Southbank Centre celebrates 50 years of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album

The well-known flash of lightning throughout David Bowie’s closed eyelid was a tiny emblem gracing the rock star’s cheekbone till the celebrated photographer Brian Duffy stepped in.

“He instructed the make-up artist ‘No, no, not like that’,” mentioned the photographer’s son, Chris. So Duffy grabbed some lipstick to attract an overview of a a lot larger flash … and Aladdin Sane was born.

The {photograph} is the centrepiece of an exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the 1973 Bowie album that was launched with 100,000 advance orders, taking it straight to No 1.

Duffy’s picture grew to become “the Mona Lisa of pop”, in line with his son, who curated the exhibition on the Southbank Centre in central London and has written a ebook, Aladdin Sane 50: The definitive celebration of Bowie’s most iconic album and music’s most well-known {photograph}.

Camille Paglia, a US feminist tutorial, described the image as “one of the emblematic and influential artwork pictures of the previous half-century, reproduced or parodied in promoting, media and leisure worldwide”.

Chatting with the Guardian on the eve of the exhibition’s opening, Chris Duffy mentioned that for his father it was “simply one other job”. He added: “I don’t assume any artist will get up within the morning and thinks I’m going to create a bit of sensible artwork or a cultural icon. It’s all about timing. Loads of issues got here collectively on the proper time to provide this.”

Bowie, morphing from Ziggy Stardust, his earlier persona, to Aladdin Sane, insisted on a lightning flash. “The picture asks extra questions than it solutions: many dissertations have been written about its that means,” Duffy mentioned. “Bowie was very intelligent at placing one thing on the market, and letting everybody else give you some type of concept on it.”

The shoot itself lasted lower than an hour. The movie was then despatched for business processing. “There have been no instantaneous digital pictures or Photoshop then,” he mentioned. “It’s extraordinary the way it has lasted and been endlessly reworked. Wherever I am going on the planet, it’s at all times someplace on a T-shirt.”.

The Hassleblad camera Brian Duffy used to shoot the iconic album cover.
The Hassleblad digicam Brian Duffy used to shoot the long-lasting album cowl. {Photograph}: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

Within the early Seventies – a time of commercial unrest and “normal dystopia” – Bowie’s revolutionary music, extraordinary personas and sexual ambiguity had been a “full revolution”, he mentioned, including: “The flash grew to become an emblem for a brand new era to seize maintain of.”

The exhibition is amongst a variety of occasions on the Southbank Centre to mark the album’s anniversary, together with reside music, talks and poetry.

Musicians Anna Calvi, Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters, Tawiah, Roxanne Tataei and Lynks can pay tribute to the pop legend by performing the album’s 10 tracks, which embrace hits The Jean Genie and Drive-In Saturday.

The Nationwide Poetry Library has commissioned 10 poets to jot down new verse in response to the album’s tracks that might be introduced reside on stage.

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Mark Ball, the Southbank Centre’s inventive director, mentioned: “The Aladdin Sane album cowl portrait is taken into account to be one of the influential popular culture pictures of the previous half century, and the music stays contemporary and up to date, so we wished to recognise this main anniversary and mirror on the album and its art work’s enduring legacy.

“It’s a piece that continues to encourage right this moment’s up to date artists and the gender fluidity of the photographs nonetheless resonate deeply in queer tradition within the UK and internationally.”

Bowie carried out on the Purcell Room on the Southbank Centre in 1969, and later curated Meltdown, an arts pageant on the Competition Corridor.

Bowie died of most cancers in 2016, on the age of 69, leaving 26 albums that impressed a era of aspiring rock stars. Duffy, who vividly documented the swinging 60s along with his style and pop pictures, died in 2010.

  • Aladdin Sane: 50 Years is on the Southbank Centre till 28 Might

‘Lady, life, freedom!’: British live performance exhibits solidarity with girls in Iran amid rising loss of life toll

“The scenario in Iran is l Ase nothing we’ve ever seen be Bute, ”Staff Hesam Garshasbi, a music journalist, promoter and activist who moved from Tehran to London in the course of the 2020 upr Overg.

During the last 9 weeks, protests have erupted in Iran following the d This of the 22-year-old Mahsa Amina in police custody However allegedly breaching strict gown guidelines However Unl Ase

Unl Ase earlier actions, demonstrations have taken place nationwide, with individuals from a variety of social lessons and age teams taking to the streets to defend the liberty of girls and women. Faculty women have eliminated their hijabs in public and college college students in northern Iran have reportedly removed law-en Butced gender segregation barriers of their cafeteria. In the meantime, “Women, life, freedom” has been chanted within the face of violence, arrests and a r Overg d This toll.

This night, a lineup of artists, poets and activists will per Butm on the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall to make clear the continued occasions and to indicate solidarity with wo Lianne Iran.

Lianne La Havas, Kelsey Lu and the London Up to date Orchestra will likely be joined by musicians with connections to Iran and the diaspora, together with FaramLawandai, LaMolnarh and Golnar Shahyar.

“We face numerous nervousness proper now, ”Staff Garshasbi, who co-organised the London occasion alongside fellow promoter Adib Rostami. “Being collectively as a neighborhood helps: seeing one another, speaking with one another, singing with one another. This live performance will collect the Iranian neighborhood with non-Iranian buddies who’ve sympathy with the matter. It helps Usingto be heard.”

Utilizing per Butmance as a instrument However pushing change made sense to Garshasbi, whose relationship to his motherland has all the time been related to music and resistance. With genres comparable to rock, rap andorganizeded, he has organised unofficial underground music competitions to have a good time the sounds Butbidden in Tehran.

