Composes music deeply influenced by jazz and various world musics.  LSO Soundhub Associate.
Author of Gondar’s Child (a work of social & cultural anthropology of music)

Contents

Astra Zeneca and British roulette

In Sweden, people started to reject the Astra Zeneca vaccine because of the risk (however small) of blood clots.  In response, people in Sweden who had an AZ first jab have been offered a different vaccine for their second jab. Some people in the UK have been rejecting the AZ vaccine. But if this is less…

How inverted racism works

Stock photo. ©Anna Nahabed It is a tragic phenomenon, that in societies where you find racism, you also find inverted racism, and the degree of the latter is probably in direct proportion to the extent of the former.  Because just because someone is a member of a stigmatised group, does not make that person immune to…

Land of Plenty

I was living in Israel during 1990/91 at the time when, just after Perestroika, Jews from the Soviet Union, finally free to leave, were flooding into Israel. I studied Hebrew in an Ulpan (language school) where most of the other students were from the former Soviet Union (mainly Russia and the Ukraine, but also Georgia,…

SHOUT UK

I didn’t know about this until a few moments ago, so thought I’d just put it here for anyone else who didn’t know about it.

Witnessing WWII in Czechoslovakia – oral histories

Photo:  Marilyn Herman 2018.  Chomutov, near the death march route, looking towards the Sudeten mountain range on the border with Germany. Following on from my previous blog, I very recently decided to visit Chomutov, in the Czech Republic.  I was interested to see what kind of place produced a heroine like the young woman who…

The Angel of Chomutov

Photo: Marilyn Herman 2018.  Angel – from a monument in Chomutov for protection against the bubonic plague. In April 1945, my father, Abraham Herman, and his brother, David Herman, were prisoners on a forced death march from Rehmsdorf to Theresienstadt.  When they crossed over from Germany into the Czech Sudetenland, in the town of Chomutov,…

The feeling in the guts

  In Buddhist meditation, we have the intention of working on our minds.  (Although that may be contentious:  the idea of having any goal in meditation, rather than just being in the meditation – even if that is to aim at being in the meditation).  Since clinging was identified by Buddha as the cause of…

Jews who lived in Arab lands were NOT just fine! Jews in Yemen

Photo from Shalom Seri & Naftali Ben-David (Eds.) A Journey to Yemen and its Jews.  1991.  Tel Aviv. It tends to be asserted – and has been for decades – generally by those who oppose Israel, that Jews who lived in Arab lands were just fine – that there were no problems between Arabs and…

Beauty of Ethiopia – Gondar & Lake Tana, Bahar Dar

Views from Goha Hotel, Gondar 2009: Views of Wolleqa village, Gondar 2009: Cow by a stream Cows by the same stream Girl guarding cows Haimanut & her brother   Girl wearing an amulet Fasil’s castle, City of Gondar:   Magical tree near Fasil’s castle:   Lake Tana, Bahar Dar

Music by Contemporary Women Composers

Including my “Vocalise” for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet in Bb.  (My surname only has one of each letter!)  Called “Vocalise” because I set out to write a “Vocalise” for voice and clarinet – but it took on a life of its own (as these things do), and became a work more suited to instrumental forces…

Shadows – projecting our dark sides – or not!

Sometimes we may perceive things in people that we react to.  Our reaction may be positive or negative. Is is about us? Is it about them?  As my dear late friend said: “If you don’t like cucumbers, it’s about you, and it’s also about cucumbers.” We all have different constitutions, and different sensitivities. Some people…

Mac said not

                                           View from unglazed window of beach hut when I threw open the shutter each morning – Mac Bay Resort 1989 (Doo dun doo dun doo dee)                  I left Bangkok (Doo dun doo dun doo dee doo)                    I thought I could…

Rachel Rozsa *************************** In memory of my grandmother on Holocaust Memorial Day

  My grandmother, Rachel* Rozsa, was born in Nagy (pronounced “Noj”) Szolos in Hungary (now Vinogradiv in the Ukraine).  An idyllic spa town nestling in the Carpathian Mountains, whose name means “Large grapes” – indicative of its wine production.  (Also famous because the composer Bartok moved there with his mother.) Her father was Rav (Rabbi)…

You walk down the River Road

You walk down the River Road…..in Mukacevo (Munkacs) – Czechoslovakia between the wars, Hungary before that,  occupied by Hungary during WWII, now in the Ukraine, nestling in the Carpathian Mountains…… Where my father came from, and where he lived in this house with his family:   You walk down the River Road, which leads to…

Thought Forms and Green Tara

In Buddhism, the characterisation of harmful acts which we repent and resolve to avoid, includes harmful acts of the mind. There is the idea that thoughts can actually cause harm per se, rather than just being a precursor to the possibility of physical harmful acts. Such harmful acts – whether of the mind or otherwise…

At One

At One For string quartet and trumpet. This work was written by me, with the idea of bestowing healing and calmness – a feeling of being at one with the world.  It is strongly influenced by jazz, in style, and also in method of composition.  I started this composition by setting out chords on the…

Swing Abeba

My first love from early childhood was music: classical piano-playing, and singing (especially folk), accompanying myself on my beloved guitar. However, it was social anthropology that I took to doctoral level, and as a way of not letting go of music, I specialised in the anthropology of music. During my doctoral fieldwork, I performed with…

Thin’s a child to the adult sex

Following on from my previous post:  “Bell, or Pas Belle”….. A while back, I read an article about a composer who found some old cassettes of his which had decayed over time, and he wrote a composition using these decayed tapes.  This caused me not a little concern.  I have boxes and boxes of cassettes…

Ah! But is it racism?

The recent poll claiming to reveal “what Muslims in Britain really think”:  claiming to have identified “a community within a community”, and a proliferation of attitudes unpalatable to what we assume to be predominantly liberal Britain.  On the one hand, I am sceptical that a poll conducted on 1081 adults can really tell us what…

How did he survive?

When I tell people that my father was imprisoned in Auschwitz, the question that invariably follows is: “How did he survive?” As is the case with most of “The Boys” (732 child and teenage holocaust survivors admitted into Britain after WWII), the fact that my father survived is almost inconceivable.   And as we know from…

Hamas – Extreme Child Abuse

http://bcove.me/axm8v9g4 Upon seeing the video of East Jerusalemite Ahmed Manasra lying bleeding on the ground after being hit by a car while fleeing after stabbing two Israelis; upon seeing him with his legs bent up towards his head, trying to get up – my heart went out to him… a 13-year old kid – as…

Hebrew in Hebron and Gaza

I came across an article in ElectronicIntifada.net (2013) by a Palestinian-American born in Washington and educated in the States, who was amazed and appalled to “find Hebrew everywhere” in Gaza. This is what happens when a “journalist” decides to write an article without bothering to do any research! In 1990 I was studying Hebrew at…

Michal 06 for Solo Clarinet at l’klectik Art Lab

My work for solo clarinet, Michal 06, will be performed again on Tuesday October 13th, at l’klectik Art Lab, London SE1, by Phil Edwards. He performed it so beautifully and gave it more than I could have imagined, last month at Regent Hall. He has completely made it his own. The acoustics of the venue…

What is(n’t) this thing called love?

“You don’t know what love is Til you’ve learned the meaning of the blues….” I recently went on a retreat on the Holy Isle, off the Isle of Arran, with Tibetan Lama Rimpoche Yeshe.  On a couple of evenings, volunteers on the island held a “discussion meeting” – a topic for discussion was decided upon,…

18th London New Winds Festival

  Following on from previous blog, here is the programme of the 18th London New Wind Festival, including my work:  Michal 06 for solo clarinet.

A clarinet performance, and a protest against compression!

I found this image of a clarinet next to a precariously tipped glass of martini, on Getty images. I would be rather worried if I were the owner of that clarinet…. I have written a work for solo clarinet called “Michal 06”.  It will be receiving a second performance on 18th September in London, at…

Bell or Pas Belle!

I came across Michelle Thomas’s blog:  Tinder Date – it just appeared on my computer screen and I clicked on it – about some creepy man she dated who specifically wanted her to know (by lengthy text) that he felt unable to fancy her (to put it delicately) unless she were a “slip of a…

Artichoke Heart

Many years ago, this guy said to me: “My heart is like an artichoke.” He elaborated: each leaf or petal, reaching out to a different woman! This was in Paris, so in fact he said: “Mon coeur est comme un artichaut!” He also said: “Oh Mareline! Tu es la nuit et tu es le jour!”…

Somali women in Britain: access to medical facilities and attitudes to female circumcision

Back in 1998, I was requested by two obstetricians who ran a well-woman clinic for Somali women at Middlesex Hospital in London, to conduct preliminary research on why Somali women in Britain may fail to access medical facilities available to them, and on their attitudes to the custom of female circumcision.  The clinic was well…

They Came With A Dream – “Doing Jazz” in New York

In 1996/97, I went to Manhattan to “do jazz”. When I got back, still full of the New York energy, I wrote this……. All the musicians singers actors artists writers go there. Twenties thirties forties – everyone with a dream. (Fifties and sixties – who went there with a dream when New York was different…

Petition to reverse TFL’s decision to scrap cash fares on buses

With cash fares no longer admitted on buses, some passengers will be stranded and at risk.  Oyster cards can be lost, stolen, not yet purchased, or have an insufficient balance.  There is often nowhere close to busstops to buy/top up an Oyster card – certainly not at all hours.  Passengers may not have contactless payment…

Somali women and Female Genital Cutting: A Mark of Cultural Identity, or Extreme Violence Against Women and Girls?

Image by Awesame Mohamed (Digital Journal) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has described female genital mutilation, or cutting, as among the “most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence there is”. The issue of FGC has gained increased publicity and news coverage in recent months in the UK. The general understanding is…

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  1. Hi Marilyn, I found your profile on composition today and couldn’t figure our how to contact you about performing one of your works (Rosza’s Wish) so I’m trying through here! I am the Artistic Director and founder of a chicago-based group called 5th Wave Collective which is dedicated to performing and promoting works by female composers. We are doing a program in December based on War and I think your piece, Rosza’s Wish, thematically would fit perfectly! I really hope this message gets to you and I hope to hear back from you (feel free to email me directly!).
    Warmest,
    Ashley

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