Monday 30 September 2013

The new Glasgow Hydro!

The new Glasgow Hydro! – SSE Hydro Arena
Capacity 13,000
Opened this week with artists Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac.

The hope for the new venue is to be one of the world’s top five entertainment venues, only Madison Square Gardens NY and the 02 London are bigger. 
The Hydro is a purpose built concert arena – rather than the SECC’s multi use exhibition and conference centre.  Every seat has a good view and audio. The new venue will attract bigger artists all year round.  

I look forward to gigs here, hopefully soon!  

Mercury Prize 2013

From indie folk John Hopkins, to veteran rocker David Bowie, drum and bass Rudimental, electronic pianist James Blake and rock band Foals. Laura Mvula is there too, although her over predictability is too much for me. And dance, rock, post punk. 
Favourites for the prize may be dance duo Disclosure and respected singer songwriter Laura Marling. 

I saw Marling in concert at the Old Fruitmarket a few years ago when she was barely 19 and she seemed so young – and passed her in a café nearby earlier that evening. She has been living in LA the past year to work on her latest album. I thought there was something fragile and ethereal about her then, and she did have the audience spellbound. 
Laura Marling Old Fruitmarket
I saw James Blake Oran Mor in 2011 - the gig was charged and packed out and I thought his set was engrossing. I love the cover for his second album Overgrown. I enjoyed his cover of Feist's song 'Limit To Your Love.'  In my review I wrote his music was like Unexpected Journeys.

James Blake Oran Mor
The American music reviewer Mikal Gilmore is concerned at the state of the music industry today however -

Labels sign artists for a certain sound, quirk, style, niche or whatever – and are loathe to allow those artists to expand or develop much beyond that one thing. That is partly why we see so many one hit wonders .. These artists are milked, drained, toured and discarded before they even have a shot at that second round. It’s a new kind of pop hegemony – a blockbuster mentality that has made so many modern films tiresome, predictable and limited.   
Quote, Night Beat, Mikal Gilmore.
PS James Blake was the unexpected yet deserved Mercury prize winner 31st October.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Edinburgh Book festival PHOTOS 2013

Charles Glass
Artemis Cooper
Alan Bissett
Jenny Rooney
Jerome Ferrari
Kengo Kuma
Kevin Maher
Laurie Penny
Sahar Delijan
Shani Boianjiu
Edinburgh International Book Festival photos 2013 - the festival was a great deal of fun and very interesting as it usual.  One of the highlights of my year. Love it! More reviews on this site. Copyrighted.
My EIBF images 2013 gallery -

Friday 20 September 2013

The Women Impressionists

Berthe Morisot

This was the first group of important women artists with a new voice and they exhibited thier work at the Impressionist shows in Paris. This was part of a new and rebellious attitude to have women in the shows apparently! 
I was surprised to learn of this group as I had never heard of any women impressionist painters. 

Berthe Moriot was often painted by Manet and other male painters and as she was very striking and beautiful perhaps they were unable to take her work as a painter serious enough?
Barthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot
Morisot’s painting was brave and new art with lightning blot brush strokes and instinctive insightful painting. She was known for beautiful crisp white painting
The joui de vivre of impressionism.

Mary Casat
Casat portrayed an emotional blankness in her paintings.
Mary Casat
Marie Brackamot
She made beautiful Impressionist pots.

Berthe Morisot was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.
In 1864, she exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government, and judged by academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris. Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. It was held at the studio of the photographer Nadar. She became the sister-in-law of her friend and colleague, Édouard Manet, when she married his brother, Eugène.


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Copyright Debate at EIBF #edbooksfest

The speakers were Colin Firth, music journalist and judge Mercury award, and Debi Gliori, children’s author Tobermory Cat,

Question: Does copyright do more harm than good to creativity?

Firth spoke of the tension between the copyright owner and the use of copyright, and he said that the owners are anxious. The Publishers are suffering too and see copyright as essential for creativity.

The Music Industry. Digital media makes copyright unnecessary as author can go direct now to the audience and therefore no longer need retail distribution. However publishers have quality control and there are also the curators who create the audience. There is more music than ever but much is not listened to.

Also digital distribution is not ‘free’. There is little infrastructure now to support new artists. One in ten in the record industry make money - supported by the control of copyright and what of those making money, such as the giants iTunes or Amazon and their not paying tax and giving nothing back?  And is music downloading simply publicity for live performing?

The Writers. Debi Gliori spoke of her situation as a children’s author and loosing money these days due to piracy.

She said she believed that the author's copyright should stand for the first twelve months past publication and after this there could then be free access so the author still made money from their work. She thought that education was the key thing.

She said that the loss of control of copyright meant these forces were ‘stealing the author’s futures’ and that the industry was turning itself inside out.
She spoke of artists ‘drawing from the realm of ideas’ and that it is what you did with your ideas that matters. 

And what of Academic Papers which are a valuable research tool and require open access?  The creative arts require the free expression and transmission of ideas. 
The US has stronger copyright Laws, which are mostly driven by the motion picture industry.  Meanwhile the pirates make their millions and there seems not enough protection for the artists.

There also needs to be a balance between the need for the survival of even the big book sellers. 
Someone said that they looked up Amazon for details on books and then purchased their books at their local bookshop.
As consumers we have a choice. Do we want faceless superstores or the personal smaller store who care about their product? Amazon and iTunes are convenient – but these businesses can be too big and we need to adjust models.
The VOTE went for copyright being good for creativity, after all artists do need to eat! I believe that it is vitally important that societies and those in power (as royalty used to do) should value the creative arts.

On the other views.
This was an interesting and informed debate. There is also the question of the US now setting Copyright Laws to such lengthy time periods it can hinder the creativity of new artists. That is, it becomes more profitable to recycle old music than encourage new music, and the Labels can rely too heavily on their back catalogues.

And the enforcement of copyright for example would have prevented the use of the well used ‘Amen Break’ drum beat, which has led to a great deal of creativity in music.  

It seems like we need new models around how we view the need for artist's copyright ownership in our digital age - both protection and the freedoms to create. 

Friday 6 September 2013

Celtic Connections 2014 concerts announced!

Celtic Connections 2014 concerts announced today!  - Del Amitri, The Hydro/ MOGWAI, concert hall / Celtic Connections International Burns Concert, The Hydro. 
I am looking forward to NEW HYdro venue here a is teired and spaceage looking and much better than the SECC. The new venue opens with Rod Stewart 30th Sept.
(also love this photo come painted image!) 

I look forward to it! Some CELTIC PHOTOS.

Eddi Reader, Rab Noakes, Dougie McLean
Martha Rafferty and Rab Noakes at concert for Gerry Rafferty