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Matt Roberts' Music Blog

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hobson's Choice - As Long As There Are Birds

I've recently started a listening journal.  I felt that I didn't spend enough time to music with my full intention.  Sure I hear a lot of music in my day, but how much do I really listen to? I decided to rectify this by carefully listening to music for at least 5 or 10 minutes a day, and keeping a journal of my responses afterwards.  This resulted in me falling in love with music all over again. Some of the music was just so good I felt I had to tell the world. I'll keep making posts whenever this happens, and try to explain why I like the music so much.

Yesterday I listened to "As Long As There Are Birds" by Toronto band Hobson's Choice.  You can download their latest 4-song recording here - payment is by donation.

Hobson's Choice - 4 Songs (2010?) - As Long As There Are Birds

Felicity Williams - voice
Michael Davidson - vibraphone
Rebecca Hennessy - trumpet
Harley Card - guitar and voice

I think this music is really beautiful.  First of all, I love the unique instrumentation. (No bass? Madness!) Already that is a really refreshing sound. I love the lyrics. They are beautifully put, and contain beautiful imagery. Also, as a Buddhist the lyrics relate to some concepts that I've thought a lot about. For example I have this poem stuck on my wall by the Buddhist monk Ikkyu: "I won't die/I'm not going anywhere/I'll be right here/But don't ask me anything/I won't answer".

I love the sound of harmony that pushes traditional tonality but doesn't totally abandon it. The other tracks on this recording also have some harmonically cool lines. Felicitiy's voice is really beautiful. Everyone is getting a beautiful sound actually. I LOVE IT.

Here is a live video of the same track.

HOBSON'S CHOICE - As Long As There Are Birds from Mitch Fillion ( on Vimeo.

Update: check out this post by Felicity on the Hobson's Choice blog. The post has more about the lyrics and how they were written.

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