Saturday, 28 June 2014

conviction is my power, wisdom is my capital


ten thousand colours

Flowers, Rocks and Sea

Discovering the Iraqi Maqam on the Oud

My friend Samra invited me along to this musical event at St Ethelburga's the other night. The performances were lovely and I was glad to have finally gotten the chance to visit the centre! More info on the event below (taken from the Taqasim Music School website)

In the hidden serenity of St Ethelburga’s in Shoreditch, this celebration of the Iraqi Maqam and the ‘new’ Iraqi school of solo oud playing it has inspired will be presented by oud master Ahmed Mukhtar and members of his Taqasim Music School. After a short presentation on the history and inner workings of the Iraqi Maqam with demonstrations on the oud, Ahmed, Francesco Iannuzzelli and Julian Harris, accompanied by a small ensemble, will perform a selection of extracts, improvisations and songs from the Iraqi Maqam repertoire offering a unique and accessible introduction to this beautiful musical tradition.

With Ahmed Mukhtar, Julian Harris, Francesco Iannuzzelli on Oud, accompanied by Lucile Belliveau (double-bass), Julia Ana Katarina (cello) and Elizabeth Nott (percussions)


...also fascinating programme on Bedouin Music: The Bedouin: World Routes in Jordan

on look out, at beachy head

Sham-e-geet-Ghazal folk

Following a chance encounter with a friend (a half phillipino/ half indian girl with a love for indian folk) and her neighbour by the road side in Tooting, I ended up going to this incredibly fascinating and beautiful Gazal/ Geet folk concert at Jasmin's Hall. The music was really moving, and the crowd was one of a kind- it was mostly attended by uncles with moustaches and top-hats who looked like ancient feudal lords. 

The performers sung classic numbers from artists such as Noor Jahan and Mehdi Hassan. I really like Pakistani music, it's so soulful and deep and lyrical. And this event really showed off the richness of thought, character and culture of the South Asian continent. What I thought was really novel and humbling, was the fact that the show was sponsored by Daily Fresh, a local Pakistani grocers and Chicken Cottage. A few photo's and a clip below...


this lady had a beautiful voice...

Nusrat collaborated with many western musicians including Eddie Vedder and Peter Gabriel..

back in Nusrat's day...

days with no numbers

Twilight in Eastbourne

lunar waves and mad contemplation


Morley Gallery: Inspired By

...I randomly popped into this exhibition the other day, some really interesting work inspired by the V&A collection.. (info from the MC website below)

Rosalind Lindsay; inspired by Zynsky, Toots. 'Dondolante Serena'
This exhibition showcases the results of Inspired by…, a national arts competition for adult learners originally launched by the V&A and entrusted to Morley Gallery for 2014. It exhibits over 110 new works of art and craft inspired by pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collections.
View the Inspired by... exhibitors' catalogue.

Adult learners have been creating and submitting works inspired by pieces in the collections of the V&A South Kensington and the V&A Museum of Childhood since last October. A total of 441 entries have been received from locations across the UK, including London, Penzance, Aberystwyth and Edinburgh.
These works have been judged by an esteemed panel of judges, including several V&A curators, with the best entries selected for the public exhibition this spring. The works on display reflects a variety of media, from textiles, fashion and jewellery through to sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and painting, and draw from an even broader range of artefacts for inspiration.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Eve, in the Garden of Eden

Secret Gardens: Springfield

I've discovered a whole load of new secret gardens recently, these include the quaint and floral Ada Salter Rose Garden, the quiet and interesting Albin Memorial Garden and the most beautiful, right at my doorstep, the Gillian Webb Memorial Gardens in Springfield. Everything about the Gillian Webb Memorial Garden was magic- the greenhouses, the flowers, the haunting beautiful music and the haunting beautiful people.

I stumbled across it one afternoon, I met Eve and Eve plucked off a lettuce and gave it to me. more info on the gardens below (from the Open Squares website)


This beautiful 2.5-acre walled garden, set within the grounds of Springfield University Hospital, maintains a strong link with its historic past in both planting and function. 