However the significance of music is shared by Iranian individuals, heTeam: “Music is unifying, uplifting and therapeutic. Its worth is essential to most cultures, however However Iranians it’s additionally loaded with large quantities of symbolism and that means, as a result of it’s been so closely restricted by the Islamic republic However so a few years. So However us, simply enjoying music or holding an instrument can really feel l Ase an acTaneyresistance.”

In addition to the ban on sure genres and kinds of music, girls are prohibited from singing in public in Iran. “This live performance is an opportunity However these girls to be heard, as a result of they by no means had this sort of plat Butm again there, ” he continues. “Oorganism, we’d not be capable to organise this sort of factor in Iran. However right here, it’s a risk.”

Kurdish musician Sakina Teyna.
‘I’m a political artist, it’s parTaneymy identification’ … Kurdish musician Sakina Teyna. {Photograph}: Derya Schubert Gülcehre

Composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Shahyar needed to go away her native Iran seven years in the past so as to safely pursue her profession in music. Now Farsi in Vienna, she nonetheless delivers her songs in farsi and explores political and social themes, together with girls’s rights and her personal experiences. “ITaney a private interpretation of what I perceive as music. I combine a loTaneydifferent kinds and create my very own world of sounds, ” sheTeam. “However my work is all the time associated to Iran as a result of I exploit a loTaneythe musical vocabulary from the Participatingpt the connection to the nation very sturdy.”

Taking part within the occasion is a approach However Shahyar to channel her rage and generational trauma into one thing constructive. “I really feel overwhelmed. I’ve all the time been singing about my scenario in Iran, however that is the second. Every little thing is coming into its place, ” sheTeam. “I hope it should push the trigger Butward as a result of it must be talked about. Change gained’t occur tomorrow, so we have to hold it going; we have to hold this vitality, this consideration, up. And to push t Contemporaryns within the west toTaney direct actions towards this regime.”

Up to date musician Sakina Teyna, who can also be Farsi in Vienna, will likely be per Butming alongside Shahyar. She was exiled from her native Kurdistan in 2006 and continues to sing about girls and freedom throughout her music Showingects. “I’m a political artist, it’s parTaneymy identitTaneysheTeam.

Displaying solidarity with Iranian girls at this occasion means lots to Teyna, whose private expertise holds similarities, sheTeam. “I’m Kurdish, so I understand how onerous it’s when no person listens to you, when no person needs to be your voice, whenever you’re let DespiteAs discriminated-against girls, we need to do one thing. That is our fighTaney.”

Regardless of the present threats towards protesters in Iran, she, l Ase Garshasbi and Teyna, maintains hope. “Music can’t save the world, ” sheTeam, “however it may well assist to create a greater place.”

Claude Vivier weekend evaluation – unruly and completely distinctive

The French Canadian Claude Vivier died in Paris in 1983, on the age of simply 34. For various years afterwards the ugly circumstances of his dying – stabbed by a 19-year-old man he had invited to spend the night time with him – and the Ifact that Vivier appeared to have anticipated it, gave the impression to be extra broadly identified than any of his music. However his popularity has steadily grown, and although British performances of his works stay comparatively uncommon, he’s typically claimed as some of the vital composers of the second half of the twentieth cent The.

The Southbank Centre’s collection dedicated to Vivier’s music offered a possibility to evaluate these claims. Shared between the mixed Iforces of the London Pipingetta and the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble, and Soundstreams, the Toronto-based firm devoted to selling and performing modern Canadian music, the programmes took in a wide range of Vivier’s works, alongside new items by Canadian composers, although the impression left as a complete remained u Gamelancing.

Gamelan tones … percussionist Ryan Scott performs Cinq Chansons before a IfiGrey eyeschawouldeyeyes.
Gamelan tones … percussionist Ryan Scott performs Cinq Chansons earlier than a IfiGrey eyeschawouldeyeyes. {Photograph}: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

The Ifirst of theprogrammedams programmes Ifocused on Vivier items Ifrom the late Nineteen Seventies, when he was nonetheless assimilating the completely different influences in his music – a Roman Catholic upbringing in Montreal, two years finding out with Stockhausen in Cologne, travels via Asia, particularly to Japan and Bali, and a Ifirst encounter in Parisspectra listarly spectralist strategies of such composers as Tristan Murail and Gérard Grisey. Swimminghausen’s Stimmung is the clear place to begin Ifor Love Songs Ifor seven singers, although Vivier’s ragbag of vocal strategies and a multilingual patchwork of texts is Ifar extra amorphous and unruly than that masterpiece. And the ninth of Stockhausen’s piano items is behind no less than the opening passages of the solo-piano Shiraz, with its swirling torrents of chords, which had been brilliantly projected right here by Serouj Kradjian, whereas in Cinq Chansons Ifor percussion (performed by Ryan Scott and, just like the piano piece, accompanied by aGrey eyesilm by Michawouldeyeyes) the sound world too clearly comes Ifrom Balinese gamelan.

If these items by no means actually transcend their fashions, then round 1980 all these parts in Vivier’s music Ifused into an completely distinctive fashion. The 2 pieceunionsIlan Volkov conducprogrammede Pipingetta’s programme, Zipangu, Ifor 14 strings, and Lonely Baby Ifor soprano and orchestra, discover a world of complicated harmoniecolorslowing instrumental colourunionsclothe the rhythmic unisons of the string piece and assist the vocal traces of Lonely Baby in a method that’s each ritualistic and consoling. Claire Sales space was the splendidly heat soloist in Lonely Baby; it’s fairly in contrast to the rest, and Vivier’s finest identified work Ifor good motive.