Friday 22 December 2017

London Gypsy Orchestra - A World in London

Martin Weightman
London Gypsy Orchestra
Seppi - percussion
Norman Druker - bass
Aggie Branner - fiddle, vocals
Stephen Simblet - mandolin
Marc Craste - guitar
Cathy Taylor - flute
Andrew Ryser Szymański - pocket trumpet
Martin Weightman - accordion
Sarah Montague - fiddle, vocals

Aggie Branner
Date - 20th December 2017
Venue - AWorld In London, Resonance FM, London, UK
Album - Gankino Goes To HoraWood (2017)

Andrew Ryser Szymański
The magnificent London Gypsy Orchestra on this festive A World in London!
Click to listen:

Sarah Montague
Our Chanukah & Christmas special was lifted into outer-orbit by Balkanesque big band, the London Gypsy Orchestra! Nine members of this charity-based outfit squeezed themselves into our studio, along with their fine array of instruments ranging from a pocket trumpet to a mother-of-pearl inlaid accordion. Linguistic chameleons Sarah Montague and Agnes Branner led a bold & brassy vocal trek across Eastern Europe taking in gypsy classics from Hungary to Macedonia including a marvellous cover of Esma Redzepova’s ‘Caje Sukarije’. LGO has been on the road since 2005 when it was first founded by Magic Violin’s Gundula Gruen, and they’re still one of the most exciting and vibrant groups in our capital.

Norman Druker
20/12/17 – AWIL at Res 148  Online: Production & pics by Sofia Gaetani-Morris, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling, and sketches by Alban Low. Also this week Marina Deligianni & Sofia Pechlivani at SOAS. Click:  Happy holidays and speak again on January 10th! #AWorldinLondon – IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR! Live on Wednesdays 6.30pm Resonance 104.4 & 4pm SOAS Radio

Cathy Taylor
The London Gypsy Orchestra brings together 20 musicians of all backgrounds and nationalities to perform vibrant, passionate and energetic music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The group performs in a variety of venues and formats - from evening gala concerts to theatre venues and festival appearances. Venues have included the Union Chapel, St George's Bristol and Carling Academy Oxford, and festivals have included the Pulse Festival on the South Bank, Dorchester Arts Festival, Rhythms of the World, the London International Gypsy Film Festival and the Ealing Jazz Festival.
Marc Craste
The orchestra also organises interactive community events, educational activities and workshops, such as the Gypsy Exchange project funded by Awards for All, and an annual all-day event at Cecil Sharp House. The LGO is a registered charity, and through its performances, projects and outreach events, aims to inspire and educate the community in the magic of Gypsy music and culture.

Stephen Simblet
Their charitable aims are:
1. To advance, improve, develop and maintain public education and appreciation in music, arts and culture, particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to Gypsy and folk music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
2. To advance public education in music and musical skills and to inspire participation in and appreciation of the art of music.
3. To advance public education in the arts and musical traditions of different cultures.
4. To promote equality and diversity for the public benefit, in particular by:
  a) providing or supporting music and creative arts projects which foster integration and skill sharing between people from diverse backgrounds;
  b) educating the public about different peoples and cultures, especially through music and arts, to increase awareness and understanding.


Tuesday 19 December 2017

ALL at Guest Projects: Five Years Fundraiser

Luca Natali Stradivari

Robert Good
Richard Allen
Al Coffey and friends
Lord Puffin
Luca Natali Stradivari
Lizz Brady
Kato Catling
Kenji Lim

Date - 14th December 2017
Venue - Guest Projects, London E8 4QL, UK

Next exhibition - PLACE: Relinking, Relating, Relaying at The Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge and elsewhere, 25 January – 17 February 2018

Robert Good

Robert Good brought the Art Language Location roadshow to the shores of Regents Canal in Shoreditch last week. After five years of running the innovative ALL festival in Cambridge it was an opportunity for a London art audience to see what he has achieved so far. It was a mere taste of what Art Language Location represents, despite the night lacking the all important locations (Cambridge) visitors to the exhibition/party were treated to a 45 minute set of live performances. 

Lord Puffin

Robert Good introduced the exhibition, which also doubled as a fundraiser (make a donation HERE). Matthew Wilson’s helium balloons floated centre stage, hanging above the performers like a Puff of Damocles. Cocktails and mulled wine tempted people to the wicked corners of the Guest Project space. Rosanna Greaves' compilation of ALL short videos lit up a wall alongside Amelia Critchlow's beautiful installation. There was a table-top sale and silent auction which helped raise more than £800 for the cause. Music was provided by Lord Puffin.

