Review: Laura Marling & BBCSSO, Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections, the worldly-eclectic celebration of roots music that warms the bitter January chill in Glasgow since 1994, kicked off on Thursday with a showcase of their fine programme until Laura Marling and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra took to the stage. Adding oomph to the launch, artistic director Donald Shaw incorporated the BBCSSO, who under the conduction of Jules Buckley and arrangements of Kate St John, provided a textual cuddle to the fine tracks of Miss Marlings.

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Review: Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

With the publication of this and Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk, it would appear that not only the raven resonates with death and grieving. Black crows symbolise insights of the future and the Welsh goddess of war and death, Morrigan, and is perhaps an appropriate inclusion in Grief is the Thing with Feathers. This is editor, Max Porter’s first book, which has certainly blown the reading audience away with his unusual poetic short story, partly narrated by a extraordinarily meta-fictional crow.

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Review: Wabi – Sabi by Francesc Miralles

Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view solely focussed on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence specifically impermanence, suffering and the absence of self-nature.

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