Lives

Nek Chand (1924-2015)

[by Ken Hunt, London and Jalandhar] Visiting Nek Chand’s life’s work known as the Rock Garden of Chandigar – the union capital of the Indian states of Haryana and Punjab – must have once felt like being somewhere in a gigantic a work in progress. Since his death on 12 June 2015 at the age of 90 – and speaking more romantically – his Rock Garden of Chandigarh entered another phase.

11. 3. 2017 | read more...

Singing From The Floor – A History of British Folk Clubs

[by Ken Hunt, London] Britain’s folk clubs must seem strange to anyone visiting them for the first time. They are an exceedingly British institution, only found on English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh soil – or, allowing for poetic licence, on foreign soils as British forces’ transplants, such as RAF Luqa’s Malta Folk Club and the British Army on the Rhine. To interject a personal observation, the folk club equivalents in Eire, Germany, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA all have altogether different characters.

19. 2. 2016 | read more...

Shamim Ahmed Khan (1938-2012)

[by Ken Hunt, London] In 1955 North America’s modern-era fascination with Hindustani music began with the advent of jet travel and the arrival of the sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan in New York. By then, Shamin Ahmed Khan, born in Baroda, Baroda State (modern-day Gujarat) on 10 September 1938, had already met the musician who would transform his life.

31. 10. 2015 | read more...

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) – a folk afterword

[by Ken Hunt, London] At the time of the inspirational illustrator Maurice Sendak’death, obituaries concentrated on his connections with Mozart, Prokofiev, Janáček and suchlike. On the occasion of the death of the US folksinger Jean Ritchie (1922-2015), it is time to remind about his bigger sound palette connections, notably one that coloured his early art. One commission revealed other musical tastes.

8. 6. 2015 | read more...

Wannes van de Velde (1937-2008)

[by Ken Hunt, London] It is a knee-jerk reaction when evoking Belgian song to extol Jacques Brel and his impact on Francophone chanson. But Belgium is a composite nation, with Walloon, Flemish and German populations. When it comes to articulating what it means to be Flemish, one of the giants of contemporary Flemish song and poetry was Wannes van de Velde, who for more than 40 years defined Flemish culture and defied cultural laziness.

5. 4. 2015 | read more...

Lubomír Dorůžka (1924-2013)

[by Ken Hunt, London] One of Europe’s foremost jazz critics, of a status comparable to Nat Henhoff in the States, died on 16 December 2013 in Prague. Lubomír Dorůžka rose to become the preeminent Czech-language jazz historian in Czechoslovakia and, after the separation in 1993, the Czech Republic. He was a Czech musicologist, music historian and critic (not just jazz), author, literary translator (including, naturally, the Jazz Age writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, amongst others) and much more. Lubo Dorůžka had the ill-starred fortune to be a jazz aficionado under two totalitarian regimes, during periods when to call jazz dangerous was an understatement.

Updated 3 September 2016.

23. 6. 2014 | read more...

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) – a personal memory

[by Ken Hunt, London] In person Pete Seeger was, much like you’d imagine, physically pretty spindly, pretty lanky but with a muscularity. Born on 3 May 1919 in Manhattan, he had an air of another era about him. He had a personable gentlemanliness quality, if it doesn’t sound too foolish, a real Pete Seeger-ness to him.

5. 2. 2014 | read more...

Other lives – May 2013

These remembrances remain in a state of flux as news comes in, details get corrected, information emerges and useful weblinks appear.

15. 6. 2013 | read more...

Other lives – April 2013

[by Kate Hickson, Powys, Wales] These remembrances remain in a state of change as and when updates arrive, details get corrected, information emerges and useful weblinks appear. Updated 12 June 2013.

15. 5. 2013 | read more...

Other lives – March 2013

[by Kate Hickson, Powys, Wales] These remembrances remain in a state of flux as news comes in, details get corrected, information emerges and useful weblinks appear. Last expanded 1 May 2013.

15. 4. 2013 | read more...

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