Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Zanzibar Tales Audio Book

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Magic Torch are sharing Commonwealth folktales as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations. In addition to publishing a book and comic, which retell some commonwealth tales, we are also sharing traditional tales on our blog. We are presenting the stories exactly as collected, without editing or rewriting. Some of the tales have been recorded recently, others, many years ago in traditional forms, more often than not using dialects and local mannerisms - the "voice" of the people telling the tales. We have opted not to change this.

The Herald and Sunday Herald Children of the Commonwealth series will run over the coming months as the Queen's Baton travels the world on its way to Scotland. As well as bringing readers inspiring stories from key locations on the baton route, it is also raising money for UNICEF, an official charity partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

There are a number of different ways to donate: you can call 0800 044 5777; or you can click on unicef.org.uk/herald; or you can text 'CHILD' to 70111 to donate £3. UNICEF is the world's leading children's organisation, working to save and change children's lives.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Nigeria - Why The Moon Waxes and Wanes




There was once an old woman who was very poor, and lived in a small mud hut thatched with mats made from the leaves of the tombo palm in the bush. She was often very hungry, as there was no one to look after her.

In the olden days the moon used often to come down to the earth, although she lived most of the time in the sky. The moon was a fat woman with a skin of hide, and she was full of fat meat. She was quite round, and in the night used to give plenty of light. The moon was sorry for the poor starving old woman, so she came to her and said, "You may cut some of my meat away for your food." This the old woman did every evening, and the moon got smaller and smaller until you could scarcely see her at all. Of course this made her give very little light, and all the people began to grumble in consequence, and to ask why it was that the moon was getting so thin.

At last the people went to the old woman's house where there happened to be a little girl sleeping. She had been there for some little time, and had seen the moon come down every evening, and the old woman go out with her knife and carve her daily supply of meat out of the moon. As she was very frightened, she told the people all about it, so they determined to set a watch on the movements of the old woman.

That very night the moon came down as usual, and the old woman went out with her knife and basket to get her food; but before she could carve any meat all the people rushed out shouting, and the moon was so frightened that she went back again into the sky, and never came down again to the earth. The old woman was left to starve in the bush.

Ever since that time the moon has hidden herself most of the day, as she was so frightened, and she still gets very thin once a month, but later on she gets fat again, and when she is quite fat she gives plenty of light all the night; but this does not last very long, and she begins to get thinner and thinner, in the same way as she did when the old woman was carving her meat from her.


You can read the original 1910 publication, 40 Nigerian Folktales here.

Magic Torch are sharing Commonwealth folktales as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations. In addition to publishing a book and comic, which retell some commonwealth tales, we are also sharing traditional tales on our blog. We are presenting the stories exactly as collected, without editing or rewriting. Some of the tales have been recorded recently, others, many years ago in traditional forms, more often than not using dialects and local mannerisms - the "voice" of the people telling the tales. We have opted not to change this.

The Herald and Sunday Herald Children of the Commonwealth series will run over the coming months as the Queen's Baton travels the world on its way to Scotland. As well as bringing readers inspiring stories from key locations on the baton route, it is also raising money for UNICEF, an official charity partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

There are a number of different ways to donate: you can call 0800 044 5777; or you can click on unicef.org.uk/herald; or you can text 'CHILD' to 70111 to donate £3. UNICEF is the world's leading children's organisation, working to save and change children's lives.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

White Gold - Get Involved


White Gold is an ambitious, site-specific performance set in Greenock’s iconic Sugar Sheds. Brought to the warehouse for storing, sifting, refining and presenting, White Gold is woven together from vivid and touching stories gathered across Inverclyde.

As audiences walk through the show, artists, performers and 200 volunteers will bring narratives to life through drama, movement, original music and breathtaking aerial performance. Surprising, poignant and deeply moving, White Gold gives the community of Greenock top billing as the nation’s stars.

