Few things surely lift the soul like this

By Unknown on 14:52

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Readers of my blog will have noted that on occasion I do drift from the business of photography to take in other matters that offer inspiration to put one's fingers to the keyboard.

It has been a while since I last heard a performance of Faure's Requiem and this video of part of the work by King's College Chapel Choir brought back memories of the first recording I ever bought of the requiem which was by the New Philharmonia Orchestra as they were then called. As with the video, the soprano aria Pie Jesu was performed instead by a boy treble. Just as Robert Chilcott sounded both effective and ' touchingly vulnerable ' on the 1967 vinyl recording, so twenty years later, a young singer once again with King's College has delivered a hauntingly beautiful and moving account that will linger long in my memory.

I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I have

Schola Cantorum make music for Children in Sudan

By Unknown on 14:00

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Preparing for an evening of music and readings devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the proceeds of which would be used by Aid to the Church in Need for children in Sudan, singers of the Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School assemble in prayer before their concert last Thursday at the Carmelite Priory in Kensington.

The Schola consisting of boys aged between 11 and 18 performed under the direction of Scott Price, the Director of Music at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School and provided a programme ranging from plainsong to works dating back to the 16th century by Parsons and Monteverdi, composers of the classical  and romantic period such as Bruckner, Grieg, Pergolesi and Rachmaninov and finally to 20th century offerings by Britten, Faure, Taverner and MacMillan.

The evening of music was complemented with readings by  the school's chaplain, Fr Dominic Allan.

The Schola Cantorum has over the years become one of the outstanding landmarks of great musical experiences in London and definitely worth catching at their future events.

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EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM                                                                                More pictures here         

Visiting the Houses of Parliament

By Unknown on 19:27

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I had never thought this was something one could do without invitation nor accreditation. That I had both allowed me access into this most historic building last week but as you may know the Palace of Westminster is open to the public. You can watch debates, the Lords select committee at work and tour the Houses of Parliament. There is airport-style security of course though I can report that it is very friendly. More importantly the Houses of Parliament belong to us, little though we may be aware of it and it really is a mighty great privilege to visit such a grand and historic place. Just ask your member of Parliament to arrange it.

Picture - House of Lords, Committee Room 4

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Better to light a candle than curse the darkness

By Unknown on 22:47

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October 18 2012
Palace of Westminster

ACN's ( Aid to the Church in Need ) event for October 2012 began with visit to the Houses of Parliament to address a meeting on the issue of religious freedom. Primary delegates attending on behalf of ACN were Bishop Audo of Syria and Archbishop Kaigama from Nigeria, both of whom addressed peers, MPs and officials from the Houses of Parliament at a meeting in the classic setting of Committee Room No 4  chaired by The Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose 

Following introductions by Baroness Berridge and ACN's John Pontifex, Bishop Audo advised the gathering that  while the violent crisis in Syria brought hardship and uncertainty to all, Christians were additionally threatened by the breakdown of society and the difficulties particularly for them that this has created.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama spoke of the challenges of maintaining and practising the faith in Nigeria where attacks on churches and the faithful occur on a weekly basis. Despite such trying circumstances, Archbishop Kaigama said that the solidarity and friendship of the various agencies abroad provided Catholics and all Christians in Nigeria much encouragement and support in the face of their trials and that it was important for us to continue the good work which help Nigerians to adopt a positive outlook and approach which he likened to lighting a candle which he concluded was better than cursing the darkness.

Later both dignitaries met with the invited guests  which included students from the Cardinal Vaughan School in London

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EF 70-200 f/2.8IS L

Remembering Remi Ochlik

By Unknown on 19:50

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October 16 2012

But for a direct hit on a makeshift media centre used by international journalists during the shelling of Homs by Syrian forces, Remi Ochlik would have been 29 today.

Born in 1983 in Thionville in the Lorraine region of northeastern France, Remi’s ambitions of taking up archaeology were cast aside when his grandfather gifted him with an Olympus OM-1, one of the iconic cameras from the era of the 35mm film. Graduating from the Icart Photo School he joined the photographic agency Wostok, achieving a career breakthrough covering the riots in Haiti  in 2004. Through a proposal by an editor of Paris Match, Remi Ochlik’s images were projected at the Visa pour l’Image International Photojournalism Festival though not before his pictures had won him the Francois Chalais Award for Young Reporters.

Founding IP3, his own photographic agency in 2005, Remi began to cover many political events not only in his native France but in the Democratic Republic of Congo, again in Haiti and more recently the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 and 2012. Remi’s image of a Libyan rebel fighter won him the first prize at the 2012 World Press Photo awards.

On February 22 this year, he and fellow journalist Marie Colvin lost their lives when working in Syria. It is widely believed that the building they were in was deliberately targeted. In a career that was so tragically cut short, Remi’s photographs will live on as a powerful reminder of the conflicts that exist in our world today as much of his work may be seen in several publications and on many websites.

Picture - fanpop.com