Al Coffey and friends
The performances were led by Richard Allen, who punctuated the intervals with his witty conceptual rhymes. Al Coffey and friends presented their clever on-the-move observations on Art, mixing the spirit of youth with a cerebral twist. Kenji Lim took us on a 'journey' of words. An old hand in the Art Language Location game, Lim was named the winner of the Art Language Location award in 2015 and his artwork 'Daughters' was displayed on the Anglia Ruskin University campus during the festival. 

Kato Catling
Kato Catling presented an intriguing poetic work as well as some vibrant postcards in the table-top sale. The longest and most hypnotic performance of the night came from Luca Natali Stradivari. His one man re-enactment exposed the story of a man slowly losing his mind. If any piece challenged the idea of Art Language Location then this was it. The Art wasn't of the clinical gallery kind, the Language was conveyed with hands and grunts, while the Location was unmistakeably Shoreditch but also embedded within the audience's imagination.

Luca Natali Stradivari
Art Language Location is a not-for-profit, collaborative organisation run by artists based in Cambridge UK. Their aim is to support artists and projects to bring innovative, exciting and experimental text-based art to unusual and interesting locations across Cambridge and beyond. ALL began with Text&Context in October 2012 and took the format of an art festival and symposium in Cambridge until 2016, featuring and connecting more than 150 artists with over 80 different locations through a series of exhibitions, festivals and one-off events.ALL is being reorganised during 2017 to move away from a festival approach and refocus on a range of Projects and collaborations.

Kenji Lim
Their next exhibition is PLACE: Relinking, Relating, Relaying (January 2018) exploring ideas of locality, identity and displacement. In the current climate of uncertainty, we will bring important and timely new perspectives and discourses to Cambridge, showing how art can cross borders to create new narratives and new connections.
Lizz Brady from Broken Grey Wires
Broken Grey Wires is a contemporary art organisation responding to and exploring mental health, philosophy, psychology and everything in between. They work closely with the community, critically acclaimed artists and major institutions, to open up a dialogue and provide inspiration and opportunities for people with mental health difficulties. Renowned psychiatrist R.D Laing proclaimed that “Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through.” This concept follows the ethos for Broken Grey Wires, creating a space for people to feel comfortable and participate in the project, for art to become a facilitator for recovery, and for Broken Grey Wires to encourage people to make something special for themselves.

Richard Allen

Monday 11 December 2017

The Sound of Blue Note - Riverside Arts Jazz

Paul Jordanous
Sound of Blue Note
Jac Jones - saxophone
Paul Jordanous - trumpet
Terence Collie - piano
Dave Jones - bass
Matthew Skeaping - drums

Date - 10th December 2017
Venue - Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury-on-Thames, UK

Matthew Skeaping

Future Mood Indigo events
07 Riverside Arts Jazz - Jim Mullen
19 Posk - Featuring Duncan Eagles - saxophone, Becky Morse – vocals

04 Riverside Arts Jazz - The Music of Michael Garrick
04 Riverside Arts Jazz - "Smokin’ At the Half Note" feat. Nigel Price
15 Riverside Arts Jazz - Jo Harrop "Anita O’Day - The Verve Years"

The last Riverside Arts Jazz concert of 2018 defied the sleet and snow to present a warm and sweet night of Jazz. Buoyed by mulled wine and mince pies the packed audience were completed absorbed by a repertoire of tunes prised from the Blue Note vaults. Eschewing the usual Blue Note fayre, they presented a plate of light and delicious amuse-bouche rather than the greedy gorging of a 30lb 'hard bop' turkey.

Dave Jones
Despite the presence of Paul Jordanous, who had jetted in after recently touring with Rag'n'Bone Man, this wasn't a night for showboating nor headliners. It was a performance of balance and poise. The rich warmth that spread through the body wasn't just the Riverside Arts' efficient heating system but a familiarity with the music, the musicians themselves, and a genuine sense of community. Generously fostered by Terence Collie and Janet McCunn.

Jac Jones
Historically, Blue Note has principally been associated with the "hard bop" style of jazz. Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Grant Green, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean were among the label's leading artists. Founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion, Francis Wolff and Max Margulis it continues to be influential to jazz musicians today. Not only does the music live on but also the design, photography and graphic art that helped sell albums throughout the world.

