Information Society Day

imageWorld Information Society Day takes place annually on 17 May. It was introduced by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis called upon the United Nations General Assembly to declare May 17th as World Information Society Day. The Main Objective of World Information Society Day is to focus on the importance of Computerised Information Technology, to raise global awareness of changes brought about by the Internet and new computerised Technologies, to raise awareness concerning other issues relating to the Information Society and to help reduce the digital divide.

The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865 which was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos. In March 2006 The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May. The first World Information Society Day took place on Wednesday, 17 May 2006.

The Dambusters

imageOn 17th May 1943 617 Squadren “The Dambusters began Operation Chastise against German dams during World War II. 617 Squadren was formed at RAF Scrampton specially during World War II to carry out the single special and dangerous task of attacking three major dams on the Ruhr in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and was carried out on 17 May 1943. The squadron also had to develop the tactics to deploy Barnes Wallis’s “Bouncing bomb” and the squadren included Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel.

The mission grew out of a concept for a bomb designed by Barnes Wallis and developed by his team at Vickers. Wallis was Assistant Chief Designer at Vickers and had worked on both the Vickers Wellesley and Vickers Wellington bombers. While working on the Vickers Windsor he had also begun work, with support of the Admiralty, on a bomb designed initially for attacking ships, though dam-destruction was soon considered, and Prior to World War II, the British Air Ministry had identified Germany’s heavily industrialised Ruhr Valley, and especially its dams, as important strategic targets: in addition to providing hydro-electric power for industry and pure water for steel-making, they also supplied drinking water and water for the canal transport system.

Led by 24 year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a veteran of over 170 bombing and night-fighter missions, 21 bomber crews were selected from existing squadrons in 5 Group. These crews included RAF personnel of several different nationalities, as well as members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), who were frequently attached to RAF squadrons under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The squadron was based at RAF Scampton, about 5 Miles (8 km) north of Lincoln. The targets selected were the two key dams upstream from the Ruhr industrial area, the Möhne Dam and the Sorpe Dam, with the Eder Dam on the Eder River, which feeds into the Weser, as a secondary target. While the loss of hydroelectric power was important, the loss of water supply to industry, cities, and canals would have greater effect. Also, there was the potential for devastating flooding if the dams broke. The aircraft used for the raid were modified Avro Lancaster Mk IIIs, known as B Mark III Special (Type 464 Provisioning). To reduce weight, much of the internal armour was removed, as was the mid-upper machine gun turret. The size of the bomb with its unusual shape meant that the bomb-bay doors had to be removed, and the bomb itself hung, in part, below the fuselage of the aircraft. It was mounted on two crutches, and before dropping it was spun up to speed by an auxiliary motor.

The men of 617 Squadren have since become legends in the annals of military history and the exploits of the squadron and Chastise in particular, have also been described in many books and the classic 1954 film starring Kenneth More, though the accuracy and completeness of these accounts were compromised by many of the documents relating to the war years, still being secured by the Official Secrets legislation. In 2006, it was also announced that New Zealand film director Peter Jackson and David Frost would co-produce a re-make of the film. It has been scripted by Stephen Fry and will be directed by Christian Rivers. The last living Dam Buster pilot, New Zealander Les Munro, also offered his services as a technical adviser for the film.

Liberace

Best Known for his extravagant stage shows and flamboyant costumes, The late, great American Pianist Liberace was born 16th May in 1919. In a career that spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, motion pictures, television and endorsements, Liberace became world-renowned. During the 1950s–1970s he was the highest-paid entertainer in the world and embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off the stage. Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb, his father was a musician who played the French horn in bands and movie theaters and encouraged music in the family. Liberace began playing the piano at four and his father took his children to concerts to further expose them to music, Liberace’s prodigious talent was soon spotted. He memorized difficult pieces by age seven and studied the technique of the famous Polish pianist and later family friend Ignacy Paderewski who he met backstage at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. He dreamed of following in Ignacy’s footstep, which inspired him to practice with even greater fervor.Liberace focused fiercely on his piano playing and blossomed under the instruction of music teacher Florence Kelly who guided his musical development for ten years. He gained experience playing popular music in theaters, on local radio, for dancing classes, for clubs, and for weddings. He played jazz with a school group called the “Mixers” in 1934. Liberace also performed in cabarets and strip clubs, and even though his parents did not approve, he was earning a tidy living during hard times. For a while he adopted the stage name “Walter Busterkeys” and also showed an interest in draftsmanship, design, and painting, and he became a fastidious dresser and follower of fashion and was showing a knack of turning his eccentricities into attention-getting virtuesIn a formal classical music competition in 1937, Liberace was praised for his “flair and showmanship”.

