Monday, November 20, 2017

PERFORMING

Muito obrigada to the fabulosa Nina Miranda who invited me to sing one of my old French favourites at her terrific gig last night. I've turned into Harpo Marx in this photo but that's fine by me. The whole evening was a joy.

The lyrics of Les Feuilles Mortes (1945) - translated (inadequately) as Autumn Leaves - are by the poet Jacques Prevert. The music is by Joseph Kosma. Yves Montand first introduced the song in the 1946 film Les Portes de la Nuit.




Facebook post by Nina Rocha-Miranda 20 November 2017

Natalie D'Arberloff graced the stage with her voice on Les Feuilles Mortes last night @ our 'Arti, Parti, Liberdadi' and the whole room joined her, the autumn leaves rose and danced, and our hearts thanked her. Also big O B R i G A D A to Mark Hudson for sharing your excellent film 'Tom went to Brazil'. (great intro!) Thank you Pedro Montenegro for taking such great photos and helping organise the night, and Paddy for being superbly helpful always.Thanks to all who came and hung out and sang together on an autumn Sunday night, you're magic! . To Antony Elvin on guitar and voice and so much humour, Oli Savill on percussion, Alex Afia and Abigail Dance on violin, William Summers on flutes and pipes, Inspirational Arícia Mess on voice, Caco Barros for fine Brazilian guitar and voice, Satin Singh and Tristan Banks for jumping on for percussion impromptu wikedness of the highest calibre, Julia Miranda and Flora McLean on the wheels of feel, beautiful selections, Miriam Nabarro for getting it all so beautiful from the start with your magic paper umbrella art unfurling to further scenic magic with Julia. Thanks to mum for painting as a Ninja sur La Seine, and to Gabby Sellen and Nikita for groovy Flora Mclean hat dancing. to Deirdre McGinnis Lopez for introducing me to this very, very , Funky venue. Aces & Eights - NW5.. you really are all ACE.. sound guy, front of house, Bar staff and decor. Cheers Tim and all. x x Nina

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NICK WADLEY R.I.P.

The warmth, wit, perceptiveness and graphic brilliance of Nick Wadley no longer grace this world.
He died on 1st November after seven weeks in hospital.

I only met him a few times but he left a deep and lasting impression. His Man + Book is being published in December by Dalkey Archive Press and an exhibition Nick in Gdansk will be held next year.

To me his Man + Doctor (2012) is the most devastatingly truthful, painful, joyful and liberating of any account ever drawn or written on the subject. In a few strokes, without a trace of self-pity or sentimentality, he manages to convey how it feels to be a sharp consciousness trapped inside the tragically vulnerable, unreliable, absurdly loveable human body.

Monday, November 06, 2017

BEGIN THE BEGIN

Every so often...so often!...I get a feeling of wanting to start from scratch, clear the decks, wipe the slate, begin again at a different beginning.

Usually it starts when I look around and decide that my home must be completely transformed. I must get rid of everything I no longer need, put my past artworks out of sight, give away old vinyl records, cds, books I won't read again etc. Apart from kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, turn the other two rooms into painting/building spaces - my upstairs studio is much too cramped, filled with STUFF which must immeditely be cleared.

What usually happens next in the radical transformation scenario is that reality, i.e. the colossal physical/mental energy required to achieve my goal, suddenly knocks me down, knocks me out and stands there laughing fiendishly while I crawl away, defeated.

The thing is: to start from the beginning, is it the mental space you need to clear rather than your physical space? Or is there no such thing as a new beginning?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

ROME RETURN

Leaving aside for a moment the cultural, historic, aesthetic, gastronomic, cinematic and other wonders of Rome, on this return trip I was struck by the invasion, occupation and dictatorship of the automobile. It’s universal of course but I saw it in sharper focus in this city to which all roads, ironically, lead.

Double parked everywhere no matter how narrow a street, looming impatiently over your shoulder as you cross on white lines, cars seemed like a plague of giant cockroaches. All the comforts of having private transport bubbles furnished with entertainment, navigation, air-conditioning etc. become absurdly useless because in a city with a zillion private bubbles they will, of course, compete fiercely for space and speed and the result is hell: road-rage, traffic-rage, parking-rage, accident-rage, fuel-rage, pollution-rage, drunk-driving-rage, death-rage and so on. Obviously. If cars are allowed to rule the world humans become their slaves.


But the best thing about Italy is the Italians. I love the warmth, the ease, the wit of communication, the way words roll deliciously on the tongue before becoming speech. I do very little talking in my normal life so Italian verbosity is always both thrilling and overwhelming. I forget a lot of words in Spanish and Portuguese which I used to speak easily but Italian has stayed whole. Maybe because of intense conversations, many letters written and received but most of all the family connection: my older sister Anne, creatrice of the Teatro Club di Roma, her late husband, the writer and polymath Gerardo Guerrieri, their two talented daughters Selene and Indira with their inimitable spouses and children. I am grateful that destiny landed me in an international family in which every single individual is memorable, so memorable that I really should do a portrait of every one of them. Okay I will. I’ve just put it on my To Do list.

 My niece Selene Guerrieri Martinelli and my sister Anne d'Arbeloff Guerrieri. Rome, October 2017

This trip was a totally unexpected gift from an old friend who rang me out of the blue saying he had booked tickets for us to attend a performance of Tosca and he was offering me the return flight to Rome. An absolutely un-refusable offer. Why Tosca? Some years ago, when Gaetano was in London, we listened to the dramatic aria "E lucevan le stelle" (Pavarotti does it brilliantly) and were especially fond of that deep BOOM just before the condemned Cavaradossi sings "E non ho mai tanto amato la vita". Afterwards we fooled around imitating the BOOM. That's all there was to our Tosca experience - neither of us particularly an opera lover. But Gaetano remembered that long-ago moment and I was deeply touched by his gesture.

 Gaetano Trusso, Rome, architect, painter, poet, with two of his paintings inspired by Persian texts. He has translated some Persian poetry into Italian.

Unfortunately he was cheated by one of those online ticket fraudsters who sold him very expensive balcony seats in which Gaetano could not see the stage at all and I, perched on a high stool, saw only a corner slice of the action. It didn’t matter - the evening and the whole trip were still memorable.

 Rome, National Opera House.


My view of the stage, Tosca.


Finale. he cast of Tosca takes a bow.

 The bar at the Rome Opera House.

 Romans eating lunch in the sun.


 Irresistible temptation in Roman cafe.


 I haven't mentioned the wonderful family reunions because those are private but I also finally got to meet in real life a longtime blogging friend, Cynthia Korzekwa, Mistress of Transforming Into Art Everything You Throw Away. Her blog is Art for Housewives but her talent cannot be categorised. I only spent a very short time with her but it was enough to cement our friendship.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

JOWLS revisited

Do you make yourself laugh? If not why not? I do, quite often. 

This video is one example.

I beg your indulgence. I know it needs more editing but I've just posted it on Youtube and kind of hope it goes viral because it might encourage me to pursue silliness seriously.


All comments are welcome, critical ones too. Am not fishing for compliments, only honest responses. I had fun making this video, totally improvised, no script. I showed it to a few people back then in '97 and now it's on Facebook and Youtube but I really have no idea whether people "get" my kind of humour or whether it bores them etc.. It's quite possible that I'm the only one who finds this video hilarious and that's okay but it would be nice to get feedback.

Friday, October 13, 2017

MINDCHATTER

What's on your mind Facebook asks me in its mindless way. Okay here's what's on my mind right now:

Mindchatter.

Like when my mind is replaying what I've said or written to someone, or what they've said or written to me, or repeating something I told myself an hour ago, or a week ago, or maybe twenty thirty forty years ago, as if I needed reminding even if it was chatter then and still is chatter now.

Mindchatter when the replay/repeat button in my head is on all the time. Except when I turn it off.

Which is when I'm asleep, or reading, or engaged in demanding physical activity (pleasureable or not) or...this is the big OR...when my mind is free of chatter and I allow it to be the tool which it is, an instrument whose function is to make something, create something.

Mindchatter is the spanner in the works. The blunting of the tool. The rust, the dust, the mildew, the mould.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NO WORDS

Nothing of particular interest to say, aware of this and that, busy with family and other matters. Hello anyway.