I’ve decided. Linda Jackson is the coolest woman on the planet. Thank you to all who attended last night (incidentally, on the first scorching evening of summer in the Dear Green Place). It proved to be a wonderfully interactive session on song-writing, and the relationship of words to music generally. Linda has the voice of an angel, with great ability to teach and inspire on the subject of creativity. Who would have thought that she’d have most of the audience writing and preforming rap lyrics by the end of the night!?
Linda told us about her upbringing in a family where song was a frequent presence, and her later influences from literature and philosophy (such as James Joyce and David Hume). She read from her novel, The Siren Screams, and explained to us how movements like the Beat Poets and artistes as diverse as Gil Scot Heron, Harlem Renaissance, Martyn Bennet, and Eminem, can all claim lineage back to the original Africa tradition of a village storyteller talking over the sound of a drum.
What a game audience we had! Their own rap creations were rather good, including one about environmental issues, a stunning anti-bedroom tax protest, and this concluding piece of light hearted frivolity from Douglas Thompson, with which he “rapped the evening”:
Linda J at the CCA
ain’t no way you can look away
you daren’t leave her this crazy diva
she’d get the street all rapped up neat
the pubs and bars like crashing cars
bodies jiving only just surviving
freefall crash of civilisation
demon dance to trash the nation!