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Sonny Williamson
Works at Self Employed
Attended Anglo-European School, Ingatestone
Lives in Clacton-on-Sea
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Tonight the restaurant we ate in was called Adolph Wagner. The meal consisted of, no word of a lie, a platter of pig. It was simultaneously the most intrinsically Germanic and insinuatingly anti-semantic meals I have ever had the pleasure of scoffing. 
James Garry's profile photoGerhard Torges (NSE3DR94)'s profile photoTiffany Henry's profile photoSonny Williamson's profile photo
Lol, anti-semantic. I blame auto-correct. :P
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An Aperol Spritz. Bitters as they were originally intended: as an aperitif. Delicious. I love Europe. 
Annelouise Verboon's profile photoReverend Eric Ha's profile photoSonny Williamson's profile photo
Apparently he would have straight gin and then bow in the direction of France in respect to the Vermouth. XD
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My review of Madam Butterfly at the Royal Albert Hall for +Ticketmaster UK.  

#Opera   #classicalmusic   #Blog   #Blogmaster  
Classical Blogmaster, Sonny Williamson, tells us all about his night at the Royal Albert Hall with Madam Butterfly.
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Thanks +Lena Keller, I didn't send out the notifications for this one so don't worry. :-)
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"They're made out of meat."
"Meat. They're made out of meat."
"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"
"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."
"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"
"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
"No brain?"
"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."
"So ... what does the thinking?"
"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."
"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"
"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"
"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."
"We're supposed to talk to meat."
"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."
"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?" "Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
"I thought you just told me they used radio."
"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
"Officially or unofficially?"
"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
"I was hoping you would say that."
"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."
"That's it."
"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"
"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."
"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."
"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
"They always come around."
"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone …"
Matt Uebel's profile photoMarshall Neal's profile photoRonald Stepp's profile photoAndrew McLoughlin's profile photo
very creative, perhaps you could flesh that out into a  novel. . . (pun intended) 
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Sonny Williamson

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High-School Internet. I love it when +Cracked does these "internet party" videos and they knocked this one out of the park. All in one shot too! 
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Wow! I hardly contained myself. Had colleagues looking at me quizzically. This is so shared. 
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The other day I made a post about being an #EverydayFeminist  and here we have a brilliant video about #EverydayRacism . It's a different angle on a different topic, but the elements of the problem remain the same: in our current Western culture, certain demographics are systematically discriminated against in ways that you would not even realise or recognise unless you were either a member of that demographic or were paying attention and caring about it.  

I know, it's become a "thing" to hear about prejudice, discrimination and a multitude of "~isms" in popular discourse and I know that if you're not a victim of that, it's easy to dismiss, ridicule and become annoyed by those that complain about it. I know that when life becomes difficult, as it does for every living thing on earth, it can be tiresome to hear some people claim "special treatment" when they air their grievances. After all, do we all not suffer? Is life not a struggle for everyone? Why should you get all the attention?  

The thing is that yes, life is tough for everyone, which is why we must strive to make it a better place for everyone, no matter what your race, colour, creed, gender, physical or mental ability, or favourite ice cream flavour is. It's perfectly possible to see the larger picture of how people of all stripes suffer at the hands of fate or an uncaring system whilst at the same time recognising that certain minorities face barriers and indignities that are logically, philosophically and in all ways unjustified but are unfairly inflated because of historical and cultural biases. 

As I said in my post about feminism, it's easy for a Western, middle-class, white, straight, abled man to disregard the problems of other people simply because I'm a human too and I've got as many problems as anyone else, just by virtue of being a human in this world. Why should anyone else get singled out? But of course it's not special treatment, it's that those other groups get an even worse deal that is entirely and completely based on pure, unadulterated bullshit. 

I don't have to be a part of those groups to understand or feel what they're going through, I have enough friends and loved ones of every conceivable human flavour that I can understand their woes on an empathic level as a fellow human being (this is an advantage of living in a cosmopolitan city like London).  Even if I didn't, I'm salient enough to be able to read and hear from the experiences of others online and in art that it is a reality they face in their daily lives.

Just honestly coming to terms with the sorts of endemic bullshit they have to face on a daily basis that's built in to the way that the society they live in works around them on top of the crap we all gave to put up with every day is enough to make me mad and I'm not even directly affected by it. 

