Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Reviewed: Palestine Youth Orchestra in Glasgow

The Electronic Intifada, 29th July 2016 The first half of the performance closed with “Metal,” a short piece by contemporary composer Graham Fitkin, a celebratory work inspired by modern British … Continue reading

October 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: Checkpoint 303’s ‘Iqrit Files’

Electronic Intifada, 14th October 2015 Palestinian songs, poetry, history and landscapes provide the starting point for an album which combines them with the much more youthful sounds of drum and … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

Review: Sandy Tolan’s ‘Children of the Stone’

Electronic Intifada, 14th August 2015 To be completely honest, I was expecting this book to be pretty bad. And I have to admit that my preconceptions were comprehensively challenged. As … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · 1 Comment

Gulf War One and the BBC’s banned songs

As the result of a Twitter conversation with SOAS’ David Wearing which started with the 39 Steps and worked its way through the works of John Buchan, Greenmantle, BBC Radio … Continue reading

January 1, 2015 · 1 Comment

New review: music and Palestine

Electronic Intifada, 22nd December 2014 In Beckles Willson’s case, however, a few important points stand out. One is her careful, sophisticated, but nevertheless uncompromising articulation of the deep-seated difference between … Continue reading

December 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

New review: Ruth Padel’s ‘Learning to make an Oud in Nazareth’

Electronic Intifada, 24th September 2014 The Holocaust and the extermination of Europe’s Jews usually appear in juxtaposition to the issue of Palestine either in clumsy attempts to equate the two, … Continue reading

September 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

“Thinkin’ ’bout burning the Walmart down”

Finding out what musicians actually think on political and social issues can sometimes be a risky business; they’re not usually as downright dim as sportspeople often seem to be, but … Continue reading

September 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

New review: The Storyteller of Jerusalem

Electronic Intifada, 25th February 2014 The descriptions of his childhood center around a large house shared with tenants, situated around a courtyard and with communal facilities. “If you entered the … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

ACAB

With the ‘lawful’ decision on the killing of Mark Duggan by London police officers, there is really little to say that Linton Kwesi Johnson doesn’t say better in License fi … Continue reading

January 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Why I still love Bruce Springsteen

New friends and acquaintances are generally surprised to find that I am a huge and longtime fan of Bruce Springsteen. It isn’t generally seen as an obvious fit with being … Continue reading

October 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

Marcel Khalife at the Barbican

Marcel Khalife’s style of big-act, traditional Arabic music performance isn’t particularly my kind of thing, but when I saw he was performing in London I figured that he’s the kind … Continue reading

July 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

New article: ‘When I Saw You’ reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 3rd June 2013 Jacir’s portrayal of daily life is full of precise details which make it a joy to watch. Copies of Mao’s Little Red Book sit in … Continue reading

June 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Annie Laurie and Victorian sentimentality

My paternal grandfather, Tom Irving, was born on a small farm outside Maxwelltown in Kirkcudbrightshire in South-West Scotland. Maxwelltown is probably best known for being mentioned in the first line … Continue reading

May 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Noise vs music

‘You and I have very different tastes in music…‘ observed husband this evening (well spotted, after ten years). It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a bit lately, though. The … Continue reading

May 26, 2013 · 2 Comments