In our occasional feature we invite guests to select the six cultural links that might sustain them if, by some mischance, they were forced to spend eternity in a succession of airport departure lounges with only an iPad or similar device for company. Today’s voyager is The Dabbler’s very own style columnist Susan Muncey…
I’ve enjoyed coming up with 6 clicks to keep myself madly amused, rather than turned even madder than I already am… Being a fan of all things slow, choosing 600 clicks would probably have been easier. Anyway, trying to combine the retro with the progressive, herewith – the bare minimum:
1) Fritz Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro brings back memories of my days as an aspiring violinist – when, instead of going into a teenage tantrum, I would get out my fiddle and indulge myself in some mind-blowing harmonics – a sort of classical equivalent of blasting out Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive at full volume. However, as something of a classical purist, my favoured recording of this piece has the suitably restrained Itzhak Perlman at the violin.
2) The 1969 film version of Sweet Charity is one of my favourite expressions of the human condition – it’s sad and sentimental, yet overwhelmingly positive and full of hope. If I’m in permanent transit, the track ‘There’s Got to be Something Better Than This’ seems appropriate. But this video clip of the fabulously fugal Rhythm of Life, sung by Sammy Davis Junior, found on the web, sums up the essence of the film better than I ever could. By the way, Tamsin Outhwaite is brilliant in the London stage show.
3) A short step from here to the rhythm of love. At a recent school reunion I bumped into a contemporary who’s now a top London GP. Recently divorced, she informed me that she no longer needed a man – just Radio 4 and a Rampant Rabbit. I have to say that I’ve also become rather attached to Radio 4, though I’m not sure the Today Programme would be relevant to me on this occasion – and perhaps extraneous airport noises would offest the need for comforting voices in the background? So I’ll opt for Jazz FM instead. I’m praying that old school DJ Robbie Vincent, who’s been very poorly, will return to the station soon. I’d love to hear his friendly and familiar voice introducing a soulful Anita Baker track.
4) I’d also like something I could read over and over again without getting bored, perhaps TS Eliot’s Four Quartets. And how about a digital wallpaper backdrop of the River Cam at Granchester to remind me of carefree days, lying on a grassy river bank, when there also seemed to be plenty of time to ponder over poetry…
5) When I was a child, I used to spend hours making outfits for my paper dolls. Now there’s a digital art equivalent called Polyvore, which for creative types and the young at heart, can become curiously addictive… From a professional point of view, the site’s intentions are probably as mercenary as those of any other fashion-focused business, but anyone who views this site purely from a commercial angle is missing a trick: Here is a platform with cutting edge (no pun) graphics capability that’s spawned a welcoming and nurturing creative community. What’s more, some of the members produce seriously impressive art and ideas – very much in keeping with the ShopCurious ethos of ‘style with brains.’
6) I also enjoy observing and forecasting trends, which means getting out and about to see what’s going on. I prefer not to look too much at other trend sites, as I like to be original. However, if confined to an iPad, one of the better sites is PSFK. The guys who run it are painfully laid back, but keenly on the ball. I attended their conference in London earlier this year. It was full of advertising planners, and I got the feeling I was the oldest person there. But I was different… a sort of retro-progressive curiosity.