Friday, 25 February 2011
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Recently I mentioned a blog that I enjoyed during the holiday season written by a Swedish woman Sophie Sarin [link]. The stories of her running a hotel in the not entirely hospitable historical city of Djenne in Mali (the hotel is made of mud like many of the buildings in Djenne and is quite vulnerable to the extremes of weather) and also adapting to a different culture & way of life make this a really interesting read. I'm very happy that Sophie has found the time to answer this week’s TT Test and I think if you ever find yourself in Djenne Hotel Djenne Djenno is an essential stopover !! Lots of love tt. What is your wake up song at the moment ? The music I listen to is Kar-Kar (Boubakar Traore) Very simple, very moving. The very essence of Mali itself; this dry, vast, gentle land, which I love in spite of it all. A good point of departure is the album ‘Sa Golo’. Which work of art or single event has most influenced you in your chosen profession? Perhaps Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, the first piece of classical music I knew and loved. I used to play it with my next door neighbour Britta when we played chess as twelve year olds, a brief moment of seriousness before we discovered boys and rock n’ roll - nothing wrong with that either of course… If you could travel back in time, which period would you most like to visit and why ? A frivolous part of me would have liked to have lived at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette before the revolution (and then managed to escape) Such beautiful clothes! And such fun - all those masked balls! Otherwise I am quite happy to be here and now. I love eating out and discovering new restaurants, can you please recommend one to me? My favourite restaurant is ‘Rules’ in London [link]. It claims to be the oldest restaurant in London and is romantic and beautiful with great service and great traditional British food such as grouse etc. that is fabulous if well prepared and enjoyed with a good claret. What is the best advice you ever been given relating to your professional / creative life? Don’t worry what people think of you. BONUS QUESTION: What is the most challenging and most satisfying thing about running the Hotel Djenne Djenno? Most challenging thing here in Djenne: Definitely to be patient and understanding to my staff and the people around me, although I lose my temper most of the time. Most satisfying thing in my life here: the limitless scope of things. Wherever I turn there are new things to discover or to set in motion, whether investigating the Djenne manuscripts or managing to grow dill in the garden and trying out other crops. Life is never ever dull.
Friday, 11 February 2011
I met up with Mark my guitarist recently, and we decided to look at covers. Apart from being enjoyable just to sing other people's songs it is a good discipline to sing something you have not written, hopefully you learn a new way of thinking about a melody or a phrase or constructing a song. It is interesting to me, how difficult it is to actually make a song your own and I am in awe of singers who, not being writers, do that habitually. I'm also surprised at which songs end up suiting your voice or temperament. With my voice, maybe one would think I would suit quite dark,rather serious songs but actually my temperament draws me towards very melodic,poppy songs and because of this I probably sound more convincing in them. And singing standards ( or trying to ! ) demands a technical prowess which I don't really possess... anyway, I'm really enjoying the learning process... and maybe one day I'll be able to conquer one of those Cole Porter classics :) lots of love tt
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
A friend recently sent me this video directed by two very talented artists : Marilou Chabert [link] and Anna Mimouni [link]. It's a French singer Claudia Colonna who I'm not familiar with, and I'm not really sure what the song is called but the song & video are irresistibly silly and funny, hope you enjoy ! love tt
I'm in the mood to explore London & visit places that are new for me. So on Tuesday evening I went with a few friends to a talk at the Royal Institution [link] whose impressive building houses a museum & charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. When I was a child I was strangely fixated - given that I have no aptitude for the sciences at all - with a Ladybird book about the scientist Michael Faraday most famous for his work with electricity and magnetism. He was a member of the Royal Institution & I was thrilled to find, on the lower ground floor, Faraday's magnetic laboratory as it was in the 1850s. The talk was also interesting. It was given by Philip Ball the science writer [link] and based on his new book 'Unnatural'. The Heretical Idea of 'Making People' [link] and just made me want to read this and a hundred other books! At the end of the talk, when the audience were invited to ask questions, a couple of my friends did have great ones but were too shy to ask ! However, we did spill out in to a mild February evening continuing our own lively debate. There is a whole season of talks at The Royal Institution and if you are in London I think it's well worth a visit ! Love tt