Sunday, 31 January 2016

A music 'echo'

Nigel Osborne was central to our work at the Pavarotti Music Centre. He initiated the schools programme there and played a lead role in the introduction of music therapy in Bosnia Herzegovina. 16 years after I left the centre Nigel continues with his great work. He tells me that this BBC report on his music workshops with Syrian refugee children in the Bekaa Valley provides “a few echoes from our former lives”. Certainly an echo for me, but for you Nigel, a positive and living rythmic beat that is a long way from being an echo.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

David Bowie & War Child

How David Bowie helped War Child. Between September 1994 and February 1997 Brian Eno and his wife Anthea organised three exhibitions and auctions for the charity. The first was 'Little Pieces from Big Stars'. It included Paul McCartney's driftwood carving and Linda’s photographs, Bono's music box containing sunglasses, Charlie Watts' drawing of a hotel telephone, Billy Bragg's brass rubbing and Pete Townsend's model of a Rickenbacker guitar. David Bowie exhibited 17 computer-generated prints. This was followed nine months later by ‘Pagan Fun Wear’, described by Brian as being one of the ‘all-time weird events in London’s recent cultural history’. The idea was to model costumes which would then be sold at auction. Iggy Pop designed penis sheaths; Jarvis Cocker modelled his own shoes; John Squire designed his own underwear; Brian, his coat and pants; Dave Stewart, a bikini and mac. David Bowie contributed ‘Victim Fashion’ which consisted of a model wrapped up in bandages. The third event, ‘Milestones’, held in February 1997 involved, as Brian put it, ‘the usual suspects’. Pavarotti sent a handkerchief on which he’d drawn Enrico Caruso. Graham Cox of Blur did a homage to Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd. Paul McCartney, a drawing of Buddy Holly, aged 60. Bono’s inspiration was Frank Sinatra – a music box containing Jack Daniels, shot glasses and a blue napkin. It was signed ‘To Frank, Love, Bono’. SinĂ©ad O’Connor’s tribute was to Bob Marley. Brian contributed his musical dedication to the Velvet Underground and David Bowie's dedication was to the Walker Brothers. As well as contributing to all three fundraisers David Bowie was a patron of War Child. All this is covered in "Left Field". Geat and brave final recording from Bowie here Lazarus