Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. Greta Thunberg
Extinction Rebellion; recorded conversations from Marble Arch. Danny Nedelko (IDLES cover) on BBC6 music & Foxx Frequency May playlist and Wake Up Your Artist retreat (with relaxation recordings) and poem from our refugee ‘welcome ticket’ recipient, my friend Joseph Mpanga,
and your stories please… if you wish to share… with the UK government’s climate emergency declaration this month I decided to theme my next sharing, Trees.🌳
This month saw the occupation of 5 sites in central London by Extinction Rebellion, bringing together thousands of people to voice concerns over climate change. I arrived early on Monday morning and met with friends from a number of faith groups who together planned what was needed to hold the Marble Arch site for a lorry to come in and be disabled in the roadway to then become the stage for the weeks events. The lorry came, and while, people were locking themselves to the underside, others set up solar panels to run the sound system.
The same story was unfolding at Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square – each with a programme of open mic sessions, artists, speakers and training /information for anyone who wanted to know more (I spoke to Tash; Bassist of Brighton’s much loved feminist lesbian band Siren – who was running one (see below). Among the main messages of XR is about Citizens Assemblies, a method of gathering a diverse range of people from society and hearing opinion on social issues (thanks Naomi for explaining this also in the interview)
The atmosphere was like festival, music played, food on donation from Hari Krishna and a few other kitchens, children played, drawing in chalk on the roads in these now traffic safe spaces. Eye contact, gentle, thoughtful conversation. I heard speakers on the environment, feminist approaches to politics, poems, meditations and contemplations from faith groups.
Around the site were also stewards (thank you Rebecca -also interviewed below) and at points.
Extinction Rebellion families, thank you for the invitation to sing with you, it was lovely
A few months ago I hear this song by Bristol band IDLES, a friend sent me a link and I had tears in my eyes after 30 seconds of listening. This might surprise you because of the style of music, it’s big and loud and vocals Joe Talbot kind shouts the melody. Saying this, how about these lyrics?
My blood brother is an immigrant/ a beautiful immigrant
He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood, he’s made of flesh , he’s made of love, he’s made of you, he’s made of me, unity…
They touched me enough to want to try and work out how I might turn it into a cover.
With the help of my friend Sophie Lowendahl (pictured – violin) we did.
Thanks for Tom Robinson who played it a couple of times on 6 Music, in April, on the introducing mixtape and sitting in for Steve Lamaq with a show of bank holiday cover songs. still available for a little while.
Below the original and my version is Songs for May, a playlist by Foxx’s Frequency with the song in.
Springs’ Wake Up Your Artist retreat felt beautiful, thanks to all who came and thank you too to those who supported our refugee crowdfunder. Joseph joined us who had in previous years ‘suffered’ the UK Immigration system/detention centres (I put suffered in marks to reference Joseph’s ability to turn anything into a learning experience!) and brought us much joy for being with us. This is a poem by Joseph and below some relaxations from the week.
Next one is in Autumn – wakeupyourartist.com
Lastly, I invite you to remember some trees from your life that meant something to you.
Following the UK governments climate emergency declaration, I wanted to make, in a moment of collective insecurity, a collection of comforting, supportive and restorative memories…
heres the link, please send me yours if you wish to
Alongside the recordings in my journal pages I have recently released an ep of songs ahead of an album. You can visit hereto stream and download.
Please don’t let money be a concern. Feel free to pass through the donation screen with my blessing if you would like to download any songs and have no means to donate.
Any donations will go to my recording and traveling fund – thank you.