Infinite riches in a little room

Recent interesting exchanges online with Richard Friedman and Will Benton about the merits (or otherwise) of 'non-authentic interpretations' such as those practiced by the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek with Officium (see my post Officium live - a triumph of music theatre) and Jacques Loussier (see my post Jacques Loussier close up) prompted me to sing the praises of a fascinating 'interpretation' of a section of John Dowland's Lachrymae by the jazz pianist (and 'envelope pusher', and he also plays accordion and cello) Hugh Warren. He is better known for his work with innovative jazz group Perfect Houseplants who have worked with violinist Andrew Manze (who we hear in Norwich next week), recorder player Pamela Thorby, and early music vocal ensemble the Orlando Consort (I am probably, unfairly, slightly suspicious of their collabarations with the Orlando Cosort on the grounds that they represent Linn Records trying to 'do an ECM'; but in the name of research I've just ordered Extempore online, I'll post sometime when it arrives) .

Hugh Warren (second from right) with The Perfect Houseplants

The recording by Hugh Warren I have returned to many times, and I want to share with you today, is called Infinite Riches in a Little Room. (The title comes from Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta Act 1). The CD is on the independent Babel label, and the great news is that it is still available from In Infinite Riches Hugh Warren takes themes from Dowland's Lachrymae and gives them treatments on piano, keyboards and using samples that vary from the 'lightly cooked' to the more innovative. But in contrast to Uri Caine Warren knows when to stop, and has also left his any indulgent excesses in the out-take bin, rather than padding out the finished commercial offering. Think the best bits of Uri Caine's Goldberg Variations, without all those tracks you have to programme the CD player to skip.

If you're interested in exploring creative realisations of early music without what Richard Friedman has famously described as 'dooby dooby doos' give Infinite Riches in a Little Room a spin. I see from the market place link it is available for £10.81 plus postage from the highly recommended Caiman site in Florida, USA. (I use them regularly and their service is exemplary). And to conclude by bringing in my performing space thread Infinite Riches was recorded in the superb acoustics (but they are more difficult to hear in the samples!) of Potton Hall here in East Anglia, venue for many great piano and chamber music recordings. And in a neat piece of synchronicity I first heard Hugh Warren with the Perfect Houseplants, and bought my copy of Infinite Riches, at a Norwich and Norfolk festival performance several years ago.

Now a request please for feedback from readers of On An Overgrown Path:

1. My blog access logs show quite a few new readers each day (if you are one - welcome!). The blog is set to display twelve posts on the front page. I have a feeling that once a post drops off the front page into the archive it is difficult to access for new readers. Some interesting posts (e.g.
the first post in the Lauterwasser archive story has now dropped off the front page. Is the load time for the large front page with linked graphics a problem? Or could I change settings to dislay more - say fifteen posts? (The problem would be solved if someone could tell me how to get Blogger to show more Recent Postings in the sidebar - it doesn't seem to be a user defined parameter).

2. Because of the current volume of new posts I am starting to reduce the links in each post. This is simply to make the creation process faster. Are the multitude of hyperlinks useful? Or is my time better spent on creating posts?

3. I write most posts 'on the fly' (this is being typed in my dressing gown between breakfast and the shower - it is Saturday morning!) and I tend to treat published posts as 'work in progress' and edit them online once published (as I am actually doing with this post repeatedly). This also means some postings that have been online for a few days are 'updated' - this keeps down the total number of posts, see 1. above. Does this drive users of mad with multiple notifications of a new post, when I'm simply refining online?

4. And the crunch question. Do I post too often? Most blogs seem to be updated once or twice a week. Is there too much content posting
On An Overgrown Path? - is there too much content to read in a transitory visits? Shouldposts be shorter? (They do start short, but they just seem to grow....)

In know from the logs that a lot of people read
On An Overgrown Path, but only a very small proportion post comments. If you don't like leaving comments online you can email via my 'buffer' address at pliable6003 at hotmail dot com. Any genuine feedback on the points above, or anything else is very valuable and welcome.

Thanks Pliable.
invisible hit counter Cartoon linked from


JonnyB said…
Just passing through...

If you're putting in lots of links and are working on a PC, you might want to check out w.bloggar ( It allows you to draft everything offline then post straight in to blogger, and it makes doing hyperlinks etc a lot quicker and easier.


I wouldn't worry about, but if people are using a feed reader then they'll get lots of notifications of the same post, which can be annoying.

All the best.
Pliable said…
The Orlando Consort/Perfect House Plants CD Extempore arrived - and it is dire. The worst of what Richard Friedman dislikes. Gregorian Chant against an unrelated and ruinous jazz beat. Don't know how the Orlando Consort ever got involved, but do understand why DG didn't pick up the option for the recording. Some good news came out of it though. I bought the CD for just £6.98 plus £1.24 shipping with excellent fast service via Amazon's new and used link to Total Recall in Germany. Glad I didn't pay more!

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