ISA BROWNS – obsession news! Plus house visit of members of all-female barber shop Forth Valley Chorus; ‘A Meeting by the River

Yes!!! …  i am obssessed with my henny pennies- brown Annie, pale brown and creamy Moira and Lizzie. I get up at 6ish, and go and let them out of their coop  into their run, and it has strengthened my legs going up and down steps to garden, after days wasting them in bed at hospital and hospice. I go out at least twice a day and sit with them, and take friends  out to sit and watch!  Jane from Rosewell, outside Edinburgh near Roslin who gifted them to me-   yes gifted them- ‘what goes around comes around’ she told me –  tells me they  are Isa Browns, and you can see details about generous Jane and her work at her  site at

My old friend Anne with whom we are linked by all things Chilean solidarity campaign and events- she is an events organsiser- Bliss Promotions based Bedford – does Irish day in Trafalgar Square; and lots of Melas; and comunuty event;s and about to do a huge Queens Jubilee picnic event in Picadilly, London  – involving whole of Piccadilly –  just went after two lovely days.

I am busy ediitng a half written chapter document on Inti Illimani and Quilapayun the two Chilean ‘new song’ groups i have followed since 1971 – and why they have ‘cannibalised’ themselves and divided into two groups based on issues of culural capital, betrayal  and a destruction of ‘soul’ by some involved … with Argenine editor Pqblo Vila for his book Militant Music. Yikes lots of references to do: must avoid moral high ground but i have my empathies as i have followed them and travelled with them since io met them – Jean Franco my old professor at Essex who taught the Third World Literaure courseI did  radical first course of its kind in Europe, probably world at time  – gave me an introduction as she had taught Chilean scholar  Claudio Dúran and  so i met him and his wife Marcela in Santaago; and Claudio  introduced me to his brother Horacio ,who came into the house, complete with that bewitching small armadillo backed lute Andean  charango under his jacket, off out to sing in a factory with Inti Illimani – and so it all began!! i wrote my M.Phil thesis at Oxford as part of my Latin American Studies degree  on ‘la nueva canción Chilena’- the first thesis on Aatin American Popualr msuic to be written  in a UK university (even if i say it myself – thank you the late Robert Pring-Mill fpr all your encouragement and support);and then i wrote my PhD (Edinburgh) about the amazing group Karaxú – the Music of the Chilean Resistance. And so i have followed these two groups and others and Karaxu as long as they existed for over 40 years… i know a lot about them…

I am loving life and really enjoying everything – I really am living in the present  moment  – which is wonderful and thrilling and i am loving every minute of it all. Kind of celebratory every day. I have totally planned my funeral; my legacy;giving my archive away to Chile and Cuba/Canada nd a UK university; it all feekls good and i am giving small gifts to friends as keepsakes as they come.

yesterday 8 members of the the 100+ all-female barber shop  Forth Valley Chorus,  the gold award winning baeber shop chrous i sang with )helping them with UK Europe chamionship and going with them to sing at Sweet Adeline’s convention in Seattle in 2010; – an experience to challenge any feminist, i tell you; but one full of female companmonship and competitive spirit and celebration of all things ‘womanly’ in every aspect you can think of-  i emean everyone wears false eye -lashes folks,  everyone, and alshings of make up and hair pieces and other cover over body aprts and it is all glam and glitzty and enormous fun to boot when you let yourself get into it and stop standing outside and judging yourself…!! )- anyway they  came to the hous end sang and chatted for an hour and it wass exhilerating- thanks  you all you wonderful friends – and David musical director – heartelt thanks – and joy!

oop my mate Jennet here so off i go … to show her the henny pennies

Today playing Ry Cooder and  V. M BHatt ‘A Meeting by the River’  0 sublime


About Jan Fairley

I am an experienced and passionate ethnomusicologist working as an arts and music journalist and broadcaster, writer and editor as well as researcher, lecturer, radio presenter and producer. I have a breadth of organising experience at home and abroad. I am a fluent Spanish speaker. I love travelling and have worked abroad (notably Chile 1971-3 and again in 1994) and researched in Cuba, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Finland.
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