February 26, 2013

The Next Movie

Filmed this in January. Unless the director has fled to Tehran, it should come out this spring.

February 12, 2013

Kasturi mriga

Yes, the image is of the musk deer (a deer of the Himalayas) as you might expect. But if you put 'kasturi mriga' into a google search engine - DON'T FORGET TO ADD THE 'A' AT THE END OF KASTURI MRIGA OTHERWISE YOU GO TO ANOTHER SITE - you might get all sorts of surprise images in addition to this expected one. I did, including several of myself in poet mode, not to mention my wife having a 35 year reunion dinner with her old history teacher, a curry house in Norwich and several other mysteries!

I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that my blog labels are responsible for these as I use the kasturi mriga in several of my blog-posted ghazals (an Indian love lyric originating in Persia.) The third couplet from 'My Valentine' ghazal (see my previous post, Your Valentine?) is one such:

My Valentine is a priestess who trails her heaven scent
To hell and back round a navel the musk-deer endlessly roves.

The extract quoted below is where it is coming from.

" There is a beautiful story of a Kasturi-mriga* which brings out the nature of all spiritual Sadhana. Once, while roaming about and frolicking among hills and dales, the Kasturi-mriga was suddenly aware of an exquisitely beautiful scent, the like of which it had never known. The scent stirred the inner depths of its soul so profoundly that it determined to find its source. So keen was its longing that notwithstanding the severity of cold or the intensity of scorching heat, by day as well as by night, it carried on its desperate search for the source of the sweet scent. It knew no fear or hesitation but undaunted went on its elusive search until, at last, happening to lose its foothold on a cliff, it had a precipitous fall resulting in a fatal injury. While breathing its last the deer found that the scent which had ravished its heart and inspired all these efforts came from its own navel. This last moment of the deer’s life was its happiest, and there was on its face inexpressible peace. "

from Meher Baba's spiritual discourse The Deeper Aspects of Sadhana

Whenever I read this fable of the quest of love, in which the little self 'dies', it seems to jog a memory of something deeply true (and exquisitely beautiful) and there have been nods of audience recognition as I've been performing that couplet and its source story this week. Whether it's just a story or whether the endangered musk deer really do chase their own inner heavenliness all over their natural habitat, I don't know. But I'm sure human beings do.

February 08, 2013

Your Valentine?

Now available via the purchase page of this website priced £2.50 plus postage: a very tasteful 150 mm square art card under a plastic cover with envelope using my televised Persian ghazal 'My Valentine is a picture, her painted eye like a rose.' The eye occupies the entire front cover and the ghazal/love lyric is on the reverse. The poem got to the semi finals of the National Ghazal Competition as screened by Hindi Picture for Channel 4. Ghazals are accompanied by heartfelt music and sung in an Indian style, full of longing, but very beautiful. Just the job for a Valentine? I performed it as spoken word at Wolferton Folk Club last night, deep in the royal woods and with deer's eyes shining in the headlights on the way home.

My Valentine is a picture, her painted eye like a rose,
Her body held in a soft flame of stillness, freed in a pose.

My Valentine is a dancer, unfastened hair like a tide,
Her fingers fly out of time's rut: and pluck my heart as it blows.

My Valentine is a priestess, who trails her heaven scent
To hell and back round a navel the musk-deer* endlessly roves.

My Valentine is a goddess, her neck is softer than sky:
She turns to me like a planet, and everything else explodes.

O heart, this quest is your own end, you're lost and that's why you win,
You’re stripped of even your held breath and kiss what God alone knows.

*The Kasturi-mriga, a deer of the Himalayas whose navel yields musk.


with love.....


Room at the Gin productions: combining words, music, theatre and visual arts in a greater whole.

Tel: 01485 571828 (orders welcome) www.garethcalway.co.uk

Persian ghazal (lyric) © Gareth Calway 2013
Macro shot of eye by Barbara Humphries, used with permission.

Though the sophisticated scoff at those who drink the dregs
They will lose their faith when they arrive at the tavern door.

February 02, 2013

Room at the Gin

A Punktured History of Britain From Creation to Cromwell kicked off the Room at the Gin cross-arts adventure for 2013 at the Gin Trap Inn, Ringstead, last night. A fusion of poetry, music and storytelling was heartily enjoyed by a full house of 19, spanning three generations aged 8 to 60+, drawn from all over North and West Norfolk, laughing in all the right places and joining in the choruses with gusto. Gareth told our island story from an alternative viewpoint - one where Boudicca, queen of Norfolk, with statues in London and Cardiff, might have a statue in Norfolk (instead of museums telling her story from the Roman point of view) and Oliver Cromwell a statue in every major city rather than an 'executed' head hidden away in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge in case drunken royalists exhume and mutilate his remains again as at the Restoration. Peter Butterworth performed three new folk songs, featuring stirring music he has composed to accompany Gareth's historical ballads about Cromwell, King Arthur and Ann Boleyn. (The duo performed Cromwell's Talking Head earlier in the week at Oliver Cromwell's House in Ely.)
The enjoyment of performers and audience alike was boosted by the unusually resonant acoustics of the back restaurant which perfectly suited the art of voice, drum and guitar on offer. Cindy and Steve gave a warm welcome as always and were pleased at the resounding success the event.

Gareth wrote and performed in the first 'Room at the Gin' event last December which used the stable to explore the roots of Christmas.

In each case, the idea is to select a room at the Gin Trap Inn that suits the material being staged. The next 'Room at the Gin' event, scheduled for the spring - a fusion of theatre, poetry and music - will explore how King Henry got rid of another Norfolk queen, Ann Boleyn, who is said to still haunt Blickling Hall every May 19.