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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Arts: Music for revisionists

With exams looming fast and students everywhere slowly entering into pre-exam solidarity, we felt it was time to provide a helping hand. Whether you serially listen to music as you study or save it for break-time, we have chosen four great albums that we hope will keep you concentrating and your toes tapping. Additionally, once the unmentionables are over we have some recommendations to help you unwind.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Who’s Serious: The Symphonic Music of the Who
Crossover albums are often a prime example of how to take two good things and create something awful. This collection of unorthodox orchestral interpretations of Who classics sounds fresh yet retains the powerful resonance of the originals. Baba O’Riley is simply magical and will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
The arrangements have truly been thought through, with the LPO bringing their own interpretations to the music rather than simply ‘covering’ the songs. This does mean that several of the songs deviate significantly from the original recordings but the CD is all the stronger for it.
Purists will not enjoy it but with an album title this good, it just has to be listened to.

John Coltrane
A Love Supreme
Probably the best album he ever recorded and consistently mentioned as the greatest album in jazz, A Love Supreme raises expectations and more than meets them. It is a spiritual journey and very much Coltrane’s attempt to honour and praise God.
The work of a gigantic heart and soul who has mastered a musical language; it is an album that outlived John Coltrane’s lifetime and will outlive ours. Haunting, powerful and joyful, this masterpiece is a timeless classic.

In Rainbows
One of the most acclaimed bands of the past two decades, Radiohead have been on a musical journey ever since their debut album Pablo Honey in 1993.
In Rainbows is a culmination of many of their previous albums, honing the experimental styles developed on Amnesiac and Kid A, with the strong solid song writing of their earlier albums. The result is a mix of guitars, complex electro sounds and Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals, to bring about possibly one of their greatest albums to date.
Radiohead made waves in the music industry when In Rainbows was initially offered online as a ‘pay-as-much-as-you-like’ download.

Cold Water Music
The first and best album from Aim, the Grand Central Records DJ Andy Turner. Featuring a number of guest artists from the hip-hop world, to the fine voice of Kate Rogers plus a sample from the film Halloween, it blends them all together into a very eclectic mix. From the chilly, spine-tingling opening notes of the title track Cold Water Music, to the dark, haunting Demonique, this album is one of the finest examples of music to chill out to. Put it on, sit back and relax.

Recommended festival
Whitstable Winkle Comedy
Festival 18 to 21 September sees the pleasant Kent coastal town of Whitstable hit by a wave of comedy. The inaugural festival featuring top comics and music from a wealth of talent should keep you entertained by the sea. If you don’t like comedy you can always sample what Whitstable is famous for — piles of oysters.
For more information, go to www.whitstablewinkle.co.uk

Client entertaining
The Dome, Edinburgh
Towering at the east end of the upmarket George Street area, the grand Dome restaurant and bar is a memorable setting for a brisk lunch or indulgent evening meal. The menu has a strong Scottish influence and, as you’d expect for such an elegant setting, the cocktail list is impressive. Combined with friendly, attentive service the Dome is an ideal place to talk business — after all, the building was a bank from 1844 until 1993.
For more information visit www.thedomeedinburgh.com

Art by an actuary
Hilary Clarke
Hilary Clarke is an actuary with a passion for digital photography. Her picture, Rain on my windscreen, below, demonstrates her love of making the ordinary seem a little more special. She is currently involved in a series of collaborative exhibitions combining the life of George Forrest (the plant hunter), and the work of textile artists, and will be touring the UK.
For more details go to www.aitchclarkephotography.co.uk

Off to Edinburgh
George Lewkowicz, a student actuary at Travelers Insurance Company, is taking his comedy sketch show An Evening Without Dignity to Edinburgh Festival over August. If you are in the area, why not support a fellow actuary? George will be reporting back on the experience in future months.

If you would like your work featured in this space, please e-mail arts@the-actuary.org.uk