On my radar: Damon Albarn’s cultural highlights | Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn was born in east London in 1968. Interested by music from a younger age, he studied at East 15 Performing Faculty after which Goldsmiths, the place he co-founded the band that helped kick off Britpop. In addition to recording eight studio albums with Blur, Albarn additionally co-created Gorillaz and the Good, the Unhealthy & the Queen, spearheaded the collaborative organisation Africa Categorical and has scored stage productions together with Monkey: Journey to the West and Dr Dee. He lives in Notting Hill, west London, together with his companion, Suzi Winstanley. On 12 November, Albarn releases his second solo album The Nearer the Fountain, Extra Pure the Stream Flows on Transgressive Information.

1. Movie

Swan Song (dir Todd Stephens)

Udo Kier in Swan Song.
Udo Kier in Swan Track. {Photograph}: Picture courtesy of Magnolia Photos.

I simply acquired again from Los Angeles, the place I watched this wonderful movie in my lodge room. It’s a couple of midwest hairdresser, performed by Udo Kier, whose life has been lowered to sitting in an outdated folks’s house folding napkins. Then he will get a name from the lawyer of one among his society purchasers who’s not too long ago deceased, however in her will she desires him to provide her a closing makeover. I actually love movies that concentrate on small, obscure locations and the main points of individuals’s lives. I discovered this one very shifting and I believed Kier’s efficiency was magical. I actually suggest it.

2. Exhibition

The World of Stonehenge (the British Museum, London)

Bronze age sun pendant, 1,000–800BC, from the exhibition.
Bronze age solar pendant, 1,000–800BC, from the exhibition. {Photograph}: © The Trustees of the British Museum

I’m actually wanting ahead to this present [opens 17 Feb]. Ever since I did Dr Dee on the ENO, I’ve been obsessive about all issues esoteric. And I drive previous Stonehenge on a regular basis on the A303 on the best way all the way down to Devon. Each time I am going previous it, it’s totally different – typically larger, or smaller, or the stones are a distinct color. So I’m fascinated to see what the British Museum has unearthed that I haven’t already seen or examine. I’m additionally delighted that the plans to construct an underpass beneath Stonehenge have been deserted. I don’t understand how that probably could possibly be a good suggestion.

3. Restaurant

Maramia Cafe, London

Dishes at Maramia Cafe.
Dishes at Maramia Cafe. {Photograph}:

It is a Palestinian restaurant in Golborne Highway, west London, with improbable meals and beautiful folks and it’s the one place I’ve discovered the place they serve sage tea. Sage is extremely good for cleansing the throat, so it’s excellent for singers. I’ve been ingesting it for years and years however I didn’t realise they drink it in Palestine. They allowed eating places in Golborne Highway to have exterior seating in the course of the pandemic, in order that’s been a very nice improvement.

Duke Ellington’s Concert of Sacred Music

4. Music

Live performance of Sacred Music by Duke Ellington

This document has such a captivating kind to it and it’s actually impressed me not too long ago. Duke Ellington claimed it wasn’t a mass, it was one thing new – I suppose a fusion between jazz and spirituality. Nevertheless it’s very experimental and I like the concept the older he acquired, the extra experimental he acquired. It’s a fucking good document. I don’t take heed to loads of jazz however I undoubtedly get pleasure from it. I actually love Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. The longer within the tooth I get, the extra I gravitate in the direction of Radio 3.

5. Books

The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino

Italian author Italo Calvino.
Italian writer Italo Calvino. {Photograph}: Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Getty Photographs

It is a actually fascinating guide a couple of youngster who decides to go away his household and stay within the bushes for the remainder of his life. Possibly it’s a metaphor for individualism, I don’t know, but it surely’s a really bizarre guide and I do like Calvino’s writing. I don’t typically learn that a lot fiction. I might have chosen 100 totally different nonfiction books, however this is among the few novels I’ve stayed with not too long ago. Calvino is a singular writer. His guide Invisible Cities had a giant impact on me after I was youthful.

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6. App


It is a good app. Djembe is the centrepiece drum of west African percussive ensembles and the app is a form of almanac of basic, conventional rhythms; you may break down every rhythm and take heed to all of the totally different elements and work out how these polyrhythms match collectively. It has notation as properly and there’s additionally a little bit of historical past about every rhythm. I used it after I was engaged on Le Vol du Boli on the Châtelet in Paris final yr, with Fatoumata Diawara and Abderrahmane Sissako. I don’t have many apps, however that is one I actually get pleasure from. In the event you’re into rhythm, it’s helpful and engaging.

7. Theatre

Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury (Young Vic, London)

Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Rhashan Stone and Nicola Hughes in Fairview.
Left to proper: Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Rhashan Stone and Nicola Hughes in Fairview. {Photograph}: Marc Brenner

That is the very last thing I noticed within the theatre that completely blew my thoughts. It’s a superb, Pulitzer-winning play and I feel it wants to return again, so I’m recommending it within the hope that extra folks get to see it. It’s about an African American household who collect to have a good time their grandmother’s birthday and it’s only a very clever take a look at what it’s to be [a person] of color in American society. It’s so modern in its staging: it repeats itself halfway by means of, however the second time the actors are simply mouthing the phrases. I actually loved it. I’m wanting ahead to working in theatre once more. One in every of my favorite issues is dropping myself in a giant mission.

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