Some of you might have caught House of Fairy Tales on Radio 4 this morning. They are gearing up for a summer of busy-ness - not least their presence at The Apple Cart. Take a peek at the lovely clip above to see what they did at Port Eliot in 2010. Expect much of the same at this year’s festival.
The excellent Stornoway took some time out from prepping a second album, due this year (we are beyond excited) to make us a YouTube mixtape ahead of their festival appearence in June! As a sort of Back 2 Back offering Jon, Oli and Rob from the band selected videos for us, throwing some light on the diverse influences at work in Stornoway.
It’s an instrument called the Oomphalapompatronium, which i would almost choose for the name alone. The sound conjours up circuses, stilts and contortionists and the creator seems justifiably proud of his invention.
Excerpt from ‘Alice’ (1988) Švankmajer
I saw this years ago with a friend at a gallery on a VHS. i thought it was a nightmare but i recently discovered that it was real. I imagine Svankmajer has put off a generation from reading Lewis Carroll - stop-frame animation always ends up being terrifying even when it’s not supposed to be.
Karlheinz Stockhausen “Helicopter String Quartet”
For our next tour, we were thinking we would perform in four separate aeroplanes. To hell with the budget.
BIG BANG BIG BOOM
Big Bang Big Boom - I’ve always admired the painting skill that this video demonstrates. The fact that even though each time a new image is painted, and the shadow of the previous one doesn’t fully disappear, one’s eye remains focused on the latest addition.
Perspective Lyrique - This is one of many videos showcasing the amazing optical illusion of 3D Projection Mapping. As with the BluBlu video, I find it really compelling that this projection technique can completely change your perspective and force you to forget that what you’re seeing is not a 3D image on a flat surface, but a flat image on a 3D surface.
Powers of Ten
Powers of Ten - An example of mathematical or scientific art. I enjoy it because for me, in my brain, it presents an opportunity to stop thinking about impulse art and instead look at a precise thought process that relies on science.
Johnny Clegg Savuka - African Sky Blue (Live in Italy - Shadow Man Tour, 1989)
This is a band Rob and I grew up listening to in South Africa. Until we came to the UK they were pretty much all we had to listen to, and they’re deeply ingrained in our playing. We visited home recently to see old friends, and I’ve found myself rediscovering an interest in Zulu music. Although this song’s in English, it’s got some awesome playing and dancing, and links to their other songs.
Sipho Mchunu and the origins of Juluka
Sipho Mchunu was one half of Juluka, and this video is about how the band formed during the oppressive Apartheid years. So much music was created during this destructive time in South Africa, and Juluka is important to me as a way of preserving a piece of Zulu history. They’re what’s inspired me to work on the Zulu Wikipedia: you can read about that at http://j.mp/st0rn0way.
Spring Offensive - A Stutter and a Start
My favourite local band right now. In this video you can see a street in central Oxford, just a few minutes from where we’ve been recording Stornoway’s Album 2.
We took a look at the films of magician Georges Méliès on the blog recently. The film ‘Hugo’, loosely based on the man, is finally out now on DVD and we highly recommend watching it (especially if you are at a loose end over Easter). While the film itself isn’t a conventional magic film the way Harry Potter is there’s plenty of magic in the way it was made, and so too the way Méliès made his films too. Take a read of this fantastic Guardian article on the movis, Méliès and much more…
Not only are we having out own party for 18+ at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington we have also spent sometime unearthing the very best Easter fun to tide over the imminent holiday weeks. Here’s our short guide…
Taking place all across London the Fabergé Easter Egg hunt is explained in the above video. They also furnish you with some quite beautiful maps to give you a head start too. Looks like you could spent a day or longer chasing around London to see them all!
The Southbank lets itself go over easter, gorging on yummy chocolates at the Chocolate Festival. Chocolatiers, and chocolate companies all gather to show off their very best - with plenty of samples we imagine (we really are imagining…). There will also be some demonstrations and fun for the kids too.
Kew is a wonderful day trip at this time of year and right now they are hosting a Mayan Chocolate Adventure, discovering the origins of chocolate and (of course) a big easter egg hunt.
A good old fashioned Easter Egg hunt is on from Lindt and I think we can all agree that their eggs are well worth turning over leaves for. Check their Facebook page for more details.
The ever-popular Village Mentality area at Field Day and Apple Cart is back (of course) this year. There’s a twist too, with Apple Cart falling on the Diamond Jubilee weekend we’ll have some Royal-themed fun lined-up including…
Winkle Picking contest
Heraldic Crockery Smash
Egg and Silver Spoon race
Head of State Coconut Shy
Royal Duck Shoot – Tweed jacket obligatory
Get the Lead on the Corgi
So for an alternative celebration of sorts Village Mentality looks like a sure bet.