Opening your eyes, ears to possibilities

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Joanne Paterson is the Head, Research & Scholarly Communication, for Western Libraries.

Today, she takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read.

When I completed my master’s degree in Musicology, following the thesis defence, my advisor gave me some sound advice – rest – as well as some tools to help with that, including a bottle of single-malt whisky and three, fat paperbacks.

One of them was the award-winning Scolds Bridle by Minette Walters, a deliciously unnerving crime novel. I’ve been a fan of her books ever since.

Dubbed the queen of the psychological thriller, Ms. Walters eventually retired from writing this genre of crime fiction and had not published a novel for more than 10 years.

So I was thrilled to discover, while exploring in Munro’s Books in Victoria last summer, that she had a new book out. Titled The Last Hours, it is a work of historical fiction set in 14th-century England and it focuses on a modern-thinking woman, Lady Anne, who oversees her estate and tries to protect her people as the plague epidemic ravages across the country. I devoured the volume on the flight home. A real page-turner.

Watch.

I love the fact that we at Western have access to some amazing online collections including the National Film Board, DRAM and the Naxos Music Library.

My favourite online service, though, is the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall. I can watch and hear a world-class orchestra perform incredible music works, while sitting in my comfy lounge chair, beverage of choice in hand. While nothing can replace the thrill of live performance, these high-definition performances are a close second.

Masterful performances by some of the world’s greatest musicians are at your fingertips, with archived performances, documentaries and bonus films, as well as live-streamed concerts to enjoy.

Listen.

Just like there is a time to switch from coffee to wine, I toggle between two Internet radio stations, depending on my mood. My two go-to stations are Venice Classic Radio and Jazz24. I love both because they play great music, with little interruption, and knowledgeable folks curate programs and introduce selections. If one really needs to know more about exactly who and what is playing, all pertinent information is available in their app or on the website.

Venice Classic Radio focuses on the music of the Baroque and Classical period sometimes extending its boundaries a bit further but generally playing works form those two substantial eras, from Bach and Vivaldi to early Schubert and Schumann. The station lives up to its tag line, ‘Beautiful classical music.’

At other times, Jazz24 is the perfect antidote after a long day. This station offers a great variety of jazz styles with classic performances and newer artists, from standards through to blues, funk, and Latin jazz, and often includes live in studio performances.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.