Björk – Utopia: “Good strangeness” | London Student

This album is a positive, self-aware, and delicate revival for Björk, intermixing humour with bolshie string accompaniments that come shoulder to shoulder with sweet lyrics and fairy-like flutes and harp.

To read more of my review of Björk’s album Utopia, follow the link below to my piece for London Student.

https://londonstudent.coop/review/music/2017/12/04/bjork-utopia/

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London Student Preview: Daphni and Floating Points at Ministry of Sound, Sunday 26 November

As part of the new stripped-back ‘In Stereo’ series at Ministry of Sound, some of the most talented producers in the industry are arriving to share their work on the Ministry’s custom built Martin Audio six-stack system. The organisers, The Hydra, state that this surround-sound experience will focus on “the simplicity of artist and sound”. It is this poise and definition that is quickly carving out the Ministry of Sound as a space for electro-rumination: not just the ecstatic 4am twirling (although that too remains joyously present) but also a venue for the serious audiophile searching for the intricacies of sound and detailing, that make acts like Floating Points and Daphni so well-loved.

Follow the link below for the rest of my preview for Ministry Of Sound’s event bringing together Floating Points and Daphni. 
http://londonstudent.coop/review/2017/11/24/preview-daphni-floating-points-ministry-sound-sunday-26-november/

Free Ahmet Altan 

“I am a writer. I am neither where I am nor where I am not. Because, like all writers, I have magic. I can pass through walls with ease.”

Ahmet Altan is an author of 10 novels that have been translated around the world. He is also the founding editor in chief and lead columnist of Taraf, a liberal newspaper in Turkey that was released daily. Following the coup in Turkey in July 2016, he was taken from his home in a dawn raid in September 2016. Charged with ‘giving subliminal messages in favour of a coup on television’ and allegations of “putschism” placing him firmly as a terrorist, Ahmet Altan is going to be sentenced this Monday. His prosecutors are asking for three aggravated life sentences to be given to Ahmet and his brother Mehmet Altan despite having no evidence behind their charges. 

I remember when I spent summer 2016 in Cyprus and I went to visit the small cell in Mağosa where the writer Namık Kemal spent the years between 1873 and 1876 in exile for his opinions on national identity. I peered through a small barred window into a room with a single pallet laid out on the floor and I couldn’t imagine how someone could live in incarceration simply for writing beautiful and brave words. The founder of modern Turkey, Atatürk often remarked how Namık inspired many of his ideals. On the 10th of November, 10 Kasım, while remembering Atatürk on the anniversary of his death, mourning emanated from posts on social media with a sense of loss that felt absolutely hopeless. Wistfully admiring his political and social ethos, his words were circulated around the world. In government speeches. On the radio. “Peace at Home, Peace in the World”. In Turkey at this moment it does not feel like peace at home. The country holds a record that is not acceptable. Globally in 2016, one third of all imprisoned journalists, media workers and executives were in Turkey’s prisons. 

A country with limited debate is a country where our roots begin to feel less like something to grow upwards from and instead they wither as a flat surface. Still. Slow. Sad. 

My mother went to Yayla and met with a few writers two years ago. They shared with her how they didn’t feel safe with open speech. Fast forward to 2017 and a country known for civilised debate and thought is cast under a shade that does not need to be there. All to protect a state that has both flaws and beauty. Rich with humanitarian efforts and community spirit. Erdoğan has built schools and mosques in almost every town in Turkey and North Cyprus. In my village in Cyprus now when you walk you see communities regenerated by his investments. Yet how bittersweet is all of this when the right for free speech and the limitless pen is taken away. 

Please support English PEN and their Writers at Risk programme so we can help to raise awareness for these authors. #AhmetAltan #FreeTurkeyMedia

https://www.englishpen.org/pen-atlas/yazarin-paradoksu/

Florence

And when I think of you,

I think of baby’s breath.

How your trill blows give life,

Steaming curls around lidless pots

 

Set limbs in sterile fire

Those little white spores dotted

Around red roses, small lung leaps

Falling to your mercy, the leant knee breaking away

 

Caught as the whispering arm teases

Another cold moon from the sky,

Light hanging on his limp pallor

A grace of connective tissue cleaned of

 

Tears that we lost in movement,

Carried from swaddling hammocks to tomb.

Frozen in that motion, your back

Tilted as a feeding bird, bent towards open mouths:

 

You once said, ‘nothing in life but death.’

The sequelae of truth-seekers

Are pure water seeping through

Your incomplete book of mystics.

 

Weaving your web, you hold crimson torment

And marching maggots climbing limb to limb.

Enlisted to end – by these artisans of disaster –

Still I watched you paint a million murals

 

With your face cackling, a gathered and powdered saint.

INTRODUCING HIGHLY SEDATED | FMS

‘From the beginning, we just tried to be us and see what happened, our sound was never forced, it was already there.

Swedish Electronica band, Highly Sedated, are capturing the dance scene with their fresh and artful take on minimalist dance music — part of the new generation of electronic acts like Emancipator who are bridging the gap between EDM and the classic rock band.’

To read more about hidden gems on the electronic music scene check out my feature for the band Highly Sedated in FMS Magazine via the link below:

http://fms-mag.com/introducing-highly-sedated-swedens-fresh-artful-electronica-band-bridging-the-gap-between-edm-classic-rock/

 

Lady with the Lamp

It’s been a strange time emerging from studying at UCL. I’ve felt a bit lost. But then good fortune comes and reminds me that everything will move into place with time and hard work. I’ve had my work commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral and it is currently displayed alongside the work of fantastic poets. Focusing on magnifying our perception of Florence Nightingale, my poem took me a journey of fascinating research. I even dug into 19th Century medical books! To be able to share a poem about a woman who always imagined something better for the world has brought me so much joy. Imagination is everything. It is being able to think ahead with positivity.  At the heart of everything, I am a writer. It can be scary pursuing a career that’s based so much on chance but it all feels so worthwhile when you find yourself becoming acknowledged by good people who you respect. It is this recognition that encourages me, even more, to be my best self and keep making the right moves.

I’ve been trying to set myself lots of small goals recently to try and keep afloat. When you put them all together, the big things start happening.

Evolution is what we survive

After just watching the Orphan Black finale it made me think of identity. Original! But as any clone story would tell you, being original is something that means something different to everyone. How can we be different in a way that stays true? We can try and try to break ourselves down into a microcosm. We can try to dissect our ways and lay them bare like a filthy mess but no matter how hard we may try to bury our hopes with ugly truths we are still beautiful.

When I look at myself in the mirror sometimes I just want to pull off my skin and forget all of the memories that I carry with me. I think that’s something we all do. We can imagine our bad thoughts like pebbles that we drop behind us and they never seem to move from their trail. The past, the things that traumatised you and the people who still hurt you…they have no power over you.

We carry our thoughts as though they are pearls in a bowl full of water and sometimes the water might over flow. When we lose the treasures that matter to us – those light filled thoughts that spell the truth we should be reading to ourselves – sometimes we think that the good has scattered too far away to ever gather again. But it’s never too late. Everything good will return to you. Your knowledge about yourself is the most powerful gift you can give to yourself. The experiences and memories that make you want to tip the bowl, the ones that make our hands shake and waver, they can be overcome.

Tell yourself the truths that you need to hear to keep going and keep changing. When you look back at who you’ve become after everything you’ve been through you will see that evolution is what we survive, and you have grown good, grown better.