An original creation conceived and overseen by Mark Murphy, directed by Simone Jenkinson and Joseph Traynore of Cuerda Producciones. It is produced by Iron Oxide and includes Cuerda Producciones from Argentina, All or Nothing Aerial and DJs/musicians Tigerstyle. Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

www.glasgow2014.com/culture


Volunteer cast and crew

Volunteers are currently being sought to join the White Gold cast and crew, working with a talented team of artists and theatre professionals.


Cast Members, Assistant Stage Managers, Runners, Lighting Design Crew, Site Crew and Stage Crew are all required. The positions are accessible to anyone 16+, with a willingness to learn and there are a number of roles available, depending on how much time each volunteer has to give.

To find out more please come along to our Open Evening at the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, on Mon 14 April from 7.30pm-8.30pm. You’ll have the chance to talk to the team, see the aerial performers in action and find out how you can get involved with White Gold.

For further information or to request a pack on the opportunities above please email
Laura@beaconartscentre.co.uk 


Monday, 7 April 2014

Andros Island, Barbados - Maddy Glassker



Once upon a time was a good old time.
Monkey chew tobacco and spit white lime,
Cockeroach keep time, knock the big drum bum! bum!


Jack went out fishing one day, and he had very bad luck. He went from drop to drop, and could not catch any fish. Last of all he went to a drop where he hook a fine yellow-tail. He pull it up to the boat; and as he went to lift the fish in the boat, it drop off the hook. Jack never stand, he pitch overboard behind it. The yellow-tail went, Jack behind. Jack dive until when he blow, he blow on a strange little island. Jack was there all day till he began to get hungry. Jack stood up, and said, "Ah, well! if I was home, I would have had somewhere to go."
He heard a voice behind him: "Mr. Jack, there's a house behind you,"
As he turn round and look, he saw a fine three- storey house. He went to the house; but now it was late, and the house began to get dark: so Jack said, ''Ah, well! if I was home, I would have had light."
The voice said, ''Mr. Jack, there's a lamp on the table." Jack went and found the lamp and candle and
matches. As he light the lamp, he said, "Ah, well! if I was home, I would have had something to eat." The voice said, "Mr. Jack, your dinner is on the table."
Jack went and found his dinner, and sat down and eat. When he was finish', he said, "Ah, well! if I was home, I would hav^ had a bed to sleep in."
The voice said, "Mr. Jack, there's a bed in the room." And so Jack went to bed.

Next morning Jack said, "Ah, well! if I was home, I would have had breakfast."
The voice said, "Mr. Jack, your breakfast is on the table." So Jack went and get his breakfast.
In the evening Jack said the same thing, and he continue to say the same thing for seven days. This night more than all, his mother come to him in a dream, and told him if he wanted to see who it is that prepare him the house and supporting him, he must set the clock to alarm at twelve o'clock; and when the clock alarm, he must rise up and light a candle, and he will see.

So Jack did so, and twelve o'clock the clock alarmed. Jack jump up and light the candle, an' when he look in the bed, he saw a woman. She was the prettiest woman that eyes ever behold, and she had written across her breast in golden letters, "Maddy Glassker the glory of the world." Jack could not stop looking till a little of the melted candle drop on her. Then she jump up and said to Jack, "Well, Mr. Jack, since you is Mr. Jack and I am Maddy Glassker, the glory of the world, I am gone at the word."
She and the house, with all that was in it, flash out of sight like lightning, making a great noise. And
Jack was left alone on the rock again.
So Jack remember his fine yellow-tail that he brought up to the boat, and the pretty woman that use to sleep in his bed; and while he thought of all tliis, he got so sad that his countenance I could not bear to see; so I turn myself round with a very brisk turn, only my turn was too brisk, for I could
not stop myself until I buck up here to tell you this story; and if you don't believe it, you can ask . . .

Bo be ben,
My story is end.


There are many more collected tales in the full text of Folk tales of Andros Island

Magic Torch are sharing Commonwealth folktales as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations. In addition to publishing a book and comic, which retell some commonwealth tales, we are also sharing traditional tales on our blog. We are presenting the stories exactly as collected, without editing or rewriting. Some of the tales have been recorded recently, others, many years ago in traditional forms, more often than not using dialects and local mannerisms - the "voice" of the people telling the tales. We have opted not to change this.