The project is based in the Gillian Webb Memorial Garden, which was once the Male Airing Court in the days when Springfield was the Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. In 1841, the space was laid out with vegetable plots maintained by the patients. 

Today Share, a charity that provides training and employment support for disabled adults, uses the space as a hub for its thriving horticultural training project. The site includes a number of polytunnels and a glasshouse, which trainees use all year round to produce bedding plants, food crops and decorative plants to use in Share's kitchen or for sale.

Women in Migration: Final Workshop gonna really miss these special women...especially Toku... especially Hira...and Ana Julia


Secret World of Springfield II

I live down the road from Springfield Hospital. When I was in school I used to walk through the grounds everyday, it was much quicker than going all the way around. In later years I would visit friends admitted and recovering in the wards, my experience of the place was constantly evolving with the stories of people who lived there. 

It's a surreal place Springfield, a world of its own with lots of different Victorian buildings, some derelict and forgotten others home to people. Over the years I've explored most of it, but the last few weeks. I've discovered lots of new things including a labyrinth, a red post box, a secret garden and stone fish. 

My visits reminded me of this poem I wrote years ago:

Another Springfield Fugitive

I was sitting in Pret,
one wet and windy day,
in Fulham Broadway.
I was drinking tea
when he came towards me
I'm free, I heard him bellow
this crazed anonymous fellow-
I was discharged
from Springfield
no longer will I wield
to the guardsmen,
in that battlefield
I thought- how strange
was he really rendered free,
or was he just another 
Springfield escapee?
and how strange to cross paths
with another bummer,
another outlaw, another outpatient-
another runner.

Springfield, I asked him,
in Tooting?
I was routing
for him
for some reason
I was routing
for this coffee shop bogeyman
I was sectioned, came his reply.
But why?
My time came,
I was set free-
Three chances,
I need to get back
to Catford...
I took some coins
from my pocket
and handed them to him
and he left-
bereft, and grateful

But by giving him 70p
would I help him to see
the light?
Or would he just scare
the living day-lights
out of ordinary people,
people like you and I
and everyone we know?

mad one.
Run away from here,
but don't scare

Hmm but maybe,
I should have asked him-
What's in Catford son-
That made you want to run
away? -don't lie.
And why
am I
tasked with you're escape?
Break free-
return, by turning
back now.
But how?

I remembered when
he had killed a man,
another Springfield escapee 
who had been 'set free'-
By a herd of deer
in Richmond Park.
I wondered then,
who lent him the money
to get there-
life is funny
but in a sad way.
we learn
from our mistakes.
-these silent aches,
may they not break

Once a friend
on the mend
went into Springfield
she escaped too
they brought her back,
 in a police car
-scars were visible
she wanted to take her bones for a run
She did what she thought had to be done!
Without a penny to her name- she escaped,
and traipsed around Tooting Town.

What a strange world!

I know another who went in,
and did not come out the same
she did not remain herself,
she became someone else
a shell of her former self,
She became,
someone I didn't know
or recognise. 

So many have walked
through the gates of Springfield-
names I cannot name
for they must remain
But I swear,
they were there-
they were all there
and they all come out altered
-and they faltered perhaps
those women and men
in lab-coats
I mean, 
who knows what they did to them, 
help, brand or render them

Out-patients of this world, 
outlast them-
you can love. 

On the board by the labyrinth the following was written:

'the labyrinth awaits our discovery for it will guide us through the troubles of our lives into the grand and mysterious patterns that shape the web of creation.' 

another goodbye

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Reveries of Travel

One day, I'd love to travel & reconnect with old friends
                                                      now scattered across this earth. wander through the streets of Prijedor, to road trip up to the north from Niagara, to share ramen by the sea in Busan, to get lost in the outback... to seek solace in the holy land... and then finally after the soles of my feet are all worn down... to Lahore......

#MappingFriends #BerlintoBusan

Crystal Grotto

...magical crystal grotto, minerals and dreams...