Terence Collie
Terrence Collie has been playing music since he was 10 years old. He is mainly self taught, learning tunes by ear playing along with the record and learning to improvise. He has done formal studies with the Open University and Berklee and has been lucky enough to play with a whole host of musicians over the years in many different genres from rock, soul, funk, blues, reggae, latin to swing. He is currently running and hosting many jazz nights in south west London and playing regularly at some of the best jazz venues in the South of England, both with his own group Prison Break or as a sideman with others. He is also the co-founder of the successful TW12Jazz Festival. He is going to record a trio album in January 2018.

Friday 8 December 2017

Tell Tale Tusk - Fabulous and Fabled

Anna Lowenstein
Tell Tale Tusk
Fiona Fey - vocals/guitar
Laura Inskip - vocals/guitar
Rey Yusuf - vocals/ Percussion
Anna Lowenstein - fiddle

Date - 6th December 2017
Venue - A World In London, Resonance FM, London, UK
Album - Through the Morning (2017)

Rey Yusuf
Future performance

Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8pm - Quartet EP Launch @ Balabam, London, UK

Fantastic folk ensemble Tell Tale Tusk return to A World in London!
Click to listen:

Laura Inskip
A year ago the most wonderful female folk quartet bounded into our studio bringing light, love, and laughter on a day when the entire world had been Donald Trumped into gloom. This time round our encounter with Tell Tale Tusk was equally fulfilling as they paraded their debut EP filled with succulent & award-winning 3-part harmonies topped with fiddle and bottomed with tabor drum. Music doesn’t get any better than this - when it’s blended through such exquisite voices, reimagined folk fables, plus original compositions by four ultra-skilled mistresses of melody & verse. Tell Tale Tusk launch their debut EP  Through the Morning’ on Wednesday 13th December at Balabam - hear exclusive & brilliant live extracts first on this AWIL!

Fiona Fey
6/12/17 – AWIL at Res 146  Online:  Production & pics by Sofia Gaetani-Morris, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling & sketches by artist Alban Low. Also this week Michael Bristow at SOAS Radio:  Next week Akari Mochizuki @ Resonance. #AWorldinLondon – IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR! Live on Wednesdays 6.30pm Resonance 104.4 & 4pm SOAS Radio 

Anna Lowenstein

Monday 27 November 2017

Eyebrow - Strata (Album art)

Album art inspiration
Eyebrow - Strata (2017)

Paul Wigens - drums, percussion, violin, bowed guitar
Pete Judge - trumpet, electronics

Images by Paul Wigens
Design by Jake McMurchie

Eyebrow are a trumpet and drums duo based in Bristol, UK. Formed in 2009, their music evolves out of improvisations which are reassembled into structured pieces with unexpectedly cinematic sweeps, like a journey through a slowly-changing landscape. The band’s 5th album, Strata, was released last month (October 2017).

The new album from the Bristolian duo Eyebrow was destined to be called Deep Time, a concept that is rooted in the work of  Scottish geologist, physician, naturalist and experimental agriculturalist James Hutton (1726-1797). It was his belief that the Earth was perpetually being formed, through a process of rock erosion, sedimentation and formation. The idea that the Earth is alive was first scientifically discussed by Hutton, he anticipated the Gaia hypothesis proposed by James Lovelock in the 1960s. This theory proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on our planet.

Paul Wigens
Unfortunately Eyebrow had to find a new title for their imminent CD release when Harrison Birtwistle premiered a new orchestral work titled Deep Time in June 2017. Yet the themes and metaphors of Deep Time (Erosion, Formation, Synergy and Gaia) still embed themselves in Eyebrow's 5th album Strata

Paul Wigens created the album cover artwork, he explains more about its creation,
"The original images were of sunlight through curtains and slatted blinds which created the abstract wavy lines. The images were created in the Brushes app on my phone and enlarged and enhanced in Photoshop. I used my finger to 'paint' over the pictures. Great fun!"

Pete Judge
To the viewer the album cover contains many stories, flowing far away from its sunshine origins. The purists see an anticline, a geological formation of folded rock strata. The more simple interpretation is as plain as black and white, two distinct personalities, Judge and Wigens. The lines don't sit beside each other in perfect definition though, they ebb and blur, moving as the eye scans over them. Symbolic perhaps of Eyebrow, whose music seeps and bleeds between genres, travelling towards new music landscapes that have yet to be defined.

Read an excellent review of Strata at The Jazzmann.

