web analytics

Personal Landmarks Disappear in Manchester

When you live in the city for a number of years, walk its streets, frequent the eateries and entertainment venues, it may be hard to see some of those places shut down. Crisis dealt fiercely with quite a few places across the city of Manchester, but the biggest blow to me was the news about the BBC Manchester building in Oxford Road being demolished. Last time I was in Manchester and had a ride on a number 2 shuttle bus I saw the bare foundations, and it was sad. No more Radio Manchester newsroom where I had had my first radio placement, with the walk down the corridor past the BBC Philharmonics studio. Neither canteen, nor library on Floor 2. Neither floor 4 where Entertainment department was based, nor Floor 5 with Religion and Ethics department. I know they have all moved to Salford Quays, but personal memories have been quite literally swept away along with the building. This is what it looked like.


Saying that it’s not possible to enter the same river twice isn’t quite true. In spite of leaving the Beeb in early 2007 I returned there already in February 2007 for the first meet-up of BBC Manchester Blog. After a session at the BBC Cafe we moved to ponder the future of blogging to Lass O’Gowrie pub at the top of the nearby street. Well, the pub’s recently closed with a promise to open in early February 2014. Considering its fame and the most recent win of The Best Pub in Britain in 2012, I sincerely look forward to having a pint there at the earliest available opportunity this year. Meanwhile, this is how it looked while I still lived in Manchester:


Here’s a story of the first BBC Manchester Blog meet-up.

Still, the saddest disappearance is that of Mark Addy restaurant. Again, it is set to reopen in February (for they do need to serve all those romantic Valentine dates, I suppose!), but whether or not it keeps the famous name is unknown. Apparently, the reason is the poor state of the building and the inability to meet the cost of renovation and refurbishment works.

I’ve never dined there, but on January 7th 2005 I was supposed to meet a female acquaintance who apparently never came. Fine. It was Russian Christmas, and I think I ordered a pint of bitter (or was it a glass of wine?) I sat there, looking at the cold waters of the river Irwell, taking a moment of calm to think of everything that was happening in my life since 2000, and especially since 2003. Then I made a decision that changed the way I spent the next 5 years. After a very tumultuous 2004 when I realised that I would most likely have to choose between myself and my marriage I had to decide whether to stay in England or go back to Russia. As I was gazing at the waters, the decision came. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper, which I might still be able to find. I decided to stay with the nation that was proud as a lion and hell-bent on winning, and has superbly succeeded at delivering great work throughout its history. Some people advised me to get on the door of a Russian company, just because I was Russian. At Mark Addy I decided to only work with the British. Indeed, if I had such a wonderful opportunity, why shouldn’t I have used it to the full, to learn from the best, to take my English to the next level of fluency, and to acquire the skills and experience that would benefit me in the long run?

The rest is history. Amidst all sorts of setbacks, including various losses, I fully realised the goal I had set at Mark Addy when I decided to stay in Britain. Thus when I eventually came back to Moscow in 2010 it was,  I suppose, a logical outcome of all years of “learning”. I returned because it was finally time to return.

I may be wrong but it looks like I haven’t ever taken a photo of Mark Addy. But I have a pic of the opposite side of the river Irwell near The Lowry Hotel. Interestingly, on this spot in the 19th c. there happened a boat accident that claimed lives of several people.


Julia Shuvalova on BBC Radio Manchester (2006)

This is a full version of my interview on BBC Radio Manchester in November 2006, at Ordsall Hall in Salford. I was interviewed by Richard Fair who was heavily involved in BBC Manchester Blog, along with Robin Hamman. This is the first time I listened to it since 2006, and I have to admit to loving it. This is one of the best moments of my career so far. Imagine what it must be: to work and do interviews for the UK’s leading broadcaster only to end up being interviewed by them yourself! Exhilarating, at the very least.