So I'm not afraid of the "anti-SJW" backlash that's de rigueur (in all honesty I'm not entirely even sure what Tumblr even is) and I'm not afraid to speak out for the cause of basic human dignity and equal rights. Fuck racism. Fuck sexism. Fuck cynicism. Fuck everythingism. And fuck me if you have the inclination, I'm easy. 
Racism is a business. Its marketing is so successful that even Akala looks sideways at a young black man holding a lot of cash. These racial assumptions lead to 'everyday' racism - daily encounters and micro-agressions. It's time to recognise the relationship between top-down propaganda and the bias that we all carry
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Being human means having empathy for others. Unfortunately a large swath of what claims to be humanity refuses to expand their understanding. I have no sympathy for willful ignorance, which is obviously different from ignorance itself, and feel that by ignoring the issue they are only giving it more power. I truly do understand some people don't have exposure to it. Jack grew up in Buffalo, NY. It's not at all diverse. It took him a bit to wrap his head around the things he saw as well. It's being willing to do that and refusing to perpetuate it that which makes someone a good person.

+Sonny Williamson​​​ That self absorbed harpy woman was a soul sucking difficult person. One hour with her would help you understand how incredibly horrible extreme narcissism can be for others.
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Sonny Williamson

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This is Christian and this is his creation. Five years ago I stayed at this hotel whilst working at the MusicMesse show in Frankfurt and did the same the following year. Much fun and japes were had, particularly in the well-stocked and well-staffed bar, sometimes well into the night.

My abiding memory is of this particular chap, who not only looked after our every need but made the world's best goddamn White Russian you ever tasted. Talk of it, and his service, became legend.

Well, this year after a two-year hiatus (so that's three years since my last visit) I'm back at the show, but staying at a different hotel. I specifically took a walk this evening back to the old haunt, just to see if he was still there. I walked in and up to the bar, he turned around and caught my eye, approached and, without a word from me, said, "Hallo Sonny. White Russian?"

Consider my flabber well and truly gasted. Best. Barman. Ever. 
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That's a barman everyone would want to meet. Awesome :)
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In this amazing piece, President Jimmy Carter renounces the traditions of his religion in solidarity with women and in support of equality. Progressive, brave and wise. Bravo, sir.  

#HeForShe   #religion   #feminism   #equality   #EveryDayFeminist  
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+Sonny Williamson I agree. To those saying "he should have done this years ago," well, he didn't, but he's fixed that now.
Why is that a problem??
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My immediate family. Quite the clan!
Happy Easter everyone. 
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Thanks for the share Sir. It is indeed a very nice family you've got there! And the greatest of the blessings. Do you realise how lucky you are? 😊
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Sonny Williamson

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This is so well done. 
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Sonny Williamson

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What exactly is "life"? Well, it's complicated…
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To welcome in the first day of #spring2015 , here is a wonderful performance of my pick of the most important piece of music written in the 20th Century, The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. 

Monumental, earth-shattering, riot-inducing, world-changing Art of the highest order, it simply must be experienced. For further details, see my post from 2013 commemorating the 100th anniversary of its infamous premier:

Hold on to your hats and enjoy! 
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

In this 2013 BBC Proms performance, Les Siècles Orchestra perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (“Le sacre du printemps”), with  François-Xavier Roth at the podium. The orchestra, from France, was formed in the summer of 2003 by François-Xavier Roth.

As its website says:

With a vast period-instrument collection at its disposal, spanning the baroque, classical, romantic and modern eras, the orchestra’s repertoire is notably wide in range. Les Siècles is one of a small number of ensembles to employ period and modern instruments, playing each repertoire on appropriate instruments. Its flexible and historically informed work delivers a unique strand of creative programming.

The piece premiered at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on May 29, 1913; it caused quite a lot of controversy, Wikipedia notes:

It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky, with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. When first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. Although designed as a work for the stage, with specific passages accompanying characters and action, the music achieved equal if not greater recognition as a concert piece, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.

Spring officially begins in the northern hemisphere with the March or vernal equinox at 22;45 UTC, or here in Toronto at 18:45, or 6:45 p.m. EDT. An enjoyable,, meaningful and green spring to one and all.

