MIF: The Life and Death of Marina Abramović

Just came back from the most amazing show of MIF 2011: The Life and Death of Marina Abramović is absolutely astounding! World class! LaDoMA is a true performance. Everything comes together: performative arts, music, words, interpretation. Willem Dafoe is absolutely magical. Antony is so elegant and a vocal master. He can do whatever he wants with his voice, a jealousy for so many who rely on Studio Production tricks. The dramatic story of Marina was lightened by the brilliant work of director Robert Wilson, but it still resonated a lot in my heart as I could identify with many of the situations experienced by Marina when growing up.

I feel truly blessed for having experienced such a fantastic show. Loving Manchester life each day more. Great diversity and so much quality.

My long absence

It's been almost 6 months since I last posted anything here. Have been keeping an eye on my favourite blogs but not with enough time to comment on any of them or post anything on mine either.

Lots of things happened meanwhile, good things. To cut a long story short...

...changed job in February, to a permanent one (finally, the first one since I arrived in the island), and am loving the team I am working with, not only because I can identify myself more with them, but because it's mostly men and men tend to be more practical, a lot more fun to work with and they don't waste time and energy being bitchy; moved house again, due to my new job (as I was taking 1:45 h to get to work, which I did for an entire month); started the process of downsizing massively; spent an incredible holiday in Iceland (a truly magical country, to which I'll definitely go back); have been enjoying even more the cultural life of Manchester (went to shows like The Cult, Epica, Adele, Roger Waters with his The Wall Live, Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris with their Dr. Dee - An English Opera, Björk and her Biophilia show and more recently Marina Abramović, Antony and Willem Dafoe with their The Life and Death of Marina Abramović).

I can truly say that I feel at home in Manchester, in pace with the life that revolves around me, truthful to myself and my ideals, and living my life the way I want to live it (and not the way British society might expect from an emigrant). I'm at peace and settled.

3 years have gone by since I landed in England, and I do not regret it. There is still so much to do and to learn. Every day is a stepping stone and I'm enjoying it with child's eyes and hunger. 2011 seems to be my best year in a long, long time. Soon, I'll be celebrating a special birthday and just wish more of the same for the future. And for everyone around me.


Sainsbury's problem sorted

Sainsbury's problem sorted today, after 5 phone calls and some tweets! It took them about 3 weeks, almost 4 to finally sort it.

I am giving them the benefit of doubt and attempted a 3rd online purchase. Let's see what will happen.

Sainsbury’s is definitely my favourite supermarket but I must say that the Online service is terrible compared to the experience of shopping in store.

I really miss Continente (Portuguese supermarket)! They were always professional and their online service never failed.


Beautiful snow!


Squirrel in my garden

And here is a lovely squirrel, rummaging around in our garden. Isn't he a cutie?


Kate Walsh's concert

I am not going to write too much about the experience of this concert. All I can say, is that each day I get more enthusiastic about small venues where the audience who attends really wants to be there, listening to the music and participating of the good vibes that emanate from that communion, and not be chatting along and drinking as if they were in a pub.

Also for this reason, I can say this was definitely another special concert. The venue was lovely as well, comfy and with excellent acoustics. It's no wonder that is more frequently used by classical music instrumentalists.

And the music... well, I got a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It was very nice to hear such a nice and delicate voice like Kate's, so close to me.

When the concert ended, Kate went outside to greet the fans and me and my husband got to chat a bit with her. While I snatched an autograph in the ticket, she kept looking at us saying she had the feeling she knew us from somewhere. Strange, but funny all the same. At last, I asked her if she had ever been to Portugal, and she replied that she'd been there loads of times, and that she loved it over there, sharing fond memories of "Bairro Alto" and acknowledging that Portuguese was the only language to have a word for the feeling of missing someone, i.e., SAUDADE.

Kate was really charming, sweet and approachable, both on and off stage, which is why we had such a wonderful evening.


Kate Walsh concert tomorrow!

Finally, I got to "beat" my other half and got the chance to bring home free tickets for a gig. Free stuff always shows up in short notice, but still I managed to reschedule our cats Vet appointment for later in the week.
Therefore, tomorrow night, we are going to see Kate Walsh at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, which is located in the University of Manchester.

Photo from here

Kate Walsh is a British, Brighton-based, singer-songwriter. In her bio, this is how she is portrayed:

"Calling Kate Walsh a singer songwriter is like saying Van Gogh was a cartoonist. Kate is, er, different. A 26-year-old from a sailing town in Essex who’s been likened to Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Jane Austen, she’s ferociously independent…in every sense. She adores Debussy, studies cello, listens constantly to Classic FM (and little else), bemoans the demise of vinyl and CDs (she finally got an iPod when iTunes gave her one after her last album ‘Tim’s House’ knocked Take That off the top of the download chart but rarely uses it), is entertainingly scathing about the conventional music industry (“it’s fickle, selfish, impersonal and backstabbing”) – and has established her own cottage industry to do it her way. And when she sits down to write a song you’d better lock up your hearts for you instantly become Kate’s close personal confidante as she bares her soul with shocking candour."

And for a little taste of Kate's music...


Oli Brown: how a cult is born

A few weeks ago, I went to see Kirsty Almeida's gig art Band ont he Wall. And this great venue has a very cool deal: if you dine in spending 9£, you get a free ticket to a show of your choice. After scanning the options, Oli Brown was the choice. And man, what a great choice!!

I confess that not knowing Oli's music at all, and given the music style he palys - Blues -, it would be far more interesting if I didn't "Google" him. And I was right!

I couldn't find a video from the evening, but check this recent one, earlier this month. See how he commands the guitar with majesty. There's a lot of technique, no doubt, but there's passion. And technique without passion is nothing. Not an issue for Oli.

I had a great night and knowing barely nothing about him made it even better. He is seriously, seriously good!! His bassist and drummer are top-notch as well. There is a great chemistry among them.

For such a young musician (only 21 yo), he sure knows how to appeal to an audience, engage with it, and set the ambience for good and honest feedback from everyone. He did a great job with the line-up, mixing old and new vibes, his own tracks along with covers.

The sound at Band on the Wall was crystal clear, defined, a must! So, props to Band on the Wall's sound engineer as well! He surely deserves it, especially after having to cope with Oli walking around the venue, including upstairs in the balcony, to play right in front of the fans, like in a one-o-one teasing exercise.

Definitely, recommended! If you want to buy his album, great! But do check him out when playing live. That's how you'll get the buzz!

Divine Comedy's tickets arrived!

Yay!! The tickets for Divine Comedy's concert in Manchester have arrived. It's going to be a night to remember. Can't wait!