At the end of a traditional classical concert in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1939, Liberace played his first requested encore, “Three Little Fishes”, in the style of several different classical composers. The 20-year-old played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra , performing Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, for which he received strong reviews. He also toured in the Midwest. Between 1942 and 1944, Liberace moved away from straight classical performance and reinvented his act and started featuring “pop with a bit of classics” or as he also called it “classical music with the boring parts left out.”by the mid- and late 1940s, he was performing in night clubs in major cities around the United States, largely abandoning the classical concertgoer. He changed from classical pianist to showman, unpredictably and whimsically mixing serious with light fare.In 1944, he made his first appearances in Las Vegas, which later became his principal performance venue. He was playing at the best clubs, finally appearing at the celebrated Persian Room in 1945. During this time, Liberace worked tirelessly to refine his act. He added the candelabrum as a signature prop and adopted “Liberace” as his stage name.

He dressed in white tie and tails to be better seen in large halls. Besides clubs and occasional work as an accompanist and rehearsal pianist, Liberace also played for private parties. By 1947, he was billing himself as “Liberace—the most amazing piano virtuoso of the present day.” he also bought a rare, over-sized, gold-leafed Blüthner Grand, which he hyped up in his press kit as a “priceless piano”. He also performed with an array of other extravagant, custom-decorated pianos, some encrusted with sequins and mirrors.Liberace also created a very successful publicity machine which helped rocket him to stardom.Despite his success in the supper-club circuit, his ambition was to reach larger audiences as a headliner and a television, movie, and recording star. Liberace began to expand his act and made it more extravagant, with more costumes and a larger supporting cast. His large-scale Las Vegas act became his hallmark, expanding his fan base dramatically, and he became very wealthy in the process.

Liberace moved onto television and had guest appearances on The Kate Smith Show & Cavalcade of Stars, However he soon wanted his own show, and His first show on local television in Los Angeles was a smash hit, earning the highest ratings of any local show. The fifteen-minute network television program, The Liberace Show, began on July 1, 1952. Liberace learned early on to add “schmaltz” to his television show and to cater to the tastes of the mass audience by joking and chatting to the camera, as if performing in the viewer’s own living room. He also used dramatic lighting, split images, costume changes, and exaggerated hand movements to create visual interest. His television performances also featured enthusiasm and humor and his musical selections were broad, including classics, show tunes, film melodies, Latin rhythms, ethnic songs, and boogie-woogie.In 1956, Liberace had his first international engagement, in Havana. which He followed up with a European tour later that year. In 1960, Liberace performed at the London Palladium with Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr at the Royal Variety Show. In 1964 Liberace returned to Las Vegas, and, upping the glamour and glitz, he took on the sobriquet “Mr. Showmanship”.

The costumes became more exotic (ostrich feathers, mink, capes and huge rings), entrances and exits more elaborate (chauffeured onstage in a Rolls-Royce or dropped in on a wire like Peter Pan), choreography more complex (involving chorus girls, cars, and animals), and novelty acts.Liberace’s energy and commercial ambitions took him in many directions. He owned an antiques store in Beverly Hills, California and a restaurant in Las Vegas for many years and even published cookbooks, In addition, he had a line of men’s clothing, a motel chain (Liberace Chateau Inns), a shopping mall, and other enterprises. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Liberace’s live shows were major box office attractions in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Hilton and Lake Tahoe. He maintained homes in both places. Always kind to animals and children, Liberace incorporated them into his shows and helped talented youth through his Liberace Foundation, whose works still continue.Liberace’s final stage performance was at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on November 2, 1986. His final television appearance was on Christmas Day that same year. He died at the age of 67 on February 4, 1987 , from “Cytomegalic Virus having been in ill health since 1985 with emphysema from his daily smoking off-stage, as well as heart and liver troubles. Liberace’s body is entombed in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Krist Novoselic

nirvana-nevermind-album-coverBest known for being the bassist and co-founder of the grunge band Nirvana, American rock musician Krist Anthony Novoselic was born May 16, 1965. Novoselic was interested in bands such as Led Zeppelin, Devo, Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Aerosmith. He also enjoyed rock bands like Zabranjeno Pusenje, Prljavo Kazaliste and Azra. While in Yugoslavia, he picked up an interest in punk rock, and discovered bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. He has cited Paul McCartney, Geezer Butler, John Entwistle, and Gene Simmons as the fundamental influences of his bass playing. Sometime later, Novoselic’s brother Robert introduced him to his friend Kurt Cobain, who had noticed loud music coming from upstairs. Robert told Cobain that it was his older brother, who listened to punk rock. Cobain eventually befriended the elder Novoselic, as the pair ended up sharing similar musical tastes, including a fondness for local band The Melvins.

