Lumumba Di-Aping stated that it was ‘…self evident global efforts had not been heeded…’ and that the goals set in the 1994 UN Framework for preventing dangerous CO2 levels had not been met. This ‘destruction by inaction’ is a global problem, however it is the global south that are feeling the effect of global warming at a higher frequency and are at greater risk of resource, agricultural and financial decimation. The effect of global warming is humanitarian crisis, starvation, drought, disease and extreme weather conditions are but the arrowhead of the collapse of the global south. Di-Aping states that Africa’s Lake Chad has dried up, the indigenous Maori people have lost most of their habitat. The Po river in Italy has dried up and Germany has been battling torrential rains that Bangladesh has been experiencing for the past 30 plus years.
A source in the Philippines states that there is little support from the government in the wake of Super Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) that hit the island on the 16th December 2021.
The Philippines continued attempts to recover in the wake of Super Typhoon Rai (or Odette as it is locally known) that hit the island of Siargao on the 16th December 2021. Not two months have passed and the Philippines is at risk of a second typhoon hitting as tracked by Pagasa Weather Bureau.
It has been 14 months since lockdown brought a halt to the activities that we used to enjoy and we are only now seeing the emergence of inside dining, theatre visits and shopping. One of my missed pastimes has been going to the museum, seeing exhibitions and being around people. I was booked to attend the Victoria and Albert Museum (Est. 1852) in South Kensington.
My first trip back was on the 19th May 2021, I was surprised at the excitement I felt when showing my pre-booked ticket at the entrance and being allowed into the museum from the Exhibition Road entrance. It felt surreal walking towards the large glass doors of the museum, maybe not exactly Lewis Carrol’s vision but my own slide down the rabbit hole. I have been familiar with this museum for many years but being given the freedom and autonomy to make plans in booking and visiting still felt eerily uncanny. This feeling soon disappeared when I stepped into the museum and was welcomed back it felt like being taken under mother hen’s wing again.
So Day 1 back to work amid COVID-19 was interesting. I got the train to Charing Cross with wary commuters, wrapped up in medical masks, gloves and scarfs. People are attempting to social distance but on a train which is barely 1 meter across trying to navigate the seating plan is an effort in itself.
I change at London Bridge for my connecting train, everybody is so eager to exit the carriage that social distancing is flouted, especially on the escalators. I do what I can but it’s definitely less than 1 meter apart. Walking up the strand in the early morning is eerie to say the least. There are a few rough sleepers congregated near to the Sainsbury’s, I see a couple helping one another to put on medical masks. The air smells fresh, smells less polluted, a couple of vehicles can be seen in the distance, swerving and turning off the main road.. in spite of the movement on the street it feels apocalyptic.
Most of the shops and restaurants are closed, nobody running for coffee, picking up a hit sandwich for breakfast before hitting the office for the day. Checking my watch I see it’s 8am, I need to hurry up and get myself to work. A jogger passes me Lycra running shirt and a yellow top, headphones in and talking, I don’t recognise the language… but the intonation could be followed… he was on the phone to a loved one, a parent, grandparent, sibling it doesn’t matter. The wind blows and chills me, my fingers numb, the contents of my bag for life a bottle of water, jar of coffee, home made soup and an umbrella are my rations for the working day.
I see a lady in a beautifully fitted navy winter coat buckled at the waist smoking a cigarette as she made her way to her destination on the opposite side of the road. Her brown hair casually coifed and designer sunglasses resting on the tip of her small nose. A homeless man tries to make conversation… I couldn’t hear what he said, but spare change or a cigarette are the best guess. She waves him away and proceeds to make her way down the Strand… her nonchalant gesture palmed off the man, with his sky blue sleeping bag slung over his left shoulder. Were the lady and I even experiencing the same street? The same London? Possibly not but we were definitely in the same pandemic held fear… the same fear that had now been added to those less fortunate souls… the waft of desperation danced freely along the wind, as it blew down the same street, encircling us three individual souls trying to get through a new way of life.
