Irfan - Jamendo

These Oriental chants, with influences of Dead Can Dance, Byzantine Church, Bedouin (tribal, Arabic), folk music, and singing in the Alps to the forces of being itself, are beautiful. A Bulgarian group with a female lead solo whose unearthly yet earthy voice I could listen to endlessly. This album takes me to places I've never been before. My soul sang a strange and beautiful song with them. Each track superb. It starts slow, with instrumental, and then builds into a series of Oriental chants. A tour de force of an album. Kudos. A stunning offering, indeed. Thank you, Irfan, for sharing your considerable talent.

From's Irfan page:

"Irfan is a Bulgarian band that was founded in 2001. The band’s name is taken from the Arabic/Persian word ‘Irfan’, meaning “gnosis”, “mystic knowledge” or “revelation”.

Though similar in style to established bands such as Dead Can Dance, Love Is Colder Than Death, Sarband, and Vas, Irfan is known for its extensive use of a choir of male singers in addition to the female vocals of Vladislava Todorova, and in in combination with an assortment of traditional mediaeval percussion, stringed, and wind instruments, including the darbouka, daf, bendir, oud, saz, santoor, ghaida, duduk ,and bass viol. Irfan’s music and reliance on traditional instruments is based on a blend of the musical influences common to Bulgaria, and thus represents a blend of mediaeval European, Balkan, and Middle-Eastern styles."


Granted, it may not look very interesting. But the pattern was on sale. Nightgowns in stores are usually too short, and the fabric thin enough to see through. With grown children about, I prefer long and opague. I'm not crazy about Victorian-style nightgowns due to the amount of material and how long it takes to get all the creases out as you yank and toss and turn getting comfortable to sleep. Besides, I nattered to the dubious-looking saleswoman, it's all in the fabric.

And I learnt how to turn a regular 5/8" seam into a French seam after you've sewn it. Turn in carefully, and pin. Edge sew. No ends to fray. Perfecto!

I went to Queen Street in Toronto, the 'garment district,' and found the African-style print below for $4./yd - at 3 yards, that's $12.00! I liked it so much, I went back and picked a floral. I think it makes me look Pre-Raphaelite.

There are a few reasons why I like this particular style in 'unexpected' fabric. It's like a lounge-gown. Very comfortable in the mornings and evenings. Also, with a belt quickly snapped or buckled on, I feel comfortable letting the dog out. Who would know it's my nightgown?

How perfect is that?

My daughter took these photos late last night and perhaps we should have had more lights on. Still, fun!

Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments

Poetry Recordings

Why does it take like 8 different tries, and each of those tries, well I can't tell you how much work, before... the voice, the emotion, the content, the meaning, the whole gestalt of it comes together in a reading that's beyond the-me. Criteria? If I can stand to listen to it.

I know I have to strip myself bare. Be wholly vulnerable. Ouch...

Comments are rare, so I have no idea if it works for/on anyone else. Only occasionally, years after, I'll get a phenomenal response in a private email where the listener found the recording opened them and then they matched the intensity of the original with their own intensity - and their own interpretation that spilled into their own work.

Truthfully, I like a bit of emotion in a recording, even a little bit dramatic. This connects me to the poem in ways a cerebral reading doesn't. And I remember the recording and the poem better after.

Something to do with that amygdala's processing of memory through our emotional response to someone else's emotion? :)

But it has to hang by its shreds on the emotional, over the gaping void, and can never be too emotional, for that would ruin the quality of the poem.

See previous post for text. I wrote the words of the prose poem from what I was thinking about while drawing this drawing. I am hoping to create a short video of the drawing and some other moving images I have found on the NET with this reading.

whaleskin, 2011, 20cm x 25.5cm, 8" x 10", India ink, graphite, watercolour pencils, Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4. (Click on the images for a larger size.)


Stone #80

Into my Bengali spice tea of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, chicory, carob, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, I add blackcurrant. Ahh.


whaleskin, 2011, 20cm x 25.5cm, 8" x 10", India ink, graphite, watercolour pencils, Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4. (Click on the images for a larger size.)

Anchored in my mind all day, a koan. What in death does not die? I brush a wash of India ink onto paper. Ground burnt bones thickened with resins. Words in the wet wave. Words in the black tusk of the whale whose skin swims with algae, barnacles, skeletal memories of cattle, the backbones of live fish in the orange sunset that beaches the creature like a hammerhead of knuckles. The creatures of the world fight for their lives. In the mass extinction. In the radioactive orange water into which the sun has fallen. The salty sludge-lined ocean, layers of plastic bags hugging the sand, shopping for the moment.

It was a Zen moment.

What in death does not die.


Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments


"Passage," a painting video by Rachel

direct link: Passage by Rachel

How to live in an over crowded world. Rachel, an artist, offers a video of a painting-in-progress; while she is normally is a figurative artist, this is abstract shapes, circles. I like the wavy filters, and her use of them imparts a sense of how we are like amoeba with the life force moving through us. While there is humour here, ultimately I am reminded of a crowded beach, trains at rush hour in the city, us over-running the globe. The scrolling text offers sane advice on how to live lovingly in such a world.
Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments

Dream: July 30, 2011 (The man at the door)

A man comes to the door a few times but I ignore him. Then he is knocking insistently. Only my daughter and I are home. I sneak downstairs and hide below the window of the door and say we're not interested, sorry. He persists, though. During the conversation I realize the door isn't locked and slowly slide the lock, hoping he won't hear. It's an old fashioned lock, not my new dead bolt. My daughter is on the stairs behind me, watching. Once the door is locked, I rise up a little to peer through the window to see who is trying to gain entry. The glass is obscuring glass, thick, old, and fogs everything. I see a man, average height, good build, in an old cotton orange shirt, short thinning auburn hair, blue eyes, leathery skin that's reddish in colour. But blurry, out of focus, due to the glass. While I can't be more than a slight opaqueness in the shadows, a bare movement at the base of the window, he sees me and becomes angry that I won't let him in. I don't know who he is or what he wants or why he thinks he can come in.