The two had several mutual friends and began hanging out shortly thereafter. At one point, Cobain gave Novoselic a demo tape of his former band Fecal Matter, and asked him to form a band together. After several months, Novoselic finally listened to the tape, liked it, and agreed to start a band with Cobain.ometime later, Novoselic’s brother Robert introduced him to his friend Kurt Cobain, who had noticed loud music coming from upstairs. Robert told Cobain that it was his older brother, who listened to punk rock. Cobain eventually befriended the elder Novoselic, as the pair ended up sharing similar musical tastes, including a fondness for local band The Melvins. The two had several mutual friends and began hanging out shortly thereafter. At one point, Cobain gave Novoselic a demo tape of his former band Fecal Matter, and asked him to form a band together. After several months, Novoselic finally listened to the tape, liked it, and agreed to start a band with Cobain.

Cobain and Novoselic’s first band lasted barely a few weeks before it disbanded, leaving the pair to move on. However, the duo eventually discovered that the Melvins could pull $80 a night for one show. Inspired, Cobain and Novoselic started a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, in which Cobain played drums and Novoselic sang and played guitar. That band was short-lived as well. Some months later, Cobain and Novoselic met drummer Aaron Burckhard. While the new band never used the name, it was the first incarnation of Nirvana.Burckhard lasted only a few months and Melvins drummer Dale Crover filled in until Novoselic and Cobain met Chad Channing. The trio recorded their debut album Bleach, released in 1989. Channing left the band in 1990 and was briefly replaced by Crover and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters.Later in 1990, Melvins singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne encouraged Novoselic and Cobain to check out a punk band called Scream. The pair were impressed by their drummer, Dave Grohl. A few weeks later, Scream disbanded, and Grohl placed a call to Osborne for advice. Osborne gave him Novoselic’s phone number, and Novoselic invited Grohl up to Seattle (from San Francisco, where Scream broke up). Grohl passed the audition and joined Nirvana. A few months later, in the spring of 1991, the band recorded their major label debut, Nevermind, which launched the band as a worldwide phenomenon with their hit single “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.Nirvana ended abruptly in April 1994 following Cobain’s death. For most of the rest of that year, Novoselic retreated from the spotlight. Novoselic and Cobain had been virtually inseparable for almost a decade, and the loss of his close friend was especially hard on him. One of few public appearances came that September at the MTV Video Music Awards, where the video for Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” was awarded for Best Alternative Video. Novoselic took the opportunity to pay tribute to his bandmate and best friend.

The following year, Novoselic continued to dabble in musical endeavors. He was offered the position of playing bass in a new band, the Foo Fighters, with friend and former bandmate Dave Grohl but both decided against it, because they believed people would think of Foo Fighters as a new incarnation of Nirvana. Novoselic instead formed the band Sweet 75 in 1995, releasing a single self-titled album in 1997. In 2002 he performed uncredited background vocals on The Foo Fighters song “Walking a Line”, written as a tribute to Cobain, during the One by One album sessions. The track is included on the One by One bonus DVD, as well as being a bonus track to the album.In 1998, Novoselic directed his first movie, L7: The Beauty Process, a pseudo-documentary that utilizes concert footage taped in 1997 in three American cities. In 1999, he joined Jello Biafraand former Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil in the No WTO Combo. He then joined former Meat Puppets front man Curt Kirkwood and former Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh to form Eyes Adrift, which disbanded in 2003. This band was significant as it was the first official release in his career where he sang lead vocals. He also took a highly active role in the song writing process, co-writing several songs with Kirkwood.Following the end of Eyes Adrift, Novoselic announced, that he was quitting the music business, noting that he disliked the process of building up publicity for new records. However, in recent years, Novoselic has occasionally worked on music for a possible solo album, and in November 2006, it was announced, that Novoselic would join Flipper, replacing Bruno DeSmartas on bass, for a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. He was a full-time member of the band and had been working on their new album. In September 22, 2008, because of responsibilities at home, Novoselic announced his departure from the band. As a result, the band canceled the remainder of the tour. Rachel Thoele then replaced Novoselic. In 2009, he played a newspaper vendor in the movie World’s Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams. In October 2010, Dave Grohl, formerNirvana band mate of Novoselic, announced live on BBC radio, that Novoselic will be joining the Foo Fighters on their next album as a bassist and accordionist which was released in 2011: Wasting Light. Novoselic also played bass on children’s music artist Caspar Babypants’ (a.k.a. Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America’s) 2010 album This Is Fun!, for a cover of the Nirvana song “Sliver”.