All Eyebrow’s albums are available to download at:

Maya Youssef - Qanun of the heart

Maya Youssef

Maya Youssef - qanun

Date - 22nd November 2017
Venue - A World In London, Resonance FM, London, UK

Album - Syrian Dreams (Harmonia Mundi, 2017)

Future performance
January 18th, 2018 - Celtic Connections 25th Anniversary Concert, Glasgow, UK.

Mesmerising conjurer of qanun, Maya Youssef on this A World in London!
Click to listen:

Maya Youssef
You can almost imagine the original advert on a dating app: ‘Qanun, ancient Persian zither seeks 21st century Queen of the heart'. A young girl living in Damascus saw this advert and replied, ‘I will be your heart, your queen, your life-partner, and together we will make beautiful music that will touch the hearts of everyone else’. That girl was Maya Youssef, and thus began a soul-filled romance with her Qanun that has taken the love-struck pair concerting around the world, via seas filled with Syrian Dreams. We first interviewed Maya Youssef in 2012, after she had just moved to London. She was on the brink of new discovery, and her homeland was on the brink of disaster - a lot has happened in the five years since then. Listen to this AWIL to hear one of our most poignant & moving interviews, plus Maya’s emotive & spellbinding compositions from her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Syrian Dreams’. 

Patrick Bernard - Resonance FM Sound Engineer
22/11/17 – AWIL at Res 145  Online:  Production & pics by Sofia Gaetani-Morris, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling & sketches by artist Alban Low. Also this week Latchepen at SOAS Radio:  Next week global music at SOAS. #AWorldinLondon – IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR! Live on Wednesdays 6.30pm Resonance 104.4 & 4pm SOAS Radio 

Thursday 16 November 2017

James Patrick Gavin - Fanning the Flames

James Patrick Gavin
James Patrick Gavin - violin
Tad Sargent - bouzouki/guitar

Date - 15th November 2017
Venue - A World In London, Resonance FM, London, UK

Future performance
5th February 2018 - Chewing The Fat album launch, Union Chapel, London.

Tad Sargent
Charismatic music maestro James Patrick Gavin on this A World in London!
Click to listen:  

James Gavin and Tad Sargent share much common ground, from Irish roots to Islington’s Holloway Road, and previous appearances on AWIL, but most of all, their outstanding musicianship. It was pure joy to watch James Gavin’s finessed fiddle-playing working in tandem with Tad Sargent’s brilliant bouzouki-guitar in the studio! James has now embarked on his first solo adventure, producing a fantastic CD called Chewing the Fat which is scheduled for release on January 26th. It’s a concept album, centred around the life & times of his grandmother, Philomena, who lives on a remote Irish mountain and has plenty to say. Tracks on Chewing the Fat are equally conversational, taking unexpected twists and turns through weeping violin and furiously fast Irish reels. Our conversation during this AWIL was also unpredictable, covering debates about Folk music from across the British isles to the worrying loss of yet more grassroots music venues in London. ‘You want to be fanning the flames rather than worshipping the ashes’.

Tad Sargent 
15/11/17 – AWIL at Res 144  Online:  Production & pics by Sofia Gaetani-Morris, Norman Druker, Sophie Darling. Also this week Mary Ann Kennedy at SOAS Radio: Next week Latchepen at SOAS!  #AWorldinLondon – IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR! Live on Wednesdays 6.30pm Resonance 104.4 & 4pm SOAS Radio

Monday 6 November 2017

SING4SANE - Houses Of Parliament

Melissa James
Melissa James
Helen Whately MP (Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health)
Luciana Berger MP
James Morris MP
Eugenie Arrowsmith
Marjore Wallace - SANE
Stephen Clift - Sidney de Haan Arts & Health Centre

Date - 30th October 2017
Venue - The Jubilee Room, Houses Of Parliament, London, UK
Video - Live Again

MPs gathered alongside mental health experts and supporters in the Houses of Parliament last week to talk (and sing) in support of SING4SANE. The project has been brought to life by singer-songwriter Melissa James, whose “pop-up” performances bond together an inclusive choir in the most unlikely places. In February 2017 she brought together a thirty strong choir at Caffe Nero in Heathrow Airport. It was a dramatic concert that illustrated that mental health issues can strike at the heart of any community. There are pinch points in all of lives and the stresses that revolve around travel and work can sometimes be masked by the busyness of our lives. No where can life be more stressful (nor fast paced) than the Houses of Parliament. Mental Health has been brought to the fore by our parliamentarians in recent months and the event was opened by talks from Helen Whately MP and Luciana Berger MP.

