Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hymns and Spiritual Songs...

One of the joys of being in the Blogosphere is making international virtual friends who lift your spirits with their thoughts and encouragement. Posting the video above was a direct result of reading this on the When Love Comes to Town blog, one that I have on my Blogroll and is clearly a fellow pilgrim on the 'Redeeming Culture' trail.

Over the last couple of days I have been wrestling with what to write about the version of 'In Christ Alone' that appeared as a just for fun 'cover song' on stellar musician Adam Young's Owl City Blog... so I am grateful for Mike Todd's excellent piece today, A Mild Rant on Sacredness, Owl City and The Jesus Station, which says so well what I wished I had thought of...

Cheers me dears!


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fruits of Greed...

Colchester Mercury Theatre's stunning production of Steinbeck's classic 'Grapes of Wrath' could not be better timed as a counterfoil to today's spending review. I was completely blown away by this production, even having read the book. Of course, readers will know the story is dark and yet redemptive through the sacrifices of some of the key characters.

I confess I am not a regular theatre goer, however this sensitive and highly creative interpretation really hooked me in. In fact I remember failing to watch the movie version all the way through as it seemed to contradict the images my imagination had drawn in my mind's eye. The combination of the physical boundaries of the theatre and the gentle pace meant this play still allowed me to both keep intact those images and to add to them. In fact that conclusion made me realise why film versions of previously read books don't come up to the mark with their literal, photo realistic interpretations which tend to restrict our own imagination so much as we are, actually, watching someone else's imagination instead.

I cannot stress enough if you are in the area do make the effort to go, it is so fantastic in every respect. Brilliant acting, production and staging plus special mention of the musicians who doubled up as actors too. The music was totally live featuring a brilliant fiddle player, multi instrumentalist guitar / banjo / mandolin / slide guitar player, double bass and some occasional percussion. The style was quoted as Bluegrass yet also included a vibrant Hoe Down sequence and incredibly haunting and moving instrumentals.

The closing sequence was breathtaking - simple, redemptive, challenging - not a dry eye in the house! It's on until the 30th October, make the time!


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

So Human, so divine...

For the next couple of days the painstaking task of bringing the Chilean miners to the surface goes on... it is impossible not to be deeply moved by the sight of the rescue capsule 'Fenix' appearing out of the top of the metal encased shaft with its precious cargo on board.

How cool is it that the Chilean Navy torpedo experts went to work to design and build the capsules? How special is it to see rescue teams using lifelong manual skills working in conjunction with some basic Newtonian Mechanics restoring families and stimulating prayers of thanks and joy?

May the process continue in safety and reach the conclusion that everyone longs for.

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Friday, 8 October 2010

Africa United lifts the World Cup

Felt really privileged to see a pre-preview version of this wonderful film at Greenbelt 2010. At the time I thought this film delivers everything that Slumdog Millionaire failed to and then discovered it was from the same stable... oooops! Truly moving and redemptive it epitomises how a 'feel good' film should be.


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Greenbelt Festival 1974-2010 re-United...

Every so often a little bit of self promotion is unavoidable...! So here goes:

Saturday week 16th October 2010 After The Fire are delighted to have been asked to be part of this event to help raise funds and awareness the plight of the Dalit people of India via Life Association, a charity headed up by the noble Simon Hawthorne. The main attraction of the evening will be the re-union of the Bill Mason Band with the aforementioned Simon on guitar. Along with ourselves (After The Fire) and 70s legends The Movement Family Band the lovely songstress Hannah Atkins will be performing bringing the Greenbelt Festival connection right up to date after her stonking set in the Performance Café this year at #GB10.

For details of how to get tickets (via a PayPal donation) for this special one off event follow the Life Association link.

See you there?!

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Monday, 4 October 2010

The first cut is the deepest...

One of my fave blogs, Lesley's Blog, recently carried a much discussed post on male circumcision... seeing this video on Brian McLaren's blog prompted me to re-post it! Great punchline ;-)


Friday, 1 October 2010

The Deadly Diarrhoea Song...

Nope, this is not just blokey toilet humour, it is a serious campaign creatively tackled by WaterAid with the byline: Dig Toilets Not Graves...

Something to donate this weekend?