Novoselic’s first experience with the Foo Fighters was participating in the encore of their show on August 29, 1997 at Memorial Stadiumas part of the Bumbershoot festival, where he played bass for the band’s covers of “Purple Rain” and “Communication Breakdown”. In January 2002 he performed backing vocals for a non-album track titled “Walking a Line”, later released on a special edition of the band’s album One by One. Later, during the encore of the Foo Fighters’ secret show at Paladino’s in Tarzana, California on December 22, 2010, the band, with Grohl on drums was joined onstage by Novoselic and the band’s live guitarist Pat Smear for a version of Nirvana’s “Marigold” a 1992 Grohl original, which was also a B-side on Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”, the first single from In Utero.Novoselic also recorded bass and accordion on the song “I Should Have Known”, appearing on the Foo Fighters’ 7th studio album called Wasting Light, released on April 12, 2011

Whit Monday

Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (also known as Monday of the Holy Spirit) is the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost, a moveable feast in the Christian calendar. It is moveable because it is determined by the date of EasteWhit Monday gets its English name from “Whitsunday”, an English name for Pentecost, one of the three baptismal seasons. The origin of the name “Whit Sunday” is generally attributed to the white garments formerly worn by those newly baptized.

The Monday after Pentecost is a holiday in Austria, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Catalonia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montserrat, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Togo and Ukraine. In many of these countries, Whit Monday is known as “the second day of Pentecost” or “the second Whitsun”. In France, it became a work day for many workers from 2005 to 2007. This was to raise extra funds following the government’s lack of preparation for a summertime heat wave, which led to a shortage of proper health care for the elderly.[1] It continues to be a public holiday in France. In Liechtenstein, Whit Monday is considered to be a “favorite holiday”, much like Christmas in many other countries. In Germany, Whit Monday (German: Pfingstmontag) is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. In South Tyrol, it replaces the holiday of the local patron saint celebrated elsewhere in Italy.

Until 1973, Whit Monday was a public holiday in Ireland (also called a bank holiday). It was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom until 1967. It was formally replaced by the fixed Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May in 1971.  It was also a public holiday in various former British colonies, especially in the Pacific, where It remains a public holiday. In Sweden, Whit Monday was a public holiday until 2004 as it was replaced by the National Day of Sweden from 2005.

Although Whit Monday is a civil holiday in many countries, it is not a Catholic religious holiday any more than the other weekdays that follow Pentecost Sunday. Until the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, they were part of the octave of Pentecost, which was added in the 7th century. The Monday after Pentecost is now the first day of the resumption of Ordinary Time. While the details differ from diocese to diocese, the most widespread practice in Germany (where the holiday remains an obligation) is to have a compulsory votive Mass of the Holy Spirit outranking even solemnities (these would be local solemnities in that case).In the Eastern Orthodox Church Whit Monday is known as “Monday of the Holy Spirit” or “Day of the Holy Spirit” and is the first day of the afterfeast of Pentecost, being dedicated specifically to the honor of God the Holy Spirit and particularly in commemoration of his descent upon the apostles at Pentecost. The day following is known as Third Day of the Trinity. In the services on the Monday of the Holy Spirit many of the same hymns are sung as on the day of Pentecost itself. During the Divine Liturgy the Deacon intones the same introit as on the day of Pentecost, and the dismissal is the same as on the day of Pentecost. Special canons to the Holy Spirit are chanted at Compline and Matins.

Brian Eno/ Mike Olfield

Innovative English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, Brian Eno was born 15 May 1948. Eno was a student of Roy Ascott on his Groundcourse at Ipswich Civic College. He then studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school. He joined the band Roxy Music as synthesiser player in the early 1970s. Roxy Music’s success in the glam rock scene came quickly, but Eno soon became tired of touring and of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry.

