Monday, 18 June 2007

Theatre of Memory

Charlotte, standing, reads a letter
[pic linked from
Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam]

Mon 18 Jun

Centre for German-Jewish Studies
University of Sussex

Subtitle: the Allo-thanatography of Charlotte Salomon's Leben? oder Theater?
- I bet you wish you hadn't asked!

A fascinating talk by Griselda Pollock on Charlotte Salomon's major work (Life? or Theatre? - collection at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam). Salomon must be one of the most inventive, personal, challenging and unknown artists of the 20th century. Life? or Theatre? consists of over 900 gouaches accompanied by handwritten commentaries, in which she portrays the events, relationships and emotions, the big and little dramas of everyday life in a family and friendship circle very much like her own in the Berlin of the 1930s. Her annotations include references to the tunes and songs she associated with particular scenes - said to be what she was humming as she painted - such as: Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and the popular songs 'I heard a babbling brook', 'I'm busy night and day, no time for rest and play'.

Born in 1917, Charlotte somehow managed to study art in Hitler's Berlin, but after the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 she and members of her family fled the horrors of Nazi Germany, and must have hoped they had found safety in the South of France. There she more or less completed Life? or Theatre? However the consequences of war soon caught up with her, and in 1943 Charlotte was deported along with thousands of other German Jews in France, first to a concentration camp near Paris, then to Auschwitz, where, like most of the others, she was murdered. She was 26, and 5 months pregnant.

Shortly before, she had given the gouaches to a friend of the family, saying: 'Take good care of them. They are my whole life.'

The 1998 Life? or Theatre? exhibition at the Royal Academy remains one of the most affecting I have ever seen, and today I was lucky enough to meet Monica Bohm Duchen, the curator of that exhibition, and have the chance to thank her for it.

A Celebration of Local Food & Drink

Sun 17 Jun
All Saints, Lewes

Transition Town Lewes meets Slow Food. Lots of local producers, lots of lovely grub. Several of them are hoping to get in to the Farmers' Market (1st Sat). Lewes musicians put on suitably grave expressions.

Southease Open Gardens

Sun 17 Jun

5 very different gardens, offering a nice contrast from quite formal and spacious, to the Corner Cottage which is a maze of differing spaces, all riotously overgrown - you have to be in it to experience it. Here's a Flickr set.

Toll House or Ice House?

Sun 17 Jun
Ashcombe Hollow, Lewes

The sign on the door says it's a Toll House, dating from 1820, but Jan thought she'd heard it was an Ice House. Maybe it was both?

Nearby the bee-orchids are going, going, gone.

What we didn't do on Saturday

Sat 16 Jun

More local music for local people:
Mike & Blanche at the Lewes Arms.
Chasin' the Blues at the All Saints.
Chamber music at Southease Church (well, we didn't hear about it until Sunday).

But we went dancing at Ditchling instead.

Ditchling goes Dutch

Sat 16 Jun
Ditchling Village Hall

Ditchling Morris had Dutch dance group Lesseschots over for the weekend; we went to the ceilidh in the evening with Unreel - exuberant playing and very danceable. The cart-horse didn't come but the clogs did.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Lewes orchids

Sun 10 Jun

They're out again! Bee Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids and Common Spotted Orchids, each in their own territory, although often mixed in with other things that can make the Bees in particular quite hard to spot. They're on this street, and just round the corner from the roundabout at the bottom.

Here's the pics from 2005, when I first heard about them.

Local music for local people

Mon 11 Jun
Trevor Arms, Glynde

Will Duke's English music session, which meets 2nd Mondays, with anything from 10 to 20 or even 30 musicians all going for it hammer and tongs. It's been going for 30 years or more, under one guise or another, formerly at the Ram at Firle, now at the Trevor Arms.

This week there was the usual mix of concertinas, melodeons, accordions, fiddles, banjo, clarinet, bones. A few years back the regulars got some 180 of their favourite tunes together and published them in a gorgeously produced book which they called The Lewes Favourites (what else?). So there's no excuse for not learning some of them so you can play along, is there?

