Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Improvisation for Sonic Cure (坂本 龍一)

Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一)
The Japanese composer, singer, songwriter, record producer, activist, and actor has created a body of work that mixes the sublime with the political and his own recovery from cancer. This latest improvised offering stretches to around 30 minutes and is the kind of thing you can just leave playing. I top and tale the blog this week with this and his commercially successful piece from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. Though I still like the David Sylvian version, Forbidden Colours HERE which brings a tear to my eye even after almost 40 years.

UbuWeb: All avant-garde. All the time.
A few weeks ago I posted details of the extraordinary online sonic resource Cities and Memory and this week (big thanks DP) I have been enraptured (yes enraptured - it's the steroids) by the utterly wonderful Ubu.Web. It's self explanatory and has loads of free resources that can keep you occupied, amused and sane until we tumble headlong into the crack in the earth. Click HERE or on poor Ling-Ling below (with apologies to those of you with a delicate disposition)

Americans with guns
(no offence to my dear friends over there who aren't gun-toting, anti-lock-down, flag-waving, disinfectant-injecting, self-serving myopics)  

After all his continual and dangerous gibberish, isn't it time that the Republican party stripped and paraded its leader through the streets of the capital? When you see the sterling job our own leader has been doing to coordinate and deliver such a well resourced and consistent approach - wait on - I was thinking of Jacinda Ardern! How could I have mistaken her for that great ape. Ohh for the women leaders. Will the ape take his paternity leave I wonder. So, here's an extract from a report on a country where almost 1.2m total gun background checks were conducted in a single week, beginning 16 March, which according to the FBI, broke all records going back to 1998. 

Americans have responded to the coronavirus epidemic with a record-breaking number of gun purchases, according to new government data on the number of background checks conducted in March.

More than 3.7m total firearm background checks were conducted through the FBI’s background check system in March, the highest number on record in more than 20 years. An estimated 2.4m of those background checks were conducted for gun sales, according to adjusted statistics from a leading firearms industry trade group. That’s an 80% increase compared with the same month last year, the trade group said.

Read it and weep HERE.

The Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance...
...continue to provide all manner of useful resources over this period, and this week they are putting out a short survey to help get a picture of the balance of provision and funding around the country, and it will help advocating for your needs in the context of covid-19.

The Survey
The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance (CHWA) is partnering with Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland (ACHWS) and the Wales Arts, Health & Wellbeing Network (WAHWN) - as well as ArtsCare in Northern Ireland, to conduct a UK-wide survey with the support of Nesta. The deadline is Monday 11 May 9am. You can go straight to it and find more details HERE.

Creativity & Wellbeing Week
As many of you will have seen, the CHWA have now announced the reimagined Creativity & Wellbeing Week. We want the week to be as inclusive as possible, so please do stage digital events if you are able, or otherwise please just tell us about your work in culture, health and wellbeing. We will be hosting events during the week. More information on those soon HERE. 

Guide to working online
Thanks to a partnership with Arts Marketing Association, 64m Artists and Real Ideas, we have developed new guidance for working online and online safeguarding, available HERE. 

Coping with PPE
Performing Medicine have just launched a new digital resource for healthcare professionals designed for those coping with wearing PPE for long periods of time.  We invited performers, designers, puppeteers and makers from the theatre and film industry to share their insights on coping with restrictive, claustrophobic clothing & equipment. The result is a sharable digital resource which we hope will be of help to healthcare professionals across the country - filled with top tips and great pictures of the performers in their outfits. There is a blog piece on the project HERE and you can download the free resource HERE.

Steve McQueen: live in conversation
Join Steve McQueen live in conversation with Artangel Co-Director James Lingwood, Monday 4 May, 19:00 BST (London time). The conversation will centre on McQueen’s collaborations with Artangel over the past two decades: Caribs’ Leap /Western Deep filmed in Grenada and South Africa and premiered in 2002, Weight, a work made for Artangel’s exhibition Inside at Reading Prison in 2016, and Year 3, an epic portrait of London’s 7- and 8-year-olds presented across the city last year. The live discussion will incorporate questions from those shared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #ArtangelIsOpen. To register for the conversation and find out more click HERE.

Re:Creating Europe
Featuring Adjoa Andoh, Christopher Eccleston, Lemn Sissay, Juliet Stevenson and Michael Morpurgo, Ivo van Hove’s Re:Creating Europe explored our continent through the words that have shaped, traced and defined its history. We’re streaming this brilliant MIF19 show on Friday, complete with an introduction especially recorded for this online presentation by Michael Morpurgo. Join us to journey through Europe from your sofa – no passport required. ► Watch live: Friday 1 May, 7.30pm Click HERE.

A Little BLISS
Here are the opening paragraphs of a lovely short story by Katherine Mansfield written in 1920 and called Bliss. The full story is available HERE. Enjoy.

. . . 

Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at—nothing—at nothing, simply.

What can you do if you are thirty and, turning the corner of your own street, you are overcome, suddenly, by a feeling of bliss—absolute bliss!—as though you’d suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle, into every finger and toe?

. . . 

(footnote #10) Well, there isn't the moment, but maybe it might creep in later in the week. So here's a sweet little blackbird.

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