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Wednesday 9 August 2023

Acropolis Now

We got back from Rhodes in the early hours of Monday night/ Tuesday Morning. Our pre- holiday fears about the wildfires and cancellations were unfounded- many of the local people we spoke to said the fires were not directly threatening Lindos and had been made to look worse on the television than they were. Some of the staff at the hotel had been affected and evacuated from their homes but they wanted us back and contributing to the local economy. The first few days were noticeably quieter than usual, the tourists returning in greater numbers by the end of the week. As a result we had the run of the hotel pools for the first few days. Rhodes at this time of year is very hot and very sunny. The town of Lindos is dominated by its Acropolis.

It was the first thing we saw from our balcony each morning and the last thing at night, illuminated against the night sky. Lindos town is built into a gap in the rocks by the harbour, a maze of streets and houses, restaurants and bars with roof terraces and shops. The Acropolis dates back to at least the third century BC, the Temple to Athena at the top overlooking the sea. It's the sort of place which it is impossible to get a bad photo of- I won't bore you with all my holiday snaps but the Acropolis and Lindos are spectacular and very photogenic.

It was in use through the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods, then occupied by the Knights of St. John (who fortified it and built many of the castle walls around it) and then by the Ottomans. During the Italian occupation (1912- 1945) it was restored, badly, and the Greeks have been working to restore and protect the site since then. It is a hot walk up to the Acropolis but well worth it. The Greek attitude to handrails and guardrails once up there is very different from here. There are several places were you could walk straight over the edge and fall hundreds of feet to the rocks below. It's a wonderful place to visit and left a deep impression on me. 

Back in 2012 Warrington musician Paul Fleming (also the Bunnymen's touring keyboard player), recording as Baltic Fleet, made an album of krauty/ cosmische/ post rock instrumentals on an album called Towers. One of them was this one...

Last Friday, while we were sunning it up in Rhodes, was Bandcamp Friday and a rush of interesting new music flowed through the internet into inboxes. Among them was the latest from Woodleigh Research Facility and Nina Walsh's Apparently Solo series, this one being Volume 4. Borderlands has been floating around for a while on Youtube and it was in one of Andrew Weatherall's NTS radio shows, a track Nina wrote on a midi keyboard that had been set up for Andrew to use at Facility 4 back in 2019. Nina's composition had a Smokebelch- esque feel to it, even more so when classical viola player Sarah Sarhandi was asked to contribute strings to it. Andrew went onto remix the track and it was planned to be included in a WRF event at the Barbican, an event which never happened when Andrew died in February 2020. Nina's original version, Andrew's eight minute remix and Jagz Kooner's remix (Jagz being a Sabres Of Paradise cohort of Andrew's) are all at Bandcamp. Andrew's remix adds sweeping synth strings, trademark rolling tom toms and twinkling melodies and a sense of widescreen, celestial floatation. Jagz pitches the tempo up slightly, the drums a bit thumpier and drops in some vocal snippets, Andrew asking questions about stars and rockets and machines. 


Rol said...

Looks like a beautiful place, and it sounds like you had a relatively quiet & calm holiday. Hope it's done you good.

Swiss Adam said...

Thanks Rol, much needed.