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Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on this site and on Twitter will start in 2021. It will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

A Mundane Comedy is Halcyon's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and across social media from the beginning of 2021. Please get in touch with any questions about the book or related Halcyon services.

Halcyon monitors change for more than 150 key elements of life.

Arts

On What We Think

Kaleidoscope

 

The entries below highlight our founder Dominic's subjective views on the ever-changing range and scope of subjects that Halcyon focuses on.

This is less a blog than a set of irregularly updated and often fragmentary views - on ideas and values, places and people - evolving over time into mini essais which pay humble homage to the peerless founder of the genre. Our writing is provisional, always open to change as new thoughts and ideas emerge.

The kaleidoscope is Halcyon's prime metaphor, encouraging us to embrace change and to view issues through an ever-moving series of lenses.

On Albert Camus

Camus

 

I was first attracted by Camus, "prince of the absurd" when I was 16. Camus still fascinates me, now well beyond what would have been his 100th birthday, and 60 years after his premature death in a car crash in Burgundy (it's said that he was found with an unused train ticket in his pocket - he'd planned to go by rail to Paris to rejoin his wife and children, but had accepted at the last minute the offer of a lift from his publisher).

On Poetry
Poetry
Halcyon In Kal… 23 December 2020

 

I share below (without comment...which is a personal act that belongs in the real, not the virtual world), an evolving, far from exhaustive, but from an emotional point-of-view, highly illustrative and authentic selection of my favourite poetry and lyrics...

 

When I loved you
And you loved me,
You were the sea,
The sky, the tree.

Now skies are skies,
And seas are seas,
And trees are brown
And they are trees.

Charles A. Wagner

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On Roy Harper

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And the town label makers stare down with their gallery eyes
And point with computer stained fingers each time you arise
To the rules and the codes and the system that keeps them in chains
Which is where they belong with no poems no love and no brains 

- from McGoohan's Blues

 

Wonderful to watch Roy entrance a packed London Palladium in March 2019.

Roy is, for me, among the most singular poets of this or any age, someone whose songs and messages have been with me, through all emotions, for more years than I care to remember. 

Welcome back, Roy; hopefully you've got many years of creativity still ahead; after all, my other great musical hero, Leonard Cohen, was was still going strong beyond 80 until his death in late 2016. Indeed, great to see one true genius recognising another.  In "Uncut", Roy chose his 10 favourite albums. Under the sub-heading "The Perfect Record for a Mid-Life Crisis", he picked Lenny's "I'm Your Man" and had this to say about it: "What a great record - and what a crisis I had. Cohen is the best songwriter of them all. I don't think I'm overstating that. He has the spirit and is a man who cares about his poetry more than any other songwriter that I know."

Roy was honoured by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis at the 2013 BB Folk Awards. Great to see this truly unique talent finally getting some of the five-star plaudits he has long deserved. Roy's latest (hopefully not last) concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London in October 2013 did not disappoint. Roy followed this up with a session on 6 Music.

After a three-year hiatus, for unfortunate reasons well documented elsewhere, Roy returned in triumph to the Royal Festival Hall in September 2016.

On Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Halcyon In Kal… 28 October 2020

 

Dylan Thomas - or rather his work - has remained dear to me, one way of another, for nearly 40 years, from his poems, through the biographies I consumed at Edinburgh and subsequently, a profile on Great Lives and an excellent BBC commentary on Under Milk Wood.

On Music

Music

 

Indigenous peoples who have never even listened to the radio can nonetheless pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music. A studied suggested that the expression of emotions is a basic feature of Western music, whereas in other musical traditions, music has traditionally more often been appreciated for other qualities, such as group coordination in rituals.

See also:

On Bob Dylan

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I was relatively late in getting into Dylan properly...into my early 20s - although before that I'd appreciated individual songs, such as Lay Lady Lay, Like A Rolling Stone and others.

However, when his force finally it hit me, it hit me hard. Chimes of Freedom, To Ramona and Ballad in Plain D all affected me on a deep emotional level in different ways, while the likes of One More Cup of Coffee had a beguiling exoticism.

 

See also: