Monthly Archives: May 2017

Music books

Photo1365We had a very generous donation recently, consisting of three books. This is especially interesting because they are both about and by one of ours. Two were edited and one written by one of our past students, Peter Dickinson. He is a trustee of The Bernarr Rainbow Trust. The trust is a charity that supports music education, a thing very much marginalized. The man, the trust was named after, was a long time Marjon’s teacher, a Director of Music and very respected music professor. The books are: ‘Bernarr Rainbow on Music’ that is a collection of his memoirs and writings. Even that I never studied music, I am always interested in stories of people lives. Very often it would reveal details of day-to-day existence you would never consider before and the book is worth checking for that bit alone. ‘Music Education in Crisis’ that is a gathering of Rainbow’s lectures, a bit too hard for me to understand, but of great interest to someone that is serious about studying music. The last one is ‘Words and Music’ which is Dickinson’s own experiences of life immersed in music. Among them are the recollection of his meeting with W.H. Auden and Philip Larkin and insight on being a British composer living in 20th century. I must say, that I am a musical ignoramus and music is the only form of art that I could never do. But I have to admit that this is interesting stuff. Have you ever tried to read three books at once? That is a little bit difficult. But I was instantly reminded of the fact that the beginnings of our university is very much connected to music.
It is rarely that we have new books submitted as a donation. So, to Peter Dickinson who so generously bought them for us: Thank you sir, you are a star.

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Just joking

Photo1360Well, remember what I said about my contributions to the archives? My first impression of Marjon, the programme I got when asking too many questions and the memories of my classmates? Well, there is this one more thing. I once brought a bottle of a homemade drinking mead, an old Viking recipe…and it’s still standing on a shelf within the archives. One hundred years more and it will be delicious😊

 

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Photo stories

We used to do an exercise when I was a student: we would get a random photo, with people we never met, and were tasked with writing a short story using anything that was in the picture. That would include reading facial expressions, body language, the position of the people in relation to one another. It’s not very easy, but if you got a good picture, you could get material for a proper story. This picture is one from our Urban Learning Centre. I have seen it before, but only now I see how rich it is in writing ideas.

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Check out the two girls in the middle and their opposing expressions: one is laughing, the other is worried. What do they see? Why are they reacting so differently? Maybe it’s a race and they both have a bet? Not in money though, but with something as precious, something they both want, but there is enough for just one…
How about the three boys in the top right corner? The two of them are looking with interest while the other missed the whole incident. If the three of them were friends, is he the one that is the ‘slow one’ always a step behind those two? Do they laugh at him secretly, because he needs the joke explained to him? Or maybe he knows something those two don’t, a secret that the other two will never know?
How about the hugging kids? I can’t read the face of the one facing the camera. Is she crying or laughing? Does she seek comfort or is giving a celebratory hug to her friend or sibling?
I guess, the inspiration material is only limited by your imagination, but I’ve found this particular picture much more inspiring that many we had used during my course. And the archives have many, many more like this one.

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