Music and My Life
Over many years doing Latihan I have observed how my musical life has run parallel in many ways to my inner process. Similar purifications, re-evaluation of motives, and letting go of old ways and the discovery of new talents and ways of working seem to occur.
When I was first opened I felt I really wanted to sing, but it was some years until I actually began to sing in the latihan. Now singing is what I do most in Latihan and I can confidently say that for me there is no finer tuition for my vocal chords. I now regard the ‘songs’ I find myself expressing in Latihan form the benchmark of what I need to express in the world.
Sharing One Spirit, One Breath
The first community drama I directed was in the year of the Millennium. Thirty minutes after the ending of our open-air drama, “One Breath”, the heavens opened. Next day, the rain continued, and as we paddled in the quagmire dismantling the scaffolding, which held the set, the same comment was repeated: “Weren’t we lucky? If this had happened yesterday, we’d have been washed out.”
Of course I agreed, but I didn’t tell them about the angels: the ones holding the giant umbrella over the area of Cannon Hall Country Park, Cawthorne during the four nights that we presented our play.
You don’t believe me? That’s because you weren’t there.
I heard them on the last night, just after the show ended.
“Or reight lads” (you mean you didn’t know that angels speak with a Yorkshire accent?) ”They’re dun – let it go.” And that’s when it rained.
Romance of the Field
“Author Aislinn Hunter asked me to write a song to go along with her new book, The World Before Us. I got to read the uncorrected proof, which is always thrilling, and found many familiar touchstones from my own work and life. Most striking was the book’s loving account of Victorian era museums, including a glass case of taxidermy hummingbirds that stopped me in my tracks many years ago. They show up in the song here, as well as distant voices, old pianos, and a fair helping of “scientific” longing. Listen to the song, read the book, and listen to the song again!”
A Subud member from Vancouver. Veda has put out 13 independent recordings of her own music, starting out with the tape Songs about People and Buildings in 1992. Her latest release, Young Saint Marie with the CBC Orchestra, features re-interpretations of songs by Buffy St Marie and Neil Young. In her 20 year music career Veda has toured in Canada, USA and Europe, composed for opera, musical theatre and dance, curated shows, mentored young talent, worked on musical collaborations — and that’s just the music part.
Julian Bell is a painter living in Lewes, Sussex. Besides painting, he writes about art for various magazines and has also written several books including What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (1999) and Mirror of the World: A New History of Art (2007).
Julian’s new exhibition is Genesis: a series of paintings based on the first book of the Bible.The show is at St Anne’s Galleries, Lewes, from 20 June to 5 July 2015. The paintings will be collected in an artist’s book, in an edition of 300. Pre-orders and sales enquiries should be addressed to St Anne’s Galleries.