You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘welsh’ tag.

Heart shaped wire in scrapyard

Multiculturalism, regardless of what German Chancellor Angela “Ja! Ja! Ja! Mein Gott! Dein Schwanz in meinem Arsch!” Merkel thinks, is not an end in itself. It is rather a consequence of the simple fact that people move around the world, and this has grown exponentially as communication and transportation has become easier and cheaper. It is unlikely ever to diminish.

Where individuals move, there is a tendency for them to absorb at least some of the culture they occupy. Where groups move, the resistance is greater, such as the behaviour of the British in the former empire. Orwell’s “Burmese Days” has a brilliant image of the traditional English garden, resolutely cultivated despite the searing heat of a Myanmarese summer, and by turns either wilting away or erupting into exotic life.

So the question is really the extent to which individuals and groups should surrender their cultures when they move abroad. This however runs counter to the worldwide growth in the perceived value of localised cultures (itself a reaction to the Americanisation of the world). In the UK the most obvious manifestation of this has been the Welsh and Gaelic languages, which are now actively sponsored where before they simply lived or died on their own terms.

So rather than fretting over multiculturalism per se, do we think that it is a good thing to support diversity, or do we think the ideal would be everybody being pretty much the same, and other cultures should only be viewed as relics in a museum or mere curiosities to be mocked and distrusted?

Katherine Jenkins

Before you read this, please bear in mind that I have drink taken.

I’ve never made a secret of disliking vibrato, or excessive amounts of it, in the human voice as an art form. One of the reasons Pavarotti was so esteemed was because his voice and high C’s were clear and direct, little warbling (if any) in most cases.

In the female soprano, or mezzo, it amazes me how many warblers there are. My point is, I would like to hear sopranos or mezzos with more of a crystal clear and direct timbre, a kind of sky blue clear Nordic sound, rather than flaunt the limitations and imperfections of their considerable throats.

However, I do find that with French opera I do like more vibrato than I do with other nationalities (of opera). Odd that, but then they did have some different traditions with regard to vibrato. But the use of vibrato is still somewhat controversial anyway. I would prefer less myself, though good singing is good singing.

The problem is worsened when some sopranos age too, so that whilst they may have been tolerable when young, their voice creates a beat or worse when they get older.

I know some blame often gets laid on Wagner’s doorstep, too, for writing parts that only one-in-a-million singers, like Birgit Nilsson or Kirsten Flagstad, can pull off without injuring the audience’s eardrums. I’m no singer or vocal coach, but that whole modern operatic method of vocal production (sort of like fluidly bellowing in key) strikes me as so unnatural that I’m amazed when singers do nail it.

(Interestingly, it’s been adopted rather successfully by some rock singers, like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, who ironically have no need to project like that since they’re amplified.)

Famous mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins normally fills concert halls. But yesterday her audience was bemused London commuters passing through Leicester Square tube station, as the singer, in a partial disguise, took a turn as a busker.

The 31-one-year-old performed for 45 minutes singing some of her biggest hits including Time To Say Goodbye and a cover of Bring Me To Life by rock band Evanescence.

Jenkins earned about £10 (which she will be donating to a homeless charity) from passers-by. Several people were stopped in their tracks by the quality of the singing – one girl was even reduced to tears.

Many people recognised Jenkins despite attempts to give herself a “make-under” by hiding her trademark blonde locks behind a scruffy brunette wig and wearing casual clothes. The opera singer’s distinctive vocals fooled few.

“I was really really enjoying myself. On the initial first note I thought ‘Oh god, I don’t know how this is going to work out’, it was quite an operatic number and I wasn’t sure how it would be received. But by the second number people were stopping and I really enjoyed it,” the Welsh singer told the Evening Standard.

“The people were really lovely. One guy said I had made him late for work now, but I didn’t know I made people cry, that’s amazing.”

Tickets to see Barbie in concert cost around £100.

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Follow radstainforth on Twitter
i published work on theblogpaper

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 195 other followers

%d bloggers like this: