Showing posts with label destiny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label destiny. Show all posts

Friday 30 September 2022

Finland Awakes, Art & Culture shape our Destiny

Music crosses borders but also expresses our souls 

"Finland doesn’t have a history of kings and castles. We have always been occupied.  When we finally became free it was built on language, literature, painting and music. Jean Sibelius created the idea of what Finland sounds like. You can hear his enthusiasm for discovering the Finnish sagas – folklore that’s ours alone, even as he was becoming a universal composer.”

writes Dalen Stasevska (BBC Symphony Orchestra principle guest conductor) 

who returned as principle conductor to Lahiti – home to Jean Sibelius. 


Sibelius (1865 – 1957) helped force Finland’s independence in 1917.  He was a violinist who found inspiration in Finland’s myths, sagas and folklore, particularly in the poetry of Kalevala.


Jean married Aino Janefelt, whose family was artistic and activist – her three brothers were a painter, composer and writer. Their mother was determined to fight for Finnish independence and she gathered a Finnish-speaking, pro-independence circle around her, including Sibelius.

Aino Janefelt & Jean Sibelius
Defiant Finlandia

“we fought a 100 years for our freedom and I am part of the generation that achieved it. This is the song of our battle – our hymn of Victory. “  Aino Janefelt

But after a civil war, Russia again attacked during the WW1. 

Lahiti built Sibelius hall from wood in 1996. At this time there was 28% unemployment, so it was hard to justify a new concert hall. But the government was keen for a prestigious building as part of the Year of Wood, Plus they had the backing of businesses – Metsa and UMP.


The concert hall now hosts a Sibelius festival and is rated in the top ten for acoustics. The area was rejuvenated around the site with restaurants, and a new marina developed.


Jean Sibelius

(extracted from Lesley Riddoch article - Finnish composer and the lessons we can learn from Nordic neighbours


Thursday 30 June 2022

The Glories of the Scots Kings

James IV and Margaret Tudor

In film and TV, Scots Royalty is often portrayed wearing drab cloth is dingy castles, and as backward or out of touch heathens! These images are totally untrue! Recently Stirling castle has been renovated to reveal a highly colourful and richly decorated ceiling in the Great hall.

The Scots Crown jewels
 and the Stone of Destiny were hidden after the incursions of Edward Longshanks.

The Scots welcomed Charles II back and  he was crowned at scone, after he promised to protect the Scots Presbyterian religion. But he went back on his word. 

For centuries Scots had close trading routes to Flanders and were highly influenced by European materials, style and fashions.


The Reformation, while bringing enlightened thought and education, also meant much of Scots Art was destroyed. But one remained hidden in  abasement according to artist Lauchlin Goudie.


This suppression of another nation’s culture and language is a way of destroying that nation. Russia presently in the process of flattening Ukrainian buildings but its also about crushing Ukraine’s’ culture and language. 

James V

 James V wears a gown with sleeves of cloth of gold, a fabric woven with expensive gold thread. Such a material, which could be melted down to release the precious metal, was a conscious demonstration of wealth and kingship. The collar is encrusted with hundreds of pearls – a style of which the Scottish king appears to have been fond. His wardrobe inventory of 1539 describes a gown with a hood and collar ‘stitched with 49,500 pearls’. The large-scale undulating design seen on the sleeves falls into the category of motifs later classified as pomegranate. Pomegranate patterns for fashionable clothing were increasingly replaced by smaller-scale designs during the sixteenth century, although later artists such as Anthony van Dyck continued to use them as backdrops in their portraits.  #¥esScots