Over the past week, “Captain Jacko Pistachio” was at the helm of an amazing project called “Buskathon” to which I felt honoured to contribute, as the poet.
The link above will take you to 19 video clips where you will find a gang of creatives at the service of a great cause – our community foodbank.
Poetry hence nestled among music, story telling, Shetland cuisine and humour.
Reading to a device screen from the comfort of the den to an invisible audience proved a novel and somewhat nerve wracking experience at first, though sharing the moment felt as exciting as a more conventional public reading. 😀
What a great experience!
I will do it again! What’s more, within a week of performance, Buskathon raised an incredible £5000.00 and folk still have till Wednesday to give a few pennies.
I still remember 1985, a phenomenal LiveAid concert, after which Bob Geldoff once said, “thank you for your money.”
Filed under 2020, 60N, arts, CO-VIDtimes, collaboration, community, fundraising, gig, home, humanity, island, life, literature, music, north, poet, poetry, project, scotland, shetland, spirit, spring, theninerealms, verse, writing
“Nat, I challenge you to a short poem…” I still remember Chris’ words one fine evening at the Mareel Café in Lerwick during one memorable Open Mic’ Night in 2016.
At the time, little did I know those words would generate such a fabulous collaboration with Visitors – a trio of very talented singer/songwriters based in Shetland (till band member Chris Grant left last autumn for his Glasgow homeground with a mix bag of excitement and sadness…).
To the poet, writing for a band feels playful and self-indulgent.
Whilst band member Chris Grant has known my writing from 2012 through the National Theatre of Scotland’s Ignition project, fellow members Cha Johnson and Andy Kinnear have been exposed to my poetical world from the Shetland Open Mic Night sessions. When it came to their project as a band, they had some of my spoken words in mind for the purpose of one song when the opportunity arose. Whilst they were assembling an EP later named after the final lines of my short poem, I quickly scribbled a very short piece recollecting my “first time” as a then visitor to 60N. This recollection never left my heart and mind, so magical and powerful this very first experience felt, and became imprinted in my heart forever.
This I translated into words,
submitted to Chris, who immediately related to the piece. Perfect was his response. And left it like this, until he recorded me in a tiny office on his last day at work.
Although I had no idea of what was really happening, I later received words from Chris explaining me about Visitors’ plans and project. A bigger picture began to shape in my head. With Chris in Glasgow, I left the spoken word in good hands. Meanwhile, Shetland Times journalist and singer/songwriter Adam Guest penned an article in the islands’ weekly. More light on Visitors‘ work!
An EP to be launched in Shetland
So little did I know Visitors would launch their work at this year’s Shetland Folk Festival in South Nesting. News filtered gradually via all three members earlier this spring. I still remember Cha’s lovely words- both at Gutters’ Gaet and Andy’s… We all turned more excited about such launch! From Cha’s messages to the rehearsals at Islesburgh and Clairmont Place, I discovered the entire EP, tasted fabulous slices of life (as well as Andy’s newly improved home made chilli con carne!) in fabulous company; a wild ride in Andy’s car to listen to the CD newly arrived in his lair, and reconvened with Chris and Roo.
On the night, 29 April 2017
Whilst Visitors had already invested the South Nesting Public Hall for the indispensable sound check, I joined in with the audience. Familiar and other faces lined up against the wall, ticket in hand. The air was crisp in a dry though overcast world… I left the comfort of my peerie buggy as soon as I saw my trio of artistes emerging from the building. Reunited on the night for the gig! Hugs, smiles and kind words filled our hearts.
Little did I realise the concert would be performed in a jam packed hall with other great bands following in our footsteps…
Visitors live on stage, 29 April 2017 at the South Nesting Hall for the launch of the EP at the Shetland Folk Festival 2017.
And Chris invited me on stage to close the act, whilst reading those words I once scribbled about “little did I know this would mean home”. The act well, very well received by the audience on this fun night of performance. Maggie already released in iTunes. The rest of the EP to follow in the great digital constellation of the apple.
Happy poet, humble and thanking you, dear Visitors for such an epic adventure 🙂
Tattooed in my heart forever.
Filed under 2017, 60N, Arcania, arts, blogging, celebration, collaboration, community, earth, geopoetics, gig, home, humanity, images, island, launch, lerwick, mareel, north, poet, poetry, scotland, shetland, shetland folk festival, shetlandarts, shore, spring, verse, woman, world, writing
Four weeks away from the book launch at the Shetland Library in Lerwick, and heaving a memorable night of celebration, reading and signing on Friday 20 May 2016. Our librarians are fantastic!
There will be special guests, some poets, others, artists (or poets with an instrument).
nordicblackbird | the roost now duly updated, both home and writer’s corner pages.
Excitement begins to mount…
enjoy Compass Head, and please please please do not forget to bring your copy on 20 May, as I will be more than happy and honoured to sign it at the end of the event.
And if you don’t have it yet, do not delay!
get it HERE!
More to come 🙂
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Seckou Keita returned to the island, with his koras, smiles and magic. A privilege, I felt, deep in my heart, as his hands began to weave the most ethereal sounds out of those 22 strings, fisher’s, musician’s dream. The man has a story to tell, fingers & voice to unleash. To listen to him and his beautiful vibes from Casamance, Senegal, blended with hints of nomadic spirit from his native Africa to Wales, is a delight. A joy to treasure in your heart. If you have not yet discovered his art, please, go find it!
To listen to the magician live remains a privilege.
With grateful thanks to Shetland Arts for bringing Seckou, as well as Gwyneth to the island. Magic moment tonight.
What a fabulous way to slide from Hairst – the harvest season – to the start of winter. Happy Samhain, everyone 🙂
And in response to his great show at Lerwick’s Art Centre, Mareel, a short poem woven from his music.
Hear his fingers on stretched nylon –
each note travels through
waves & wind,
inside his heart shines Sénégal,
his grand father’s wisdom
dust South of his dreams;
his father’s eyes
travelling chords of he-nomad,
toute la souffrance des
© Nat Hall 2015
Filed under 2015, arts, blogging, celebration, colours, gig, images, keita, mareel, music, seckou, senegal, shetland, shetlandarts, world