Stormfields

The Bardic Depths – The Bardic Depths BACKGROUND MAGAZINE Review

Getting to a higher musical level meant that this time around Bandana wasn’t the only musician playing on this album. Yes, he still plays instruments such as keyboards, guitars, bass, flute, harmonica and sings the lead vocals. But when he asked other musicians to contribute to the songs that he had written, the music sounded more professional than on the earlier released Birzer Bandana albums. He got some musical assistance from people such as Peter Jones (Camel, Tiger Moth Tales, Red Bazar) on vocals and saxophone, Gareth Cole (Under A Banner, Tom Slatter band, Fractal Mirror, Mike Kershaw) on guitar, Kevin McCormick on guitar, Tim Gehrt (Streets, Steve Walsh) on drums, Paolo Limoli on keyboards, Glenn Codere on backing vocals, John William Francis on Marimba, Mike Warren on Cello and Robin Armstrong (Cosmograf) on keyboards, guitars, bass, drum programming and backing vocals. Together they came up with a rather strong progressive rock album which is full of soundscapes and has musical references with bands such as Pink Floyd and Talk Talk. But also, I can hear influences from another band. Namely Freedom To Glide. A band from the UK which also makes concept album about war and conflicts around the world in general! They pay tribute to the fallen soldiers in meaningless wars.
— Read on www.backgroundmagazine.nl/CDreviews/TheBardicDepthsTheBardicDepths.html

Pat Metheny : News: NEW ALBUM ‘FROM THIS PLACE’ AVAILABLE NOW

Music continually reveals itself to be ultimately and somewhat oddly impervious to the ups and downs of the transient details that may even have played a part in its birth. Music retains its nature and spirit even as the culture that forms it fades away, much like the dirt that creates the pressure around a diamond is long forgotten as the diamond shines on.
— Read on www.patmetheny.com/news/full_display.cfm

George Washington: American Aurelius ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In his own day and age, George Washington was the greatest and best-known man in all of Western Civilization. Washington (1732-1799), indeed, served as a pillar of Atlantis, recognized not only for his willingness to sacrifice his life for the great Republic, but also as the founder of the first serious Republic a weary world had witnessed since the martyrdom of Cicero. A true genius when it came to geometry, trigonometry, and surveying, he also read deeply in military history, biography, agricultural science. His loves, though, were hunting, adventure (as in traveling), and farming. Surveying, especially, allowed him to combine many of these loves into one. Ironically, given the status he attained as a living hero or demigod in his own lifetime, Washington suffered from a lack of liberal education, strange by the standards of his day. Much of what he knew of the classical world came not from a study of Greek and Latin (as with many of the founding fathers), but from his reading of biography and, especially, from his love of the Joseph Addison play, Cato: A Tragedy. Despite this, he earned innumerable classical titles during his lifetime, including: the American Achilles, the American Cicero, the American Aeneas, and the American Cincinnatus.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/george-washington-american-aurelius-bradley-birzer.html

Democrats 2020: Two CS Lewis Villains, and a Bunch of Tom Wolfe Lampoons | The Stream

The lesser Democrats (Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and now Biden) are minor comic figures from one of Tom Wolfe’s satires. (Think of The Bonfire of the Vanities.) Each has clawed his way to the top of a different greasy political ladder that stops well short of the presidency. And each now waves around his 10-point, single-spaced resume, crowing about how he followed all the rules, so now it’s his turn. It’s only fair. Watching such stunted people flail around at the end of their tethers is ultimately kind of … sad.

But Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are different. They’re major characters, and from a more important writer. Each of them could have sprung from the pen of C.S. Lewis, and stepped out of the pages of the dystopian satire That Hideous Strength. In fact, the two candidates seem like colleagues at the conspiratorial think-tank, the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.).
— Read on stream.org/democrats-2020-two-c-s-lewis-villains-and-a-bunch-of-tom-wolfe-lampoons/

Brad Birzer writes lyrics for progressive rock album – Hillsdale Collegian

Track 1: “The Trenches.” Under­scored by ambient whistling, rifle shots, and single notes struck on a piano, Brad Birzer’s voice fades in softly at first, repeating, and echoing over itself. He speaks C.S. Lewis’s description of his expe­rience in World War I: “The frights, the cold, the smell of human excrement, the hor­ribly crushed men still moving like crushed beetles…” 

Then, cue an electric guitar intro, a chorus of “This is war!” and, finally, drop in some heavy metal drumming.  

