Sunday 11 October 2020

A possible new stage for the blog

Ever since I set this blog up, there's been a problem: how to update the initial information as new recordings come out. New recordings are not really a frequent thing, but the problem has gradually been growing. Also, streaming has greatly changed the availability of some old recordings, so for example information that says something was only ever available on LP is sometimes not correct.

For these reasons, I was always aware that a blog was not the ideal format. It's useful for writing a post with news, but not for being the ongoing record of data.

To put it another way, I always knew a database would be a better option. But I have always had very little idea about databases. I've tried creating one once or twice and quickly given up, not really knowing what I'm doing.

Well for the first time, I'm genuinely getting somewhere. I've just discovered Airtable. And I can honestly say that after just a couple of hours, I've got further with building a database of Holmboe recordings than I've ever got before. By a long way.

I might well come unstuck when I try to work out how to then turn that database into something to display to you all. My hope is to make it possible to either (1) select a work and see the albums it's available on, or (2) select an album and see what's on it. Achieving that goal might be some way off, but with Airtable I've been able to construct records for 7 BIS label albums and their contents in the space of only an hour or so.

I also know there's an album release that should be coming in a few months, but I'll save that for later.

Thursday 4 April 2019

Small progress

I've been meaning to update this blog for a little while, but it's a little sad to see how long it has been.

The good news is that access to older recordings continues to improve, ever so gradually, with more appearing on streaming and download platforms.

In terms of new albums, though, there are only a couple of ones that I'm aware of.

The vocal album Crossing Borders (Ars Nova Copenhagen on the Da Capo label) includes the Two Border Ballads, op.110. That is, A Lyke-Wake Dirge, op.110a (M.259) and The Wee Wee Man, op.110b (M.260).

These are already among the more frequently recorded of Holmboe's choral works, but there's nothing wrong with that! Other composers on the album include Nielsen and Stenhammar.

The other recent album is called Vildtvoksende fantasier (Wild-growing fantasies), and is subtitled (in Danish) as "Music stories for children". It combines stories with chosen pieces of music, of which 2 are Holmboe's. "Øens kirkegård" (The island's churchyard) is one of the songs from Sange mod Vårdybet (Songs Towards the Deep of Spring), op.85 (M.223). "Du svævende ånd" (You hovering spirit) is the second of the Two Sarvig Psalms, op.154 (M.315). 

These are not actually new recordings, they are taken from a Da Capo album of Holmboe's a capella choral works (Sokkelund Sangkor, conducted by Morten Schuldt-Jensen). So perhaps this is of most interest to anyone with Danish-speaking children to read the stories with.