Posts Tagged ‘music’

America

August 6, 2020

America performed by First Aid Kit to honour Polar Music Prize Laureate Paul Simon.

Very moving performance of Simon and Garfunkel class America by First Aid Kit (sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg) at Polar Music Prize 2012 to honour Laureate Paul Simon.

Paul Simon moved by their rendition of America.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989, by the late Stig ”Stikkan” Anderson, publisher, lyricist and manager of ABBA, and he played a key role in their enormous success. The name of the prize stems from Anderson’s legendary record label, Polar Music.

The Polar Music Prize celebrates the power and importance of music and is awarded to individuals, groups or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements.

The prestigious Polar Music Prize awards two Laureates in order to celebrate music in all its various forms and to emphasize the original intention of the Polar Music Prize: To break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music.

The board of the Polar Music Prize Foundation consists of representatives from the Stig Anderson family, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and STIM (The Swedish Performing Rights Society). The task of scrutinizing nominations submitted and selecting the ultimate Laureates is empowered The Polar Music Award Committee comprising of internationally renowned artists and musicians as well as other key figures in the Swedish music industry.

Tired & Suzanne

August 2, 2020

We’re tired of being white and we’re tired of being black

Tired

We’re tired of being white
and we’re tired of being black,
and we’re not going to be white
and we’re not going to be black any longer.
We’re going to be voices now,
disembodied voices in the blue sky,
pleasant harmonies in the cavities of your distress.
And we’re going to stay this way until you straighten up,
until your suffering makes you calm,
and you can believe the word of G-d who has told you so many times,
and in so many ways, to love one another,
or at least not to torture and murder
in the name of some stupid vomit-making human idea that makes G-d turn away from you,
and darken the cosmos with inconceivable sorrow.
We’re tired of being white and we’re tired of being black,
and we’re not going to be white and we’re not going to be black any longer.
We’re going to be voices now.

— Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

Tired by Leonard Cohen from Book of Longing, followed by Suzanne.

From a live concert Who By Fire?, First Aid Kit and friends, a concert of poetry and music Stockholm 2017 to commemorate the life of Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen on Hydra

July 20, 2020

In 1960 Leonard Cohen bought a house on the Greek Island of Hydra.

Once you’ve lived on Hydra you can’t live anywhere else, including Hydra. — Kenneth Koch

Leonard Cohen wished for somewhere quiet to write. He left Montreal on his first trip outside North America with a Canadian Arts Council Grant of $2,000 and one published book of poetry. He was writing a novel or trying to, blackening the pages three pages a day. Hydra seemed the ideal place, warm and sunny, especially compared with cold and grey and damp London. He arrived on Hydra with his green Olivetti. He had taken up an offer of Barbara Rothschild to stay on the island, only when he arrived at the house and mentioned her name, he was turned away by the housekeeper ‘we don’t need any more Jews here’. Leonard Cohen put a curse on the house and within six months it had burnt to the ground.

Prior to the purchase of his house, Charmian Clift and George Johnston offered a room in their house. He would sit writing on their terrace.

It was on Hydra he met Marianne and where he wrote ‘So Long Marianne’ and ‘Bird on the Wire’.

In a letter to his mother:

It has a huge terrace with a view of dramatic mountain and shining white houses. The rooms are large and cool with deep windows set in thick walls. I suppose it’s about 200 years old and many generations of sea-.men must have lived here. I will do a little work on it every year and in a few years it will be a mansion… I live on a hill and life has been going on here exactly the same for hundreds of years. All through the day you hear the calls of the street vendors and they are really rather musical… I get up around 7 generally and work till about noon. Early morning is coolest and therefore best, but I love the heat anyhow, especially when the Aegean Sea is 10 minutes from my door.

What more could an unknown writer ask for?

He was part of a group of writers and artist and poets who used to meet at Κατσικάς Katsikas.

One of his friends Charmian Clift wrote Peel Me A Lotus her account of living on Hydra in the late 1950s.

They were all cursed. Charmian Clift killed herself after leaving Hydra, George died a year later.

His first concert in Australia was dedicated to the couple and he opened with ‘Bird on the Wire’.

We have photographer James Burke to thank for a series of photographs of these days in 1960 on Hydra.

