On my radar: Damon Albarn’s cultural highlights

1 year ago 120

Damon Albarn was calved successful eastbound London successful 1968. Interested successful euphony from a young age, helium studied astatine East 15 Acting School and past Goldsmiths, wherever helium co-founded the set that helped footwear disconnected Britpop. As good arsenic signaling 8 workplace albums with Blur, Albarn besides co-created Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad & the Queen, spearheaded the collaborative organisation Africa Express and has scored signifier productions including Monkey: Journey to the West and Dr Dee. He lives successful Notting Hill, westbound London, with his partner, Suzi Winstanley. On 12 November, Albarn releases his 2nd solo medium The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows connected Transgressive Records.

1. Film

Swan Song (dir Todd Stephens)

Udo Kier successful  Swan Song.
Udo Kier successful Swan Song. Photograph: Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

I conscionable got backmost from Los Angeles, wherever I watched this astonishing movie successful my edifice room. It’s astir a midwest hairdresser, played by Udo Kier, whose beingness has been reduced to sitting successful an aged people’s location folding napkins. Then helium gets a telephone from the lawyer of 1 of his nine clients who is precocious deceased, but successful her volition she wants him to springiness her a last makeover. I truly emotion films that absorption connected small, obscure places and the details of people’s lives. I recovered this 1 precise moving and I thought Kier’s show was magical. I truly urge it.

2. Exhibition

The World of Stonehenge (the British Museum, London)

Bronze property  prima   pendant, 1,000–800BC, from the exhibition.
Bronze property prima pendant, 1,000–800BC, from the exhibition. Photograph: © The Trustees of the British Museum

I’m truly looking guardant to this amusement [opens 17 Feb]. Ever since I did Dr Dee astatine the ENO, I’ve been obsessed with each things esoteric. And I thrust past Stonehenge each the clip connected the A303 connected the mode down to Devon. Every clip I spell past it, it’s antithetic – sometimes bigger, oregon smaller, oregon the stones are a antithetic colour. So I’m fascinated to spot what the British Museum has unearthed that I haven’t already seen oregon work about. I’m besides delighted that the plans to physique an underpass beneath Stonehenge person been abandoned. I don’t cognize however that perchance could beryllium a bully idea.

3. Restaurant

Maramia Cafe, London

Dishes astatine  Maramia Cafe.
Dishes astatine Maramia Cafe. Photograph: maramia.com

This is simply a Palestinian edifice successful Golborne Road, westbound London, with fantastic nutrient and beauteous radical and it’s the lone spot I’ve recovered wherever they service sage tea. Sage is incredibly bully for cleaning the throat, truthful it’s precise bully for singers. I’ve been drinking it for years and years but I didn’t realise they portion it successful Palestine. They allowed restaurants successful Golborne Road to person extracurricular seating during the pandemic, truthful that’s been a truly bully development.

Duke Ellington’s Concert of Sacred Music

4. Music

Concert of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington

This grounds has specified a fascinating signifier to it and it’s truly inspired maine recently. Duke Ellington claimed it wasn’t a mass, it was thing caller – I accidental a fusion betwixt jazz and spirituality. But it’s precise experimental and I similar the thought that the older helium got, the much experimental helium got. It’s a fucking superb record. I don’t perceive to a batch of jazz but I decidedly bask it. I truly emotion Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. The longer successful the bony I get, the much I gravitate towards Radio 3.

5. Books

The Baron successful the Trees by Italo Calvino

Italian writer  Italo Calvino.
Italian writer Italo Calvino. Photograph: Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Getty Images

This is simply a truly absorbing publication astir a kid who decides to permission his household and unrecorded successful the trees for the remainder of his life. Maybe it’s a metaphor for individualism, I don’t know, but it’s a precise weird publication and I bash similar Calvino’s writing. I don’t mostly work that overmuch fiction. I could person chosen a 100 antithetic nonfiction books, but this is 1 of the fewer novels I’ve stayed with recently. Calvino is simply a singular author. His publication Invisible Cities had a large effect connected maine erstwhile I was younger.

Djembeföla logo

6. App


This is simply a superb app. Djembe is the centrepiece drum of westbound African percussive ensembles and the app is simply a benignant of almanac of classic, accepted rhythms; you tin interruption down each bushed and perceive to each the antithetic parts and enactment retired however these polyrhythms acceptable together. It has notation arsenic good and there’s besides a spot of past astir each rhythm. I utilized it erstwhile I was moving connected Le Vol du Boli astatine the Châtelet successful Paris past year, with Fatoumata Diawara and Abderrahmane Sissako. I don’t person galore apps, but this is 1 I truly enjoy. If you’re into rhythm, it’s utile and fascinating.

7. Theatre

Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury (Young Vic, London)

Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Rhashan Stone and Nicola Hughes successful  Fairview.
Left to right: Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Rhashan Stone and Nicola Hughes successful Fairview. Photograph: Marc Brenner

This is the past happening I saw successful the theatre that perfectly blew my mind. It’s a brilliant, Pulitzer-winning play and I deliberation it needs to travel back, truthful I’m recommending it successful the anticipation that much radical get to spot it. It’s astir an African American household who stitchery to observe their grandmother’s day and it’s conscionable a precise intelligent look astatine what it is to beryllium [a person] of colour successful American society. It’s truthful innovative successful its staging: it repeats itself midway through, but the 2nd clip the actors are conscionable mouthing the words. I truly enjoyed it. I’m looking guardant to moving successful theatre again. One of my favourite things is losing myself successful a large project.