Friday, May 28, 2010

KANYINI..Connectedness, with family, land and spirit.

Last week I spent Sunday with Bob Randal, an aboriginal elder from the Mutitjulu people who live at and are custodians of Uluru. Because I am often flippant on this blog about my experiences and my thousand ways of procrastinating as opposed to the work of working on my novel which I am supposed to be doing at the moment I did not wish to rush into a trite description of last Sunday, my time with Bob, his wife Barbara, Philip, Karen, Neil (from the Eco House in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens) and Sally, who organised the entire day in her usual tireless and endlessly nurturant way ( which apart from her being a "choir angel" from our singing group is one of the many reasons I refer to her as an angel when I speak about our cultural outings together). I am also notoriously sceptical of the "New Age" and political correctness per se.

However. One of the things we did last Sunday was watch the film KANYINI together. I will not gush about this film. I think it is far too important for that. I will include some quotes from other Australians connected with the film world to urge you to see the film. I do urge you to see the film. In a way just as a nod towards paying the rent as Peter Garret would say.

KANYINI means connectedness - to one's land, family and spirit.

My wish...that everyone go see this film. Uncle Bob just tells it like it is. Simply, beautifully and with a light heart. A special film that tells an "open truth" that should have been told a very long time ago. - Deborah Mailman.

On an issue so fraught with guilt and regret, it is wonderfully refreshing to hear Uncle Bob's clear, simple and very important message. It comes from a very generous and patient heart and offers a positive direction for us all to take. Could someone give him the PM's home phone number? - Claudia Karvan.

Please, make, find or create an opportunity to see this film.

Thank you Bob.


Bob Randall – Kanyini...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some Musical Notes...

I have been catching up with the Cowboy Junkies on Tour. Did you know Margo was once a Social Worker – true dinks. They have a truly professional tour blog presentation. I will put the link below. They are kind of like "the old days" of going down to your local and catching a really great band. I'll let you know closer to the time when they are flying in to Oz yet again, I think either later this year or early next.

Apropos of small musical notes – currently at JB Hi-Fi one can acquire a copy of U2's Rattle and Hum for $ 10. Yes that is correct. I went to pick up my copy (having placed a $5 deposit when I ordered it in) and took out my credit card and they said: "That will be $5 thanks" ; to which I patiently explained that I had already left the five dollar deposit – yes, they said, that only leaves $5 to pay; total. I can't believe the value of this. It contains what I regard as one of the truly iconic performances of musical collaboration between the band and the Harlem Gospel Choir (see earlier posts on this blog) in their home church in Harlem, doing: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". I'm going to order in a few extra copies for this Christmas. Take good care of your lovely selves.

Control + Click to follow above link

But really – nothing beats $ 10 for the entire DVD of RATTLE & HUM WHICH CONTAINS THIS MAGNIFICENT PERFORMANCE IN IT'S ENTIRETY. Love, Lyndon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Somewhat Lazy Weekend for at least one of us...

Saturday night saw me and four other choir angels at dinner and then singing for our supper. The 60's, 70's and 80's got a run for their money and some nice harmony work. Also a revival of one of the tunes learnt at the Tony Backhouse gospel workshop, which, if we're brave enough we might try and insinuate into our singing repertoire in group.

This morning I heard Margo reading a prequel from to her new selkies novel. Hopefully links below if interested. Now back to my own writing, except for a call to the selkies:


Turon dah

Turon doh

Turon dah ron dadah

I hope the links work. I'm not very good at the technical stuff.




Saturday, May 15, 2010

Always try to be thoughtful first...

"It is easier for some to attempt to attack and destroy ideas which they find threatening than it is for them to understand them." – Documentary commentary on Nazi book burning then and current suppression of literatures now. SBS 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Harlem Gospel Choir : Hamer Hall : Arts Centre, Melbourne...

