Sunday, 27 January 2019

Wir Schaffen Das!


This old blog features the occasional poem - ok - your blogger may be a miserablist stuck-in-the-mud with his Philip Larkin, but it’s heartening to read that more and more younger people are gobbling up poems. In a widely reported analysis of the stats, Donna Ferguson comments: “Statistics from UK book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan show that sales grew by just over 12% last year, for the second year in a row. In total, 1.3m volumes of poetry were sold in 2018, adding up to £12.3m in sales, a rise of £1.3m on 2017. Two-thirds of buyers were younger than 34 and 41% were aged 13 to 22, with teenage girls and young women identified as the biggest consumers last year.”

Although the same article reports, sales are “…booming because in times of political upheaval and uncertainty, people turn to poems to make sense of the world” - which seems inevitable to me, and I guess the use of social media to share spoken word artists, and the generally ‘short form’ of poetry, makes it something accessible. Let’s hope its not just all about sales for the publishers eh? And what about some of the poets who create longer and more penetrating work? Let’s hope that work longer than a haiku makes it into the mind-sets of new readers, because as Simon Armitage reminds us, poetry is “oppositional and a form of dissent” Plus it requires just a little concentration!

The Nine Pure Gifts
All sorts of things tumble into my inbox each week and this week, a new piece of work by musician Holly Marland piqued my interest! Holly worked for many years at the RNCM leading on Music & Health there and more recently, is deeply embedded with LIME Music for Health. So it’s exciting to see she is premiering new body of work for Kora and voice at Stoller Hall on 16th March. Details are all on the poster below, or by clicking HERE.

Creative and Innovative Approaches to involving older people with Orchestras
Orchestra’s Live have just published a new online publication, From Bingo to Bartok: Creative and Innovative Approaches to involving older people with Orchestras. Commissioned by the Baring Foundation, the publication spotlights some of the best examples of orchestral work supporting older people living better lives and meeting the challenges of health and loneliness. Introduced by the Rt Hon. The Lord Howarth of Newport CBE, Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, the publication features Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, Orchestras Live, Philharmonia and Sinfonia Viva and emerging practice from abroad. It also contains a comprehensive list of current UK initiatives and an academic review of research and evaluation.
Read the full report HERE. 

Jonas Mekas 1922 - 2019
National Alliance of Musicians in Healthcare Conference 2019
This year's NAMIH conference will be held at the Friends' Meeting House in Brighton on 10th June and will be hosted by Rhythmix, with support from the National Foundation of Youth Music.  Times, schedule and content for the day will all be confirmed in due course, but for now please do save the date! We'd also like to put a call-out to anyone who'd be interested in joining our Conference Steering Group.  We are looking for a small team of volunteers for this and would like to stress that this won't be a huge commitment!  We'd ask that you are available for a 2 or 3 Skype calls for no more than an hour each, to help set the theme and focus for this year's event. No admin tasks will be delegated to you between calls - we promise! Click HERE for more!
A Treasury of Arts Activities for Older People
Over the last year Small Things have been delighted to work with The Baring Foundation to create a treasury of arts activities for older people. This consists of 50 activities to be used in any setting with older people and includes contributions from some of the leading artists and organisations creating work with, by and for older people in the UK.
 Click HERE.  

“Wir schaffen das”
Arts Professional have an excellent article by Julia Grime looking at how German theatre has been welcoming the cultural initiatives and political messages of its growing refugee population. Read more by clicking on the image above.

Image: Ya Kebir by Collective Ma’Louba. 
Photo: © G Bresadola


1 comment:

  1. Loved seeing the intro of 'Paris, Texas' and was reminded of 'Cold Was The Night, Hard Was The Ground' by Blind Willie Johnson, the piece that Ry Cooder cited as the inspiration for the film's main soundtrack theme. Poor Willie, blinded by his stepmum when he was 7, he died of pneumonia wrapped in wet newspapers in the burnt out ruin of his house. 'Cold Was The Night, Hard Was The Ground' was included on the Voyager mission to deep space and perhaps appropriately many feel this song is a perfect expression of human loneliness.... enjoy!