Showing posts with label Hidden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hidden. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Edinburgh festival (EIF) 2017 and Hidden Edinburgh

Hidden Edinburgh – and the footsteps I dare to walk upon. Remembered and forgotten too. I wandered there. Edinburgh exists on many levels and its easy to wander down closes or hidden alleyways or behind the castle, and under bridges and walkways.  
Festival. Meetings of people who couldn’t possibly have meet another way – people from all walks of life, nationalities, artistic disciplines and establishment and anti-establishment, and those not ‘official.’

There is the obvious tourist Edina, the castle tours, tartan taff, bagpipes, the military tattoo - yet look further underneath – the cobbled narrow lanes, and there’s an Edina, of the once bustling Mercat cross, of Scotland’s enlightenment, where once great thinkers exchanged ideas – of drinking dens, coffee houses and taverns. 

Once places like the Mercat Cross in the 18th century and the Abbotsford bar, where places for great conversations – with great poets such a Hugh MacDiarmid, Iain Crichton Smith and others.

Conversations charlotte sq rooftops
Edinburgh Fringe festival 2017! - had a Record year with over 3,500 shows
The festival Includes – The Edinburgh Tattoo, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International festival, Edinburgh international book festival and the Fringe. With 2 million 700 thousand ticket sales this year and up 9% on last year. Reduced Shakespeare, Vive La Fringe…..More than only Edinburgh, a multi-cultural festival. 

Compared to other international cities, Edina is just the right size for a major cultural celebration of all the arts. Edinburgh’s biggest festival is comedy – but there is also many other highlights of major dance, music, literature and arts events well worth exploring.

Aberdeen Aberpella
Story-telling was the way people learned about the past. EIF takes chances, is constantly moving – and a smorgasbord of difference on the global stage;
St Kilda opera, The James Plays, Grit, by Martyn Bennet, St Giles St Magnus.
‘Conflict is truth speaking to power.’  The Arts thrive on difference. In these strange times of odd ‘isms’. Reflect, produce, project.

**EIF celebrates differences on a global stage. The UK punches above it weight internationally because of Edinburgh festival and I don’t think people realise. One important theme emerges – the importance of meeting places to collaborate and discuss important issues.

*The Mercat Cross
William Creech, who was also a councillor and Baillie, was one of Edinburgh’s leading booksellers and publishers. His shop was at the Mercat Cross at the Luckenbooths, where there was seven timber -fronted tenements perched on the north side of St Giles High Kirk that included the offices of Robert Burn’s publisher, Creech and Allan Ramsay’s bookshop, which in 1728 was one of Scotland’s earliest lending libraries. From Creech’s shop door one could look down the canyon of the high st towers towards the forth and the fields of east Lothian beyond…..

A walk across Edina’s historic cobbled streets will take you past the locations for some of Scotland’s greatest writers, both past and present -  Ian Rankin, Alexander McColl Smith, Kenneth Graeme, J M Barrie, Norman MacCaig, Sorley MacLean, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Irvine Welsh, and of course Walter Scott and Robert Burns (who stayed in Lady Stairs Close on his time in Edina in 1787.

Robert McCrum Edinburgh book festival
 II   Cambridge Footlights, Opera stars, Ian McKellan and Richard Burton in Scotland. Beyond the Fringe. The Oxbridge talent of Dudley Moore, Peter Cooke, the Oxford Revue made fun of our institutions. John Cleese, Michael Palin all learned their comedy at the Fringe. Edinburgh is like a lead character. Maria Callus, Margaret Fonteyn. Edinburgh was opening things up. It began with high art and then the fringe included low art for everyone. Now the Fringe festival is by far the main event in town and the Peoples art took over the main discourse of the nation.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Searching for the Hidden Vienna

From the moment you arrive this is a city that sings and echoes its personality – from the colourful graffiti, to Mozart’s music notes and image, perfect cakes and the stories everywhere.
Many composers lived here – Hadyn, Schubert, Strauss, Beethoven and of course Mozart. We were pleased to attend Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Opera expresses a big emotional dynamic range – plaintive pleading, soft caressing, comic timing, absurdity and questioning, heady emotions, collective joy, contemplative heartbreak….

This is a small country of 8m who have fought for their survival at the heart of Europe. A crossroads place with Russia on one side, Hungary and Germany on the other. Austria at one time was the centre for the Habsburg empire. One senses today the European Project is alive and well here

There is the well-known tourist Vienna –the tour buses, the horse drawn carriages, the coffee houses, the imperial palaces. There are glittering rooftops, ordered cycle ways, the walks in the old quarter and of course luscious and light cakes! Of The Sisi museum stories and the moving images of Empress Elizabeth and of her tragedy, the reluctant princess. 
This is a city for music lovers, bookshops and art. People are very polite, well mannered, positive and hardworking with a good attitude to life. You find answers here – perhaps.

Then there is underneath the real Vienna – of a warm, proud and friendly people – proud of the heritage of their city and it’s history.  We took the first class underground system to the Schonbrunn Palace on the sunny Saturday, but found it packed out with bus loads of tourists. So instead we headed back to the Vienna old quarters.  

At the St Stephendom at the heart of old Vienna, inside the light seems to play tricks as it dances on the very tall dark columns and lays soft shiny highlights on the gold statures. We search for the quieter cobbled by ways behind the dramatic light and shade of the cathedral and find a small coffee shop near Mozarthaus to stop and enjoy the moment. We discovered the Vienna Peace museum and the Austrian Journalists Club (OJC) – The Vienna International Press centre.  

St Stephans
In Vienna’s 1900s Liberalism battled absolute power.-
The Succession Movement. ARTISTS – Klimt, Kolo Muer, Otto Wagner – all died 1918.
There was also the artists Max Licberman, Eduard Munch, A Rodin.

There were many posters of Austrian painter Schiele’s work.
Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) – Symbolism to Expressionism “There are only a few, very new new artists. Chosen ones. The new artist must absolutely be himself; he must be a create; he needs to have the base on which he builds inside him immediately and by himself, without using that which has been handed down from the past. Only then is he a new artist.”
Vienna Museum Windows for Peace
Places to visit -
*Hofburg Palace and Imperial Palace
St Stephansdom,
Scots Quarter
Vienna State Opera