|enjoying late sun on the south bank|
It’s been an
honour to get to know some of the great Scottish folk musicians and writers of
today – Dick Gaughan, Rab Noakes, Karine Polwart, Kris Drever.
|Rab Noakes plays a home gig|
This year I
attended a house party gig for the incomparable Rab Noakes and it was good to
chat and hear him perform in a more informal relaxed setting. This year at
Celtic Connections 2016, I enjoyed the concerts of The Chieftains, Lucinda
Williams, Rachel Sermanni, Siobhan
Wilson and especially the fun ceilidh bands of Rura and Blazin Fiddles. As
usual the highlight was the classy accomplished musicianship of the
Transatlantic band with the wonderful singers Rhiannon Giddens and Cara Dillon
festival in 2016 it was a thrill to hear Alan Cumming perform his inimitable
interpretations of songs. I enjoyed my talks at the EIBF and some of the top
authors and musicians this year included -
Melvun Bragg Paul Mason, Erica Jong, Roddie Woomble, Alan Taylor, Tom
Devine, Billy Bragg, Wilko Johnstone.
|Emeli Sande returns|
Exciting New Music 2016 -
and the Queens. The biggest new artist on the scene, made an
impression on the Jools Holland show. She mixes movement, rhythm, music and
mood to great effect. Impressive.
Code – Folk blues singer songwriter from Edinburgh. I saw him this year at
Milngavie folk club and was mightily impressed and I have enjoyed his album
very much – classic songs and energetic blues rhythm guitar and voice.
Sande returned with a wonderful second album Long Live the Angels. I was so honoured to take photos at her
Albert hall concert in 2012. I saw her return to the Oran Mor Glasgow – I first
heard her here in 2007. Loving her new track Breathing Underwater.
Some top albums this year too from
Radiohead – A Moon
Shaped Pool: Coldplay, Mumford, Muse, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Chvrches, Mark
Sadly there has been in 2016, the deaths of many iconic musicians – Leonard Cohen, Prince, George Michael and
David Bowie. Sadly the most successful architect ever Zaha Hadid and one of the most successful record producers ever, George Martin. In 1962 he started
working with and unknown band, the Beatles, with innovative music productions.
2017, they will focus on the half of the population often ignored – the women’s
voices with the singers and musicians. The women care about home, children and
mother earth. There is a story of a
south American tribe where the women tell the men to STOP.
With music I
feel at home. It was the one safe happy place when I was a child. When I played
piano, the rest of the world seemed to disappear and make sense. When I played
piano and sang I felt connected to those positive things in life - the sunshine
days, the happy memories. I felt good
about myself in a world that was often dark and full of despair it seemed. When my fingers learned to play Bach and
Mozart a whole other dimension opened up, as if I was on some small way
connected to those genius artists and transported to far away shores... I travelled with folk artists and learned the
shared joy of harmony singing and fiddlers rhythms. And I have never looked back....
said that he was inspired by African skies and African rhythms, but the
anti-apartied forces shunned his musical collaborations for his amazing
Graceland album 91986)
reaching out through his music.
Yet now all
these many years later we see that the unison of Simon's American voice along
with African voices helped to offer a unifying hope that anything was possible.
That the voices of fear and hatred might be overcome by the melodies and
rhythms that we all understand and that unite us.
Some of us
suffer great insecurities, and more than anything we need those voices of hope.
Simon's journey was about music not politics. My belief was once a bright shiny thing... We all have our ingrained
insecurities and they may lead to great art or they may lead to terrible
despairs and fears.
|Blue Rose Code|
Issues that Really Matter - Scottish Land Reform, Greener energy, (only at 32% just now!),
Child poverty, Social Care. To hide the
Tories failings on the economy and more – they use Brexit as smokescreens,
instead of focusing on what really matters.
AND THOSE false REFERENDUMS?
HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE THEY REALLY?
They are about money and
the Unionist press raining down on us.
According to Gordon
McIntyre CEO business Scotland, perhaps only 10% of the population research,
read and are knowledgeable about politics – the rest look for comfort and
that’s why these maverick appeal, such as Farage or Donald Trump. The trouble
is these opportunists don’t know how to fix anything.
**HAPPY NEW YEAR**! to all who
read my 'Scottish Arts and Music blogs' and posts here!
2016 has been a rather
scary, tumultuous year! Here's to ALL the independent, honest voices in 2017..Lennon,
Dylan, Tony Benn, Mhairi Black,...And listening to ALL sides and not those echo
chambers!. Yes I do read the Sunday Times and watch Question Time... even
though it hurts at times!
It's been a year of tremendous times personally and also of sad difficulties - that's life as they say!
My favourite Christmas song is by
John Lennon, So This is Christmas - To all those masters of war, including those in the arms trade,
Dylan wrote of - give peace a chance.. There is more to living than treasure
chests. . In Karachi the wells are dry, in the
Antarctic polar bears are dying … if we don’t’ care about our planet – then what
do we care about. Mr Trump , please listen?
Back in 2014 many of us dared to dream
there could be a better, more productive, fairer, greener SCOTLAND. With all
these voices of fear we need more than ever voices of our shared humanity of
shared hopes. Yes, we need angels,
voices fo freedom, informed thought, more than ever.
At Celtic Connections in
January 2017 we will hear many women musicians’ voices...I look forward to it!
|enjoying late sun on the south bank|
**My Photography 2016**
continually inspired by B & W images and by my favourite portrait
colour works better though and some images just don’t translate into B &
W. But for me the B & W photography
has more impact if you can capture enough subtle tones and contrast.