Nearly four years down the line, I was particularly curious about what has changed in terms of subjects. I know I started using photography much more, including articles on the topic. Literature as the subject still stands out but there is a fair number of posts about Cinema, as well. Considering that I see the future of my career in terms of converging Literature and Cinema this should not be surprising.
Needless to say, I will feel very cold when I eventually go to Russia because after 7 years in the UK my “Englishing” has become almost complete – and that’s not counting my British passport.

And I still write sparingly about myself, sharing mostly what is really important for people. In doing so, I clearly express my ability as a healer. Just today I’ve read a wonderful article about fears and issues in life, but the early paragraphs were especially startling. People do confide in me, although they don’t always expect any advice I may be able to give them. I have realised some time ago that they do so exactly because they feel I may be able to help them. Yet, as they say, before you can help anyone you should help yourself. And this is just what I am doing these days, even now. There are over 10 interviews I will upload to my Posterous, but I chose to start with myself. After all, as George Orwell said – and this is what I quoted in my interview – an author must be vain if s/he wants to succeed.

Social Media Cafe in Manchester – A Success!

Last night The Northern has welcomed yet another digital event. In spring the venue hosted a Digital Marketing event (the one organised by David Bird of FaceBookCreep), and now we all gathered there yet again, for the first (but clearly not last) Social Media Cafe.

And wasn’t it great! Over 80 people attending, a great selection of panelists (Craig McGinty, Chi-chi Ekweozor and Martin Bryant) chaired by Sarah Hartley, a load of good questions, and a thoroughly enjoyable communication and networking that ended – for some – next door to The Northern, at Matt & Phred’s. Ideas are already thrown around for the subject for the next get-together, and the whole organisation is a fantastic example of – sorry, folks, getting on an Digital Marketing soapbox for a second – what digital/Social Media tools and platforms can be used to power an event or to create a community, and how. There are now: a Google Group, a Wiki, a Flickr group, a Yahoo! Pipe, a Twitter stream, not to mention all the coverage in blogs and in print (The M.E.N., that is). Read Sarah Hartley’s round-up post that includes a video of the debate.

And the posts from the panelists:

Craig McGinty – Blog Posts and Twitter Talk at Social Media Cafe
Martin Bryant – Manchester – Social Media City
Chi-chi Ekweozor – Manchester’s Social Media Cafe Opens for Business

Some points that I’ve found particularly important or interesting were:

the importance of a blog’s design on people’s opinion about the site. Apparently, it works very simply as: if you’re using a default template and never did anything creative with it, shame on you and no readership, no matter how good you write. This brought to mind a phrase I have long loved, something along the lines: “when a pivotal moment arrives, a man thinks: ‘what shall I say?’, and a woman thinks: ‘what shall I wear?’” To extrapolate this on to blogging, bloggers, regardless of gender, seem to worry more about the platform and design, rather than content. It would be an exaggeration, of course, to conclude that bloggers have a “female” streak about them, and I obviously realise the importance of a design for brand management and marketing. However, it all comes down to what a consumer (reader) pays for (in their free time, if not money), and it clearly isn’t just the look of one’s product.

what is blogging about: collaborating or self-broadcasting? This was a very good question, but I was surprised that panelists solely focused on comments as the measure of communication and/or collaboration. It is so to an extent, but – hands up! – when I link to someone’s site or article, I don’t always leave a comment on their site, to let them know. Similarly, I often find out that someone linked to me from my blog’s statistical data or a Google Alert, not from a reader’s comment. The access to this data and its analysis are pivotal in making a blog something more than a self-broadcasting venture. First and foremost, it teaches a lesson of responsibility. Next, some search queries can actually hint at the topics that may be interesting to explore. Also, the conversation about your blog or the use of it may be happening without you even knowing about this. The links to various posts on this blog can be found on Wikio, Ask, Google Books, but naturally, no-one from Google would write to me informing about the link. Finally, some findings can be very pleasant, like in the image on the left. Just this afternoon I followed an incoming link from Alexa, where Los Cuadernos de Julia is currently in the Top 10 Arts Weblogs. But I don’t loiter on Alexa every day, you see.

At the same time I don’t think it is possible to strictly distinguish between collaboration and self-broadcasting, when we speak of a blog written by a single author. In this case the author often not only creates the content, but also represents themselves as a brand, with the necessity to manage it as one of the consequences, hence she or he is also doing their own online PR.

Here also fits a comment from the audience during our night at The Northern: can blogging be seen as just a means to satisfy various human needs, be it vanity, or sharing experiences with people, and so on. It certainly can, but I much favoured Craig’s point about William Blake who is well-known to have published his own books. This didn’t earn him much income or fame in his lifetime, but it was him who had a significant impact on the Pre-Raphaelites. It was the Brotherhood, as a matter of fact, that re-discovered William Blake, just like Surrealists and Man Ray helped to re-discover Eugene Atget. I think there is a need for bloggers themselves to know why they are out there, while admitting that other people may enter blogosphere (and stay there) for their own reasons and needs.

the future of blogging. I have little to add to the ideas of panelists, those being: 1) GPS and mobile technology; 2) multimedia blogging; 3) data portability; and 4) corporate blogging. But one obvious thought comes to mind: there will be more information, its dissemination, and the problems of its regulation. By the look of it, even now many people don’t know what blogs are, and many are petrified at the prospect of blogging. But what scares them most is not the technical things, but rather the sharing and presentation of information. What can be published? Who can read it? How can they use it? Robin Hamman explored this last year on BBC Manchester Blog, following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Yet people are ready to answer these questions and to really go beyond some blank guidelines in the style of “love thy neighbour lest you be libelled”. So, there will be not only an influx of general information in the guise of our posts, pictures, videos, etc, but also an influx of educational posts or websites that will serve to illustrate the opportunities of blogging and Social Media.

So, it’s looking bright and shiny both for blogging and for Social Media Cafe. I’ll continue blogging about blogging (sic) over at Avidadollars, and keep your eye on The Mancunian Way for the complete coverage. The next date is already announced, and it is 9th of December. I keep my fingers crossed it doesn’t get changed… If you want to attend, head over to #smc_mcr and put yourself on the list.

Social Media Cafe in Manchester photoset on Flickr.
Social Media Cafe Manchester Wiki.
Social Media Cafe Manchester Flickr group.
Social Media Cafe Manchester Twitter scan.

Where Have All The Manc Bloggers Gone?

For those of you who recognised a paraphrased line from “Holding Out For A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler I can only confirm that, yes, “I need a meet-up“. With other Manc bloggers, that is. May it sound very weird, but I have just found this video on YouTube, produced by Ian @ Spinneyhead.co.uk back in 2006, and, by George, did it bring some good memories!

Manc bloggers meet-up at BBC used to migrate to the more informal Lass O’Gowry

Understandably, with the dissolution of the BBC Manchester Blog and all the recent excitement in the Manchizzle‘s family (congratulations, Kate!!), the most regular Manc bloggers meet-up that I know about and attend (as well as a few friends, notably Craig) is the Manchester Digital monthly gatherings, faithfully organised and posted about on Facebook by David Bird. My feeling, however, is that we should try and organise a similar monthly/bi-monthly meeting for Manchester bloggers – and I even volunteer to send the meeting reminders on Facebook, as and when necessary.

Anyway, watch the video and see some of Manchester bloggers, journalists, PR-people, etc. Sink in the atmosphere of the bygone days. Hope we get back on track some time soon. And just in case you decide to get together, may I kindly ask to do this in early September – I am hoping to be out of the cast by then. 🙂

Final Update: in case if you did not check the latest posts in Los Cuadernos de Julia, here are the final details of September meet-up.


This is the appeal on The Mancunian Way for Manchester Internet stars to come forward with their online hubs, be they blogs, sites, new service or groups. The weekly nominations will be subsequently reviewed by Sarah Hartley and Paul Robinson, will appear on The Mancunian Way and on the Saturday e-view page of Manchester Evening News, and the only criteria is that your site or blog should have something to do with Manchester.

And a huge thank you to Craig who – I know – has been very helpful, thoughtful, and full of brilliant ideas (as always). Stay tuned in for the news about the date, time, and venue.

Update on the date and venue: please note that as of 28th of August, the sign-up is complete. Stay tuned to the pub poll, where the voting is currently pretty much in favour of Dukes 92, one of Castlefield’s meeting hotspots.

Earthquakes in My Life (Deux Hommes dans la Ville)

In August 2007 Robin Hamman reported on the BBC Manchester Blog about an earthquake in Manchester. He was rather surprised that very few of us, Manchester bloggers, noticed it. I didn’t notice it, no. But the Manchester earthquake was but 2 points on the Richter scale. The recent earthquake that hit much of the UK was 5 points, and I did feel it. Well, since this was the first earthquake I personally experienced I’ve got to write a memo of it. I was in the bathroom, and the door shook and rattled, but hardly anything moved, including myself. I thought it was a very strong wind which does occasionally visit the house where I currently live. You can easily imagine my surprise when in the morning I read about Britain being hit by its second strongest earthquake since 1984.

In my Russian LiveJournal I wrote about this experience, since it was really the experience, and I’m very grateful to the reader who sent me their support, even though I didn’t suffer any damage (unlike some people and households in England). In my turn, I hope that none of my friends or readers was affected by the force of Nature.

Although this was the first time I experienced an earthquake myself, it wasn’t the first earthquake in my life to which I had to react somehow. On December 7, 1988 when I was at the second form at school (still primary school), a devastating earthquake hit Armenia. As I gathered from browsing the Internet, it is now known as the Spitak, or Gyumri Earthquake. You can easily guess by looking at the date that this catastrophe occurred while the USSR still existed, and I believe it was a common initiative across all Soviet schools to organise sending some humanitarian aid to the families, and most importantly children who suffered from the earthquake. In my childhood I’ve had a lot of toys, and my Mum and I collected a huge bag of different dolls to send to children in Armenia.

I must be honest, though, and admit that the empathy upon which I focus so much these days and about which I write so much, – well, this empathy wasn’t something I had had back in 1988. I don’t know, perhaps it was normal since I was a child, and I have noticed in the recent years that some childhood experiences are relived much more sharply when I recall them some 15-20 years after they’d happened. With the Spitak Earthquake, I vividly remember smiling sceptically at my grandmother and mother, for I couldn’t understand why they were crying, as my family never had any relatives in Armenia or adjacent areas. Obviously, these days when I look at these photos and there is a whole pool of similar experiences to remember I take their reaction differently. Although I guess that there is a reason for my then reaction, I’m ashamed of it, and my parents did reproach me for it.

That was in 1988. These days I realise that I haven’t always been so detached, and that something had touched my profoundly long before the experience I’m about to relate. I told you in the past about the effect the Russian adaptation of Conan Doyle stories had on me, and there are a few more films that opened me up from one side or another. I feel that in many ways these experiences were brought by some external force (I’m not religious, but this is where I become fatalist and a mystic) to unravel my inner feelings and callings that otherwise would lay dormant.

Occasionally I feel also that when myself or whoever else speak about art, there is a more or less substantial group of people who are extremely sceptical about the ability of art to influence anyone. I don’t know about “whoever”, this is when I’m speaking entirely from my heart and my own memories. It was 1994, I was in the 9th form at school (the last year at secondary school, for you to have an idea), and because it was before my birthday in December I’d still be 13. In the summer of 1994 I read Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita, which had a profound effect on me. As I don’t remember exactly how I was reading it, I doubt this effect was such that it made me cry, but it certainly made me think.

It was probably October or November 1994 when they showed Deux hommes dans la ville on Russian TV. The film is known in the English-speaking world as Two Against the Law or Two Men in Town (Due contra la città in Italian), it was made in 1973 by José Giovanni and starred Jean Gabin and Alain Delon. The plot, in short, is about a bank robber (Delon) who returns home after ten years of imprisonment, makes his best to escape the old pals, but falls victim to the harassment of a cop from his past. Gabin’s character is trying to help and save the unfortunate young man, but the tragedy unravels. The film touched on social injustice, capital punishment, and the inability of an individual to outpower the Law.

It was the first film when I sat in front of the TV set and never moved. It was the first ever film with which I sympathised. I’ve seen a few films with Delon previously, but back then I sometimes relied on the perceptions of my family, and my mother who probably looked at this actor through his performances in Borsalino or Zorro didn’t develop any affection for him. Naturally, it was different with me, and since 1994 I’ve seen many films with Delon, including La Piscine, Once a Thief, and Il Gattopardo.

But back in 1994 I was totally devastated and destroyed by the feature. I was crying throughout the last part of it. As if that wasn’t enough, I woke up in the night, instantly remembered about Delon’s character in the last scenes, especially those in the death chamber, and once again I cried. I thought of the character’s girlfriend… I knew perfectly well that nothing wrong happened to Delon. I knew that this could be just another “story”. But I was inconsolable for the rest of the night, very much moved for a few days after, and am still under the effect of the film, almost 15 years later.

Naturally, I’m thinking exactly what it was that moved me so much. The more I think about it the more I’m inclined to believe that I felt pain from my inability to change anything. Even if such story did take place in France in 1960-7os, I was sitting in Russia in the 1990s, and it was pointless to contemplate on what could be done because there was no capital punishment in France by 1994. Lars von Trier raised the same problem in Dancer in the Dark just a few years ago, although for me it was a film “in context”, whereas Deux hommes dans la ville was the first film of such topic.

So, the devastating effect of Giovanni’s feature had to do with my understanding of my “calling” or desire to be involved – be that involvement in art or in helping people. It could never take place without the actors, the script, the directing, and the whole gamut of other factors involved in film production. And while my experience as a film aficionado has grown far and wide since 1994, it is this film that I will be invariably getting back to when thinking of when and how I realised that whatever books, films, melodies, paintings tell us, they ultimately tell us something about ourselves.

Needless to say, I am deeply indebted to the cast and crew of this film. Deux hommes dans la ville was my own earthquake that shook me and threw me out of a void of detachment. I can never be thankful enough for this…

BBC Manchester Guest Blogger

There are certain things you don’t realise until some significant time later. I never realised – until just now – that the BBC Manchester Blog was only one (!) day older than my blog. On 23rd August 2006 Robin Hamman and Richard Fair addressed the prospective readers on the subject of taking part in the BBC Manchester Blog project. On 24th August 2006 I’ve opened Los Cuadernos.

In a year and a half both blogs have evolved significantly, but now I’ll only speak of the BBC Manchester Blog. Robin and Richard have been working on it most of the time, creating some fascinating content, and having Kate Feld as a contributor. There were a few bloggers’ meeting-cum-workshops, coverage of blogging tips and topics, blogs, and Manchester events (I decided to highlight the Manchester International Festival, a great example of how a blog can be used to cover a series of events). At the turn of the year the Blog has introduced a new feature – The Guest Blogger. The idea is to invite a blogger (or someone who’s avid to try their hand at writing for the web) to contribute an article. So far Paul from IckleWeb narrated an illustrated story of the Rochdale Canal; Geoff from 40three pondered on the obscure attraction of blogging; and Rose Kennedy has shared some impressions of leaving the UK for Romania, to be with her family.

In his post Hairballs and Blogging Richard goes in more depth about this feature, so if you want to participate just follow the above link to the BBC Manchester Blog. It is fairly obvious that there will be some preference to local content or to your observations on blogging, but this should by no means limit the scope of your ideas. If you are following the BBC Manchester Blog, then you certainly know about the variety of topics it has covered. One particular idea that has just sprung to my mind is this one: if you’re an avid Facebook user who’s tried to organise a group or to take part in an event via this super-social network, or if you have extensively used/misused/abused/disused (whatever applies) Facebook applications or other types of social media, then why not suggest to share your observations with all who read the BBC Manchester Blog? A post on a similar subject – “Is It OK to Blog While Off Sick?” – has already appeared in the past.

A Few Quick Updates

To begin with, do not forget that this Wednesday is the Manchester Blog Awards night. If you’ve been looking forward to joining us, make sure you’ve taken a note of the venue. The venue has changed, and the Blog Awards will now be at Matt&Phred’s in 64 Tib St. Here is where they are located, in case if you are not familiar with Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

So, we’re looking forward to see you there, from 7pm onwards. The nominees for this year include, apart from myself, Mancubist, Crinklybee, FictionBitch, Skipper, Normblog, A Free Man in Preston, and a plenty of others whom you can (and should, I may say) check out at Manchizzle. Unfortunately, Robin Hamman won’t be present at the awards this year, as he explained on the BBC Manchester Blog, but both Kate and Richard will be there. As a matter of fact, let me remind some of you that Richard is the author of this photo and this photo of Alan Rickman, so if you want to meet the man (Richard, that is) and shake his hand, make your way to Tib St in Manchester on October 10th.

By the way, if you wish to confirm your attendance via the now-ueber-popular Facebook, please look for BBC Manchester Blog project group there. That means you can also join either Facebook or the BMB (isn’t that a nice abbreviation?).

I was supposed to meet a friend, with whom we couldn’t meet for good two months, and the meeting is now delayed for another week. But I am not short of engagements. Right after publishing this post I am going to the online premiere of a great place for many a beer lover and a film connoisseur. Watch this space.

Last but not least, October 15th is our Blog Action Day when bloggers all over the world unite to say their word about the importance of the protection of environment. Since this blog is mostly about literature, cinema, art, and music, I thought writing up an entry a day starting on October 5th, to make it ten days worth of quoting, translating, and analysing the way our culture has embraced the problem of environmental protection. Unfortunately, this is already not happening, but even mentioning my plans made me envious of myself. This is a plan certainly worth of realising, and the only impediment I may face is the necessity to go to work every day. To Warrington. By bus and train.

In the Mood for a Weekend

Staying only for half of the day at work on Friday is already enough to put you in the mood for weekend. I was properly in the mood for it on Friday morning, when I discovered that Notebooks – Los Cuadernos de Julia is shortlisted for this year’s Manchester Blog Awards. I couldn’t blog about it last night, as my internet didn’t work, so it’s Saturday morning, and I’d like to say to everyone who nominated me a huge “thank you”. Incidentally, the event will take place at MohoLive in our dear Northern Quarter on October 10th, and although the event is free we’re all advised to book tickets. So, if you’re up to travelling to Manchester on October 10th to see me and other Manchester bloggers in flesh, let us know or just turn up at the event. As for me, I’d be absolutely chuffed to see my reader. Likewise, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone I already know, especially because meeting with some of them is sometimes tricky to organise.

To move on to more digital randomage, I notice that an email is something that gets our heads turn in the past few months: first, the 15th c. email, then mine Short history of the email, and now Google has finally assembled the Gmail users’ submissions for their video about how a Google mail travels. To check the video out, go to Gmail: A Behind the Scenes Video.

Google has also introduced BloggerPlay: in simple terms, they made all photos uploaded to blogs in real time publicly available. In their own words,

Blogger Play will show you a never-ending stream of images that were just uploaded to public Blogger blogs. You can click the image to be taken directly to the blog post it was uploaded to, or click “show info” to see an overlay with the post title, a snippet of the body, and some profile information about the blogger who uploaded it.

Sounds like real fun, and being a woman (after all), I couldn’t resist clicking on catwalk photo that brought me directly to Cuantos Trapitos blog. I don’t know Spanish, but looking at the blog, it’s all about fashion, fashion, fashion, and it’s likely to become one of those that I visit very often. Thanks to Blogger Play, what can I say!

(The image in the post is courtesy of Manchizzle).