Sarah May has already proven herself to be an established singer, songwriter and performer through her euphony of releases, Take Me Away, Fly, and Oops to name but a few tracks. Her latest release is just as compelling as she transitions her talents into an ambient electro chill out track. In previous interviews with Produced By a Girl Podcast she has expressed her love of house, dance, techno and electro as being favoured and influential genres.
The title itself is an oxymoron and fits perfectly with the lyrics. The juxtaposition of “Falling High” with “…into the deep…” is emphasised through the song with a beat that builds as the track progresses surrounding and holding the listener throughout. The incremental progression of the track adds layers for the audience through the ambient almost meditative feel.
“I’m falling high into the deep” although contradictory enables the listener to embrace the euphoric graduation of the track throughout to its crescendo. Sarah consistently delivers polished music and this is no exception, it may deviate in style from her previous tracks but the creativity and effort put into her music is self evident, well constructed and a joy to listen to.
The track starts softly but builds progressing into an exemplary piece that wouldn’t be out of place on the club circuits of Berlin, London or Ibiza.
Falling High is Sarah’s first release of the year, and I am excited to see her creative talents continue to flourish throughout 2020, as with most creative mediums the hunger for more is greatly outstripped by the ability to create, produce and release. When I hear of Sarah May’s next track release I shall keep you all updated, until then I await patiently.
The latest release by Sarah May Take Me Awaydeviates from her previous releases of tackling social issues such as mental health, feminism and sexism lightened through her use of humor. Take Me Away reflects Sarah’s love of techno with a prominent beat, synths and effects when combined with her voice creates a song that wouldn’t be out of place in the Berlin club scene let alone London.
Sarah is obviously a creative force to be admired and Take Me Away stands as an accomplished piece from a differing facet of her music tastes. Take Me Away opens with the title lyrics in an almost meditative chant before building the layers of music that washes the listener in an ambient and encompassing journey.
Similarly Sarah’s previous releases her music continues to offer an expressive escapism for her fans as well as herself. Her upbeat electronic work in Take Me Away adds to the permeating effect her music has on the listener as she continues to ooze creativity with a momentum of brilliance behind her.
Take Me Away illustrates the breadth of creative talent Sarah has, as well as expanding the relationship of artist to audience through the medium of music. Sarah’s work consistently welcomes and encourages the listener to partake in her journey, her accessible lyrics and polished creative talents are evocative and reflective allowing the listener/audience a release and rest bite from the wet and windy November weather.
Catch Sarah May’s interview on the Produced by a Girl podcast to find out about her influences, creative process and the personality behind the voice.
Sarah May’s individualistic and honest style of songwriting exemplifies what good artistry is about. Her clear and at times raw messages are enveloped by catchy melodies that take the listener on a journey that they’re all are able to understand.
Sarah is a born and bred Londoner who discovered her passion for music at a young age. She has an active interest in contemporary culture, politics and obviously music. She has recently returned from Taiwan after a two-year stint of travelling and exploring south-east Asia and intends to be gigging a few times a week. She may well be at an open mic night near you.
Themes of female empowerment, patriarchal double standards and the yearning of unrequited love list but a few of the topics tackled in her music. Whether acoustic or accompanied by a jaunty synth beat Sarah May’s transparent and sometimes hauntingly powerful vocals stay with you even after listening (in a good way).
Sarah’s honest and unashamedly frank style demonstrates the authenticity that I enjoy and I shall be awaiting Oops to drop shortly (available on all major platforms).
A life cut short through loss, betrayal leading to imprisonment and finally execution doesn’t fill me with positivity.
There have been a many depictions of Mary Stuart in film from Katharine Hepburn in Mary Queen of Scotland (1936) to Das Herz der Königin (The Heart of the Queen) (1940) a 1940’s German interpretation which saw Zara Leander in a historical musical role, yet one of the aspects of the movies that abide (majoritively) to the sixteenth century fashions also find themselves seeping into the creations of luxury designers.