Saturday, 1 April 2017

On Beauty & Horror

An extraordinary musical partnership between a North West composer and people with dementia will reach a crescendo with a premiere at Manchester Cathedral next month. A massed choir and musical ensemble will perform ‘So Many Beauties’ on the evening of Thursday April 6th, the climax of a project funded by the Arts Council and the charity Music in Hospitals known as ‘Adages’. Project leader Holly Marland, who plays a West African harp known as a kora, wrote the piece during creative sessions in residential care homes and hospitals across the region. The sessions involved residents and patients singing, writing poetry, having creative conversations and improvising using percussion. Singer, musician and composer Holly arranged and orchestrated these contributions for the concert, with the title drawn from a remark from a Polish lady with dementia as musicians played beside her bedside – ‘So Many Beauties’. Details on the posters and booking HERE. 

Creative Alternatives Online Programme
Creative Alternatives is an award winning arts and health service that has been funded by Public Health in Merseyside for more than ten years! Participants of the programme have explored ways of using creativity to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. There is plenty of research to show that the arts can help improve wellbeing and over the past 10 years, the community based programme has helped hundreds of people to do so. With the new online programme, we are expanding the reach of Creative Alternatives and hope to help even more people to improve their wellbeing through the power of creativity! See the poster below for more details of this free 10 week programme, or contact 

Something Wicked This Way Comes
It’s been reported in the latest edition of much fabled dark-web’s, First Ever National Journal of Arts & Health Science that a cryogenically preserved body part of Louis XIV, the 'Sun King’ of France, (1643 to 1715) has been ‘awoken’ by means of (and I quote) ‘the insertion of an electrical probe into the anus of the long-dead monarch.’

Researchers have revealed that over the last decade, they had access to the ‘alchemically preserved posterior’ of Louis XIV, and using his perfectly, pickled rectum and controversial new cloning techniques, have created a Sun-King come-primate hybrid. 
Esteemed ColoRectal Scientist, Prof George Foster confirmed that the yellow-bile used to preserve the royal anus had kept it in remarkable condition, commenting, 
“We’ve had the royal rectum for many years and it was through a simple fusion of eighteenth century galvanisation techniques and contemporary cloning that we animated the anus.”

But things didn’t go quite as Foster’s research team planned, and their first attempt resulted in a gibbering hairy chimera, with an insatiable hunger for the ermine it shared a laboratory with. The subsequent refinement of the process and addition of bonobo DNA, resulted in an altogether more promising result, but as Foster reveals, there’s something of a twist in this groundbreaking research.

“Our second attempt was a great success, and we created quite a plump specimen - very vocal, very confident and thankfully hairless. However, we noticed at a very early stage, that there’d been some inevitable mutations in the specimen, and the mouth and bottom had interchanged. We considered attempts to swap them over in an elaborate grafting process, but bizarrely, it acquired language skills very quickly, and began to communicate perfectly clearly through its anus.”

It should be noted that the experimental techniques described in this new paper, are of a very troubling ethical nature, thus it’s inevitable that the publication remains ferreted away in some sordid academic corner of the ‘dark web.’

It seems the only reason Prof Foster has shared this with my contact, is because a further mutation, means it has rapidly aged, and now to all the world, appears a complete facsimile of the Sun King! - albeit with a cheap and ill-fitting terylene suit, pilfered from a lab technician. You see, this is where this sorry little tale ends, the wretched creature walked out of the lab and has for some time been masquerading as a swashbuckling aesthete and cultural giant. 

Foster concludes this worrying tale for us. “I can only apologise that this homunculus has escaped, and acknowledge we should have put it to sleep when it began talking. It just seemed to learn so quickly and was so plausible. Those of us working in the laboratory began to believe the stories it told, and when we let it put on that suit - well - it seemed just like a regular business man. The public should be made aware that a middle age man, with the swagger and not dissimilar temperament* to Louis XIV is on the loose, and literally speaking from his facial anus.”

Around 5 feet 8 inches tall in stockings
A very ‘shapely’ leg
Full head of hair
Prone to self aggrandisementTendency to develop parasitic relationships with authority or showbiz figures Spontaneously plays pianola’s (if present)

An inevitable fecal-fragranced halitosis 

The public have been warned not to approach this man, or be taken in by his delusion fantasies.

(Thanks to SC for all this material)

*For those of you hungry to know more about Louis XIV,  the 23-year-old Louis decided to rule without a chief minister. He regarded himself as an absolute monarch, with his power coming directly from God. He carefully cultivated his image and took the sun as his emblem. In the early part of his reign, Louis worked with his finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to tighten central control over the country, reviving the use of regional royal officials, 'intendants' and carrying out other financial and administrative reorganisation. Louis also expanded the French army and navy. In 1685, Louis, a devout Catholic, revoked the Edict of Nantes which had allowed freedom of worship to French Protestants (Huguenots). Around 200,000 Huguenots, many of them skilled craftsmen, fled to Holland and England. The last three decades of Louis's reign were marked by almost constant warfare.

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