A River Sutra

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I was looking on the bookshelves for a book that wasn’t there. I searched high and low only to find it had disappeared, but as I searched I was distracted by an old favourite. I took A River Sutra from the shelf and briefly considered immersing myself in its healing waters, but I went on looking. Next I saw Minnow On The Say and then it just happened, wherever I looked there were more tributaries, and so I stitched together a river of waterborne books. Read more

Frames of reference

Balbianello

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We came to Lake Como thinking we’d visit a few of the local gardens. We’d seen Monty Don’s Italian Gardens but we’d not committed it to memory. Then when we arrived we were told – if you visit only one garden be sure it’s Balbianello, it’s perfect. This is how it looks from the lake. Read more

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Intricacy Of Nature

In November last year Fanny Shorter won the 2014 COADG Bursary which meant that, among other things, she had a film made about her by R&A Collaborations

Fanny is a designer and printmaker. Her distinctive, detailed work is largely inspired by her very English upbringing. She won the 2014 Confessions of a Design Geek Bursary of which this film was part of the prize.

The daughter of a physics teacher and a music teacher, she grew up in a school in Winchester, surrounded by idyllic countryside and historic buildings in an aesthetically crowded house crammed with prints and patterns on books, plates, cushions, rugs and wallpaper.

English holidays, frequents visits to the V&A, the Natural History Museum and National Trust properties as well as an entire childhood in a school are an evident and enduring influence.

See more by Fanny Shorter at The Rowley Gallery.

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All Blues

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Seen on the way to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, thanks to God’s Own Junkyard, a parade of shops on Blackhorse Lane feels the William Morris effect, the spirit of regeneration brought to the area by the museum’s own renovation, with maybe a few ripples of Olympic legacy. Read more

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Pushkar

A short excerpt from a lovely film by husband and wife duo, Irena & Vojtěch Havlovi (The Havels) playing improvised piano and cello music inspired by a visit to Pushkar in India.

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Walk To The Mountain

The exuberant force of music that was Don Cherry taking a Walk To The Mountain, then going much further. It’s a wonderful performance by a great jazz magician and one of the pioneering champions of world music. Multikulti was one of his final projects. I found it here and couldn’t resist.

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Up To Pigra

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Next day we took the cable car up Monte Pasquella, from Argegno to Pigra. It’s called a funivia, which translates as a ropeway (not funny street) rather than a funicolare which runs along tracks. Cable cars can be a bit more bouncy than funiculars! Read more

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Down To Argegno

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We were staying for two weeks in a chalet overlooking Lake Como, with spectacular views across the lake to Monte San Primo. This is the top of our street, Via Cacciatori Delle Alpi, but here called Via San Sisinio. As we walked I took photos at regular intervals all the way down the hill. Read more

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Away With The Birds

Hanna Tuulikki’s ‘Air falbh leis na h-eòin’ is a body of work exploring the mimesis of birds in Gaelic song. On the 29th and 30th of August it becomes a sited performance on the Isle of Canna.

Hanna’s vocal composition, ‘Guth an Eòin | Voice of the Bird’ is the heart of the project. Written for a female vocal ensemble, it reinterprets archival material, fragmenting and re-weaving extracts of Gaelic songs into an extended soundscape. The music emerges from, and responds to, island landscapes and lives. It explores the delicate equilibrium of Hebridean life, the co-existence of tradition and innovation, and suggests the ever-present inter-relationship between bird, human, and ecology.

“The piece is made from weaving together fragments of traditional songs and poems that imitate or emulate birdsong” Tuulikki explains. “Each of the five movements represents a different habitat and bird community – wader, sea-bird, wildfowl, corvid, and cuckoo. In August we will perform the concert in the historic harbour of the beautiful Isle of Canna, where the music reverberates with the bird-calls and the ebb of the tide. The setting is so important to the piece. The Small Isles are a magical place and, to me, the performance begins as soon as people climb on-board the ferry-boat to make the crossing: the richness of the experience is people sharing a journey.”

www.awaywiththebirds.co.uk

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Greetings From Darktown

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Here’s a welcome poster from Jonny Hannah, a timely reminder that the end is nigh, not long to wait now until the publication of his eagerly awaited book, Greetings from Darktown. It promises to be a rich treasury of many and various eye-catching mementos and proclamations. Read more

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