Vu – Compagnie Sacékripa

Compagnie Sacékripa were part of the Manipulate festival (2 – 9 Feb 2019) at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. 5 stars.

See also my review of Void, part of the same Manipulate Festival, when it first showed in Edinburgh during the Fringe 2018.

In Vu – translated as ‘viewed’ or ‘seen’ from the French – we spy on a grown man sitting on a tiny chair, knees squashed into his chest, playing. Ostensibly alone with household items and inhabiting a persona somewhere between adult and boy, he ruefully explores their usefulness. In a series of lightly connected actions and experiments – some mundane (making tea), some scientific (what happens if I…?), and others just plain silly (lots of stuff with marshmallows) – Etienne Manceau entertains us.

A one-man show from Compagnie Sacékripa, this 50 minute mime show is full of delight and laughs. Years of juggling and acrobatics on the streets with fellow performers has clearly honed Manceau’s acute sense of timing and meticulous measurement. He displays an acrobat’s precise judgment of distance (where do I position the spring board so that when I bounce off I land exactly on his shoulders? / where do I put the sugarlump so that when I ping it across the table it will land where I want it to?) and the brilliant bungling of the clown. The tricks are not always perfect but it seems clear that they could be if he wanted them to be. Indeed his deep sighs and wry facial expressions when something doesn’t work out are very much part of the humour.

Initially vaguely curious and then annoyed by the audience, he enters down stage right and leaves his coat on the only empty seat in Traverse 2. Wiping his feet on an imaginery mat (perhaps OCD, perhaps simply well trained) he steps across the line and becomes absorbed, somewhat resignedly, in his private antics – leaving us as mere onlookers.

He makes himself paper fingers and at one point chops off the ends with a very sharp knife – aargh!

Gradually, however, there’s a change of emphasis: the odd sly glance outwards or a hint of a gesture draws us into increasingly frustrated situations when, next thing we know, he has subtly beckoned someone onto the stage and has an accomplice, nay a dogsbody. It is charming, although he is not; he somehow cajoles and wheedles help with the merest hint of an expression or tap of a finger. Was the man a part of the show? Probably not, but he certainly added value and was endlessly patient despite being made to look foolish at times. Without a word until the final ‘merci’, Manceau insinuates, cocks an eyebrow, purses his lips and all but grimaces as he communicates his needs, playing on our willingness, yet always holding the power.

Sparsely crafted and spaciously presented by the performer with Sylvain Cousin’s ‘outside eye’, we come to love this character, always shambolic in his gait and posture. It’s not much more than a series of japes and yet has a powerful and lasting effect. Afterwards I found I was hyper aware of my own gestures as I hung my umbrella hook over the door knob. My life felt better – an effect only really good theatre can conjure.

If Vu is representative of the calibre of the Manipulate festival’s programme this year, I recommend you snap up any last available tickets.


In the title photo you see Manceau playing with fire as so many little children are drawn to do.

Vu is showing in March 2019 in France and Egypt. See their website for further venues

Orla Kiely, A Life in Pattern

Exhibition opens 7 February 2019 at the Dovecot, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh.


If you have an eye for a strong pattern, if you recognise an iconic design, you will know an Orla Kiely when you see it. Crammed with colour and deceptively simple, Kiely’s patterns adorn hats and handbags, scarves and record sleeves, a Citroën and a sleek pair of shoes. They feature on John Lewis shelves, in Japanese boutiques and the front cover of the Design Museum’s Fifty Bags that Changed the World – you can’t get much more lauded than that in the fashion world!


The new exhibition at the Dovecot is by no means a straightforward collection of items from an artist’s dusty back room. Care, attention and creativity has gone into the concept of it, developing organically through various stages, as has her internationally famous business, by her own account. It is brightly curated with plenty of space to stand back and admire the larger-than-life-size dresses hanging as if in a massive wardrobe, replicated in a set of miniature stick dolls with names like Agatha and Ivy.


Colour and print are at the centre of both her life and success. After being encouraged at her convent school by the art teacher, Kiely won a place at the National College of Art and Design in her native Dublin. After a sojourn in New York where she honed her craft painstakingly mixing precisely the right paint shade, she wanted to learn about knitted textiles and attended the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and  Commerce (RSA) in London ”where you can go in with one idea and come out something completely different, where you can find yourself. “ In 2011 she became an Honorary OBE and in 2017 was made Senior Fellow of the RSA.


The exhibition starts with the Print Library. Panels of natural, especially floral images in a broad palette range from turquoise to olive, and sunshine to the classic orange of the 60s childhood home. Scarlet discs amidst petals of muted blues reminds of Dick Bruna‘s Miffy illustrations which were popular with young readers of the late 60s. Retro yes design which ‘yearns for certainty in tumultuous times’, as the information panel put it? possibly, but look closely and you will discover an intelligence of design which bears living with on a day-to-day basis. Upended owls fit together nicely, playful juxtapositions of original shapes create something new: a peacock tail of flower stalks, parachutes made from petals, apples with flower cores, and somehow they lend themselves equally to dress fabric as to place mat.


Around the corner is the Wall of Bags and opposite that a set of V and A clothes stands inspired by the mid to late decades of the 20th century. Glorious auburn zigzags, organza baby blue collar, and a raincoat made of the ubiquitous PVC (aka tablecloth material). There is a dated looking bathing costume to die for!


Like many artists, she represents herself better in her work than in words. Let the vibrancy and clarity of colour speak for her, allow the focus and precision with which she has built her signature and brand do the talking, and you will believe that she is truly one of the ‘excellent women’, to steal Barbara Pym’s novel title with cover design by Kiely herself.




Aviary, art exhibition


19 January – 17 February 2019 The Royal Scottish Academy, Princes Street, Edinburgh

On entering the exhibition, held in the lower Academician’s rooms at The Royal Scottish Academy, one moves instinctively to the right where the title sign and information hangs. A fitting first work greets the viewer; Elizabeth Blackadder‘s jagged black and white Parrots, four of them tilted and arranged in a quirky manner on poles. Continuing anticlockwise to Aberdeen Ibadan Dronte Chook by Michael Agnew and Ade Adesina, I find a dodo, large enough to jump out of the frame, fixes the viewer with its bulls-eye, possibly with a nod to Edward Lear’s nonsense animals.

‘In that case,’ said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, `I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies–‘

`Speak English!’ said the Eaglet. `I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!’ And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.

`What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an offended tone, `was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’

from chapter 3 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

While many of the works are black/white or in neutral tones, there is colour to be found in Elspeth Lamb‘s Hyne Awa series further on – a shocking pink sky above and blue down below where the savageness of the painted badger manages to overpower the red kite under a full moon.

birds 4
Elspeth Lamb, Hyne Awa

A quarter of the way around the exhibition, it becomes apparent that the artwork’s numbers are moving backwards from fifty. Did the curator plan to start at Blackadder’s #1 only to have the viewers retrace their steps clockwise to #2? I consider changing direction but opposite is the work of the prestigious female artist, Joyce W. Cairns. Not only has she produced the painting with arguably the most depth, Head Study from the Deadly War series, but on 28 Nov 2018 she was appointed the first ever woman to be Director of the RSA in its 193 year history.

Initially unclear as to why the Head Study portrait was included, closer scrutiny reveals a long necked ornithological creature whispering into the girl’s ear. With eyes askance, the girl appears to be listening intently.

Joyce W Cairns

In conversation, Cairns reveals that she is currently too busy settling into her new role to finish the new painting she started for this very event. Standing in front of Head Study she eloquently explains that its subject, the Bosnian War of (1992-1995) was, ‘like a merry go round where no-one was helping anyone, that this woman is expressing my feelings about the misery that that war caused, the unrest of the soul’.

birds 8
Gordon Mitchell, Vista

Later I went back past the door through which I entered to find that #2: a beautiful pen and ink print, Bird and Plant by the late Jack Knox which is redolent of Lear in its simple composition and humorous air.

birds 7

The works are packed in with as many as 19 on one wall. Mentions must go to the child-like, stylised Owl for Megan by Michael Agnew (who inexplicably has another work at the opposite end of the room); the pencil line fragility of Will Maclean’s suggestion of wing as can be found on many a mountain path, feathers upright; and Littlejohn’s collage of paper-bird-boats in orange and pink with duck in flight. There is realist work (Busby, Guild) and concrete poetry (the elegant work by Mackenzie with Paterson, and the fold-out Shetland Bird Names by Marion Smith, also on paper).   

birds 6
Concrete Poetry: Edward Summerton with Don Paterson
Mixed media on paper: William Littlejohn, Origama, Cranes and Colour Wheel

There is a vast range of bird life encapsulated in these drawings, sculptures, poetry and other media, notably Eileen Lawrence‘s spacious Prayer Sticks, and Frances Pelly‘s soapstone trio depicting a subtle shrug of raven shoulders; touching hunger of sparrow young; and haughtiness of hen harrier. It is no wonder that one has a red dot (sold) at opening time.

birds 3
Lino cut print: Ade Adesina, Another Life
birds 2
Sculpture: James Castle, Green Leaf (which is in the fish’ mouth, behind)
aviary 2
Stuart Mackenzie’s angry bird (above) and Edward Summerton’s 2 gouaches: the hippy Tree Creepy and The Golden Feathered Lover

All photos my own (with permission) except Joyce W Cairns. Title work: Frances Pelly Hen Harrier 

birds 1
Murmuration, Greece.


Kusama – Infinity

Documentary film, Kusama – Infinity about the artist Yayoi Kusama directed by Heather Lenz. The “top-selling, living, female artist.”

Kusama – Infinity is a fascinating film about the life and work of contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama born in 1929. Directed by Heather Lenz, it follows the traditional format of such documentaries with a host of famous ‘talking heads’ such as gallery directors from the Tate, colleagues including Carolee Schneemann, and Kusama herself. It charts her origins and upbringing in Matsumoto, Japan and primarily her dedication and determination which went mostly unnoticed before her consequent move to the US.

The development of her work is examined and contextualised: connections are sought between real life events and landscape, her internal psychology (she underwent Freudian analysis when she was younger and is currently living in a psychiatric hospital); and the thematic strands of her work. Beginning with the ‘net’ pieces inspired by seeing the pattern of fishing nets spread out on the surface of the Pacific Ocean from the aeroplane, the movie goes on to describe and show her love of dots and discs, chairs covered with white protruberances, the famous kaleidoscopic ‘infinity mirrors’ rooms, and ends with the current complicated collages and larger-than-life sculptures reminiscent of Joan Miro.

Kusama 5

She was at the forefront of artistic / political activism having lived through the Vietnam War (“I thought it was wrong, why send this beautiful [human] body to war”); the more conservative Nixon era when there was very little support for contemporary art, never mind female artists on the cutting edge; the space age (seeing the world as a series of very small spots from high up); the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (“I made my art to try and change people’s minds”), and free love (she presided over the first homosexual weddings). To all of these she took a stance, responding with art, poignant and plaintive poetry, and costume.

There is a great deal of often compelling historical footage, particularly of her wonderful ‘happenings’. In ‘Narcissus Garden’ she hawked mirror balls for 2$ outside the Italian Pavillion of the Venice Biennale in protest. When the police tried to move her on, she stripped off her kimono revealing a red bodysuit and posed among the balls – never one to miss out on a photo opportunity.

kusama 6

Thoughts on the Mausoleum of Modern Art at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC was an especially delightful episode. “What’s modern here, I don’t see it” she said!

We are shown the letters between Kusama and Georgia O’Keefe from whom she asks advice early on; we see her in a non-sexual relationship with the famous artist Joseph Cornell (27 years her senior) who called her his princess; and hear how Frank Stella was the first to buy her artwork for $75 (it subsequently sold for and enormous $750,000). 


Like Louise Bourgeois who used her insomnia as inspiration, the two women also share the use of eyes, stitched work, and blood-red imagery, albeit this latter speaks of classic female subject matter. A contemporary of Niki de Saint Phalle, she has also worked on a monumental scale with bright blocks of colours and complex design including dots and eyes. In turn, she has clearly influenced contemporary female artists such as Anna Ray and Joana Vasconcelos. There are also tastes of indigenous Australian art and traditional Mexican patterns to be found. Pat Oldenburgh is quoted as saying that Claes (her husband) got the idea of soft sewing from her, and this and other blatant plagiarism caused Kusama to fall into depression.

kusama 8


She constantly struggles with her mental health and the film addresses the possible origins of this – some “trauma in a field of flowers”; being sent by her mother to spy on her father’s sexual liaisons; being forced to sew parachutes in a military factory; and having her art torn from under her, all as a very young girl. There are lots of stills showing her with manic and tortured expressions, shots covering her multiple suicide attempts, and in her own words: “I covered myself in polka dots until I disappeared”.

There is not much to criticise in the film: she is described as touting her work “aggressively” in New York, such terms being used repeatedly about her intense resolution to get her work seen. It was sometimes difficult to know who was speaking at any one time, but it is questionable whether the language used to convey her behaviour would have been used for a male artist.


Kusama on the left, Michaelle Possum Nungurrayi, ‘Womens Ceremony’, an example of indigenous Australian art on the right.

Nowadays she is feted, and the feature opens and closes with her sporting a magenta bob and matching spotted dress, painstakingly painting massive and complex, undrafted art work (up to 33’ / over 10 metres) in primary colours full of symbols and, of course, dots.

Further reading:

Current exhibition: Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Entangled Threads exhibition review


McGonagall’s Chronicles (which will be remembered for a very long time)

Play at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 5 – 15 December 2018. Written and performed by Gary McNair with Simon Liddell (Composer / Musician) and Brian James O’Sullivan (musician / Chorus. Directed by Joe Douglas and co-directed by Tomaz Krajnc. 

Writer and performer Gary McNair couldn’t believe his ears when his friend introduced him to the poetry of William Topaz McGonagall. He found the work ‘so terribly bad’ that he was drawn to examine why McGonagall is well known 125 years later. ‘Who was this guy?’, he asked, ‘Was he meant to be this bad?’ This way the show McGonagall’s Chronicles was born.

McNair has taken a poet who is pilloried and vilified and written a script using the same declamatory, clunky and ‘abominable’ style but in a more adroit and knowingly comical way. With awards tucked into his belt (Fringe First 2018), and together with Simon Liddell (Composer / Musician) and principal on-stage side-kick Brian James O’Sullivan, musician and Chorus, he has created a one hour touring show which tells the story of McGonagall’s life in often ridiculous rhyming verse. We learn about the very tough trajectory of this self-made man who had endless determination and apparently unwavering self-belief. Somehow McNair manages to elicit sympathy for this most hard-skinned of men.

Using a form which would be recognised in the 19th century theatre of McGonagal”s day, there is a tight structure. He remains true to the metre and doggerell of McGonagall, and performs in a flamboyant style which is thirds panto, music hall and stand-up. The text contains references to the nursery rhymes of the times: ‘bonnie and gay’, ‘nimble and quick’, but there are also contemporary metaphors, ‘He was bound to be as popular as Game of Thrones’. It is not pure drama – there are songs and letters, a judge’s sentence and newspaper cuttings amongst the dialogue.  

It is tight and prodigiously paced at the start – the two performers slickly alternating and interrupting each other. However, around the time that the timbre is turned up to a shout, things start to go wrong. It is an unfortunate irony that in the pre-show announcement O’Sullivan declares, ‘You might want to take this chance to head for the exit’, because when a gentleman does just that, McNair loses his place. He responds in style and heckles, initially incorporating it smoothly so that those of us who didn’t know it was happening are surprised. It puts him off his stride. With many a ‘f… it’, he struggles manfully to retrieve his place, but the show barely recovers and when, five minutes to the end, his costume proves to be more of a straight-jacket than a smock, he must have wanted to just sit down and cry. Even the script seemed considerably weaker at the end and the final line of the ‘Life After Dundee’ section was a flop.

It is unlikely that this is normal, after all McNair has a great reputation and over half the show was excellent. McGonagall’s Chronicles will surely continue to entertain those who enjoy a good play on words in a historical context.

Further Reading

19th century theatre

Mary Brennan’s review of the same show in the Glasgow herald. 5 stars.

The Long Path to Wisdom

Collection of Burmese Folk Tales by Jan-Philipp Sendker

In The Long Path to Wisdom (published by Birlinn) Than Htlun, a book dealer in Yangon, says, ‘Every country changes…What matters is deeper than that. And the soul of a people, as it is described in folk tales, does not change so quickly.’ Quoting this in the epilogue, Jan-Philipp Sendker is explaining why he is sharing ancient fables in an age when even Burma has succumbed to the short-span concentration of the mobile phone.

Initially told around the fireside by the Burmese grandmother or shared by monks, these fables range from pithy cautionary ones, namely The Crocodile and The Monkey where the canny latter outwits the obliging former and escapes with his heart intact; to the longer and more involved, like The Best Storyteller, a devious story containing 5 mini fables and a humorous outcome where the greedy are trounced by an innocent stranger. There are yarns featuring cruel nuns (The Grateful Serpent); a chamberlain who gets his come-uppance (The Fisherman’s Reward); and the Burmese equivalents of Grimms’ Hansel and Gretel in the sad and piteous The Starving Orphans or the brutal Nan Ying and Her Little Brother.

Sendker is the author of the best-selling novels The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (2012) and  A Well-Tempered Heart (the sequel published in 2014) which are also set in Burma. He has travelled extensively, visiting both city and village, and together with Lorie Karnath and Jonathan Sendker has brought these 53 funny, informative and easy-to-read stories together in one volume. In the introduction, the passages about the taxi driver briefly taking his hands off the wheel while passing the Shwedagon Pagoda to pay homage, and the image of Yangon alight with candles in a power cut, are beautifully written and translated. Here and in the stories which follow, the scenes are vividly depicted, and the reader is enticed to visit such a rich and fascinating sounding country.

Smoothly and effectively translated from the German by Lisa Liesener and Kevin Wiliarty, there is a mix of the traditional fairytale narrative alongside a modern vernacular. In The Pious Queen for example, we read that ‘her mind turned to wicked thoughts’, or in A Mother’s Warning, that ‘they worked hard with nary a rest’; whereas in The Night the Moon Fell into the Well the ‘simple farmer’ is described as ‘not … being the sharpest tool in the shed’. Text such as ’embroiled in a boisterous debate’ from A Battle Between Two Sculptors is a pleasure, and sometimes I even had the sense that I was being read to as I was reading to myself.

Although there is a familiar essence of spoken folk tradition from all around the world, the stories have an authentic air of Burma – full of Buddhism (On Gratitude), karma and elephants! Its landscape and geography are evocative to the Western ear – poor merchants sit under Banyan trees taunted by monkeys, villages are located in Mandalay (famous from the controversial Kipling poem), and treks to find new lands are made along the Irrawaddy River (The Magic Comb). 

Burmese naga
Burmese naga

All manner of sorcery and the supernatural abound: Magic eggs in The White Crow and Love); nagas, snake spirits (clearly the origin of Rowling’s snake nagini); and nats, tree spirits which The Blacksmith’s Children turn into. Talking animals are the norm (On Gratitude), and astrologers (On the Rationality of Astrology) and fortune tellers are consulted by monks, kings and villagers alike to help with the establishment of right and wrong (How the Hare Became a Judge).

Then there are also the princesses, ogres and dragons that we know from the Scottish and English traditions (see Rashiecoats or St George and the Dragon which was in fact initially from Cappadocia (now Turkey) and came to the UK with the Crusades). In Nan Ying and Her Little Brother, the little girl was frozen with terror on seeing a noble dragon rise out of the water but luckily he turns out to be a good listener and is able to make everything right in the end. There is plenty of the Hans Christian Andersen type of cruelty we are used to (The Omen, The Grateful Serpent, and Mu Yeh Peh and the Wages of Love), and much transformation of human to beast and vice versa as in the Irish fable, The Children of Li.  

Curses are cast (The Flood), conundrums are solved (Three Women and One Man), and in the succinct How to Spell Buffalo there is no conclusion. Reminding me of a Japanese Zen koan, a monk is sent by the King to test the people’s devotion, and is pitted against the encumbent abbot. Lacking humility, he is taught a lesson when he finds himself completely stumped by being asked the title question, and we, too, are left pondering.

banyan tree
Banyan Tree

Like the Greek myths, some are concerned with the origin of animals or birds (The White Crow and Love), or how their appearance came to be, such as How the Thrush Lost Her Colourful Plumage. In others there are young men going on quests – The Long Journey is reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey. Moral and ethical parables of kindness, revenge, jealousy and greed are to be found in The Long Path to Wisdom.

