Menu Sian Prior

Writer, Broadcaster, Singer, MC & Teacher

Singing, Tootling and Talking [May 13]

If you’re heading down to the Mornington Peninsula on Sunday June 15th, and fancy some singing and tootling, you might like to consider coming along to my next recital. It’s a program of art songs and clarinet pieces by French composers, including Faure, Hahn, Poulenc, Roussell, Bozza, and a stray Dane with a French-sounding name (Jens Bjerre). I’ll be accompanied by pianist Katherine Gillon and the concert begins at 2:30 at the Rosebud Uniting Church, Murray Anderson Rd, Rosebud. Tickets are $10 at the door, and you’ll get afternoon tea for that, too.

And i’ll be talking to a fascinating and deeply wacky American artist on Radio National’s Lingua Franca program this weekend (Saturday May 17th, 3:45 pm). I interviewed Nina Katchadourian in her Brooklyn home when i was in New York last month. She’s done a project called Accent Elimination where she employed a voice coach to try to teach her parents (a Swedish-speaking Finnish literary translator and an Armenian- Turkish-Lebanese social science professor) how to speak with a so-called ‘pure American accent’, at the same time as she tried to learn how to speak with their inimitable ‘foreign’ accents. I’m not pulling your leg. (If you miss the live broadcast, you can always podcast it)

If you’re interested in sustainability and small business, you might like to check out the podcast of a forum i chaired last week for the City of Stonnington – ‘Green is the New Black‘. Guests included Rob Gell (weatherman and environmental crusader), Katie Patrick (founder of the Green Pages) and Amanda Nutall (from the NetBalance Foundation).

If you are looking for a good film to see, i can happily recommend ‘The Edge of Heaven’. Set in Germany and Turkey, it is an intricately-woven tale about a Turkish man and his German-born son, the prostitue they befriend and betray, and her daughter, an idealistic young political activist. In fact, i suspect this is The Perfect Film. I’m still digesting it, three days later. One of the many outstanding actors in ‘The Edge of Heaven’ is Hannah Schygulla, who i remember from in a number of politically confronting German films in the 1980’s, so it was quite a nostalgia trip, seeing her beautiful but aged face staring out at me from the big screen. We saw it at The Classic but i’m sure it’s on elsewhere.

On the other hand, unless you relish the idea of spending an evening in a bleak famillial dystopia, avoid ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’. Not even Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s marvellous acting (nor director Sidney Lumet’s excellent track record – ‘Broadcast News’!) could console me when I was trapped in the second row, watching this depressing film about semi-accidental matricide. Oi veh…