Sunday, 31 August 2008

Hold London in your hands

Designed to help people find their way around London for The Great Exhibition of 1851 - maps combined with fine fashion, the Crystal Palace... Oh how I wish I could have been there...!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Echoes and Imprints

Cabinet of imaginary travel curiosities c.1323-2193 and four Armenian stones, 2008.

Holiday secrets

Found photo album and fictional luggage tags, 2008.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Travelling Light...

I have very unseasonal flu so am wallowing in musical nostalgia - this grainy bit of super 8 is probably my favourite music video of all time. I remember watching it when I was 16 and thinking that's what cool grown up couples look like - I can't quite believe it was 14 years ago... Stuart Staples' lyrics at their most sublime too - "there's a crack in the roof where the rain pours through, that's the place you always decide to sit..." sigh...

Also for perhaps less sublime, but equally poignant, nostalgia, this song as it puts it "gets me every time"... Why can't bands do strange faded city atmospheric Englishness anymore?

God I miss The Chart Show...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Mountain Spirit

I've been a little too sad to write recently what with all the horrors going on in my beloved Georgia (plus a slight detour of various friends' bands coming to stay and riding around in vans with boys drinking snakebite - I probably should be too old for that... Plus finishing my novel and starting various art projects). However here is a Georgian tourism video that always brings a smile to my face - I'd rather remember more optimistic times...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

North Country Maid

A wonderful clip from the brilliant 1965 documentary about the Waterson family including a heartbreaking rendition of North Country Maid - proper english folk music - no skipping and tie-dye in sight. And mates of my dad...

Monday, 4 August 2008

The importance of geography lessons...

In a yahoo forum mentioning the escalating conflict between Russia and Georgia over Abkhazia earlier this year:



have not head of this until now - this is outrageous !”

Atlases are interesting, people...

Music for Queen Bees...

I learnt to read music very young - my dad taught me as I began to learn recorder (the proper playing of which is a rant for another day) and as I began to realise that these strange scribbles were a way of writing - that you could read what you hear in terms of pitch and rhythm etc as well as words i was hooked (my writing is so rhythm and atmosphere obsessed I sometimes wish that punctuation was more like musical notes in terms of pauses etc) - I remember sitting in the garden and listening to the birds around me and wondering how these sounds would look written down - the strange distant swishes of the river and the humming of the bees. Luckily for me in 'The Feminine Monarchie' written by the polymath, Charles Butler in 1609 - he tries to do the latter.

This was a very important bee book for many reasons, including that he overthrew the idea of the King bee being in charge in favour of the Queen bee (hence the title) - there's some amazing illustrations that can be seen on Bibliodyssey, but for me it is the musical notation that fascinates. When he first transcribed the sounds of rival Queen Bees he used a simple triplicate metre, but soon changed it to become a madrigal for four singers. I had seen this picture before and always wondered why half of it was upside down and apparently it was written in this way so that four people could stand around it and read without being squashed. I always find it funny how people these days think they're being shocking or avant-garde, whether it's in art, writing or music - I guess it's necessary for exciting things to continue in such worlds, but if you take a moment to look back, there's nearly always a random precursor quietly resting away a few hundred years ago...