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#Spring2015 #Stravinsky #RitesofSpring  
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Rogers George's profile photoSonny Williamson's profile photoMark Kosmowski's profile photoDi Cleverly's profile photo
The Fantasia version, while historic, is a bit old fashioned these days. Nothing like a high-quality modern orchestral recording to really hear it. 

In fact, like all music - but especially "difficult" 20th Century music - listening to it live is always the way to experience it properly. I think the first time this piece truly came alive for me was when I snuck into the hall during rehearsals at the Royal College of Music and heard them practice snippets of it here and there. Getting to feel each section out of context as well as having the physical acoustic instruments move the molecules in the air totally transformed the piece from an intellectual chore to a visceral delight. 

I've seen it countless times live since (I've even conducted parts of it while at university, which was a challenge I can tell you!) and it never fails to grip me and knock me sideways. Look out for it if it's playing in any concert halls you can get to, it's an incredible experience. 
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Composer, Chortler, Professional Enthusiast.
Audio Wizard. Classical Pianist. Sesquipedalian badass.
  • Self Employed
    Composer, present
  • Avid
    Product Specialist, present
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"Information can't kill you" - Frank Zappa
I'm a self-employed composer, musician, sound designer, recordist and general audio wizard. I mainly write music for TV and radio commercials but I'm also a product specialist for Avid Technology, demoing, teaching and explaining Pro Tools and Sibelius software to people. I am also the classical music blogmaster for TicketMasterUK. 

An Olympic-grade enthusiast, my particular areas of inspiration include classical music, science (especially physics), comics, coffee and critical thinking. Also zombies.
Bragging rights
I am occasionally dragged from drunken hangouts at the behest of the BBC for my prowess in science evangelism. I also once discombobulated Stephen Fry. Both of these things are true.
  • Anglo-European School, Ingatestone
    1990 - 1997
  • University of Southampton
    Music, 1998 - 2001
Basic Information
I arrived late to a party of 18 but was seated quickly and, though I ordered as their food was served, I had eaten my own meal in time for desert to be served at the same time. This, even though I ordered the rack of lamb, which is hardly a quick dish to prepare, which fell off the bone and was delicious. Very accomodating, great food and good atmosphere.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
High ceilings, wide walls and soviet paintings dominate this spacious but busy venue. Some nice drinks and a good menu helped make both my visits pleasant. Staff were friendly, though sometimes a little swamped. Overall a recommended destination.
Food: Very GoodDecor: ExcellentService: Very Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
All in all, you can't go wrong with a night out at Bloomsbury Bowling. A great venue for birthdays and other such events, you get a nice variety of bowling, drinking, karaoke and a fifties diner, all bound up with a great atmosphere. Bear in mind that it's a popular place, so it's nearly always busy. But raucous fun times are nearly always had. Perfect for a 7-15 person group looking for a good night out. Don't forget to order your White Russians!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I live in Temple Fortune and Piacere is always my first choice when eating out locally. Ideal for a quick lunch, it has a nicely varied menu with consistent quality of food (I'm fond of the eggs benedict) and the friendly staff always serve you promptly, even when it's busy (which is every lunch time really, always bustling). Recommended if you're looking for a quick quality bite to eat when in the area.
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
14 reviews
Simply one of the Great London pubs. Located in a delightfully cosy corner of Hampstead, it feels like walking into an Inn from Hobbiton, with nooks and crannies filled with people quaffing ales and eating the delicious food. Always busy, it's worth spending time having a drink or as a destination for a fine evening meal. I take nearly every visitor to the city there if I can.
Atmosphere: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The music venue at King's Place is a favourite of mine, particularly for chamber music. It has excellent acoustics and is laid out well. On top of this, they always program very interesting, varied content and showcase extended festivals, like the year-long Bach Unwrapped taking place during 2013. Easy to access (it's a stone's throw from King's Cross Station), it also features an Art gallery and some places to eat, including the quite tasty (but quite expensive) Rotunda. All in all, a great cultural destination and worth checking out the program for upcoming concerts and events.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Top quality food, wonderful service, nice atmosphere. My dining guest and I had the set menu, which was well priced and had a great selection in each of the three courses. My starter of lamb was simply delicious and the beef bourguignon melted at the touch. Delicious dining, very friendly staff and overall a wonderful experience. Looking forward to returning for a repeat performance.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago