Posts Tagged 'the art of joy'

Perfect Moment

“This was your perfect moment.”

From “Perfect Moment” by calamateur.



If you follow my blog a tall, then you’ll know that a little group of friends have helped facilitate an art exhibition currently running in Edinburgh under the banner “The Art of Joy”.  Our little collective’s events include a therapeutic art workshop  on Tuesday and knitting and nattering night on Wednesday of this week.

We are also delighted to confirm that relatively fresh from performing 4 songs on the telly on BBC’s Rapal and securing four out of five for their latest album in The List this month, calamateur have agreed to play as part of our little project.  It will be their first gig in Edinburgh for three years and will take place at our closing event upstairs at The Lot, Grassmarket, Edinburgh on Monday 13th April.

Calamateur is the moniker used by singer / songwriter / general noise-maker Andrew Howie. Based near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, Andrew has been recording and releasing his own music since 2000.

He has released 1 single, 4 EP’s, 2 mini-album’s, 2 full length albums, a collaboration album and curated a compilation. He has been likened to artists as diverse as Elliott Smith, Sparklehorse, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Damien Rice, Guided by Voices, Susuma Yokota and The Blue Nile.

His music has been played by John Peel, Radio 3’s Late Junction, the Scottish Evening Session on Radio 1, Beat 106’s The Beatscene and local radio / internet radio the length and breadth of the country. Here’s what some people have to say:

“…nothing short of brilliantly absorbing…”  – Is This Music?

“…stunning… a work of beauty…what took Snow Patrol’s 3 albums and 4 people to accomplish, Calamateur’s Andrew Howie manages straight off with songs of desolate beauty underpinned with a savage hope…”  – John Earls, Planet Sound

“…the aim is true and the heart is strong in this beautiful little record. 4/5.”  – The List

“…providing one of those moments where your head says nothing really out of the ordinary happening here but your heart suggests otherwise, trembling as if touched by something altogether magical….”   – Losing Today

For a flavour of things please click the following link

Calamateur will be accompanied on the night by local talent in the form of DLDown who have been described as follows: 

“Jo Wilson hushes the room with a minute or so of delicious loops that abruptly end whilst his songs of faith sweep through the room. Icarus doesn’t overtly retell the tragedy of Daedalus’ son, but hopes (over a breezy island strum pattern and cool chord progressions) that “maybe to Heaven I can break through.” “Lazarus” then asks us to step into the surprised man’s sandals and try to imagine the electricity of a human resurrection. Solid, beefy guitar set and enlightening lyrics, although the quick death of the brilliant loops and layers is a hard truth.” 

Our spirits should also be raised as Fiona Stewart brings some stand up comedy to add to the evening’s events.

If you can get yourself to Edinburgh on Monday then please let us bring some joy to the end of your Easter weekend.

The event starts at 7.30 and tickets will be available on the night at £5 per head.


Opening Night

“I dedicate a colour to
my dearest friends and family who
so solemnly and nicely dressed
come visit me, I must confess
I feel like Gena might
upon her opening night.”

From “Opening Night” by dEUS.


So, tonight was the official opening night of our “Art Of Joy” art exhibition at The Lot in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.  We had no idea whether anyone would turn up. A great night unfolded with about a hundred or so folks filling up the space.  It just felt like one of those parties we used to host back in the day during our pre-parent stage in one of our old flats.  Some friends brought acoustic guitars and played and sang along.  There was the general din of chit chat as conversation flowed between old friends and new.  It was a great atmosphere and we hope it spread some joy to all present.  At various points throughout the evening I clocked members of our little small group collective just smiling as they took it all in.  

I got chatting with a couple of folks I’ve meant to introduce myself to for ages about the possibility of a beach focussed missional expression of fellow surfers.  Big smiles were shared as we looked out the window as dusk fell in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, fresh in the realisation that the clocks changing soon will herald in the season of evening surf sessions after work…  

The exhibition is open till the 17th April and you can pop into The Lot to view the work at any time.  We will be posting up more details of the work on display and how it can be purchased at The Art of Joy website shortly.  30% of all sales go to support the work of The Grassmarket Mission with the vulnerable and marginalised of this great city.

The Final Countdown

“It’s the final countdown…”

From “The Final Countdown” by Europe.


So, I’ve previously posted about the art exhibition and live music project, “The Art Of Joy”, that our little small group collective are embarking upon here. 

We’ve never facilitated something like this before, yet, last Sunday 12 artists’ work was submitted.  We  turned up to hang it all and it’s amazing the extent of transformation that can be achieved in the space of two hours.  There was something of beauty in a group of folks, many unknown to one another, working to create a sense of space – sharing advice, tools, picture hooks and smiles.  People from different places and backgrounds and of different generations working together for a common purpose.

Our opening night is at The Lot, The Grassmarket, Edinburgh from 7pm till 9pm this Wednesday evening – the 25th March 2009.  Entry is free and there will be refreshments available.  Please come and see the work.

More information is available at our website and 30% of any sales proceeds from artwork will go directly to The Grassmarket Mission to assist their work with the vulnerable and marginalised of Edinburgh.

A Beautiful Collision

“Here it comes,

a beautiful collision

is happening now”

From “A Beautiful Collision” by David Crowder* Band.


Our little small group collective talk a lot about “relevance”.  We talk a lot about “embracing and shaping culture”.  We talk a lot about what’s going on in our lives – the good things, the trying things and the things that wear us down.  We talk for hours and it rarely feels like it.  We laugh so hard at times.  So, I think we concluded that in the midst of whatever life throws at us we find faith, we find hope and we find love, albeit sometimes at varying degrees.  In a world of bad news, we have good news.  In the storms of life, if we look hard enough, we can find peace.  Despite our mood we can find joy.

How do we express or share that?  How do help others do that?

From 25th March until 17th April we are commandeering the bistro area of The Lot at Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.  We are facilitating an art exhibition – celebrating the work of artists and, hopefully, creating a form of sanctuary for those who enjoy the pieces whilst on display.  Instead of charging the artists any commission, we will take 30% of any sales proceeds and give it away to the Grassmarket Mission who work with the marginalised in our city. Some of our group are running some art workshops.  Some of our group are starting a group where they can knit and natter over a drink and socialise.  We’re putting on a live music night with DLDowncalamateur and some stand up comedy.  We’ve entitled our little venture “The Art Of Joy” and you can find out more here.

It’s been daunting and now we’re almost there it’s really quite exciting.  Hopefully, this will not just be our human efforts, but will serve to bring hope and joy to the city we love so much.  So here we will be, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, next to all the pubs and curios shops of the Grassmarket hoping for a beautiful collision of real life and faith.

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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