Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?
Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?
Would you like to transmit your art? Would you like to project your talent?
Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known. Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers. It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.
This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard. This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around. A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles. I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.
But it needs you. Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far. Make yourself heard. Contact us.
Here’s how it works:
You send me a bio and some details about your work.
You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.
With these things I can write about you.
You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).
With this I can post a clip of you/your work. (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)
This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:
We invest objects with emotional significance. Although they are simply things, they can represent something that connects us to a person or a time in the past. I have used objects as the starting point for creative writing exercises, and they can be useful for brainstorming ideas.
I try not to accumulate too much clutter (!) and only keep the few items that are precious, always mindful of the day when I’m no longer here and whoever is left behind will have the unenviable job of sorting out my stuff! But on a windowsill, I keep a few “ornaments”.
My cyberman model/toy – with moving parts! I’m a Dr Who fan and my favourite (and scariest) monsters were always the cyber men. When I was a child, I would hide behind the sofa when they came on TV. Something about the clanging metal, the unforgiving nature of a machine, the hollow empty space for eyes sockets – no emotion or humanity – gave me the creeps. The stuff of nightmares. However my more recent developing interest in cyber technology, sci fi, robotics, and neuroscience gives me a different viewpoint. How many of us who grew up in the 70s wanted the special abilities of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman? (Without the pain and injuries, of course!). Machines and technology have limitless power to transform lives for good. I sometimes wonder, when experiencing heartache and loss, how it would be to feel absent of emotion. A concept that is hard to imagine.
The Golem – My brother brought this back from a trip to Prague. According to good old Wiki, “in Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphicbeing, created entirely from inanimate matter.” The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late 16th century rabbi of Prague, who reportedly created a golem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava river, and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations to defend and protect the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks and pogroms. There are a whole host of legends and literature around the golem. My first ever encounter with the concept was a 1966 British/American film entitled It!, starring Roddy McDowall, who was at that time one of my favourite actors. I was about seven years old when I saw it.
My clay horse. And, strangely, in writing this I see there is a link between my clay horse, Ernie, and my golem – that they were both born from clay, an amazing substance which resonates with spiritual significance. I made Ernie at school in art class when I was a child. I enjoyed shaping the clay and using my hands to create the shape. I couldn’t do the legs however – they kept snapping off – so decided to make a horse lying down to obviate that problem! His tail also fell off, so he became a cob. Ernie reflects my love of horses since childhood, and because I couldn’t have a real horse, I kept creating them – in my stories, my drawings and in plasticine and clay. When I left home at sixteen, Ernie was still living on my mum’s windowsill, where he stayed for many years. After she passed away, I brought him home with me and he took up residence on my windowsill. Ernie evokes a range of childhood memories and happy thoughts of mum.
I love the way that, unknowingly, all three of these objects are linked by common threads and themes; connections which I had never noticed before.
Creation. New life. Changed reality. Words we could also use to describe what we produce when we write. Wonderfully strange.
If I admire a writer, it will be for two reasons. Firstly, their vision and the ideas expressed and explored. I came to sci-fi late in life but I am astonished by, and drawn to, visionaries such as Asimov and Philip K. Dick and their prophecies. Secondly, I am attracted to elements of style, structure and craft. Sarah Waters, Lydia Davis, Mark Haddon, Frank Cottrell Boyce are wonderful examples. You don’t always find vision and execution in the same piece of work but when you do, it is sheer joy.
Most writing courses and manuals will talk about the way a writer has to find their “voice”, and for some writers, I imagine this might be a natural process; instinctive and deeply embedded.
I’ve been writing for nearly 40 years, been regularly published – even had a bestseller – but still don’t feel like I’ve found my voice. Maybe I never will. Maybe I don’t have one. Or maybe I’m afraid to let it loose.
Reading through some of my older work, I can see that my writing style has changed and, hopefully, improved. But I don’t think I have a style that is distinctly “me.”
When I was in my twenties, I trained for 8 years to be a classical singer, and I enjoyed singing, but never had the dedication to pursue it as a career – nor the talent. And crippling nerves made performing a struggle. So I gave up.
Recently, after a twenty year gap, I had a singing lesson again. I loved it. Maybe, all these years of different life experiences – pain and joy – will help me to find my voice.
Singers express their art through a physical means, drawn from their breath, their essence, their life force. They create their own sound, externalised from nothing, from within. The way a writer creates something from nothing, by plundering the imagination.
A writer has to find that inner voice, that essence, and make it tangible through the choice of words and the patterns they create. But more than that, a writer must reveal what makes she or he unique as a human being and give it form.
It is a mysterious process, this fusion of vision and voice. A fluid, reactive journey of discovery – and it requires honesty and guts.
And how we see the world plays a major role, which I will explore in Part 2.
