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Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Reminder from Darwin



“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” 

Charles Darwin, The Descent of  Man (vol. I).

See Darwin Online

"This work contains hardly any original facts in regard to man; but as the conclusions at which I arrived, after drawing up a rough draft, appeared to me interesting, I thought that they might interest others. It has often and confidently been asserted, that man's origin can never be known: but ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science".

The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex, London: John Murray. 1st ed. 1871



Corfu, Greece: In Debt to the Public Power Corporation; ΔΕΗ & οι Κερκυραίοι



ΔΕΗ: Πάνω από 42 εκατ. χρωστούν οι Κερκυραίοι - 4 στους 10 δεν πληρώνουν, News 247

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ernest 'Big' Crawford, double bass




Ernest Crawford was apparently born on July 31, 1897, and died in March, 1956 (dates not verified).

One of the great originators of the slap-bass sound.

"You're Gonna' Miss me (When I'm Dead and Gone)"

Muddy Waters (vocal, guitar), Leroy Foster (guitar) and Ernest 'Big' Crawford (bass) - recorded in Chicago, November 30th, 1948.

I recently bought a copy of Aristocrat 1307 (an old 78 rpm record). The blueprint for the rockabilly blues trio and the early Sun sound? Superb!

Ernest 'Big' Crawford also plays bass on the extraordinary "Louisiana Blues" ( Chess 1441, recorded 23 October, 1950).







UK and Greece: Wage Growth



From The Guardian - UK joins Greece at bottom of wage growth league, Katie Allen and Larry Elliott



Monday, 25 July 2016

Greece: New Highways and Completion Dates



From imerisia.gr, in Greek - Οι νέοι αυτοκινητόδρομοι που θα αλλάξουν την εικόνα της Ελλάδας

Minimanimalia : The Book Cover; Raul Scacchi




I have just received my advance, pre-launch copy of this splendid book and CD, a labour of love and dedication by Gioia Roni Maestro Scacchi, published by Istos Editions. It is beautifully designed and illustrated, a lasting and moving tribute to the late, much-missed Raul Scacchi.

Thank you, Gioia!

The book , the CD  and the songs are entirely about animals, and dedicated to animals, about all of which which Raul cared passionately.



I was delighted to find that it contains a number of song lyrics in English on which Raul and I collaborated to varying degrees before (and after) he fell ill, and some of my own poems which Raul set to music ("The First Lyre", about the tortoise murdered by Hermes to make the first lyre and two other poems, about dolphins, from my book "Corfu Blues", which I combined to make one song lyric, "21 Dolphins"), and my poem "Confessions of a Wanton Boy" which Raul adapted (in the second half) to fit the music and his concept. 

A correction is to be made to identify me as the author of the relevant poems and lyrics.

The two dolphin poems, written in 1967 ("Corfu Haiku") and 1994, respectively,  (from Corfu Blues, Ars Interpres, 2006), were the basis of my song lyric: 







The "Twenty-one dolphins" haiku was selected for "The Haiku Hundred", published by Iron Press in 1992: "This historic little book was published initially in 1992 and ran to six prints. It sold more than 10,000 copies making it the biggest selling book of English language haiku in the UK.
(IRON Press, in collaboration with the British Haiku Society, apparently received more than 5,500 submissions when they invited work for this small anthology).

"The First Lyre" (my poem was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 'Time for Verse', Sept 2, 1987; published in 'Corfu Blues', Ars Interpres, 2006)

First  preview of "Minimanimalia"



Illustration Franco Scacchi



Illustration Lucrezia Benvenuti


Illustration Brunella Sermoneta

"L'ultimo concept album rimasto incompiuto, è un doppio cd dedicato agli animali: di Minimanimalia, che Raul stava terminando quando la malattia si è aggravata, qui appare solo il progetto per la copertina. Le canzoni e le illustrazioni saranno pubblicate in un libretto con CD a parte".


"La Natura, per quanto crudele, era la sua forza di redenzione: la musica e gli animali, il suo grande conforto, fino al termine della sua vita. Meno di un mese prima di morire, il 14 maggio, Raul mi ha scritto un e mail “Al momento, nelle mie condizioni, non sono assolutamente in grado di pensare ad alcuna produzione musicale. Ma ascolto tantissima nusica, specialmente i requiems (quello di Faure’e’ uno dei miei preferiti), le sinfonie di Mahler e la sagra della Primavera di Stravinski (da sempre uno dei brani che prediligo)…”

A parte il suo amore per la musica gli era di conforto pensare che c’erano persone che si prendevano cura degli animali e della natura in generale e che sentivano in merito, un senso di responsabilità, anche se sono una minoranza. Raul ha lasciato a tutti noi, specialmente alle giovani generazioni, una grande eredità artistica e musicale, rica di idee e principi. Lui può essere ancora la nostra guida, il nostro “Psicopompo”, noi glielo dobbiamo".