We crossed the footbridge at Newport railway station, over the West Anglia Main Line between Elsenham and Audley End, forty miles north along the route from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge. The track was quiet, the train had just disappeared and taken all the noise and commotion with it. We were left with a few bubbles of birdsong in its wake. Continue reading “Newport, Widdington & Debden”
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.
And then I found this short homage by Martin Kessler. It’s a collection of well-chosen clips from some of Tarkovsky’s best films, beautifully woven together with music by Beethoven and Bach, to produce a sampler that just leaves me wanting to see more of these memorable moving images.
A couple of days later we discovered another ancient abbey, a counterbalance to the beauty and elegance of Sant’Antimo, the Abbazia di San Galgano stands open to the sky, with all the breathtaking grandeur of a canyon carved out of the rock, its great hulk like a ship run aground. Continue reading “San Galgano”
After visiting San Quirico d’Orcia and Montalcino we headed south looking for Bagno Vignoni, a spa since Roman times, but we got distracted along the way by the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, a beautiful Benedictine monastery set in a lovely landscape of wooded hills and olive groves. Continue reading “Bagno Vignoni”
Cathedral Green at Wells, the eternal stone partnered with an inflated upstart. We arrived just in time for the Somerset Schools Folk Dance Festival, a ceilidh for more than 2,000 primary school children, all stepping and skipping and turning circles on the green. Continue reading “Wells & Mells”
So we’re all looking forward (in no particular order) to Christmas, The Mayan ‘Apocalypse’ 21/12/12, The Euro Apocalypse / the imminent Bond Market collapse, the next high flying celebrity to crash and burn, the next Flood, the first nuclear war, escape to the Moon/Mars…. etc. And I was thinking how could a painter find any relevance with all this going on. But the internet is a wonderful thing for connecting anything to everything and a reminder that these type of events constantly recur, that the oldest themes in art are the best and that there’s nothing new under the sun. Continue reading “Apocalypse Now (Or Maybe Tomorrow)”