MBA and Tenori-On Launch

MBA is what I have just realised the abbreviation of the Manchester Blog Awards 2007. The first event of this kind was held last year, and as those who were present there a year ago testify, this is a wonderful night to attend and to remember. The idea belongs to Kate Feld, and this year’s event is expected to be held on October 10, at Mojo Live in Northern Quarter. The nominations are: best political blog, best arts and culture blog, best personal blog, best new blog (started since September 1st 2006), and best creative writing on a blog. The deadline for nominations is September 7th.

More information: BBC Manchester Blog and The Manchizzle.

And one more date for your diary, whether you live in London or in Manchester. September 4th and September 5th will see the world-wide launch on Tenori-On hosted in London and in Manchester, respectively. Tenori-On is the latest invention from a Japanese artist Toshio Iwai, who I had had the honour of watching performing on this instrument exclusively at the last year’s Futuresonic launch. As far as I remember him talking about his interest in music and visual arts, he’d always been fascinated with motion picture, and had been drawing animated films in small notebooks. It looks like many a great thing starts with a notebook.

To quote from Futuresonic’s website where you can find all information about the events, “the TENORI-ON is a unique 16 x 16 LED button matrix performance controller with a stunning visual display. For musicians, visual artists & DJs it is a unique performance tool that enables them to create spectacular live & DJ audio-visual performances. The worldwide exclusive events will feature TENORI-ON performances from some of the finest talents in electronic music plus an introduction and discussion with the TENORI-ON’s inventor, Toshio Iwai.”

And here are the line-ups in London and in Manchester – as you’ll see, admission is free but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment.
Robert Lippok (Domino/To Rococo Rot)
Toshio Iwai (Media Artist)
Secondo (Dreck Records)
Capracara (Soul Jazz)

Phonica Records / Vinyl Factory, London
Admission Free

Robert Lippok (Domino/To Rococo Rot)
Toshio Iwai (Media Artist)
Secondo (Dreck Records)
Graham Massey (808 State/Toolshed)

Mint Lounge, Oldham Street, Manchester
Admission Free

Toshio Iwai’s performance at the launch of Futuresonic 2006 at the Warehouse 1832 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester was indeed a stunning performance, a visionary and visually impressive piece of music. And to put you in the Tenori-On mood, and possibly to lure you to either a Manchester or a London venue, here is a short demo from YouTube.

More information: Futuresonic and Last.fm.

Manchester – One of a Kind

Being a Manchester blogger, I nevetheless don’t write about Manchester as often, as about literature, or music, or my own experiences. Thankfully, I’m not unlike many a Manchester blogger. When it comes to proving our allegiance, it may look as if we take our Mancunian connection as a matter of fact. As far as I am concerned, it is both so and not because Manchester is a great, quirky, impossible, challenging place to live, – it is simply one of a kind, which is why we all love it, for however long we’ve been here. But if you want to send your love message to Manchester, it’s got to be different, isn’t it?

Yesterday I was trying my hand for the first time at making slideshows with music. I created two small ones, which gave me great deal of inspiration to experiment further. So, I took my photos of Manchester (all of them you could already see on Flickr), arranged them, edited and tweaked them, added music (“One of a Kind” from “Easy Jazz, Easy Listening” collection I copied to my hard drive when I was at QT Radio)… and then spent several hours trying to figure out how to change the file extension, so I could upload the video to the web. Finally, all jigsaw pieces came together, and here is my declaration to Manchester. It’s never been intended to be comprehensive, so there are a lot of Manchester sights missing. But we each have our own Manchester, so, while watching this video, you are seeing this city with my eyes.

I’ll continue to experiment with these technologies, but the very fact of me making this slideshow about Manchester as the first public slideshow must be telling. In connection with this, I think it’s not too bad that we, bloggers, don’t blog about Manchester very often. Because when we do, we do so with a difference.

[I’m also using the newly added feature in Blogger that allows you to upload your videos in different formats directly to your blog, without the necessity to host the file elsewhere, so as to obtain a code for embedding. LiveJournal doesn’t offer such option yet, as I had to upload the file to Imeem.com first in order to be able to post it to my Russian blog.]


error: Sorry, no copying !!