18 December 2012

Idling before Christmas

It’s a quiet time for jazz, but the sounds of Christmas are out with the warm weather, shoppers and buskers. Mick Elderfield is back in town for a few days and I caught him at his spot collecting the public servants as they walk up to the Woden mall. His sparse, exploratory notes with big battered Selmer tone are a signature. He’s mostly ignored by the passing crowd, but I’m sure the sound of commitment to a profound craft subtly insinuates itself into harried citizens. It’s not all that’s new on this walk. Canberra’s newest work of public art (or work of public outrage for many complainants) is now in place after several weeks of installation: Culture fragment by David Jensz. I like it, certainly more than Woden’s classically simple teardrop. This is heavy copper piping, woven into a fabric square with tattered edges and tentacles trailing to the ground. I’m amused how it’s studiously ignored by the passers-by, except by one interested guy who I saw questioning the artist and assemblers one morning. I’m also amused by the backdrop of blank walls and graffiti tags. I just hope it’s not nicked for the value of its content, but it should be safe given the copper elbows are filled with cement grout.
This day was warm and sunny and I finished my idyll with a few girls playing violin and recorder and singing carols. Christmas is a relaxed time, especially in lucky, sunny Australia. I can feel the year unwinding now. Merry Christmas from Eric.

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