Burnt out?

The November issue of Standpoint is out now and my music column is about the benefits of improvisation. It’s inspired by Ed Smith’s remarks about how professionalism is killing sport. Could the same be true of music?  Could more “play” in the playing improve everybody’s game? Read the whole thing here.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens