Showing posts from 2011

Part Two: An Interview with Narelle Carter-Quinlan

Jan.s:  I invited Narelle to talk about perception and in her inimitable style here is what she wrote.....

Narelle:  Lenses of Perception
My yoga teacher of many years, Alan Goode, used to say, "Yoga cleanses the lenses of perception". And indeed I experience it does; at least on the mat. My relationship with myself, my perception of what is possible, or how I might commune within or "do" an asana, continues to open out over these years of practice. My practice is an act of creation. I move myself toward asana, I enter it, I interact with it and with myself through it, and, as long as I am available to myself and to my direct experience, I Experience myself. Information comes in. If I don't filter this experience, or defend against it, it impacts me. There is space. Change happens. My active engagement with this, is an act of creation. Much of this, of course, I have also learnt from my Spiritual practice of meditation and of Transformation.

For me, "availab…

An Interview with Frank Hill

Jan.s: Frank, when did your interest in the indigenous arts of the Americas begin?
Frank: My parents, JD and Grace came to Arizona in the 1930's and worked for the Santa Fe railroad along the mainline of the Santa Fe in Winslow and Holbrook, Arizona bordering the Navajo and Hopi reservations. So I grew up with Navajo weavings and jewelry in our house.  

They had moved to Glendale, Arizona by the time my brother Fred and I were born, but we had a pass to ride the Santa Fe and would visit Winslow, the Grand Canyon, and on to see my aunt Inez in Albuquerque.  
They knew old cowboys and Navajos and  western characters.  From the time I was a kid, I've always loved the romance and history of the southwestern part of this country.  

Starting in my early 20's, influenced by the environmentalists and the writer Ed Abbey, I began hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing as a hobby and have rarely left Arizona and New Mexico in my time.  

In my youth I would rather…

An Interview with Miroslav Bukovsky

Jan.s  Miro, as both a player and composer you've remained a seminal figure in Australian Jazz now for several decades. Would you share with us is your ethos & inspiration behind your playing and writing....

Miro: I never think of myself as a composer really.True composers are a rare breed. They have an original musical imagination, developed sense of form, architecture, drama, texture and great skills of orchestration.
I think I am more of a faciltator of musical expression where my written ideas can be just a skeleton which invites the players to create their own version of the parts.That way the pieces will never sound the same and each performance is unique and no one really knows what is going to happen through the piece. I find that sense of adventure very satisfying. That varies to some degree depending on the band I’m writing for. I’d have to orchestrate much more accurately when I write for TPI.

My inspiration comes from all kinds of music I’ve played over the years. Fr…

Part Two of an interview with Chisayo Lewis

Jan.s:   Chisayo, in our last interview you mentioned the influence both your grandmother and mother had on you with your sewing...can you tell us more...

Chisayo: Janice, I don't know where to start...Let's try to remember my grand mother first ....My grand mother was born in 1912 in a wealthy Bushi (Samurai) family. My grand mother talked a lots of stories about her childhood but I thought they were all made up stories because many of them were so unreal in many ways such as Monsters,Ghost and trick animals... .  

Her family adopted a few  Sumo wrestlers. It was a big mistake of their family... They lost all their money at the end.    

My grand mother  and grand father were arranged married. They both married before and had a child each. My grand father was born in a rich Shoya (Village headman) family in Nara. He was well educated  and good at various sports. Especially He lover the horse ridding.

After the WW2 my grandfather had a job as a calligrapher at one of f…

An interview with Chisayo Lewis

Jan.s: Chisayo, you create objects which are whimsical and yet full of life!  How & where did your interest for creating your art  begin...?

Chisayo: My grand mother was a kimono dress maker. She gave me lots of off cuts and taught me how to make simple bags.
My mother loved  sewing and knitting also. 
I always watched them. It was amazing to see how a flat piece of material was turned into a bag, a dress, a flower, decorations...I started sewing when I was about 10.  I learnt sewing at highschool then I went to kimono dress making school and learnt how to make Kimonos.

When I had my first child 10 years ago,  I started making  soft toys for my daughter.   One day, I made a felt cake for my daughter and she loved it very much and I was happy too, so I made another felt cake the very next day. Then I made a hamburger, a hot dog, sushi...and I kept making different things. I especially love to work with felt because of the texture. It's easy to work with and …

An Interview with author Alwyn Lewis

Jan.s:  Alwyn, you write about the earth with such an immense feeling of belonging. 
Alwyn: I guess I’ve always had the feeling that we belong to the earth, not the other way around.

Whenever I see those huge open cut mines I shudder at what we do to the earth for financial gain, even the weight of the cities man builds on her seem an imposition.

I remember being quite a small child in New Zealand and after an earthquake my father took me to see where the earth had opened in a great jagged scar and I wondered at that early age if the earth had cried out in pain. 
Jan s:  Your book “Call of the Currawong” begins with an aboriginal woman in a seemingly benign setting – but the story quickly unfolds to reveal cruel and devastating circumstances.

Where did the seed for this story germinate?
Alwyn: In talking with some aboriginal women it occurred to me that although their circumstances and the circumstances of my grandmother’s life were vastly different, their inner strengt…

Ships in the Field. An Interview with Susanne Gervay

Jan.s:  Susanne, you're a powerhouse of a woman who writes about issues that matter! Bullying, burn victims,  to name a few.  Can you share with us what  your currently writing ?

Susanne: Ships in the Field is my first picture book. It has been in my mind and heart for many years. 

Writing it was an emotional journey that encapsulates my growing up from a refugee family.  I wanted to give a voice to the children and families who have been through war and migration to find laughter, hope and home. 

When award winning illustrator Anna Pignataro illustrated of Ships in the Field received the manuscript she said that ‘it’s my story.’ Her family came from Italy.  It’s a gift that we were able to bring our own experiences to ‘Ships in the Field’.

It is to be published by Ford St on 1st February 2012
Jan.s:  Susanne:  You have a working relationship with your daughter...I'd love to hear more!!!

Susanne: Even though I love my daughter Tory, writing the YA novel ‘That’s Why I Wrote…

An Interview with Kate Forsyth

Jan:  Kate, I was walking recently with a friend and her very bright 6 year old daughter. I observed that the young girl had what I would call 'that zoned out look' in her eyes. I mentioned it to the girl, saying that I remembered going into that zone in my childhood. That it was an interesting space to enter. 
Being her bright little self. she tuned in and happily responded. I had the sense of her enjoying an adult's recognition of this as being important. As we approached a crossing I then said that it was equally important to tune back in to the present moment.

In a recent interview you stated that in the early stages of writing a novel you do a lot of daydreaming.  Can you share with us what this process allows for you....

Kate: Oh, yes, I’m a big believer in the power of daydreaming. I was always getting into trouble for it as a child – I had one teacher who used to whack me over the head with a ruler and sneer, ‘are you with us, Kate?’ So it gives me great…

Awakened State - Tibetan Mantras by Bruno Libert and Janice Slater

Some years back, whilst confronting a major illness, I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism, through a fortuitous & timely introduction to my teacher (the late) Gyalsey Tulku Rinpoche (Sakya lineage). I remain in gratitude.

In the lovely  harbour side suburb of Balmain, Rinpoche would give teachings on Chenrezig practise. Chenrezig is the Buddha of Compassion.

I have to admit that I found the practise challenging, beautiful and obscure and a lot of other gradations in between! I was suffering the effects of illness and my stamina was almost non existent and we would recite the practise several times in Tibetan, finally completing it in English!  Although I was eager to traverse the nuances of a language that was completely foreign to me, the practises were lengthy and tiring.  Along with this the framework of the practise was outside anything I'd encountered. Here I was, ill with an uncertain  future, being asked to develop a compassion that reached far beyond my own concerns al…

Part Two: An Interview with Jack Clift

Jan.s: Jack, 'Pale Imperfect Diamond' the CD you and John Carter Cash co-wrote/produced for your first Cedar Hills Refugees project,  was a standout.   You brought together musicians from the USA and Uzbekistan and now I believe you've completed a second CD. Could you tell us a about it?

James Shelton (Ralph's guitarist and manager), Chuck Turner (engineer), Jack Clift, JCC, Dr. Ralph Stanley 

Jack:  I spent three months in Uzbekistan this past winter working on the material. I'm actually about halfway through the next -as yet untitled- Cedar Hill Refugees album. John brings a definite presence to the music. In addition to his wonderful crew of talented folks, he's also just a very sweet guy and I value his creative instincts.

We've co-written a new ballad that we're very proud of called Jayne Hill. We wrote it early in the year out at Mother Maybelle Carter's house, which JCC keeps up as a sort of writers retreat. It's a shoe-in fo…