Eno’s solo music has explored more experimental musical styles and ambient music. It has also been immensely influential, pioneering ambient and generative music,[6] innovating production techniques, and emphasising “theory over practice”.[6] He also introduced the concept of chance music to popular audiences, partially through collaborations with other musicians.[7] Eno has also worked as an influential music and album producer. By the end of the 1970s, Eno had worked with Robert Fripp on the LPs No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, David Bowie on the seminal “Berlin Trilogy” and helped popularise the American band Devo and the punk-influenced “No Wave” genre. He produced and performed on three albums by Talking Heads, including Remain in Light (1980), and produced seven albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree (1987). Eno has also worked on records by James, Laurie Anderson, Coldplay, Paul Simon, Grace Jones, James Blake and Slowdive, among others.

Eno pursues multimedia ventures in parallel to his music career, including art installations, a regular column on society and innovation in Prospect magazine, and “Oblique Strategies” (written with Peter Schmidt), a deck of cards in which cryptic remarks or random insights are intended to resolve dilemmas. Eno continues to collaborate with other musicians, produce records, release his own music, and write.
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English musician and composer Gordon “Mike” Oldfield was born 15 May 1953 in the Battle Hospital in Reading, Berkshire, and he attended St. Joseph’s Convent School, Highlands Junior School, St. Edward’s preparatory school,and Presentation College in Reading. When he was 13, he moved with his parents to Harold Wood in Essex and attended Hornchurch Grammar School, where, having already begun his career in music, he took just one GCE examination, in English. Oldfield’s career began fairly early, playing acoustic guitar in local folk clubs. At this time, he already had two 15-minute instrumental pieces in which he would “go through all sorts of moods”, precursors to his landmark 1970s compositions.

In his early teens, Oldfield was involved in a beat group playing The Shadows-style music (he has often cited Hank Marvin as a major influence, and would later cover The Shadows’ song “Wonderful Land”). In 1967, Oldfield and his sister formed the folk duo The Sallyangie and, after exposure in the local folk scene, were signed to Transatlantic Records. An album, Children of the Sun, was issued in 1968. After The Sallyangie disbanded, he formed another duo, called Barefoot, with his brother, which took him back to rock music.In 1970, Oldfield joined The Whole World – former Soft Machine vocalist Kevin Ayers’s backing group – playing bass and occasionally lead guitar. He is featured on two Ayers albums, Whatevershebringswesing and Shooting at the Moon. The band also included keyboardist and composer David Bedford, who quickly befriended Oldfield, encouraged him in his composition of an early version of Tubular Bells and later arranged and conducted an orchestral version of the Tubular Bells album. Oldfield was also the reserve guitarist for the musical Hair and played with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Having recorded sections of this early version of Tubular Bells as demo pieces, Oldfield attempted to persuade record labels to take on the Tubular Bells project. In 1971, he attended recording sessions at The Manor Studio – owned by young entrepreneur Richard Branson, playing bass for the Arthur Louis Band. Branson already had several business ventures and wanted to start his own record label, Virgin Records. Branson heard some of Oldfield’s demo music and gave him one week’s worth of recording time at The Manor during which, he completed “Part One” of Tubular Bells. Part Two” was then compiled over subsequent months. Tubular Bells is Oldfield’s most famous work, and was released in 1973 as the inaugural album of Richard Branson’s label Virgin Records. This groundbreaking classic album became a huge hit in it Oldfield played more than twenty different instruments in a multi layered recording which included many diverse musical genres. The title track became a top 10 hit single in the US after the opening was used in The Exorcist film.

In 1974, Oldfield played guitar on the critically acclaimed album Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt. In late 1974, the follow-up LP, Hergest Ridge, was No. 1 in the UK for three weeks before being dethroned by Tubular Bells, despite being released over a year after Tubular Bells, In 1979, Oldfield’s music was used as the musical score for The Space Movie, a Virgin movie that celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.Like Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge is a two-movement instrumental piece, this time evoking scenes from Oldfield’s Herefordshire country retreat. It was followed in 1975 by the pioneering world music piece Ommadawn released after the death of his mother Maureen. In 1978 Oldfield released the album Incantations, which introduced more diverse choral performances from Sally Oldfield, Maddy Prior, and the Queen’s College Girls Choir. In 1975, Oldfield recorded a version of “In Dulci Jubilo” and in 1976 he released “Portsmouth”. In 1975, Oldfield received a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Composition in “Tubular Bells – Theme from The Exorcist”. Oldfield, his sister and band member Pekka Pohjola recorded Oldfield’s next album Mathematician’s Air Display. Oldfield then embarked on a European tour to promote Incantations, spawning the live album “Exposed”, much of which was recorded at the National Exhibition Centre,Birmingham. In 1979, he recorded an updated theme tune for the program Blue Peter and In 1981, Oldfield was asked to compose a piece for the Royal Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer, titled “Royal Wedding Anthem”.

