Archive for April, 2012

Creative Cornucopia

April 3, 2012


The postmistress was pleased to see all of the Ladies together again at Ness and Marks’ home for its 300th anniversary. With Ness and Marks’  horn of plenty filled with gifts,  the ladies talked about the different creative activities they have been involved in. There was, as one would suspect, the drinking of tea (from an array of bone china teacups) and there was once again the sound of laughter!

Ness had written a quiz for all of the guests – this will come as no surprise to those of you who met the ladies at Can Serrat as they filled each of their days there with joint and individual activities. Jo, as ever, is wandering the world  – her recent quests taking place on a motorbike. Ness was coming up for air following a heavy schedule of projects including her recent George Eliot residency in Nuneaton. Julie came out of the cave to share stories of recent and planned cross arts projects with photographers, sculptors, visual artists and musicians.

Among the cornucopia of Projects  – Julie is planning new projects (and is revisiting some that have long been on the back burner) with Richard Battye (photographer), Michael Lyons (Sculptor), Steve Tromans (Musician), English Serenata. Performances and projects in the last two years included solo Foyer Fusion peformances and joint performances with David Calcutt at THSH, with Dave Reeves at PGR and various performances on the ‘On the Cusp’ tour with Michael Thomas (and musician Rich McMahon). More projects are planned in Leamington with Dave Reeves and Campbell Perry and a new ‘Love in Leamington’ set is being planned with Lucy Jeynes.  Steve and Julie are  also planning readings in Italy, France and also they are creating a new set inspired by ballads and music of the folk tradition which they hope to tour around the Scottish Isles.

Poems continue to be  written inspired by THSH classical performances ( the CBSO and visiting leading International orchestras), Choral concerts (including Ex Cathedra) and a variety of folk Concerts. Julie is keen to attend more Folk concerts and to create new work created by these.  On a musical note – over the next month  – and fresh back from a tour in Milan where the Warwick University Orchestra and Chorus were performing concerts of Mozart’s Requiem –  Julie is once again set to be singing with the Feral Choir of THSH, at the Big sing -a- long at Symphony Hall and in a concert  later this month with English Serenata.

Bearhunts, Bluebeard’s Doors, Bugged,The Iron Men, Seven Leaves; One Autumn, Split Screen

April 3, 2012

The Postmistress has noticed that despite 6 months of living a nomadic existence followed by a year of ill health and retiring to the cave, Julie has still managed to be involved with a number of exciting projects in 2011 and 2012. Poems were included in anthologies including: Bugged ( Seven Leaves, One Autumn ( edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar and Savita Singh and published by Rajkamal Prakashan) and Split-Screen (edited by Andy Jackson, published by Red Squirrel Press)  Poems have also been published on a variety of internet sites including Ink, Sweat and Tears on Boxing Day.

Two large scale THSH Concerts2Kerbstones projects Ladywood Goes on a Bearhunt (a long poem by Julie and illustrated by Zora Pane was published as part of this project) and another Bluebeard Castle project with intergenerational groups and a variety of artists resulting in a film animation and DVD which included the making of poetry quilts and the perfomance of a new piece (with Pens) entitled Dark Symphony. 

Educational projects include residencies and workshops at literary festivals and projects for Creative Partnerships, Cre8us, Write on, Well Versed, NHS, Warwickhire Libraries and individual schools such as Kingsley in Redditch. The podcast Iron Man – A Taste for Writing was produced by Monty Funk Productions after Julie led a project at Knowle C of E Primary School, in Solihull, for Cre8us. (This podcast is available free online from Monty Funk Productions)

The postmistress had been interested to observe that Julie has continued to produce a variety of commissions – the current challenge, set by Poetry on Loan  is to write a poem for the Olympics. 


The Piano Room

April 2, 2012


Those of you who followed the activities of the ladies while they were at Can Serrat may remember how Ness and Julie sat in a restaurant in El Bruc where, through lunch and through the afternoon, they looked at Julie’s Piano Room poems and discussed possible ways of linking them. Ness continued to work as Dramaturg with Julie and Steve when the ladies returned to the UK. An early version of The Piano Room was first shown at Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2009. Chloe Garner, Festival Director, said of the performance:

The audience were entranced, moved, provoked and inspired! A powerful performance and a rare and precious  opportunity to experience an exciting collaboration in progress’

 Following the success of the Ledbury version other adaptations were made and another version was performed and discussed at a colloquium at ‘Arts at the Barn’. The final version had its world premiere at Symphony Hall mainstage during Birmingham Artsfest 2010. Plans to tour The Piano Room to France, Italy and Scotland are currently underway. The postmistress has also heard whispers that it will be performed in Italy very soon.

Piano Room Rehearsal: Julie Boden and Steve Tromans

April 2, 2012

Piano Room Rehearsal: Julie Boden and Steve Tromans

In the Piano Room at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

The Mechanical Musical Marvel

April 2, 2012

The Mechanical Musical Marvel

The postmistress is happy to report that the The Mechanical Musical Marvel ( Second Home Studios Film  – commissioned by THSH –  with Poetry Narrative by Julie) has been selected for and shown at half a dozen International Film Festivals since its Premiere in Sept 2011. This film is also available online and more information about it can be found on the THSH, RSO and Second Home Studio websites.