Berlin Compass and A Month of Sundays

2011/11/28

Blimey, what a rather large month November has been. Maybe it’s all this buzz of activity that has kept the first snow from falling, which I must say is rather disappointing, even if I have been enjoying the surprise (relative) warmth.

Sandra Sarala pulled off a nigh-impossible four evenings straight of brain-stretchingly diverse performances, under the four points of the Berlin COMPASS. Here are a few Northern snaps from the also fabulously talented Maren Imhoff.

 

I had a splendid time on Friday evening. It brought together so much of what I love in Berlin – a collaborative spirit, variety of styles, beautifully cosy venue, and an eager audience.

And those things were also abundant in the Headful of Bees‘ Month of Sundays series at Cafe Hilde. Such a delight to feel yourself lifted and evaporated by wonderful music in what feels very much like your own (albeit very large) living room. This round of delights and wonders featured Ken Burke, Wasp Summer, Eric Eckhart, Miss Kenichi, Violetta, Entertainment for the Braindead, Folk’s Sake, Short & Sweet, Seanin, Nina Hynes, Sara Pickin and me (including a surprise bonus set yesterday evening). Ken and Hilde are cooking up more splendours for you next year, so keep your scanners aimed in that direction!

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Finding our bearings

2011/11/21

I am very excited to be aboard the maiden voyage of the good ship, Berlin Compass. Over four evenings, Berlinators will be presented with a dazzling array of words, music, movement and imagery, as we set sail for each of the four points of the compass. My Headful of Bees colleague, Wasp Summer, and I will be taking you northward on Friday evening.

Important: the times given are not “Berlin time”; there’ll be no more boarding after we set sail at 20:45!

Berlin COMPASS

West, North, East, South: which directional points are yours?

Launch into an ongoing international exploration in music, word, laughter, performance, image and dance: four evenings of intuitive, fated and chosen bearings.

Hosted by singing poet Sandra Sarala (who’s taking on four different musical-poetic-performance personas across the series), and thematically curated around the cardinal points, each multi-disciplinary evening will formally commence with the communal breaking of a circular loaf of homemade bread, uniting all present. Every show has been designed to showcase individual performers, to offer complementary contrasts and interconnections, and will close with collaborative improvisation.

Choose your resonant points and bring your good self /selves along.

Thursday 24th WEST

‘West, Seeking Balance, and the Balancing East’

Wordy offerings from balancing story-telling time-traveller Skiz-um Hequ, and the poetic Eastern tongues of MC Jabber and Moon (Stephen Mooney), while Sandra Sarala explores the maze and dark mystery of Western life, alongside wildcard Wests, singer of sweetness Cera Impala, musician/video artist Peter Newman, and concert pianist Kim Hye Jin, taking us to her West with Rachmaninov.

Friday 25th NORTH

‘North and a Balancing South’

Touch your philosophy with spoken word from mr oCean and Anja Zeilinger, some storytelling and a touch of song from Kerri Mullen, music and candlelight from Wasp Summer, bridge Lieder and the avant-garde with Alexis Baker, and be danced towards love, joy and melancholy by (India-born) Southerner Manish Pathak. Sandra Sarala takes up alter-ego Loki as host.

Saturday 26th EAST

‘East with a Rogue West’

Well-considered words from several stalwarts of Berlin’s literati – spoken word mega-presence Gaby Bila-Gunter aka Lady Gaby, and poets Alistair Noon, and Frank Alkämper, the latter in confluence upon ‘Ausgerechnet Armenien’ (‘Ironically, Armenia) with musicians Michael Gross and Leonid Soybelman (rogue West in the East!). Sandra Sarala heads for the archaic folksong hills, someone lets Volcanick, the hairiest oriental belly-dancer in town, into the house, and special rules come into play this evening for special guest, intuitive singer AlinK.Sarit, bussing over from Poland… which may have a little something to do with film from Marta Jurkowska.

Sunday 27th SOUTH

‘South with a Deliberately Contrary North’

Verbal dexterity in the shining poetry-stories of Claudia Emmingham, dexterous lunacy from singer, songwriter and comedian David Cassel, and electro-art-pop duo Trike (Xania Keane and Stephen Paul Taylor), some measure of Northern contrariness from performance artist Daniela Gast, and a sprinkling on the ivories from composer and pianist Phil Cooksey, also in collaboration upon the southern seas with lyric poetry from Sandra Sarala.

Berlin COMPASS: Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 November, 2011, Club der polnischen Versager, Ackerstraße 168 (next to Schokoladen), 10115 Berlin, (U8 Rosenthaler Platz)

Doors open and music from 20:15, Doors close and bread-breaking 20:45

Entry: 8 €, and an extra special collection on Saturday night

http://berlincompass.blogspot.com/


Maybe as close as I get to a manifesto

2011/11/21

Aeolian Hearts

If the worth of our selves must be measured,
let it not be by our jobs and possessions
and the TV shows we watch,
but rather by the music that we make
when the world blows through our hearts.

Originally published in SpeedPoets (an earlier version)


Another string to an already formidable bow

2011/11/16

If you’ve ever heard Joe Czarnecki play guitar, you could be forgiven for thinking that was all he could do, and could easily conclude that this was more than enough. But blimey… this! With To Build a Spine, he also becomes one of my favourite poets. I hear echoes of Shane .L. Koyczan and Coleman Barks in this, but it is very clearly Joe’s own voice, his own heart. Listen to it. Name your price for a download: it’s worth having.