Sunday, June 29, 2014

Music According to Benedict - "Can't Keep It Inside" - August: Osage County

Lee GrothOlson had a dream job.

Lee GrothOlson courtesy:


Who? Lee GrothOlson


How? Talent (and location - it's not just important in real estate, you know.)

Why? Benedict Cumberbatch NEEDED her.

See what I mean? DREAM JOB.

So, here's the wrinkle: It sounds like a dream job IF you're a fan of Sherlock (she was), but does the dream become reality when that job is to teach Benedict Cumberbatch (a music lover, but NOT a musician) how to play piano for a minor character (but a key role) in a star-studded film based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Music According to Benedict: "Hyperballad" by Björk

I have to be honest with you.

When I first read Benedict's Top Tunes on Two Paddocks, I didn't notice anything particularly unusual - UNTIL he wrote about #8: "Hyperballad" by Björk.

Americans might remember her for her awards show fashion sense more than her singing:

Björk. (Click on her name to check out her whimsical website.)

I might have just scanned the paragraph Cumberbatch wrote about the song - and moved on, except his words gave me pause:

"But what about Mitchell, Joplin, Ella, Tina, Oh god I need another list. It's all very white and male....! Damn. Beautiful song, though. And a nod to a lot of dance music that hasn't made it to this top ten."

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch as Chris Barker - Hay Festival

Don't underestimate the power of your words to influence another, particularly someone you love.
Here are lovely lines from Benedict Cumberbatch's readings at the 2014 Hay Festival, as he read letters written by WWII soldier Chris Barker to his future wife, Bessie Moore (represented by Louise Brealey during the performances at Hay.)

Part I:
"I must be with you. I must warm you, surround you, love you and be kind to you."
"How good for us to see each other before I am completely bald!" 
Part II:

"I  hope that everything will work itself out without any unhappiness to anyone."

Part III:

"All I did was concentrate on trying to tell you I was all right." 

"I was always wondering about you - about us."

"Won't it be wonderful to be together - really together in the flesh. Not just to know that a letter is all we can send. I love you."

Music According to Benedict - "Sweet Thing" by Van Morrison

It's been awhile since we checked the vintage vault for songs favored by Benedict Cumberbatch, hasn't it? It's not completely our fault, you know. He's been a very busy man lately:

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Helping Hand in Hope: ALS/MND Association - Benedict Cumberbatch Birthday Fund

"It's a terrifying prospect to have a completely functioning mind inside a body that locks you in, that keeps you stationary." - Benedict Cumberbatch

In 2013,  Vertigo Films released Hawking: A Brief History of Mine,  an authorized documentary about Stephen Hawking, the famous English theoretical physicist and cosmologist. The film opened the doors into Stephen's private life, particularly as it pertained to his personal relationships - and living with a motor neuron disease diagnosis in 1963 that doctors said would end his life within 2 years. The film includes footage of Hawking at home, at work - and navigating his way in the world with humour - considered all the more remarkable given the limits motor neuron disease put on his body - and the pressure placed on his relationships.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch, the Love of Letters, & the Language of Love

"My senses have been thrilled and luxuriated in you."

That sentence is one of many I love in that letter, read at the 2014 Hay Festival. I believe a book of the correspondence between Chris & Bessie is planned to for publication to be released in time for Valentine's Day 2015. I do hope so.

If a person responds warmly to your words, it is (in part) because a love of language is also the language of love. For some, they show - and recognize -  love by doing nice things, or buying gifts - or being demonstrative with their affection. For others (like the letter read by Benedict Cumberbatch as British soldier Chris Barker), a person who is able to express their feelings fully - good or bad, serious or sarcastic, in good humor or in grief - and share those thoughts powerfully and intimately? Heaven.

Pay attention to what warms your heart and luxuriates your senses. Notice what makes others "come alive" when you spend time with them. I think it can only benefit you both.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Skin Too Few - The Days of Nick Drake

I remain convinced there's a play, a story to be told, about Nick Drake. His troubles were not unique, but his talents were. Sad moments can disturb the delicate balance of one's life, and some of us are far too fragile. What can we do? Tell their stories. Strengthen the memory, so they live on.