My twin daughters suggested this video by Ibeyi, a French-Cuban musical duo consisting of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz.
They sing in English and Yoruba — a Nigerian language their ancestors spoke before being brought to Cuba by the Spanish to be made slaves in the 1700s — though Lisa’s is the lead voice, Naomi plays traditional Peruvian/Cuban percussion instruments cajón and Batá drum, while Lisa also plays piano. Ibeyi (Ìbejì) is Yoruba for “twins”.
The Tarkovsky Quartet – François Couturier, piano; Anja Lechner, violoncello; Jean-Louis Matinier, accordion; Jean-Marc Larché, soprano saxophone – at the Nostalgia Festival, Poznań in 2013.
Andrei Tarkovsky is my favourite filmmaker. “Andrei Rublev” was a revelation for me. Since then I have seen all his films over and over again… They are long poems, hypnotic in their slowness, and pervaded with spirituality. There is very little music in them. Tarkovsky used to say, “It’s my personal conviction that a film does not need music at all.” Anyway, he was a master of using it.
So I did not seek to make ‘scenic’ music of any kind but have tried, instead, to represent in each piece a specific emotion linked to the universe of this director – to his films, of course, but also to some of his favourite actors (Anotoli Solonitsyn, Erland Josephson) or composers (Bach, Pergolesi). Or even to the very original way he plays with shades of colour (“Crépusculaire”). This is our way of paying tribute to this great artist.
We’d just walked to Montepulciano in the blistering midday sun, feeling a bit like ‘mad dogs & Englishmen’ as we climbed the last few kilometres, quivering from heat exhaustion, thirsty and hungry and pretty sure we’d be returning to Montefollonico in a taxi. But after a surprising lunch at L’Altro Cantuccio we were rejuvenated and given new legs to walk us back home. Continue reading “Walking Back To Montefollonico”
We visited Montepulciano a few times last summer. The first visit was brief, having walked there and knowing we had to walk back, we stayed just for lunch and a quick look around. Through the gate, we followed the Corso winding steeply up through the town, feeling hungry and exhausted, sightseeing long enough for somewhere to rest awhile before heading back. We climbed all the way to the church of Santa Maria at the top of the town, only to return back down again, eventually finding a table near the Porta al Prato where we first came in. Continue reading “Montepulciano”
It was a circular walk, there and around and back again, but I got carried away with the camera and took far too many photos, so it might seem we were gone for three days instead of just the one. We were staying in Montefollonico – this quiet fortified village, with its small medieval houses, is Sienese in atmosphere, and inhabited by numerous doves and pigeons – and from our terrace we could see the birds come home to roost each day, across the valley from Montepulciano. Continue reading “Walking To Montepulciano”
I found a book under the Christmas tree, a souvenir of Italy. It’s full of spectacular tree photographs, apparently caught by flashlight; night-time dreaming trees suddenly startled awake. They are by the Swiss photographer Irene Kung –
“In my way of working it is possible to reinstate the tree to what I felt. That is exactly what I do with my work: I remove everything unessential in order to show the tree as it is, as I feel it. It is intuition, it is irrational: rationality can be misleading, sentiment cannot… I return the tree to what I have felt – its essence… A positive and fruit-bearing message in the face of crisis.”Continue reading “Trees: Irene Kung”