Four years ago today, in the V&A’s porcelain courtyard expansion not long after it opened. Was getting ready for an evening rehearsal outside, very chilly.
We were due to move out of London on the 31st, and then we were going to live in West Yorkshire with Sam’s family for two weeks before leaving for the US. Obviously, that plan was shot to pieces.
We were still planning to move out on time until late Wednesday night when we realised that a lockdown in London could easily mean being stuck with nowhere to go. At around 5am on Thursday, we woke up and started packing. Sam got one of the last vans at Enterprise and we Tetris-ed things in to it until about 7pm when it was filled to the brim. We said goodbye to our home for the last 4+ years, and then he drove north while I failed to stay awake in the passenger seat. We listened to a few episodes of Answer Me This and The Mythos Suite, ended up rolling in to our destination around 1am.
Meet our new neighbours.
We’ll be staying in a few AirBnBs until things calm down a little bit and it makes sense to move to the US. It’s pretty good so far. We have already worked remotely for so long, we don’t have to make any major adjustments there. And it’s a beautiful part of the world, should be able to do a lot of walking.
Part of me feels really guilty about leaving, particularly when I think about what happened with the lockdown exodus in Italy and after reading this Guardian article. We don’t want to contribute to any problems, but we couldn’t stay.
We decided on Yorkshire because it was pretty much our original plan, though we’ll probably be here longer than we had planned and will rarely see family. We’re trying to stay as distant as possible. Living in a state of flux.
We’ve been slowly packing up for the past month, preparing to move thousands of miles away. It was exciting up until about two weeks ago. We knew it would be sad to leave the people we love, pack away our books, sell so many of our things. But we were looking forward to a big change.
Now it feels untethering. Reality feels very thin at the moment, and the process of moving amplifies that feeling. Home should be a grounding place, but it’s shifting under our feet. We’ve disassembled our workspaces, we’ve given away the chairs and sold the monitors. The umbrella plant that I got at the flower market when I first moved here, the dracaena I brought back from the dead, the lovely coffee table we’ve had since we first started living together. They’ll all be gone by tomorrow.
I really don’t mind the downscaling. They’re just objects, and all of them are going to great homes. And we’re still going to move even if it gets delayed by current events, so it doesn’t make sense to hoard things for the sake of a few more weeks. But the *timing*. Things are dissolving and will be fluid for quite some time. I could really do with some solidity.
The worst part is that we may not get to say goodbye. We were planning to celebrate with the people we love. There’s an outside chance we’ll still be able to, but we don’t want to put friends in an uncomfortable or dangerous position.
What will happen will happen. And we’re pretty fortunate. It’s just sad, that’s all.
I’m not going to lie, when I get a few drinks in me… I’m a little nasty to her. But it’s just one of those things.
Overheard on 10 April 2013 while sitting on the the upper deck of the 73 bus between Euston Station and King’s Cross, headed towards Stoke Newington. Said by a middle-aged businessman with a blue tie and London accent talking on a mobile.
Seems particularly awful since obviously there is self-awareness. He just doesn’t care enough to act differently.
Found in one of my old notebooks that I’m slowly de-cluttering.
Saw these teeny tiny moss flowers on a walk with GC, BW, and HB yesterday. <3
Last night was Musarc’s winter concert The Orrery on the first day of LCMF 2019. Our performance included a new commission from Lina Lapelytė Time to Become One, the UK premiere of Jennifer Walshe’s The White Noisery, György Ligeti’s Poème symphonique, Un soir de neige by Francis Poulenc, and Fritz Hauser’s Schraffur (Hatchings).
Everything revolved around a floating, glowing orb.
The evening was conceived in collaboration between Sam Belinfante, the contributing composers / artists, members of Musarc, and our inimitable directors Cathy Heller Jones and Joseph Kohlmaier. It all came together with a ton of help from friends and metronome-sitters, and exceedingly delicious vegan food was offered by Return to Shashamane.
It was intense and meditative. I’ve spoken to a few friends in the audience who had nice things to say, but also I’m curious to know what others in the audience thought. I’ve seen at least one good blurb, which is lovely.
Big things for the choir next year I expect. In the shorter term, I’m looking forward to the rest of LCMF’s Witchy Methodologies. Particularly On Rites and Reenchantment and On Gossip & Eavesdropping.
Image via LCMF
This is super delayed! I typed up my rough notes right after MozFest finished in October but never pressed publish. Voila.
MozFest is 10 years old! This was their last year at Ravensbourne in London. Sad, but I’m excited to see where it heads next.
This is a haphazard brain-dump of everything I want to remember and follow up on, a lot of questions for future consideration and resources that I need to explore. See also Common Knowledge’s notes from MozFest written by Gemma Copeland.
Last night I went to a live screening of Koyaanisqatsi at EartH in Hackney with GC. I knew Gogo Penguin would be playing live, but I didn’t realise they’d be playing their own re-scoring! Pretty impressive, both the execution and to even take it on considering the epic proportions of Philip Glass’s original score. The synchronisation of the rhythm and the visual was maybe not quite as intricate as the original but it was expertly handled, particularly for a live performance. Most of the time the pace was frenetic, frantic. There weren’t quite as many despairing moments as in Glass’s score, but the overall vibe was very similar.
I need to listen to more Gogo Penguin and definitely need to watch the original film, before this I’d only seen small bits of it.
The second half of the film includes many clips of derelict housing projects and other buildings. Those clips unearthed a ten-year-old memory of a tower I’d seen when visiting a good friend in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The angular concrete structure loomed over the playground in Park Zrinjevac. It was an inanimate casualty of the catastrophic conflicts that consumed the region in the early 1990s, abandoned but clinging to a few remnants of glass and insulation.
That much I knew from the pocked concrete, but I didn’t know the specific role it played in the war until today. Once called the Ljubljanska Banka Tower, it’s now known to some as the Sniper’s Tower. It was used by gunmen targeting people below during the 1993–1994 Siege of Mostar. The multiple sieges led to the widespread destruction of the city, and almost 100,000 people fled.
I searched everywhere online for pre-war photos of the tower but couldn’t find any, just this photo taken a few months after I was there. The photographer captured it in much better light than I, the photo hints at the building’s formerly mirrored, golden facade. It still stands from what I gather, but the exterior structure has been removed and the entries have been blocked off. Graffiti artists use it, and urban explorers try to have a poke around. It looks like a skeleton in the more recent images I’ve seen. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable going in.
When we were walking in the heath yesterday, we came across this creepy looking fungus with deep red shiny droplets oozing from it. Gave me the heebie-jeebies. I looked it up when we got back, looks like its scientific name is Hydnellum peckii. It has a few common names. “Strawberries and Cream” is one of the cuter names, “Bleeding Tooth Fungus” is probably a more accurate one. Unless you suffer from trypophobia, it’s worth looking up online. It’s not edible, supposedly it tastes pretty bad, but apparently it contains an effective anticoagulant.
We live in a flat in a terraced house, I think it was converted to flats some time in the 80s or 90s. It’s a standard sort of place with a low wall that separates the front “garden” (all flagstones) from the pavement. People stop and sit on the wall to chat all the time. No idea why, and no idea who they are. Maybe it’s perfectly butt height? Or the perfect width? Or it’s well positioned under a big, fluffy tree? Who knows. It’s kind of nice.