2013 – a year in listening and a year lived

12 months and nary a post…

My father died 11 months ago. At the service in Richmond we played a song by dad’s favourite singer Kathleen Ferrier, Fjöll Í Austri Fagurblá by Sigur Ros and in conclusion Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. They were a perfect choice and we cried and laughed at the last. I scattered dad’s ashes by the Swale where I’d scattered mum’s two years before. Robert John Buttimer, 1st February 1923 to 8th February 2013. Rest in peace dad.

I had an intense relationship that crashed and burned quickly. I was left in a foetal position and felt absolutely empty for a period of a few months – and now, still, life at times seems joyless, devoid of meaning. The emptiness haunts me. More positively I started a new relationship. I want to unbend myself and embrace life if I can. My children continue to be wonderful while challenging me in ways I could never have imagined. I am so damn lucky to have them. I bought a printer this year and began to print and frame images. This has been immeasurably stimulating in making me think about photography and what it does and can mean to me. I feel I’m just at the beginning of something here. I did two evening classes this year: a great bookbinding class in the spring term and a portrait photography class in the autumn.

And listening, I’m as amazed by music as ever I was, perhaps more so. I simply can’t get enough. I (re)discovered hiphop, I found British Sea Power (and heard them with Hayley as they accompanied Man of Aran on Bournemouth pier) and in the latter half of the year I started listening intensely to many women, this latter, yes, a strange thing to declare, but there it is. These are the 2013 albums I loved and played many times in the past year, in alphabetical order:

1. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
2. British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy
3. DJ Rashad – Double Cup
4. Emiliana Torrini – Tookah
5. Holden – The Inheritors
6. James Blake – Overgrown
7. Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
8. Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald – Borderland
9. Julia Holter – Loud City Song
10. Karl Hyde – Edgeland
11. Mogwai – Les Revenants
12. Sigur Ros – Kveikur
13. Zombie – With Love

The numbers don’t lie, but are they everything? Of course not, here they are anyway…

1. Sigur Rós (1,773)
2. Flying Lotus (1,595)
3. British Sea Power (1,524)
4.  Bill Frisell (1,112)
5. Prefuse 73 (930)
6. Autechre (806)
7. Antipop Consortium (777)
8. Emilíana Torrini (755)
9. Annette Peacock (565)
10. Kraftwerk (513)
11. Scott Walker (509)
12. Teebs (486)
13. Beans (484)
14. Céu (417)
15. Boards of Canada (400)
16. Zomby (380)
17. Nicolas Jaar (376)
18. Silvana Deluigi (363)
19. Marianne Faithfull (351)
20. Julia Holter (349)
21. David Bowie (346)
22. Junior Boys (330)
23. Miles Davis (323)
24. Mogwai (322)
25. The Durutti Column (316)
26. Tindersticks (305)
26. Billie Holiday (305)
28. Amina Alaoui (301)
29. Roxy Music (294)
30. Piano Overlord (290)
31. Al Di Meola (276)
32. Rhythm & Sound (256)
32. Jessy Lanza (256)
34. Atom™ (255)
35. Laurel Halo (232)
36. Spearhead (217)
37. James Blake (215)
38. Holden (212)
39. The Chemical Brothers (210)
39. Karl Hyde (210)
41. Bill Evans (206)
41. Juana Molina (206)
43. Penguin Cafe Orchestra (204)
44. Jimmy Giuffre (195)
45. Dagmar Krause (190)
46. John Surman (181)
47. Mount Kimbie (173)
48. Dr. Octagon (171)
49. Cluster (170)
50. Wim Mertens (169)

Such is the consistency of listening that only seven artists appear in both this year’s and last year’s top 30. My top 30 scrobbles last year totalled 16,833, this year it’s 16,955, remarkably close.

Thanks to last.fm

Previous years:


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