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I’ve been recording some of my poetry for a spoken word/musical project with Chris Elliott, keyboard player and programmer extraordinaire. The poems are from a collection called ‘East’ which I mainly wrote while travelling through India. Here are a couple of demos (ie the tracks aren’t mastered and finished yet, just work in progress).
I am indebted to Madame Shaposhnikova and the International Roerich Centre in Moscow for giving me the opportunity to edit the English translation of this wonderful book about the inimitable Nicholas Roerich; it is an excellent introduction to the man and his mighty works, and will undoubtedly inspire readers to find out more about the Roerich phenomenon, and hopefully to disseminate and spread the ideas of this scholar, thinker and artist of incalculable importance. I sincerely hope it achieves this, because a new ‘cosmic mentality’ as exemplified by Roerich and the great Mahatmas is something humanity needs to hold on to and aspire to in these troubled and terrible times: war, famine and flood are upon the Earth in biblical proportions. Now more than ever we need the lights of truth, beauty and culture to shine as beacons on this planet, penetrating the darkness and banishing ignorance and greed. The battle between good and evil is ever raging. The great truths, spoken of and transmogrified by Roerich on canvas and realised in momentous actions, shall not be easily extinguished or explained away by cynical and dark forces; a new ‘cosmic mentality’ is carrying humanity on its current into a new age of enlightenment. Roerich believed that it was society itself and the common man, each and every one of us enlightened and empowered, who must triumph and point the way to a brighter future. In the individual lies the redemption of the many. It seems that now, after endless wars and the pillaging for profit by global empires, many a common man and woman are waking up to new ways of thinking and being. They are saying ‘no’ to the hawks of war and damning the militarised, industrial and corporate machines that seek to divide and drive us recklessly along a path of death, calamity and cultural ruin. Let us hope that humanity, in all its glorious colours and creeds, finally and fully, embraces a new ‘cosmic mentality’, and that its light radiates among us, in truth, beauty and love, as vivid and inspiring as the works of Nicholas Roerich himself.
Steve Elliott, Moscow, 25th September 2013
I have just started to work at rt.com as an Output Editor and writer — more commonly known as Russia Today, the English language news channel based in Moscow. You can also hear my voice there on documentaries and promos.
Multiplication Tables in Verse — Awesome App!
It was a truly fascinating and challenging experience to work on this excellent project. My job involved translating the original Russian text into English and then recording the vocals. Translating prose is one thing, but the translation of poetry and lyrics is one of the hardest tasks for any translator; you must not only translate faithfully, but also ensure that everything scans and rhymes properly. Although it was a tough assignment, it was at the same time very rewarding, so much so that the hard work simply evaporated because I was having so much fun doing it. The proof of whether I had done my job well as a translator of Andrey Usachev’s wonderful poems came when we were recording my vocals to the marvellous and infectious music created by Vorontsov Denis. I am happy to say that the half spoken, half sung style that I used worked rather well. At least, that’s my opinion!
I hope my work competes favourably with the original Russian, but ultimately, of course, it is the listener and user who will be the judge. At any rate, I commend this release to anyone who teaches, or is learning multiplication tables. The art of creating engaging and first class teaching materials is to make them interesting and eliminate boredom, which is the enemy of scholarship. This project has certainly achieved that. It’s educational of course, but a really entertaining and effective way to learn how to multiply through wonderful animation, music and rhymes. For learning the basics of multiplication, you can count on it!
You can see screenshots and download the iPad app here
More details at Libro Vitae