On these long winter evernings, why not cosy down with a loved one and bring back reading aloud? These often laugh-out-loud, always fascinating stories from a far-away land are sure to delight both children and adults.

Further reading:

The gruesome origins of fairy tales

Examples of Japanese Zen koans


Laws of Motion – Karine Polwart

Laws of Motion, folk music by the Karine Polwart Trio
Laws of Motion is an optimistic album. Karine Polwart, song meistress, with Steven Polwart her brother and Inge Thomson, acknowledges the rush, horror and separation of contemporary life, but offers up hope and positivity in the face of it.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year in 2018, Polwart is from Bannock in Stirlingshire and uses native vocabulary in the poetry which is her song lyrics: ‘hollers from the delta’ in Laws of Motion and the ‘skirl and moan’ of the wind in Cornerstone being just two examples. She alludes to earthquake and tempest, human cruelty and war, juxtaposing them with the silent night sky, gardens and remote islands.
Ophelia, the first song, named after the hurricane, is painted in a fiery palette: the red dust of the desert, the sun, blood and burning trees. In contrast, the plaintive, sweet vocals create a strong visual image of two people in reflective mood after an argument.
Laws of Motion, the title track, conjures up poignant images (‘babies wrapped in prayer shawls’) of exile and migration which was originally written with Martin Green for Flit, a multi-media project, in 2016. The images are disturbing but there are threads of love and life throughout and the music is matched to the melody with powerful, opening instrumental surges.
In I burn but I am not consumed it is refreshing to come across an original approach to Donald Trump‘s relationship with the Scottish soil. He was born on the Isle of Lewis and Polwart imagines what the ancient rocks would say about his behaviour, concluding that however powerful he thinks he is, he doesn’t command the elements. Here the spoken word is effectively interspersed with lines of harmonic melody, as later in Cassiopeia.
Suitcase, again written with Green, is about the kinder transport in which 10,000 Jewish children were brought to Britain for safety just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Using the repetition of words (‘heading for home’) and train-like rhythms, the hope this time is in the boy’s heart, not to actually get anywhere but to simply grow old. The final notes are spine tingling.
Cornerstone is a series of gentle tales of women and men who sit still. By listening to the birds, to the wind; by tending the candle and the lighthouse; these individuals serve their communities whilst quietly honouring nature. The opening and underlying drone, together with the final glockenspiel ‘bells’ and the harmony on’ and listen’, create echoes of the lonely landscape.
Matsuo’s Welcome to Muckhart opens with the beautiful line, ‘I was born on a jasmine wind’, harking back to her highly successful 2017 collection, A Pocket of Wind Resistance. Light bubbles of Japanese lotus and water lily are conjured with the tremble and pretty picking of guitar and wavering voice.
Young Man on a Mountain is about the Polwart grandfather who fought in the Battle of Cerere (Italy 1944) and also planted trees in Balquhidder. Using the lilt and sound of the spruce and pine, Polwart evokes the silence which her relative kept after the war, as well as the atmosphere of her homeland.
Crow on the cradle is Sydney Carter’s anti-war song using nursery rhymes in a chilling rumination on bringing a baby into a war-torn world. The Robin, which follows, is a simple retelling of how the robin got its red breast with angelic harmonies linking past and future in true folk tradition.
Finally, sparse piano opens Cassiopeia, which uses both ends of the telescope – stars through the velux window, nuclear explosion, the Big Bang and the advised list of 1979 household necessaries for 14 days in a fallout shelter. Sparkling runs and trills are used alongside the spoken word, reminiscent of Floret Silva Undique, Martyn Bennett’s setting of Hamish Henderson’s poem on the album Martyn Bennett.
In Laws of Motion, the album, Polwart asks what we are left with in the face of the terrible occurrences of our world, how to survive the horror of it all. She gives us this answer: be still and quiet, be thoughtful and take pleasure in the beauty of our natural environment. Together with haunting melodies and fascinating stories, these songs linger behind in the soul.