A Theatre for Dreamers a fictional account by Polly Samson seen through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl, who with a thousand pounds left to her by her mother escapes from an abusive father. She reads a book Peel Me A Lotus by Charmian Clift, sent to her mother by the author a close friend of her mother, of life on Hydra. She remembers the friend of her mother from when she was a child and writes to her asking if she can find her a room to rent.

We start in 2016, Leonard Cohen has recently died, a very sad loss, and Trump has won the US Presidential elections. Word reaches Hydra ‘and spread rapidly like a stench along the agora. There were horrified groans, even from the donkeys, disbelieving splutters from every table, passer-by and boat. For a moment it was a comfort to think at least Leonard had been spared this.’

Ravel’s Bolero

April 9, 2020

A reminder of those long lost days long ago when people actually gathered in the street.

Hallelujah

February 3, 2020

Agnes Obel performing Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah.

The late Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) much missed.

Skin Deep

January 1, 2020

Blues legend Buddy Guy and street musicians from around the world.

Hallelujah

December 25, 2019

Spine tingling rendition of Hallelujah.

Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee students perform arrangement by Pedro Osuna of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah featuring vocalist Shalyah Fearing and cellist Nathaniel Taylor.

Shalyah Fearing an incredible vocalist.

Staycation Live 2019

August 3, 2019

GWR Reading-Guildford-Redhill, wifi not working, usb charging not working. Usually though is down to not turned on. Why is there not a check list? Maybe there is.

Alighting at Godalming Station, surprised how many get off the train. All were headed for Staycation Live. Word has got around.

Once I arrived at the park, already many people, far more than when I usually arrive.

Disappointed to find The Little Beer Company no longer running the bar as they have done an excellent job the last two years. Maybe ask Growlers & Cans.

Reusable plastic for the beer. Pay a refundable pound deposit. I can though foresees a problem, no washing facility on site.

The design I did not like. It would have been better a logo nothing more on the side.

But the concept is good sustainability.

Something that needs to be addressed at the markets in Godalming, Farnham, and Guildford. No it is not acceptable to use plastic. Why do councils have such abysmally low standards? If Staycation can, then so can they. They should be demonstrating best practice, not worst practice.

Hog roast always worth grabbing something to eat.

A fake burger vegan stall. I would rather have seen quality vegetarian dishes, not fake meet. They do at least make their own.

Beware of the fake meat being hyped for example Impossible Burger, big businesses, highly processed crap including gmo soya contaminated with glyphosate.

Extinction Rebellion probably thought themselves in a prime location, in the cloisters with the secondary stage. Not so if tried to hold a conversation

It would have been a good idea had they been granted the stage to give a talk. Maybe they were, maybe they did.

Something to consider for the future, talks, poetry, drama.

Need a quality coffee truck.

I would have liked to have seen a quality coffee stall. Something that has been lacking. Maybe try Coffee Gems, a quality coffee roastery in Farnham. Or 101 Coffee Espresso Bar in Oxford who have experience of running coffee stalls at festivals.

I would invite Ollo Foods, quality vegan food, not fake meat substitutes.

Surrey Pride, sponsored by BAE Systems, hands dripping with blood of all the children killed in Yemen. Sickening.

I did not stay long, left before three.

On leaving a brief chat with the local Mayor.

Lucky I left when I did, local butcher closes at three.

One reason for wishing to leave early, I had spotted on Wednesday cast iron cooking pots in Samaritans charity shop. Unfortunately had gone.

Looked in 2 Bada, a Korean restaurant. Somewhere to eat on my next visit to Godalming.

Caught bus into Guildford.

A little market on the Town Bridge. Did I want an ice cream? No, Loseley ice cream, not cheap at £3 a tiny tub, I would prefer a cone, no cones. Man suggests try elsewhere. But I could not find where he directed me.

I did find at the bottom of the North Street an ice cream van peddling crap ice cream with engine running.

It illustrates Extinction Revolution have a long way to go. Guildford has declared a Climate Emergency. Empty words unless followed by action. Why is this ice cream van permitted?

Dylan’s ice cream, top quality local ice cream and served in a cone, does not leave an engine running.

