Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Top Secret Autumn: Announcement:

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

tied up

You have waited long enough people!

single: exceptional exclusive individual indivisible original rare solitary special strange unique unrivaled unshared unusual without equal (via @annamadeleine)

I can now reveal that on Monday 20th September 2010 I will be releasing my very first single, The Angel (from forthcoming album 2010) as a digital download EP.

You will be able to buy The Angel along with 4 other tracks from iTunes, Bandcamp and all your usual online stores.

Plus, if that wasn’t enough excitement: I can also reveal that the hugely talented Alex CF has created an amazing piece of art for the cover. I can’t say how much it means to me to be collaborating with Alex in this way, his work is stunning. (no you can’t see it yet!)

alliance: affinity bond coalition coherence collaboration communion congruity connection cooperation friendship participation support union (via @rifa)

And of course we can’t have a single launch without a LAUNCH PARTY:

Sunday 19th September

7.30-1am free entry

Catch, Kingsland Road, London

Line-up:

Live:  Something Beginning With L,  Pagan Wanderer Lu,  Anna Madeleine, Tunnels

DJ:  Schone Mond

There will be lots of angelic-themed fun and games. The gorgeous girls, Cassie and Roseanna (2 of my 3 glamorous assistants) will be there helping me make sure you all have a great time (Katharina will be there too in spirit of course!).

So, take the Monday off work and come to East London from wherever you are, to party with me and the gang.

Much more information to follow.

Thanks to wonderful Melanie Clifford for her brilliant photographic skills. Massive thanks to Sarah Harries and Rifa B for their help and support. The Angel is for James Anthony.

Song and Dance

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I do believe in following the signs. First step, I guess, is figuring out what your signs are. I have mine but won’t bore you with the whole list!

The connection between the body and the voice is well documented and any good singer uses the whole of their body to create versatile sound qualities. You’ll remember that I got my favourite books out of storage. In among them is The Mastery of Movement by Rudolf Laban. Simply inspiring.

The other day while walking through Shoreditch, I stumbled across an exhibition at the Rivington. The sign outside said it was several artists’ interpretations of maps.

One was by new Hero List entry Gayle Chong Kwan and mapped the history of Rumba. It is a superb mixed-media piece and includes a large map on the wall with the geographical routes of the dance form and explanations colour coded on it.

Hanging from the ceiling in front of the map is a set of headphones.

Standing listening to segments of interviews from the people listed below with Cuban rhythms playing in the background, you can’t help but start to move your hips. Looking at the map while hearing each piece of anecdotal evidence brought the subject into true perspective.

While listening, I was handed the final piece of the puzzle: a dance card (complete with wrist elastic) with each section/interview paraphrased and some of the dance notation for rumba moves.

The only things missing were some real life dancers and a Mojito.

Kele Baker

Sergio Brilhante

Colette Leong-Son

Susan Hacking

Heather Gladding

Rudolf von Laban

Yvonne Daniel

Curt Sachs

Walter Laird

Monsieur Pierre

Ann Hutchison Guest

Halfway House

Friday, July 9th, 2010

As we get further into July, some Top Secret Autumn preparation is taking place and I realised that I hadn’t told y’all what I’ve been up to for ages, so here’s a list:

  • Gone outside a LOT and walked whenever possible
  • Hung out with some of my favourite people, drank, ate and laughed a lot
  • Visited the maps at the British Library about 3 times
  • Saw Future of the Left post-Kelson’s departure, they were okay but the magic was lost
  • Circus Boy came for a visit to celebrate his birthday
  • Alex CF’s stunning exhibition of Many Dead Things opened in Shoreditch
  • Went to the amazing Frisky & Mannish show at Udderbelly, where I laughed so hard I cried and cringed so hard I hid
  • Was introduced to lush Mint and Chilli tea
  • Went to Futurising. It was brilliant, my favourite bits were Tom Hunter and Morag Myerscough
  • Ankles was played on Radio Teesdale
  • My wonderful friend Sarah and I met Terry Pratchett and saw China Mieville on a panel with Adam Roberts and some other leaders in Sci Fi fiction
  • Started watching Mad Men. Wow.
  • Went to the Science Museum. The best bit was the sound exhibit; watched a presentation about Space, there were explosions and I learnt some sign language
  • I joined Formspring and have been asked lots of interesting questions
  • Put up some shelves and finally got my favourite books out of storage. There were also some DVDs that I’d forgotten about
  • I saw China Mieville speak a second time at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival
  • We celebrated a whole year since my first solo gig by going to see Jim Bob read from his book and play some music; he was supported by Isy Suttie and Andrew Collins

Saving the best till last: I’ve set up a Tumblr blog to share inspirations I find on this here internets.

I was also commissioned by a dance company to create two pieces of music for some choreography. They wanted there to be some links between the two pieces but very different feels. You can listen to the final tracks here:

Commissioned Soundtracks (tracks for Candoco)

This month is mostly planning, writing (I’m only halfway through the album), re-recording and re-editing. Off to Truck in a couple of weeks, where I’m gonna see Something Beginning With L, Pulled Apart By Horses and Islet all in the same place (can’t quite believe my luck).

Remember if you put good stuff out there, life can be a wonderful thing. Be generous of your time and your spirit and the rewards you reap will be beyond your imaginings. I’ve been focusing on seeing the good in all people and in living without bravado. Laughter is the best medicine.

Creativity is born of revolution

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Post-2010 election and the future of this country’s cultural community hangs in the balance.

