Mike Vickers' Blog

July 7, 2013

East Neuk – The Johns, Lister-Kaye and Adams

Filed under: Literature, Music — derryvickers @ 7:09 am

The East Neuk Festival – that’s at the east end of Fife.

It’s a weeklong event but to yesterday Sunday – probably the hottest day this summer (and likely to stay that way)

Held at Cambo  a late Victorian estate.  Just three events: the first a nature literary talk by a famous guy who I admit I had never heard of till today –John Lister-Kaye.  A great reader – many from his own work but non-the worse for that.  His thesis is that there are few literary writers in the UK – a genre mainly taken over by the Americans (he did not mention but I can’t help giving a plug for Stephen Jay Gould).  I not in a position to dispute this – the only one I am familiar with is Gilbert White – the History of Selborne – a classic of its time  – some odd bits when White assumed the conventional wisdom that swallows hibernate over winter here. Giving his thoughts  Lister-Kaye was passionate that we are part of nature – not outside of it and he railed against ‘Growth’.

The second event was percussion music by John Adams –- Inuksuit – held in the magnificent walled garden – the players (25 in all) were distributed with their percussion instruments throughout the garden

The final was again John Adams – songbirdsongs – just two flutes and 3 percussions – again distributed around a large barn – and again only a few seats for the elderly and the rest of us just strolled around the players as we felt like it – just watching them play – interesting to read thie scores – just scraps of notes and notes on what Adams expects.

You either like Adams or you don’t – we do – it grows on you.

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