The Herald and Sunday Herald Children of the Commonwealth series will run over the coming months as the Queen's Baton travels the world on its way to Scotland. As well as bringing readers inspiring stories from key locations on the baton route, it is also raising money for UNICEF, an official charity partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

There are a number of different ways to donate: you can call 0800 044 5777; or you can click on unicef.org.uk/herald; or you can text 'CHILD' to 70111 to donate £3. UNICEF is the world's leading children's organisation, working to save and change children's lives.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Vikings! Ossian! Somerled!



We have been really pleased with the positive response to our Viking project (here's another wee sneaky detail from Andy's work above) We'll be showing the exhibition during the Viking Festival in Largs and then throughout September in the Dutch Gable House.

The graphic novel themed project is the first in a series which will explore our Norse and Celtic heritage - one using text from the controversial Ossian poems as the basis of the comic artwork, and the others retelling some legends of Somerled - Thane of Argyll and legendary Welsh King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, both of whom feature prominently in our original Tales of the Oak book from 2000.

Andy did in fact produce a wee panel featuring the mighty Rhydderch Hael Thane of Argyll for The Archivist's Treasure Graphic Novel. Doesn't that flaming sword Drynwyn look very familiar to the one sugar based superhero Mr Cube now brandishes...



Monday, 31 March 2014

Uncommon Tales

what horrors has Sir Glen unleashed this time?

As we've mentioned, Magic Torch are sharing Commonwealth folktales as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations. We have Captain Kidd chasing treasure around the commonwealth for younger readers, collected, curated and retold by the Torch team and illustrated by Mhairi, and an all new Sir Glen Douglas Rhodes comic adventure looking at some darker commonwealth tales with artwork by Andy. The project is supported by the Big Lottery Celebrate fund. Both books will launch in late summer.

In addition to publishing a book and comic, which retell some commonwealth tales, we are also sharing traditional tales on our blog, starting in April. In most cases, we are presenting the stories exactly as collected, without editing or rewriting. Some of the tales have been recorded recently, others, many years ago in traditional forms, sometimes using dialects and local mannerisms - the "voice" of the people telling the tales, other times, reinterpreted by Victorian collectors. For the stories we're sharing on the blog, we have opted not to change the tale whatever the format.

If you have your own particular tale you'd like to share, please contact aulddunrod.

The heritage and history of what we call the Commonwealth can be a cause for controversy as well as celebration. However throughout 2014, many folk are taking the opportunity to shine a light on some of the more uncomfortable histories of the Commonwealth and also to address real issues which exist across the world today. The Herald and Sunday Herald Children of the Commonwealth series will run over the coming months as the Queen's Baton travels the world on its way to Scotland. As well as bringing readers inspiring stories from key locations on the baton route, it is also raising money for UNICEF, an official charity partner of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

There are a number of different ways to donate: you can call 0800 044 5777; or you can click on unicef.org.uk/herald; or you can text 'CHILD' to 70111 to donate £3. UNICEF is the world's leading children's organisation, working to save and change children's lives.

For now, here is an Anansi tale, the first of many...



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Absent Voices / Are ye Dancin?





Whit yuptae this Friday?

The Absent Voices project are having a pop up exhibition at the Beacon Arts Centre where the team will be displaying some of the work in progress created so far and will also be signing people up for workshops in stained glass, urban drawing and collodian photography. There will also be live music and special guest Jimmy Watt will talk about being part of the Urban Drawing programme. 

And once you have enjoyed the artwork, it's time for some dancing, at a free entry 1980's disco event as part of RIG Arts Are Ye Askin'? Heritage project. Fri 28th Mar'14 8pm til late, Cruden Hall, Greenock. Music by Kodac Disco. Free entry tickets available from The Exchange cafe under Cruden Hall.

Enjoy!