Sunday 24 May 2015

Are we alone?

Sam - alone; sole; only
Samoća - solitude; loneliness
Samostan - monastery
Samovoljan - self willed; obstinate 

In a Split art gallery yesterday there was an incredibly evocative wooden sculpture called 'Sam IV' (1972) by Branko Ružić. It was in dark old wood, a trunk hollowed out to resemble a seated figure, hunched against the world. His back, shoulders, and head are rounded, hands seemingly tucked under his thighs. The effect of Ružić's simple, empathic carving is on the surface utterly bleak. If a friend or loved one was to sit like this, you'd think their world had fallen in. 

Friday 15 May 2015

The Sounds of Dubrovnik

I don't usually write about music because I find it extraordinarily difficult to articulate, unless in poetry. When I have talked about sounds, it's usually in the context of sound art, which is an entirely different thing. However music and musical inspiration has been unavoidable since I arrived in one of my favourite cities. 

I've forsaken my usual podcasts or music, and left off the headphones which are usually worn to protect my sanity. However the usual London assault on my hearing and consciousness is conspicuous by its absence. The last intelligible commotion was on the plane where a rowdy group were commencing their holidays. Since then it's been a babble of many languages, the frantic cry of swifts, the gentle burble of boats on water, and the clack of feet on marble.

All cities have their percussive chant; London is probably best described as a continuous high octane techno-trance-electonica, pumping out its noise like the recent illegal rave held on my street. The contrast to London, this other ancient city still feels like it moves to the creak and roll of the ships; or the beat of the Roman trireme. Yes there is a pulse but felt in the stillness of the upbeat. So to lose this anticipation of a different song would be most churlish. So the headphones remain unworn.

Saturday 9 May 2015

A New Chapter: Enter the Podcast!

I've finally done it. It's taken me nearly two months but I have just gone live with my first ever podcast. This has been a new experience for me because I'm so text based and afraid of the sound of my own voice. It turns out that I have no need to worry, thankfully, I don't sound like a complete idiot.

The process has been interesting and extremely time consuming. A blog post is usually 500-800 words, longer when I am working on an essay. But when you want 15-20 minutes of spoken effort, you need nearly 2500 vaguely coherent words. On the bright side, although some research is required, it's not like doing anything academic because I want to keep it interesting and above all, accessible. Therefore writing a script took almost an entire month, given work and life interruptions.