particularly the most interesting challenge for me.
I made a conscious decision to stop food blogging in 2019 (due to time restraints), but it's useful to have a year's diet documented as a reference and a source of inspiration!
Tineke Postma brought her jazz quartet from the Netherlands to the Pizza Express London where they last played 4 years ago, in 2008. She has returned brimming with some new compositions and evergreen classics.
The quartet has a new age sound, without being overly mechanical or weighed down by the technological advances of society. Its voice is clear, pure and natural with a cool, temperate atmosphere. It escapes squeaky cleanliness with a satisfyingly crunchy friction and de-stability.
The compositions begin very simply, with minimalistic and abstract structures - a reference point - against which the improvisatory explorations push the current through explorations of harmonic space from irregular angles, with sparse, floating segments gently colliding with one another in an overtly thoughtful construction. Her musical voice is highly original; the way that she intricately crafts her melodies, and the depth and richness in which she blends with the rhythm section. The development of her ideas are mature and methodically thought out. She is very economical with her ideas, not relying on too many notes, and always develops them to the maximum.
Technically, Tineke is an artist who does not limit herself to scales and arpeggios to play out her ideas. Her creative spark opens itself much wider and plays with textural and timbral inflections, rhythmic poly-fragmentation and interesting breathing effects which are intelligently used, not for the sake of being used, but brought in as an integral enhancement of her intent. Her smooth, liquorice saxophone tone and seamless altissimo range is employed with bone-tingling effect. Her pianist is not restricted to four-bar phrases, but he plays in and out of the weaving structures, ribbons that are not overly rhythmic but divide the meter into intricate proportions.
The collective improvisation is restrained, yet bristling with a raw essence and fervency that does not blast you away. The interaction is solid, yet always on the edge. You can tell that these musicians have played together as a unit for a long time, they know one another's playing intimately. The passages develop organically, proceeding from the germ of the idea into the multi-faceted complex. Overall, it is very engaging. At points, it seems like the musicians use their combined timbres to 'collaborate' over one note in a pre-destined convergence, although it is easy to forget that virtually all of it is improvised.
Towards the end of the concert, the well-known standard 'It Could Happen To You' was a beautiful choice that complemented the oeuvre perfectly. Overall, it was a highly inventive performance, delivered with style and charm, from a quartet with a highly unusual and refreshing sound world.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have their reward.