Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Writing to make sense of the world – Bella Hardy in Yunnan

Here’s an interesting by-product of my continued exploration of what music can be found out there (and of my currently-on-hiatus Earphones Diaries).
Bella Hardy is an award winning British folk singer, and I do listen to folk music, so I was interested in checking out her recordings. I became even more interested when I discovered that Hardy’s 2017 album Eternal Spring was written and recorded in Yunnan Province, China, and included English lyrics set to traditional Chinese music.
Then I found a short documentary about Hardy’s Chinese adventure – it’s called From the Mountains to the City Lakes, it is extremely on topic here on Karavansara, and here it is, for your enjoyment.


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The Singing Bowl

I was in need of adventure, and thanks to one of those very mysterious book promotions Amazon Italy sometimes does (why? How? Based on what? It’s a mystery) I got myself a stack of books by the Long Riders Guild, livening up my growing collection of books about the Silk Road and environs. I am going through them in the evening, when I am too tired to write and the countryside is dark, cold and unforgiving.
If I can’t travel, my mind can.

Last night I finished Alistair Carr’s slim The Singing Bowl – Journey through Inner Asia (2006), the chronicle of the author’s visit to Mongolia and the Silk Road in the early 2000s.
It is a crisp, concise story of an adventure -a travel started because the author woke up one morning “with Mongolia in his head.” An apt way to describe the lure of far-off lands, the urge that animated travelers for centuries.

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Carpaccio between East and West

220px-Vittore_CarpaccioYesterday I mentioned Vittore Carpaccio, a Renaissance painter from Venice that will appear in my next Corsair story – independently of where it gets published.
Now, Carpaccio – a little-known artist, in fact – is interesting because he was a strange mix of influences. In particular, his paintings are a strange mix of Flemish and Oriental elements.

Indeed, good old Vittore was an artist whose style could only have developed and flourished in 15th/16th century Venice. Continue reading