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    Welcome to Arts & Ideas. A space where we invite you to celebrate interesting people, music and art. A place to share thinkers, creators and ideas that we are exploring across the school that you can share with your family to provoke conversations and ignite curiosities.

    In Focus

    Fri 05 July 2019

    In Focus: Robert Moog

    Robert Moog was an American sound engineer who invented one of the most important musical instruments of the 20th Century – The Moog Synthesizer.

    An electronic instrument played with a keyboard, synthesizers take electronic signals and change them into audio sounds. Widely popular during the mid-20th Century, synthesizers were originally so big and complicated that they were the size of a whole room and needed an engineer to operate them.

    Moog saw a problem here and in 1964, create a more compact synthesizer – ‘the Moog Synthesizer’ and then the ‘Mini-Moog’ that were more accessible to the everyday musician.

    He is a hugely interesting man and someone who without, the shape and sound of music would be very different.

    Here he is modelling the Mini Moog in action from the 1980s.

    If you’re feeling inspired and wanted to have a play around with a synth, Mod Synth is a really accessible free online synth that explains electronic sound really clearly.

    Thanks

    Mr Young

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 12 July 2019

    Hello Charles Dickens family,

    The Beatles: Get Back

    Have you ever heard A Hard Day’s Night, The End, A Day In The Life, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and a few other Beatles nuggets all thrown into one? Well settle in and get ready!

    In 2006, George and son, Giles Martin were tasked with reworking the Beatles back catalogue into an hour long soundtrack to acompany a Cirque de Soleil production. The results were an album called Love which if you haven’t hear, is well worth a listen.

    This is the second track from the album anchored around Get Back.

    Here are some highlights from the Cirque de Soleil performance.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Thanks

    Mr Young

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 13 September 2019

    Hello Charles Dickens family,
    God Only Knows – She & Him

    I came across this recording of ‘God Only Knows’, a beautiful rendition of the Beach Boys Classic, when looking through material for our singing assemblies this year. She & Him feature the somewhat unlikely pairing of country-folk artist M. Ward and actress/singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel. They bring authenticity back to the vintage pop sound through analog production. I first discovered the band after hearing Deschanel singing in the film Elf. Her vocal style has a raspy jazzy tone mixed with country like ghost notes.

    We’ll be working on this piece in our whole school in our weekly singing assemblies, with our new Choir teacher Georgia Duncan.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 13 September 2019

    It’s really exciting to welcome you back with an artwork we were involved in. The Ship Of Tolerance is docked on the River Thames by Tate Modern until the 6th of October.

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    Over 750 children have so far been involved in painting the sails, with some of our year 5’s contributing what tolerance meant to them. More information about this great project here.

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 20 September 2019

    If you haven’t yet seen it, Mike Nelsons commission ‘The Asset Strippers’ is well worth a visit. Carefully selecting ‘objects from the post-war Britain that framed his childhood.’ These enormous machines make beautiful monuments to the past, think Wall-E in a gallery. See if it inspires you to make a sculpture, or reclaim something old into something new?

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    This installation is in the Tate Britains Duveen Galleries (go through the big squeaky door.) Open until the 6th of October, more info here.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 20 September 2019

    Hello Charles Dickens family,

    Streets of London – Ralph McTell

    This week we welcomed Georgia Duncan, our new singing teacher, to join our team of specialist music teachers at school.

    Georgia will be working with our Training Choir and Upper School Choir as well as leading our weekly whole school singing assemblies.

    We learnt Streets of London by Ralph McTell in our school singing assembly this week. Ralph McTell is a multi-dimensional guitarist and singer/songwriter who’s influenced hundreds of folk singers in Great Britain, Europe, and the U.S.

    Streets of London first appeared on his Spiral Staircase album in 1969.The melody seems simple but is full of beautiful jumps and leaps. This song gives us perspective on our day to day lives, it reminds us about how fortunate we are and what we should be grateful for.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    'In Real Life' by Olafur Eliasson

    Fri 27 September 2019

    This week we’re recommending ‘In Real Life’ by Olafur Eliasson who once famously filled the Turbine Hall in the Tate with a beautiful and mesmerising sun, glowing infinitely.
    This exhibition presents installations that make you ‘become aware of your senses, people around you and the world beyond.’ To link in with our art curriculum, look at how how light and colours are transformed.

    Up to four children can go with a paying adult, the exhibition is on until the 5th of January so a while yet! More information here.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 27 September 2019

    This week’s Dickens Island Discs celebrates the 50th anniversary release of The Beatles final album, Abbey Road.

    Released on the 26th September 1969, Abbey Road was an album that celebrates the brilliance of each of the Beatles songwriting talents. From John Lennon’s Come Together to Because; George Harrison’s Something to Here Comes the Sun; Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden and Paul Macartney’s Oh Darling or even Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, the songs on Abbey Road have become so familiar and iconic, I think all our lives have a slice of Abbey Road stitched into them somewhere.

    As a band’s final album, it is an ambitious project and this week’s Dickens Island Discs looks at the second side of Abbey Road and the ambition that is the Medley.

    Blending 8 short music sections over 16 minutes, the Medley has a multitude of musical moments that in themselves would be great but sewn together are brilliant.

    A remastered 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road was released today and even if you stream your music via the internet, why not pick up a copy and share the album with your child this weekend remembering your own encounters with the album and its artwork.

    *top interesting Beatles fact: The album’s final song, Her Majesty was originally meant to be woven into the Medley but the Beatles felt it didn’t sound right. In post-production, an acetate of the album was produced for a listening with their record label which had accidentally left the song on the end and after hearing it, the Beatles kept it in!

    I hope you enjoy!

    Thanks

    Mr Young

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 04 October 2019

    This week we celebrated national poetry day and continueing in this theme, this week’s Dickens Island Discs presents Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.

    A song about love, lost and sorrow, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright originally appeared on Dylan’s 1965 album Subterranean Homesick Blues.

    A musician and poet, Dylan took the folk, story telling tradition and gave it new life in the 1960s. Going on to sell millions of records and inspire countless songwriters across the world.

    From Blowin in the Wind to Tambourine Man, Dylan’s music is something we’ve all shared at some point but this weekend, why not share his music with your family, celebrating his ability to paint a picture with words and song.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 11 October 2019

    Hello Charles Dickens family,

    Over – Thirdstory

    Year 6 are learning a tricky piece of choral music. We used Thirdstory’s ‘Over’ as an example of vocal control and dynamics. The piece we’ve learnt is a Medieval Hymn called Donna Nobis Pacem. It’s in 3 part harmony with melodies that move in all directions. The style of this piece is very different but the aspects of singing we’re focusing on are the same. For Dona Nobis to work, children need to sing parts independently with control of their tone and dynamics. Children will be recording this next week and we’re looking forward to sharing on the schools instagram.

    For now, here’s Thirdstory live with their beautiful composition and arrangement.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    Mary Sibande - 'I Came Apart At the Seams.'

    Fri 08 November 2019

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    At Somerset House is Mary Sibande’s exhibition ‘I Came Apart At the Seams.’ This free exhibition in the Terrace Rooms and South Wing ‘presents a series of photographic and sculptural works exploring the power of imagination and constructive anger in shaping identities and personal narratives in a post-colonial world.’

    Sibande performs as a human sculpture in her work, performing as different characters. ‘Sibande pays homage to the generations of women in her family who worked as domestic labourers. In sharing their previously untold stories.’

    This exhibition is open until the 5th of January, so plenty of time to catch it! More info here

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 08 November 2019

    Too Much To Ask – Moonchild

    ‘Little Ghost’ is another infectious and sweet album from the neo soul trio, Moonchild. This group has a beautiful sound. Mature writing, catchy melodies and a beautiful soulful sound with a subtle electronic hip hop edge.

    Here’s Too much from the new album. We’re constantly introducing new music to the children for the chance to explore the overwhelming world of sound around us. We used this song in Year two this week to try an imitate the soft breathy vocals of Amber Navran.

    If the likes of D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and even Sampha, are on your playlist, this song is for you.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Art Work of the Week

    Fri 15 November 2019

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    It’s not easy picking one artwork a week, with such a great variety of art in London. This week we’ve picked out ‘Other Spaces with United Visual Artists’. Think light, sound and immersive installation, this exhibition is a sensory strange and new world.

    At 180 The Strand which has annually hosted large galleries from around the world, has three installations. ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’ at the latter end of the show, visualises the sounds of wildlife, allowing you to follow the soundwaves. It has to be seen to be believed.

    This exhibition is free and open until the 8th of December.

    More information here.

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    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 15 November 2019

    Hello Charles Dickens family,

    The Other Side – Moonchild

    I’ve always loved the Ukulele but boxed it in to folk/singer songwriter repertoire. This song changed my mind.

    I’m currently obsessing with the music of Moonchild. Going through their album, I was surprised to hear this song start with the Ukulele and acoustic guitar. The electric piano comes in and I’m reminded of Bon Iver’s latest album, 22 a Million. The song really kicks in at 58 seconds. If you can, Listen with headphones with good bass. Delicate ideas that hit hard.

    I was even more surprised to see this song is in the Key of C. A great key for our Ukulele playing in class. In year 6 we’re all refreshing our Ukulele skills. While we were working hard in class, children were taken two by two outside to work on a technical chordal exercise on the piano. Those confident on the ukulele and/or piano had to learn the notes on the double bass.

    I hope each child will be confident across multiple instruments. At the end of next term I want to be able to call children out to play different roles in 4 piece bands with the hope they have that ‘very special musical experience’.

    Please enjoy this stunning piece of music!

    Mr Nathan.

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 15 November 2019

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    This weeks artwork of the week is one a little bit closer to home, one we took part in in fact. As well as being our focus artist in Year 4.

    Steve McQueen ‘invited every Year 3 pupil in London to have their photograph taken by a team of specially trained Tate photographers. They included children from state primaries, independent schools, faith schools, special schools, pupil referral units and home-educated pupils.’

    Offering ‘us a glimpse of the capital’s future, a hopeful portrait of a generation to come.’ This final exhibition at the Tate Britian displays these photographs until the 3rd of May, see if you can spot charles dickens!

    Find out more here.

    Artwork of the week

    Thu 21 November 2019

    P 79108 00tif A4 1200x675 This week we’re recommending some artworks on our doorstep, at Jerwood Space 5 minutes from Charles Dickens. The exhibition ‘Jerwood Collaborate! Array, Keiken + George Jasper Stone, Languid Hands and Shy Bairns.’ Which as the title suggests is about collaboration, on the week of Big Friend Little Friend it feels like a great opportunity to focus on how artists work together.

    This exhibition explores work by early career artists from across the UK; with subjects like ‘socio-political issues affecting Northern Ireland’, ‘a hyper-fictional future’, ‘Prayer, Protest, Peace,’ and finally the ‘hidden process of artistic progression.’ It’s guaranteed to get you thinking…

    This exhibition is free and open until the 15th of December. More information below:

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 06 December 2019

    Rembrandt van Rijn, Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt This week we’re recommending ‘Rembrandt’s Light’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery, described as ‘An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrates 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings.’ It’s easy to forget how seemingly invisible but important light is in paintings, like a giant arrow pointing us into focus.

    At this time of year when it’s already getting dark at the end of school, you notice walking around Southwark that there is illuminating light everywhere. I wonder what Rembrandt would paint now?

    More info in the link below:
    https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2019/october/rembrandts-light/

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 10 January 2020

    Welcome back to a new term and lots more art!

    There’s still time to catch ‘Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits.’ at the Royal Academy. As taken from the website:

    N8qqirpk4h7uvlhbah0g ‘In a world first, we unite Lucian Freud’s self-portraits in one extraordinary exhibition. See more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings in which this modern master of British art turns his unflinching eye firmly on himself.

    One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency.

    Kegyf6p5ow0aoarkhi4i Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.’

    This exhibition is open until the 26th of January, free for children with a paying adult.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 17 January 2020

    Hello Charles Dickens family,
    Break Out (live) – Lettuce

    Lettuce are a Funk band that gives rhythm character and a life of its own. We used this as an example this week in year 5 & 6 to show how bands communicate through musical ideas for our composition unit. It’s very easy to clap a simple rhythmic phrase but to make it groove, shows true musicality.

    The Band have been together for over 25 years and like the Roots, formed from close friendships. Its evident you see the band having fun as they interact on stage which brings a particular element of excitement and sincerity in their music. A great model for our children.

    Hope you all enjoy!
    Mr Nathan.