During the1980s Oldfield recorded shorter instrumental tracks and contemporary cover versions on Platinum and QE2 (the latter named after the ocean liner) and began Songwriting collaborating with various vocalists including Maggie Reilly on Moonlight Shadow and also covered Hall and Oates song “Family Man”. Oldfield also turned to film and video, writing the score for The Killing Fields. Oldfield”s next album Islands contained an instrumental piece on one side and rock/pop singles on the other. Including Magic Touch, Pictures in the Dark and The title track “Islands”, which was sung by Bonnie Tyler and “Magic Touch”, with vocals by Max Bacon (in the US version) and Glasgow vocalist Southside Jimmy. Oldfield’s next album Earth Moving was released in July 1989 and contained the songs “Innocent”, “Holy” and “Hostage”. Oldfield’s next album was Amarok, an hour-long work featuring rapidly changing themes (supposedly devised to make cutting a single from the album impossible). Oldfield sang lead vocals on His next album Heaven’s Open. Oldfield signed with Warner Brothers and released Tubular Bells II which was premiered at a live concert at Edinburgh Castle and also composed The Songs of Distant Earth (based on Arthur C. Clarke’s novel of the same name) and also had an asteroid, 5656 Oldfield, named after him. In 1995, Oldfield released the Celtic-themed album Voyager, After meeting Luar na Lubre, a Galician Celtic-folk band (from A Coruña, Spain) in 1992. The band’s popularity grew after Oldfield covered their song “O son do ar” (“The sound of the air”) on his Voyager album.

In 1998, Oldfield produced the third Tubular Bells album which premiered at Horse Guards Parade, London), and drew from Balearic Dance Music and was inspired by themes from Tubular Bells. In 1999 Oldfield released two albums “Guitars”, which used guitars as the source for all the sounds on the album, including percussion and “The Millennium Bell”, which consisted of pastiches of a number of styles of music representing various historical periods and was performed live in Berlin in 1999–2000. Oldfield began the MusicVR project, combining his music with a virtual reality-based computer game. His first work on this project is Tr3s Lunas launched in 2002, a virtual game where the player can interact with a world full of new music. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Tubular Bells, In 2003, Oldfield released Tubular Bells 2003, a re-recording of the original Tubular Bells, on CD, and DVD-Audio, which fixed many “imperfections” in the original caused by the limited recording technologies of the early 1970s, for which the original voice of the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ (the late Viv Stanshall) was replaced by the voice of John Cleese. In 2004 Oldfield launched his next virtual reality project, Maestro, which contains music from the Tubular Bells 2003 album and also some new chillout melodies. The games have since been made available free of charge on Tubular.net. In 2005 a double album, Light + Shade, was released containing music of contrasting moods, disc one is relaxed (Light) while disc two is more edgy and moody (Shade). In2006and 2007 Oldfield headlined the pan-European Night of the Proms tour.

Oldfield’s autobiography Changeling was published in May 2007 and in 2008 he released his first classical album, Music of the Spheres, containing the single “Spheres”. The album was nominated for a Classical Brit Award, the NS&I Best Album of 2009. In 2008, Oldfield’s albums were re-released together with outtakes and rarities from the archives. Since then further albums have been reissued plus compilation albums such as Two Sides. In 2008, Oldfield contributed an exclusive song (“Song for Survival”) to a charity album called Songs for Survival, in support of the Survival International. In 2012, Oldfield was featured on Terry Oldfield’s Journey into Space album and on a track called “Islanders” by German producer Torsten Stenzel’s York project. In 2013 Oldfield and York released a remix album titled Tubular Beats. At the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, Oldfield performed renditions of Tubular Bells, “Far Above the Clouds” and “In Dulci Jubilo” during a segment about the National Health Service. This track appears on the Isles of Wonder album. In October 2013, the BBC broadcast Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story, an hour-long appreciation of Oldfield’s life and musical career. Oldfield has released more than 20 albums with the most recent being Man on the Rocks, in 2014