Wed 13 Jun
Fountain Inn, Ashurst

The Sussex Chorus and Harmony session (2nd Wednesdays). English (mostly) songs, with lots of choruses and lots of harmony, just what it says on the tin, really.

The Lewes Arms Folk Club has a listing of Traditional Music Sessions in Sussex - something to suit every taste (well, most). For a broader listing of clubs, concerts and festivals in Sussex see the Folk Diary, free from all sorts of places and also on-line (.pdf format); the current one's red, so you can't mislay it.

I'll get hammered if I don't mention the Royal Oak, which consistently has the best programme of traditional (and contemporary) music of any club I've come across. It's just that I don't think I've been since I started this blog . . .

[wot no pics?]

Saturday, 9 June 2007

With the Grain

Fri 8 Jun
Assembly Rooms, Lewes

David Nash: Wood Sculpture. What this man sees in trees!

[pic from the Sculpture Exhibitions website]

Heartbeats of the Earth

Fri 7 Jun
Lewes Corn Exchange

A Journey through Art, Science and Nature
: from Sussex to Antarctica by Chris Drury - a talk & slides on how his approach to his art has evolved, focusing particularly on his recent trip to the Antarctic as Artist in Residence. I couldn't hear very well from the back, & would love to know whether he has a recording available. Good job Jan was taking notes . . . He sees things in nature that I would love to see - so it's great that he's there to point them out to me. His blog of the Antarctica trip is very engaging, with a stack of wonderful photos, many of which appeared in the slideshow.

See the Heart of Reeds project in Lewes, which he has designed.

[pics from Chris' website]

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Selim Sesler

Sat 2 Jun

Lovely swinging Turkish music, all tradition-based.
Sesler on clarinet, with darbuka, oud, kanun, violin. The CD Anatolian Wedding is delightful. See him in Crossing the Bridge - The Sound of Istanbul; read The Coltrane of the clarinet, Fiachra Gibbons' review in The Guardian.

[Jan's pic]

Friday, 1 June 2007

Fanfare Ciocarlia

Wed 30 May

Fanfare Ciocarlia's Queens & Kings - gypsy musicians from all over Eastern Europe, and Perpignan. FC are a blast - 9 brass and 2 percussion, I bet you could hear them from Blackfriars. They are from Rumania, and their guests included Esma Redzepova (Macedonia), Jony Iliev (Bulgaria), Kaloome (Perpignan) & Mitsu (Hungary) - Esma & Mitsu - what voices! This was the only UK performance - sorry! The CD must be a cracker - listening to it now (Sun), and it is!

Preceded by an illustrated talk by Garth Cartwright, author of Princes Amongst Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians.

Dansez Français

Sat 26 May
Patcham Memorial Hall

Our monthly French & Breton Dance night - info. Chien Bizarre played, and everybody danced - plenty of new people, which
was just as well because lots of regulars, including most of our musicians, had sidled off to Chippenham. Where I'm told it rained. And rained.

For starters as usual a set from Jeudi Matin (who meet on Wednesday mornings, of course).

Next session Sat 30 June - then break until September. Here's my Google Map.

Second Life Best Practices

Fri 25 May
Second Life Best Practices International Conference 2007

Another 24h ed-fest - this time situated entirely within SL. Lots more to ponder on - will ponder elsewhere shortly.

Pic from Jeremy Koester's "outside the box look at immersive environment opportunities in SL." Loads more pictures on the Flickr site.

WiAOC 2007

Fri 18 - Sun 20 May
WiAOC 2007: Webheads in Action Online Convergence

A 3-day 24-hour extravaganza - emerging technologies in education, and in language learning in particular. It had to be good - I installed Windows on my Mac for this! It was good - very good. All sorts of things I'd not seen, heard of or done before. More elsewhere soon.