Creativity Magazine

Wise Words: Music At Midday

Posted on the 15 September 2014 by Miscriant @miscriant
It's back...
Wise Words: Music At MiddayIf I thought that Wise Words was big last April, at the half, now that we are back into the early stages of Autumn it is huge.  This is partly due to a successful kickstarter campaign over the summer by the Wise Words team to raise an additional £1500 for the festival to really turn this festival into one the likes of which Canterbury has not yet seen.
The result is a festival that is jam packed with activities from the 12th - 21st September including well respected poets like John Siddique in a twitter takeover and morning coffee sessions and Carol Ann Duffy to launch the festival.  Coco and The Butterfields are headlining the Festival on the Tuesday evening in the Garden Tent in a tiny, intimate gig which looks to be a fantastic experience.  There is pedal powered Slam poetry throughout the highstreet and visual performances by a number of different artists, including Emily Hennessy (I'm really looking forward to Firebird on Saturday 20th) and Xanthe Gresham-Knight.  There are Stories on the Stour, linking the riverboat tours with story telling traditions, and there are Scratch Clubs and Open Mic Nights for young, budding poets to test their skills out.
Wise Words: Music At MiddayThere is also a series of Music at Midday events, and it was at one of these on Saturday that I had my first Wise Words experience of the autumn.
Wise Words: Music At MiddayUnlike last Spring, there is a new addition to the Festival. Out in the walled garden, where the Yurt was before (which has moved to the other side of the meadow near the Franciscan Chapel), there now stands a Garden Tent.  A large marquee with moroccan drapings, thick arabic carpets and jewel hued footstools nestling at the foot of a stage where performers can entertain enraptured crowds. 
Wise Words: Music At MiddayWise Words: Music At Midday
Wise Words: Music At MiddayInside it all feels a bit otherwordly as the sunlight that streams through the thin marquee walls is transformed by the wall hangings and casts a pinkish red hue over everything inside.  The light does strange things to people's skin as well!
Wise Words: Music At MiddayWise Words: Music At MiddayWise Words: Music At MiddayMusic at Midday is exactly as it sounds.  Starting at midday, and sometimes with two performers back to back, the Garden Tent becomes a place for you to bring a sandwich, grab a cup of tea from the refreshment stand at the back (suggested donation of £1) and settle down comfortable to enjoy some lunchtime music.  Everyday features a different musician, each with their own unique style and they are all free to attend (although donations to the artists are welcome in the hat!). 
Wise Words: Music At MiddayI was there to see Anne James, a local singer-songwriter who performed a range of covers and her own material.  She noted that she normally performs with a band and this was the first time in a while she had performed a solo gig, so it was a bit more daunting for her than normal.  
Wise Words: Music At MiddayThere were quite a few children in the audience right at the front, and whilst a bit fidgety, they bobbed along to the songs that they recognised by Adele and Beyonce.  There are a large range of events and activities at the Festival that are perfect to bring the smalls along to; check back later this week for one in particular....!

Wise Words: Music At MiddayWise Words: Music At MiddayAnne James' voice has a soaring, hauting quality to it.  It is quite folksy in its sound and was incredibly relaxing to sit back and listen to.  She has quite an unassuming air when she performs, seeming genuinely surprised when the audience applauded her after ever song.  It's quite an endearing quality. ]
The Music at Midday series is running all throughout the Festival and if you can slip away to the Greyfriars Garden on your lunchbreak this week, or pop down there at the weekend, I don't think you will be disappointed. 
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