It came to me suddenly. The man in the dream resembles the man at the computer repair shop. Yesterday when I picked up my dead LaCie EXT HDD, the electrical cord had not been in the shipment from the technician. I wasn't happy about that. The man behind the counter asked where I lived. I mentioned the cross-streets. He offered to deliver it personally. I said no. The conversation went on. He offered three times to deliver the cord to my home today. Of course, I refused.

But there is also another situation of persistence, which I'd rather not talk about in my public blog.

Clearly this requires a resisting energy, like in the dream. It's so exhausting.

Twenty-five video poems lost on the fried hard drive

The 1TB LaCie was, I thought, my safest external hard drive, and I kept my back-up on it. But I make video poems, which eat disk space. So my desktop hard drive filled up, and another 500GB EXT HHD hard drive was full, so the back up became the archive. I'm currently out of work, and hadn't bought another drive for back-up when I was clearly bursting at the seams. And was flat up against not being able to continue with a few video projects because I had no disk space. Now, however, the money I was going to use to fix the LaCie will go to a cheaper Western Digital 1TB EXT HHD, and then I can continue with the videos. The LaCie disc itself is dead, it won't turn at all, but the data is probably fully intact, and there are ways to retrieve it. I was quoted $1,000. which is out of my budget range, but you never know... a deal may come up, a computer student may appear, or I could find I can afford it down the road.

If not, well, I'm a self-taught video artist, learning as I go, and while that drive has 2 years of work on it, it is early stuff. There are a couple of videos I'm sad I won't be able to include in a DVD collection, but otherwise, eh. On with the new.

The good news is all the videos are at YouTube; images in Picasa. Artwork is fine, of course - I have the originals. What's online is not the highest resolution, or the quality you'd need to make DVDs, or art prints, etc., but at least I still have a record of these lost years.

All my documents were double backed-up, so that's fine.

With an empty 1TB ext hdd, I look forward to getting back to work.

direct link: 25 video poems by Brenda Clews

Sigh, after embedding my video poetry playlist at YouTube, when I look at what I've lost -the original footage and Final Cut files for all these videos- if I can't afford to retrieve them from the defunct hard drive before the data disappears in however many years, while I try to be optimistic, yes, I do weep a little. Trying to be positive though!

Home  Green Fire  Different, yet Same  Soirée of Poetry  Videopoetry  Celestial Dancers  Photopoems  Birthdance  Bliss Queen  Bio  Life Drawings  Earth Rising  Creative Process  Multiplicities  Links  Comments
Comments (1)

Video poetry by Swoon: 'Welcome to hard times'

direct link: Welcome to hard times

What a haunting, evocative video poem... the footage quite perfect, it contains the emotion, buried in black seawater and suffused, washing up to the shore like an oil spill, an edge of threatening, and we must imagine the events as they occur in their surreality. Poem by Howie Good and reading by Nic Sebastian, amazing of course.

Swoon wrote (in response to my comment above, with his permission):

"It was a struggle to make though... I couldn't get the atmosphere right at first. Too much... In the end I stripped down a lot and stayed with only the 'washing' tides, the washed up seaweeds and stuff and the wood. I kept the 'foggy footage off course, that was the first idea."

Which caused me to elaborate a little:

Nic's reading is understated, and your video is understated, but wow, the emotion spills out in ways it wouldn't if the video were a more dramatic enactment of the poem. I think you've caught the dreaming, imagining mind at the crux where the river flows into the ocean, where emotive images become part of a thought-process, and the visual and verbal metaphors continue to work at that subliminal level after the video is over.

Stone #78

Our tongues fork into each other. The undersides of clouds splatter slithers of rain meandering down the panes.

Jun 2024
Apr 2024
Aug 2023
Oct 2022
May 2022
Oct 2021
Sep 2021
Jul 2021
May 2021
Jan 2021
Oct 2020
Aug 2020
Jul 2020
Jun 2020
May 2020
Dec 2019
Sep 2019
Aug 2019
Jul 2019
May 2019
Apr 2019
Feb 2019
Jan 2019
Nov 2018
Sep 2018
Aug 2018
Jul 2018
May 2018
Apr 2018
Mar 2018
Feb 2018
Jan 2018
Dec 2017
Nov 2017
Oct 2017
Sep 2017
Aug 2017
Jul 2017
Jun 2017
May 2017
Apr 2017
Mar 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Aug 2016
Jul 2016
Jun 2016
May 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Sep 2015
Aug 2015
Jul 2015
Jun 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
Jun 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
Jul 2013
Jun 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
Jul 2010
Jun 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jul 2008
Jun 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006
Oct 2006
Sep 2006
Aug 2006
Jul 2006
Jun 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005
Jul 2005
Jun 2005
May 2005
Apr 2005
Mar 2005
Feb 2005
Jan 2005
Sep 2004
Jun 2004
May 2004
Oct 2003
RSS Feed