These are the opening lines and sounds of the pro­gressive rock epic chron­i­cling the meeting, devel­oping rela­tionship, and, ulti­mately, failed friendship between J.R.R Tolkien and Lewis. Birzer, pro­fessor of history, wrote this seven-track album, “The Bardic Depths,” in col­lab­o­ration with pro­gressive rock musician Dave Bandana. 
— Read on hillsdalecollegian.com/2020/02/brad-birzer-writes-lyrics-for-progressive-rock-album/

T.E. Hulme on the Religious Attitude ~ The Imaginative Conservative

To transcend or to break through this delusion of progress, a true scholar, Hulme continued, must attempt to see the gaps in both senses, recognizing them and allowing them to exist. In other words, much like Friedrich Hayek will proclaim with the “knowledge problem” several decades later, true scholars must be humble and be content with knowing what we do not know. The modernist, of course, hates ignorance more than anything else, and in his blind zeal to know all things, he will create “knowledge” where no knowledge is possible, thus truly derailing centuries upon centuries of fine work and of understanding of the human person. Ironically, in his hatred of religion, the modernist merely creates a new, shallow, and false religion. The modern, Hulme understood, is nothing short of a full-fledge Gnostic, ultimately seeing the universe as pre-determined, mechanistic, and absent of free will.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/te-hulme-religious-attitude-bradley-birzer.html

Hungarian government urges defence of persecuted Christians | Catholic Herald

The world must raise their voices and stand up for persecuted Christians, Hungarian State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians Tristan Azbej said on Thursday.

Azbej was one of eight speakers at a side-event of the National Prayer Breakfast that was sponsored by the organization Save the Persecuted Christians.

“All of humanity should stand up and come to the aid of persecuted Christians,” said Azbej.
— Read on catholicherald.co.uk/news/2020/02/07/hungarian-government-urges-defence-of-persecuted-christians/

Making Sense of a Chaotic World: “Red Metal” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Now, three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, we have Red Storm Rising’s more than worthy successor, Red Metal, by Mark Greaney and Lt. Col. Hunter “Rip” Rawlings IV. While Lt. Rawlings is new to me, I have been reading Mr. Greaney’s novels for over a decade. He roared onto the literary scene during the revival of Tom Clancy co-authored books around 2010 and with his own extraordinary novel and hero (or anti-hero), The Grey Man, a year earlier. I have had the chance to praise Mr. Greaney several times, but never enough. Mr. Greaney is, in every way, our current and better Tom Clancy, taking thrillers into the twenty-first century. By this, I mean that Mr. Greaney fully understands that we live in a post-Communist world, a world of fundamentalisms as well as of nation-states and tenuous alliances. His own analysis of world affairs—though couched in fiction—is every bit as interesting as that coming out from any current periodical or think tank.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/making-sense-chaotic-world-red-metal-bradley-birzer.html

Russell Kirk’s Beauty and Civilization ~ The Imaginative Conservative

We built only for the moment, not even for the future, as we eradicated the past.

The loss of manners, he especially decried, had coincided, necessarily, with the loss of beauty in society. Nowhere, it seemed, did anyone take decorum seriously—whether in one’s soul or one’s society. If order in one’s soul leads to order in the commonwealth, disorder in one’s soul leads to the disorder in the commonwealth. The totalitarians of the present age, Kirk feared, wanted to control not only the present, but also the past and the future as well. “The totalists say that the old order is a corpse, and that man and society must be fashioned afresh, in grim fashion, upon a grim plan,” he wrote.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/01/russell-kirk-beauty-civilization-bradley-birzer.html

(34) Enlightenments of the 18th Century: A Primer – YouTube

Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.
— Read on www.youtube.com/watch

Oh, Death, Where is Thy. . . ~ The Imaginative Conservative

So, what is it about that death that is so jarring? Clearly and critically, death comes to us all. Yet, the death of the great reminds us of, at least, two things. First, it reminds us all of our own immortality. Second, it prompts us to do our very best in all things, knowing that our time, too, is short and precious. Life, it seems, is neither for the timid nor for the casual.

Christopher Tolkien, Sir Roger Scruton, and Neil Peart, RIP.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/01/oh-death-where-is-thy-bradley-birzer.html

Beyond Tenebrae is a robust, winsome defense of Christian humanism – Catholic World Report

We may have our successor to Fr. Schall in Brad Birzer, himself a near-legendary writer and professor at Hillsdale College.  In Beyond Tenebrae, Birzer ranges widely across subjects and authors in defense of a truly human education. His style is similar to that of Schall as well: Birzer’s friendly, conversational writing brings you in, and his deep learning keeps you reading. It is as if you are hearing a friend talk about the great things he’s been reading and thinking about and wants you to share in the adventure.  These essays are autobiographical as well as analytical, so we see both the power of the ideas and how they affected Birzer as reader, scholar, and person. These essays cover writers from Ray Bradbury to Shirley Jackson, Russell Kirk to Friedrich Hayek, Willa Cather to Walter Miller, and are filled with suggestions for further reading.
— Read on www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/01/21/beyond-tenebrae-is-a-robust-winsome-defense-of-christian-humanism/

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