As previously stated, I ventured out into the afternoon of the following day, with a friend of the angel variety to attend the Harlem Gospel Choir at Hamer Hall in the Arts Centre in Melbourne. I was a difficult audience – as barely twelve members bounced onto the stage (I had seen about 150 in New York) and they launched into some fairly populist fare (admittedly they had advertised that this would be partly a tribute to Michael Jackson) but both the angel and I missed some of the more traditional gospel material ( we had been spoilt by being involved in a recent Tony Backhouse Gospel singing workshop weekend) and I thought the dance moves came embarrassingly close to an appearance on Hey Hey – but the angel thought they saved themselves a bit by coming down into the audience and I thought Melbourne saved itself by an incredibly good performance whenever the microphone was pointed in their direction – especially little Oscar (who must have been all of seven!!). A relatively early evening as the angel needs to minister to a sick bunny (yes- a real one) on the domestic front, not to mention herself. More novel, adventures and the world lie ahead...


The First Station (for some)...

Saturday (just gone – 8th May 2010) was the Wedding of my friends Emma and Richard. And beautiful it was too... not just from the visual perspective but from the overwhelming knowledge of social and human symbol and ritual when two human beings make this commitment in front of their friends and families – knowing that it is a very fraught voyage their little boat sets off on through the oceans of life and that barely half make it to the other shore. The Wedding was in St Michael's in Collins Street in the city of Melbourne. It was my job to dress the Jag in white ribbons and get Emma to the church on time (we made it with minutes to spare). Then I rushed in the side door to join the angels of the choir – who were looking simply spectacular for the day – and who sang RIVER, RIVER (Kavisha Mazzella) & MAGNIFICENCE (Miten) as well as we have ever sung. The ceremony was conducted by Dr Francis McNabb (which is a nod to Emma and her father connections because Francis doesn't really DO weddings any more- for those of a therapeutic persuasion Francis was of the cohort of R.D. Lang who I once heard speak in this very church). The choir angel S who often accompanies me places cried like a drain through the ceremony ( I always cry at weddings she was heard to say as we ventured into the afternoon of the next day).

The reception was – well – an Australian wedding reception – Different on some counts – because of Emma's profession (she is a Barrister, Mediator and Family Law Arbitrator) it was heavily populated by lawyers; it was marked for its sincerity (partly because – I think – of the maturity of the marital decision by Emma and Richard) and partly because of the setting of the Melbourne Bowls Club – set itself in the Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne. Has it been a long time since I was inside a bowls club or is this one particularly luxurious species of the animal? And I actually met a lawyer who could talk about something other than law and judges and expressed some interest in the little novel when completed. Finally I drove the actually happy couple to their final destination for the day. They had impressively kept themselves nice through the entire event; driving by Melbourne's now Paris like river by the evening into dawn lighting was a little bit magic.

The Last Station...

Ok – Update time my little chickadees! (Thank you for the tiny nag Catherine).And what an extraordinary week it's been: Thursday night I went with a friend of the angel variety to see THE LAST STATION with Christopher Plummer as a near to death Leo Tolstoy (yes he of WAR & PEACE fame etc) and Helen Mirren (does she ever stop working?) as his caught in a dilemma countess wife. It was a harrowing few hours but extraordinary from a social insight perspective on a couple of counts: 1. The stupidity of the male of the species to attempt to overcome existential anxiety by trying to box and categorise everything and thinking that structure will protect them from uncertainty and death. So in this instance the reductionism of Tolstoy's adherents to the letter of his ideals for the rejection of personal property and gender equality and class equality renders it into an absurdist exercise always at odds with very human drives (hello Freud) as experienced through the eyes (and other organs) of Tolstoy's new male secretary and his attraction to one of the female communards and 2. The need for the Countess (Tolstoy's wife) to be assured that her children will be assured of a home at the end of their parent's days and that she will be allowed some simple time with husband as a man as opposed to a cultural hero. Staggering in it's historical accuracy – the settings are all the actual settings of the story and the actual archival footage over the end credits gives the clue to how pedantically these scenes have all been staged. The angel noted the habit of the time of setting up tables and other furniture in the outdoors to take advantage of beautiful natural settings was both quaint picturesque. Harrowing in its human dilemmas it reminds us that the gender and class dilemmas are still essentially with us (a little embarrassing given the other advances in the last century or so) and that men and now sometimes women are still babyishly dependent on the myth that structure and protocols will protect us from everything sometimes dirty, complex gritty and real.

Friday : One thousand words on the little novel. A penance and a necessity!