Yesterday, following a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition and the announcement of the new cabinet that includes Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt *rhyming slang anyone?*, a £66 million cut in budget for the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) was reported in the national press.

Where this cut will likely be made will be to the Arts and arts funding.

So, why should this bother me?

Unable to avoid sounding like a cliche, “the Arts” is my life. My entire life. Creativity, music and performance are everything I have ever known and everything I have been able to do since I can remember. I don’t know about a lot of things, I have built my whole adult existence around music making and creating opportunities for others to make music.

But that was my choice surely?

Yes, I chose to do a variety of work that doesn’t pay very well in a field that I am passionate about. I chose to give myself the freedom I need in order to write the music I want to make. I chose to commit myself to work I believe in. But I am not a doctor, a scientist, a soldier, a psychologist, a classroom teacher, a policewoman, a plumber or a builder. If I was in the balloon I would be the first to be thrown out. I am not claiming that this is a worthy profession.

Music is all around us. It can change our mood instantaneously and unpredictably. It urges us to move, to dance, to celebrate, to cry, to sleep, to breathe differently, to rise up, to ritualise, I could go on and on.

Art is everywhere. It is what our brains do when we’re not thinking.

When did you last read a book? When did you last see a film? When did you last see a postcard or a painting that you loved? When did you last watch some people dancing or singing? When did you last pretend or lie? When did you last create, however small, even a doodle on a pad or whistling a tune? When did you last write something for work and think really hard about picking the right words? When did you last take a photograph?

What will happen?

I can’t predict the future (as you all know I’m pretty good at it though!). High end, high cost, high brow art will be largely unaffected. Yes, sure there will be cuts to the biggies (the national theatres, ballets, operas and musicals) but they will stay open and the ticket prices will go up to cover any lowering of funding.

The people who will be affected are people like me, individual artists trying to earn a living doing the only thing they are any good at. People who didn’t inherit any money to put them through private education, people who might or might not have a degree and might or might not be classically trained. Also, disabled artists, who face additional barriers to their music making and performance, this might be because of mental health difficulties, cognitive, sensory or physical impairments.

Talented, committed and incredible, unique people who have a right to express themselves through their art and have a right to be heard and seen.

In a capitalist society we all have to earn a living, we all have to contribute whatever we can to the world. I only have this. Music. This is all I have to give.

Creativity is born of revolution

I am unclear what this looks like at the moment, it is too close to yesterday’s announcement for me to feel anything other than distress. I have fire in my belly though and with time (not much time!) I will be able to express better what I mean by the above statement.

If you have anything creative in you, do it. Let it out.

Here’s some stuff that might help:

  • Any of the links on the right hand side of here will take you to stuff that can inspire you.
  • This was posted on Twitter by Futurising a while ago, it’s about just getting on with it.
  • Drake Music is a music organisation that I work with.
  • You can write to Jeremy Hunt and tell him what you think of him, in fact why not write to that awful woman Theresa May at the same time.

Can You Stay Up For The Weekend?

Friday, December 4th, 2009

HELLLLLOOOOOOOOO everyone!

Officially just over halfway through the two-week birthday extravaganza and I’m not flagging at all (although I have drunk my weight in alcohol and eaten more food than they have in Costcutter)

So far, I have:

  • enjoyed a luscious Thanksgiving meal cooked by Hannah and Aubrey
  • DJed at BBA for the quiet and non-dancing crowd at the Marie Lloyd Bar (although we danced enough for everyone!)
  • written new crush lists
  • seen some performance art in a warehouse in Stoke Newington
  • chatted up beautiful artists
  • had Advent Tea and played with my nieces
  • watched Milk and A Streetcar Named Desire
  • hidden from huge storms and eaten pizza
  • gone to Biddles with all of my Hackney family
  • worn Sandi’s dress as a top
  • learned about measuring social impact
  • attended my first ever Beer Festival (and tried some Welsh perry)
  • chatted on the phone to Nathan in India
  • cried into my vodka and watched Akira the ultimate collection

TONIGHT ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE GOING TO THIS

Wow! Look at this picture…

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I went out tonight, first to visit my next gig venue The Flowerpot and have a lovely chat with Evan and Paul (who both bullied me because I am not drinking due to the near wreckage of vocal chords lately).  Then to see Something Beginning with L who you will remember are my favourite band.

On my return I was tweeted by lovely fan @nickshearon who has done some art…for me! I couldn’t freakin’ believe it. Thank you! It’s beautiful. You can see it here at his blog.

xx  ^_^ xx

Drug Monkeys

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

My very favourite piece of street art lately was on Brick Lane, London. It was a large picture of some monkeys (reminiscent of Jamie Hewlett’s work) wearing trackies and caps. One monkey climbed up high with its hand held out, in the palm were some comic-style pills. Below, another monkey cowered in the corner with a gun, cutting the barbed wire plant. The whole scene is watched by a large CCTV camera above.

Unfortunately my original pictures of this piece were lost and by the time I could go back to take more, someone had painted a long strip of colour down the middle – just covering the main monkey but not the outstretched pills (??). Heres a couple of photos of what was left.

The whole piece is now gone – if any of you East London types know the artist please leave a comment below as I’d love to get in touch with them to talk about their original intention when designing the piece. Equally if you were the person who covered some of it and then all of it.

Drug Monkeys 1

CCTV

East London

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

As many of you already know, I love street art. I take pictures of any pieces I particularly like on my phone (excuse the quality and skill – I am not a photographer!)

I’ll upload some more soon and might make a page out of it.

xx

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Girl

Heart

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