Earlier in the month I attended a conference about using the arts to regenerate East Kent coastal towns, a topic dear to my heart, after spending 4 years as Marketing and Outreach Co-ordinator for University Centre Folkestone (which, sadly, is no more). Listening to the speakers made me realise that I was still angry and upset about the loss of UCF (and I did make my feelings public, and then had a bit of a rant in the ladies loos afterwards!). However, I learned a lot from the conference, and one of the speakers, when discussing the way that the arts and culture are measured and valued, referred to a concept called The Value Triangle, which I had not heard of before.
The phrase, it appears, originates from John Holden, an associate at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting professor at City University, London, who has been involved in numerous major projects with the cultural sector ranging across heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts and the moving image. We were shown a You Tube clip taken from the PARTicipate Conference in Belfast, which questioned and explored how the value of culture and arts impacts on the regeneration of Belfast. John Holden describes models of cultural value, and the value triangle of intrinsic, instrumental and institutional value. He then went on to discuss social return on investment and measuring change.
The topic is one I will doubtless continue to explore. The relationship between artists, and how they value themselves and are valued by others, is an important issue, especially when arts council budgets continue to be cut and so many are struggling to survive.
I had my first short story published in a UK magazine at the age of 14. I got £10 and will never forget how it felt to have earned what seemed a lot of dosh for something I had enjoyed producing. This was 1974 and normally I would have needed to work for 9 hours washing up and waiting on tables in my cousin’s café to earn that much (My Saturday job). No wonder the life of a writer seemed a glamorous option! Oh, how naïve I was….
A film documenting the experiences of an artist living on Darnet Island for 6 weeks last summer is being screened at Gillingham library on the 12th of September as part of the Medway Visions film festival.
Otherness; Forty Five Days on the Isle of Beauty, shows the life David Wise lived during 6 weeks camping on Darnet Island in the Medway Estuary. David lived partly off the food he found there and recorded life with a variety of means including a pinhole camera made from driftwood.
The film is a great way to see parts of Medway that most of us have never seen, and learn more about the nature around us that often goes un-noticed.
The free screening will take place on the 12th of September at 7.30pmand will be followed by a questions and answers session with David Wise. At the screening David will also be launching his complimenting book which will be on sale at £15 which includes a £5 discount.
In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.
There are just a few things you will need –
Images for the website
Your bio details for the “About” page
Your email address details
Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.
Any questions just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)
Time – 7pm to 10pm
Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.
Would you like to be part of an exciting community art project to paint a big mural showing scenes from Chatham’s past present and future? The site is next to Homestyle 206/206A Chatham High Street. Artist Richard Jeferies will develop designs based on your ideas and work with you to paint the mural. Whether you are 9 or 99 years old you are welcome to join in!
Workshops to develop the designs will take place on these dates at:
Nucleus Arts Centre – Conference Room
Sunday 9th June 2pm to 4pm
Monday 10th June 6pm to 8pm
Wednesday 12th June 6pm to 8pm
Painting the mural: Monday 1st to Friday 12th July
Launch – 13th July alongside Medway Open Studios launch
The mural project has been developed by DNA and the workshops and mural are being developed by artist Richard Jeferies.
When composers and writers collaborate, what comes first – the words or music? UCF hosts a conversation between Mariam Al-Roubi, singer, songwriter and librettist for the opera Mirabai, and its composer, Barry Seaman.
How does a creative work, such as an opera, develop from idea to tangible form through musical and written language? What is it like to adapt original text to produce a libretto? How do you ensure that you honour the original text (the opera subject, Mirabai, was herself a mystic poet, musician and dancer from 16th century Rajasthan). How do you integrate newly written poetry? How does a composer work with a writer? How is it different to working on an album? These questions will be explored and the dynamics of creative minds working together discussed, using musical examples.
About the speakers
Barry studied at York University, specialising in composition, and works have been produced and commissioned in most media, with broadcasts on Radio 3 and his music for silent films Tsar Ivan Vasilyevitch Grozny (Alexander Ivanov-Gai 1915) and The Life of Richard Wagner (Carl Froelich 1913) was widely toured in the USA. He has a special interest in music as a healing process. His most recent project is Mirabai, a large scale multimedia opera that combines ancient spiritual and romantic ideas with astonishing technology in collaboration with Musion Systems.
Mariam is a classically trained singer, dancer, musician and poet. Whilst writing the libretto for Mirabai, she is also working on a number of projects, including her studio album. She studied BA (Hons) Music Technology at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita; commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002) and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007).
In March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Krishna Dance was shown as part of the annual Kinetica Art Fair in London, presented by the Musion Academy. A short film of the Krishna dance scene has been produced, and directed by acclaimed film director, Tony Palmer.
This event is FREE to attend but advance booking is essential.