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The eyes have it

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This morning I was on SkyNews on the Saturday live programme debating blogging. It was one of those discussions the media in the UK has started to have, as in… these bloggers are not going away, so let’s make them sound a bit ridiculous and question whatever it is they do. Yawn.

I was in the studio with Bobbie Johnson, a blogger and technology correspondent of the Guardian, and Ian Dale, a former Conservative party candidate, political commentator and.. wait for it.. a blogger. We had fifteen minutes to argue with the presenter about what is a blog, are they any good, shouldn’t blogs be like journalism, what is the bloggers’ responsibility, is it good or bad that they are undermining and stretching the current rules and frameworks etc. So three years ago, dahling…

The questions were extremely basic and there was no time really to answer anything other than try to get a sound-bite in. Perhaps that is why I couldn’t take the whole thing too seriously. Both Bobbie and Ian were good and made the experience rather enjoyable..

The best thing about this morning was an excellent tip from the studio make-up person – she recommended a smudge-proof eyeliner that will do what I want from it, i.e. stay put and make my eyes look smokey. For those interested it is MAC fluidline eye-liner gel. Perhaps the traditional media has something going for it…

And here is a gratuitous pictures of me, with the make-up on. And yes, it was rather sunny today.

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Easter Vigil

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The local church of St Thomas More has risen to the occasion and the Easter Vigil was… both spectacular and cosy. The music and the choir made for the former and congregation that didn’t quite fill up the church for the latter. This is because many people from the area leave for their country estates, I imagine, and so the rest of us have more room left. This is a good thing as I used to spend hours waiting in front of the Westminster Cathedral (not to be confused with the Westminster Abbey) to get a seat at all.

The first part of the Easter Vigil is the Service of Light, with blessing of the fire and lighting of the Paschal candle. This happens in a complete darkness, with only the fire illuminating the church and the words the priest reads out. There is something primeval about the naked flame burning boldly in the most civilised of surroundings. The fire is then shared by all – it is magical to watch the tiny flames jumping from candle to candle as everyone lights their own. A perfect setting for intoning of the Exsultet.

There was another beautiful piece of music, a psalm:

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.

As the deer longs for streams of living water, so my soul longs for you, my God.

The choir sung the Latin version, set to music by Palestrina.

The second part was the liturgy of the Word and after many, many a reading, the Easter Alleluia resounded. That was the music that captured my heart tonight. Surprisingly, I could not find any rendition of it whatsoever, not even the music score, online. The internet is letting me down on spiritual matters, it seems.  [Update: Found it here! Not very good quality but that's the best I can do.]

The service continued with baptism and confirmation, followed by the Eucharist liturgy, for which the priest suddenly broke out in Latin. It was good to see the years of attending high masses in the Church’s lingua materna kick in. The music of this liturgy is ageless, based on Gregorian chants.

Tonight there was harmony of the spheres or as the Exsultet puts it far better:

Night truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth…

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Once again, Happy Easter and may you weather the seasonal outbreak of religion on this blog…

Music that makes the angels weep

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Today is Good Friday and I went to the local church of St Thomas More in Chelsea. The service is unusual, the only day of the year when no mass is celebrated. During the veneration of the Cross, the choir sung most extraordinary music. It was Crucifixus by Antonio Caldara. I am very fond of polyphonic music of 16th century and no stranger to the soaring tunes of Palestrina, Tallis, Allegri and others but I have never heard Caldara’s music. It was an amazing experience and I have scoured the internet for it. The only thing I found was a music sampler from amazon.com (Crucifixus is the first on the list).

My favourite piece of Easter music is Exsultet, which will be sung tomorrow during the Easter Vigil, celebrating the most important event in the Catholic calendar – the Resurrection. I have already written about it last year.

It is said to be the sublimest expression of joyful sound that has ever come from the human heart and mind. Mozart once said that it is the most beautiful music ever written and that he would have given all his works to be able to say that he had written the first line of the Exsultet.

The music’s purity and spiritual power speak to me of the rapture of faith across the ages. It transcends the historical context and connects us to those who were inspired to create such beauty. It is a validation of sorts, not based on reason but on shared impact of the divine.

Happy Easter!

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Apr 10th, 2006
  • Category: Travel
  • Comments: 1

Travel needs

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I have been travelling a lot recently and spent a lot of time researching tickets. I spent a lot time in New York as my readers might have noticed and so far haven’t done one touristy thing. Perhaps I should

Banksy ad

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My kind of advertising…

Banksy_ad1

Watch the film.

There are times in my business when I feel this is far more relevant to remember than any stragies and tactics.

  • Think from outside the box.
  • Collapse the box and take a fucking sharp knife to it.
  • Leave the house before you find something worth staying in for.
  • It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

from A guide to cutting stencils.

  • Author: Adriana
  • Published: Apr 2nd, 2006
  • Category: Travel
  • Comments: 3

Spring in New York means you don’t have to say sorry for smoking a cigar…

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I am sitting in Morrell’s wine bar & café overlooking the Rockefeller center Ice Rink, smoking a wonderful cigar AND using the wifi to blog from my mobile. Life doesn’t get much better these days.

Here’s the evidence:
Adriana_cigar_nyc1

Blowing smoke with guys from Blowing Smoke.

Eglyouriet

A nice bottle of Egly-Ouriet. Works even with cigars!

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