Trust me, I have some good reasons to be late: the Arcane/ArtPix team is once again trying to move to Dorset. Things have happened, but we can't say anything, because the whole thing could collapse any day until contracts have been signed and exchanged.
So in the meantime, we are going to try and forget about the soul-destroying process of selling and buying houses and immerse ourselves in culture...
So on Saturday 10th September, we were invited to have a stall (and help a bit) at the fab festival organised by the band Autorotation and events producer Oil54 (our co-organiser for the Winter Tales event back in February). Autorotation are now experts at writing Arts Council applications which comes in handy when you wish to put together ambitious events!
This year, the festival had moved from south London (see my little report of last year's event HERE) to Shoreditch, and what a brilliant idea it was to have chosen the splendid St Leonard's Church! Full of character and history, the building is a welcome oasis of calm and greenery in the middle of pulsating, trend-setting, hipster-dwelling Shoreditch - whose turn it is to fall victim to gentrification... It is also the actors' church, and many Elizabethan actors are buried in the crypt.
St Leonard's definitely had a homely feel which made it hard to leave behind after a whole day. I found its faded yet sturdy beauty rather poignant, somehow. Maybe it is because more and more historical buildings in London are disappearing without a trace, swallowed up by the relentless advance of the property developers...
Musician, writer, poet and performer Simon Satori has written a witty review of the day, and I recommend you read it!
Simon actually opened the event with something he has called his "spoken word waffle" - click on the link to read it, it is definitely entertaining and illuminating!
The Green Army Choir, founded by members of Autorotation, played an essential part in the event and acted like a link between the performers: they sang with every single one of them, and I can only imagine the hard work which had gone into learning the songs and rehearsing them to take them to an altogether different level especially for that special day.
So I missed some of the performances: Winterlight and Adjoa Akoma; I caught the final moment of an amazing track by Petrels which filled the church with an enormous sound - I can swear the stone pillars shook... and I managed to take a few pictures of the festival creators, Autorotation, whom thankfully I had seen perform several times before!
I managed to catch a few tracks by the terrific composer and singer Kirsten Morrison whose incredible operatic voice and occult music gave me goose bumps.
But the highlight of the day was, for me, the "Special Guest" - I managed to sneak away from the stall for the whole set: Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus and some of his regular collaborators/friends: Renee Rosen, Jo Quail, Eilish McCracken and, on backing vocals, Simon Satori. Their work with The Green Army Choir, conducted by Robyn from Autorotation, was absolutely magical and had me transfixed!
Watch "Necropolis" below.
The festival's Facebook page is HERE, you will find video interviews with the performers.
It's next on my list of books to read, once I've finished "The Taxidermist's Daughter" by Kate Mosse.