Helen Whately MP

"Mental illness should not be seen as an inevitable part of life. The current state of mental health treatment would simply never be accepted for a physical condition. I've pledged to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in tackling young people’s mental health. I joined MPs from all parties in swearing to tackle mental illness."
Helen Whately MP

Luciana Berger MP
"In my role as President of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health I have visited many services and organisations across the country. There is clearly a huge appetite out there, to work together to improve our mental health services."
Luciana Berger MP

Eugenie Arrowsmith
Melissa James and Eugenie Arrowsmith spoke to the audience about the pressures they have felt being musicians and vocalists. Arrowsmith was signed to Virgin 10 as a teen, and after making an album that cost more than £500,000, she watched as her work was ultimately locked away in a vault at EMI. Through no fault of her own the work she had put her life and soul into had been taken out her hands. Although the struggle of those years took it toll on Eugenie it didn't quell her desire and she is about to release music again after 20 years, this time on her own label.

“The pressures of the music industry, combined with the desire to be a working artist, are often at odds with each other. I constantly question whether agreeing to particular performances, or keeping-up with demands of social media posts, are really necessary if I am not fully stable and am not feeling mentally well. It does mean making sacrifices, which in turn can lead to feelings of guilt and uncertainty about your abilities as an artist and performer. The difficulty in feeling unable to speak about it doesn’t help. Singing with others who understand does somehow help to silently ease the pressure.”
Melissa James

Jonathon Holder
The Parliamentary Big Sing was a great success bringing together politicians from opposing parties to sing as one. Jonathon Holder on guitar accompanied choirs from Goresbrook School (Dagenham) and the George Green School (Isle of Dogs). Several talented singers bolstered the ranks, including composer Ross Lorriane and ex-Birmingham Cathedral chorister Hilgrove Kendrick. They demonstrated that there is great power being part of a collective. With everyone in the Jubilee Room braced shoulder to shoulder they sang for each other, and for the wellbeing of everyone who still suffers far beyond the confines of Westminster. You are not alone they sang, it is time to Live Again.

“The coming together was spine-tingling, I was overwhelmed to see people singing to raise awareness of such an important issue, because mental health matters to them.” Melissa James

Ross Lorraine
During the summer of 2017 members of the public joined Melissa James in a Big Sing at London’s celebrated RAK Studios. The recorded single, Live Again, sees all sale proceeds go to the mental health charity SANE. Live Again is planned for re-release in early November. It will be available to download via i-Tunes, Google Play and Amazon and other online music retailers.

Will Amor
Assistant to Helen Whately MP
“I wrote ‘Live Again’ a couple of years ago about someone close to me who was going through a difficult time,” Melissa explains.  “For me, this song was really about showing my vulnerabilities, and people often come to me saying because of that, they get it. For some people, it makes them cry.
“It’s about isolation, and so it made sense to use it as a tool to create feelings of togetherness by getting people to sing together.”

James Morris MP
Marjorie Wallace CBE (SANE), James Morris MP, Eugenie Arrowsmith and Sephen Clift (Sidney de Haan Arts & Health Centre) joined Melissa James in a panel discussion. The packed audience listened with emboldened hearts but were also chastened by the realities that face Mental Health services throughout the UK. Nothing can dispute that we need to come together, to listen to each other and to celebrate with voices that have found their life once again.

Marjorie Wallace
“It’s fantastic that Melissa has created this event to bring the SING4SANE initiative to this important audience. Singing can set the mind and spirit free, and help people who experience mental health problems.”
Marjorie Wallace CBE, founder and chief executive of SANE

Margaret Edwards SANE
SANE was established in 1986 to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness, following the overwhelming public response to a series of articles published in The Times entitled The Forgotten Illness. Written by the charity’s founder and chief executive, Marjorie Wallace, the articles exposed the neglect of people suffering from mental illness and the poverty of services and information for individuals and families.

Jonathan Robinson SANE
SANE's vision has remained consistent throughout its history: to raise public awareness, excite research, and bring more effective professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness.
SANE Website

Stephen Clift is Professor of Health Education in the Faculty of Health and Social Care, Canterbury Christ Church University, and Research Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. He has worked in the field of health promotion and public health for over twenty-five years, and has made contributions to research, practice and training on HIV/AIDS prevention, sex education, international travel and health and the health promoting school. His current interests relate to arts and heath and particularly the potential value of group singing for health and wellbeing. He is one of the founding editors of  Arts & Health: An international journal for research, policy and practice  and Honorary President of the  Singing Hospitals International Network.