Next time roads are blocked, point out roads are multi-function, not restricted to traffic. OK for a bike ride passing through that blocks the roads. The chaos is as nothing when Climate Emergency kicks in.

Last week record high temperate. This week, a month’s rain fell within a couple of hours, roads swept away, rail lines swept away, a dam about to overflow a small town evacuated. Had the hills been rewilded, subsidised sheep kicked off the hills, these flash floods would have been prevented. Grass grazed herbivores improve soil structure, soil acts as carbon sink, grass mitigates temperature change, when it rains the water soaks into the ground.

Good deed of the day, helped with a survey on shopping habits. Long discussion followed on collapse of retail in town centres. Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre, Brighton, need for support for local indie businesses not chains, question why Visit Guildford and Experience Guildford are promoting corporate chains at the expense of local indie businesses, are they taking money to do so?

My detour into Guildford to collect Black Gold from Waterstone’s.

A girl outside handing out poetry. She was typing it out on a portable typewriter. She was packing up when I came out of the bookshop.

I questioned she was not there for long. She told mm she had been there all day.

She told em she was a musician and gave me a copy of her EP.

It was then to Guildford Station.

Even though I left Staycation Live early it was still around seven when I got home.

Staycation Live is supported by Godalming Town Council. And they are to be complimented for their continued support.

Culture should be supported for its own sake, it improves well-being, sense of place, but as a study in Sheffield has shown, it also benefits the local economy.

To what extent does Staycation Live benefit the local economy? Those with stalls will benefit, if provided by local bars and restaurant, as in the past, even if not making money on the day, is going to tempt to visit.

Sheffield has an excellent freebie magazine Now Then found in indie coffee shops which supports local indie businesses, local culture.

Contrast with Guildford where Visit Guildford and Experience Guildford promote corporate chains, big business to the detriment of local indie businesses. 

 

Winds of Change

July 24, 2019

Very moving BBC Radio 4 documentary on Winds of Change how it came to be written, impact on people’s lives, interwoven with East Berlin and fall of Berlin Wall, and hopes of people in Soviet Union.

Meant a lot to me as at Checkpoint Charlie in May, walked along a stretch of the Berlin Wall, was in East Berlin.

Also Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions a friend.

Had me in tears.

A pity BBC did not play song in full, spine chilling.

For me chilling to walk along the Berlin Wall, to visit Checkpoint Charlie.

Inspiration for Winds of Change was a peace concert in Moscow, and Perestroika under Mikhail Gorbachev.

When the Berlin Wall fell, people across Europe had hope.

Now we have a thuggish state in Russia headed by Vladimir Putin, rise of Fascism across Europe, political show trials in Spain.

Blue Spice

May 28, 2019

Blue Spice is acknowledged as one of the premier restaurants in Cyprus, dining in our restaurant is a gastronomic experience. – Blue Spice

Pernera is one of those places best avoided, all-inclusive hotels, which in turn attracts bottom end of tourist market. As with Protaras, bars and restaurants competing with all-inclusive, competing with each other in a race to the bottom.

But as I was passing through Pernera, decided to eat at Blue Spice, or at least a friend decided for me when she dropped me off saying it had good reviews

A big mistake.

A strange set up, a very large restaurant surrounding a swimming pool. Also as I discovered later, an art gallery. It also appeared to be part of a larger complex including accommodation.

Souvlaki, or as they insisted on calling it it kebab, was not good. Far worse than No 1 or Vangelis in Protaras and that was not good either.

Very poor quality compared with Plaka in Athens.

As I was thinking of leaving, musicians started to arrive.

It could only get worse I thought, live music.

I could not have been more wrong. Far better than the so-called entertainment in the bars and hotels in Protaras

A guy on electric violin, a guy on keyboards and a female vocalist.

They did not play, they improvised, at one point the violinist was looping.

I asked and learnt they play every Tuesday night.

No way would I recommend Blue Spice to eat, but worth turning up around 2130 for a drink and settling down for the music.

They played a solid two hour set if not longer until around midnight.

A premier restaurant it is not, a gastronomic experience it is not, not unless count gastronomic disaster as an experience, but worth a visit for the trio who play Tuesday night.

Two places worth trying. Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River and Kamasias in Paralimni.


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