Saturday, 23 March 2013

Elizabeth - Charity Children

A sad and yet beautiful song I came across by accident on YouTube.
“We are hopelessly hopeful.” Charity Children are two lovers from New Zealand who send their intimate melodies flying through the graffitied streets and smoky bars of Berlin. Soon after Chloë Lewer and Elliott McKee fell in love making music, they embarked upon a musical adventure to Germany where their street grown indie-folk very quickly became a Berlin institution - their music becoming a soundtrack to the vibrant but wounded city. Enchanting large audiences with their endearing style, raw energy and miraculous vocals, their ukulele driven sound, so innocent, yet wholly powerful, has the ability to disarm the most robust cynic, reminding those who listen the necessary place of idealism in a less than ideal world.
'The Autumn Came' (their debut album, Out mid-2013), represents a selection of songs written and performed over their first summers in Berlin; collaborating with an orchestra of other musicians to transfer their distinctive streetfolk sound into the studio. Some songs are joyful, some painfully tragic but all heartfelt.
Elizabeth, the debut single from Charity Children’s first album, ‘The Autumn Came’, is a folk anthem written on and for the streets. A ballad of marching defiance; it begins in tender tragedy and builds to a tumult of stirring optimism. Capturing the street spirit of their sound, Elizabeth, a tribute to the bullied and downtrodden, is a remarkable song, a resounding debut from what promises to be a raw and exciting addition to the ‘Indie-folk’ movement.

Postscript 31/3/2013: I just found this nice little interview on Highlight Magazine, click here.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

About Iri

Intrepid Iri (with camera) is now flying over the city on her broomstick because she thinks you might enjoy the perspective having viewed the closeup pictures which featured in her previous post. Below us is the Christchurch Hospital, you can glimpse (hopefully) the Avon River which glides through the Christchurch Central City and on its banks the dark green rooves of the Antigua Boatsheds and the Boatshed Cafe. Lucky it is such a nice clear day. This is a normally a beautiful part of the city, to the west (left) of the picture is our Botanical Gardens, follow that road north and you will arrive very shortly at the remains of the Central Business District (CBD), horrifyingly flattened, demolition still ongoing.

Iri Ani the Witch

I invented Iri originally as an email addy, when my niece said to me, "for goodness sake, get something more interesting than or whatever". Iri is short for Irihapeti, in the same way that Liz is short for Elizabeth and Irihapeti is the Māori form of Elizabeth. Ani stood for Anne and thus Iri Ani was born. Later Iri Ani opened a Yahoo Messenger account after which she encountered some amazing people and survived many incredible adventures during visits to her favourite chatrooms and a couple of Yahoo groups. In one Yahoo group she became a pretty cool character, along with an alien, Sir Rupie, Zippy and several other characters in what became a serial email story (even in verse sometimes) continually added too by several members of the group. Iri was not only a witch but also owned a gumboot factory and was clearly half in love with the alien of the group, a love which naturally went unrequited as we would expect.

Iri Ani became a blogger when Yahoo opened their now defunct Yahoo 360 blogging site; when that was closed she followed a core blogging group to the Multiply social networking site. Her Blogger account was originally opened as a safety net, a kind of backup and archival site which has now been brought to the fore after the owners of Multiply quite suddenly and unexpectedly announced the closure of their social networking. As well Iri experimented with Ipernity and Blogster but she has now deleted these accounts.

But there is more to an Iri than as an internet character, more even than the sum of my pages as a blogger, more even than I knew ...

Iri in a Dictionary

It was only this week as I was flicking through my Williams Dictionary that I discovered my Iri on page 79. It turns out that Iri is not just a name, she is a verb, an action:
Iri (i) v.i. 1. Be elevated on something... 2. Rest upon... 3. Hang, be suspended... 4. Embark on... Whakairi. 1. v.t. cause to ascend...  [whaka - causative prefix, my insert]
Iri (ii) v.i.  Be published, heard...
Iri (iii) 1. n. A spell to influence, attract or render visible one at a distance... 2 v.t. Affect with such a spell...

On page 80:
Irirangi  (i). 1. n. Spirit voice, which was regarded as a bad omen. Reo irirangi, radio. (modern) 2. a. Having a supernatural sound. 3. Restless, unsettled agitated. [rangi - sky, my insert]

A bit more to Iri than first met the eye. I think I chose my handle well, even if inadvertently.

NB: in reality, and because I should not tell a porky, the aerial picture of Christchurch Hospital was kindly supplied (also inadvertently) by The Press (Christchurch) website.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Of Shoes, Decisions, and Boatsheds too

"I've come to a decision", she types, with purpose and determination I might add. "I am only going to keep one blog page going and it will be this one. Most of my super-best contacts are here and I just hope that the few from Blogster and Ipernity, those few for whom I opened those pages anyhow, will keep contact with me here. I shall miss them deeply if they don't."

One needed time to get over the loss of Multiply. To try out other pages. To get through summer (it's been long and hot and we are in drought mode now), and surgery, and further develop the garden.So, not tonight, but soon, I will be closing my other blogging pages.

Today I went into Christchurch Hospital for my six week check (all's well) and then we went for lunch to the Antigua Boatshed Cafe which is on the Avon right next to the hospital. That's part of the hospital in the picture above, a piece of appalling seventies architecture but at least it didn't fall down. There are newer parts of this hospital which are more attractive but these days much of it is shrouded by scaffolds and surrounded by cranes and other big machinery, still under repair since all the earthquakes. But soldiering on as you'd expect. The walking bridge (just in camera) to the left is still closed. A vehicle bridge to the right (not in picture) has been reopened.

When I was a kid the old Victorian boatsheds were just that, boatsheds, and you'd hire canoes, which you still can of course, and you'd row up past the hospital and through the Botanical Gardens which is all very pretty. There was an ice cream shop attached where this cafe now is. Then some smart cookie opened up the cafe and it is now a thriving business. All that was closed for some time after February 2011 but is reopened now. So this is the street-side of the cafe. Don't know those guys, just as I pushed the button on the camera, they suddenly appeared and walked into my picture. So we said, "you guys are going to be famous online now", and they said, "that's okay we'll send you the bill, haha". I hope they stumble across this picture one day, hehe.

Riverside of Antigua Boatsheds with bright colourful boats. For people who don't know Christchurch on the far side of the river is the Central Business District of Christchurch which has sustained so much damage. So much is now empty spaces where buildings used to be and demolition still continues. Over the other side workers seem to be laying new lawn seed for new grass, the big clumps beside the river are native grasses.

Not sure where this boat is heading ... straight to hell perhaps, for disobeying the rules. Perhaps into the mouth of a taniwha.