Saturday, 18 October 2014

The music of Natasha Mira "Medieval Pop"

Before I went on my adventure to England, I had the lovely chance to chat with Ms. Natasha Mira about her music “Medieval Pop.” Being a medievalist, her music was like a magnet and truly quiet exceptional and inspiring.
To many of us, music has a magical way of making us time travel, either forward or backwards. It can touch our hearts and our souls.  It also can toy on our emotions. Natasha Mira's songs do just that. Especially, her single “Don’t Let Me Go.” The imagery and story telling she does with the lyrics, as well as the clips from the hit show "the Tudors" leaves you wanting more at the end of the song. She is also set to release some other wonderful songs in the upcoming weeks as well.

Let me briefly introduce Ms. Mira. She is a young aspiring musician currently studying at USC. She is working on her Bachelors in Music Industry; yet demonstrates to the world, she is more than ready to take over the world with her new genre "medieval pop."
She is defiantly someone you will want to keep an eye on for many years to come. Talent only knocks once, and she has it.
To discover Natasha, who is most genuine, talented, and delightful, and her music, please visit her Facebook page: . It’s truly an experience and something you don’t want to miss!

And from Natasha herself:
“If you are my friend, a lover of music, a creator, an artist, or someone with a passion and you wish to share that with the world, I hope you will please take the time to read what I have to say. For as long as I can remember I have always been searching for 'my sound'. A way I could represent myself artistically while still saying true to myself. I am proud to say that I have finally found that sound, and for the past year I have been constantly creating and working towards this moment in which I would be sharing with everyone the new genre I have created which I will be calling 'Medieval Pop'. The best way for me to describe Medieval Pop is to imagine Hans Zimmer meeting Evanescence and Ellie Goulding. I strive for a cinematic larger than life sound which channels medieval instrumentation while still maintaining a commercial radio-friendly audience.  
I have always been obsessed with this time period, Medieval Europe, and the Renaissance. I feel like through these inspirations, and my writing style, I can truly be myself and combine my artistic viewpoint with a new genre that is representative of a part of my soul and passions. I'm a girl, but I'll admit, I'm also a gamer. I love medieval-inspired video games such as Skyrim. I am intrigued and obsessed with shows such as Game of Thrones, Reign, and the Tudors. As a singer and a songwriter I will always love writing in various genres and styles. One of my greatest passions is collaborating with other incredible artists. I will continue writing in various genres but Medieval Pop has become the first project that is representative of me as a person. Representative of the artist Natasha Mira that I've always wanted to portray.”

Saturday, 4 October 2014

My Trip to York Minister

Even at sunset its massive walls captured my breath, as I stood outside. Its grandeur was captivating. 

It wasn’t till the following day I ventured back to its massive presence, York Minster (Cathedral). After seeing it the night before with my cousin, I now know why so many speak so highly of it. The outside alone was just amazing beyond words.  Standing out front of the doors just made the hair on the back of my neck tingle with a familiarity I cannot describe.
A bit of history, York Minster is one of Northern Europe’s largest Cathedrals. Its presence has been noted since the time of Bede. Its beginnings began as a wooden church in 627 as a place of baptism for Edwin King of Northumbria, that year.  In 637, it was converted to a stone structure under Oswald of Northumbria and dedicated to St. Peter. Later in the 8th century and school and a library were attached to the structure. Various ups and down of the church happened afterwards, burned by the Danes, fires, the church was rebuilt a number of times. In 1215, Walter de Grey was made archbishop and ordered the church to be rebuilt to the likeness of Canterbury. In 1220 building began and in 1420 the building was considered finished and consecrated.

Now, on to my little tour.  Of course, I had to pay a bit to go in. Student discount YAY! One thing I learned on this trip was to never leave home without that ID, I probably saved around 100 British Sterling total. Overall, I was more than happy to pay the small sum of sterling they asked and made a small donation, especially since it went to the buildings upkeep. How did they maintain York Minister?  I asked a nice friendly church volunteer and got a very well informed answer. Well, it was being worked on while I was there. One of the facades to the west I believe was draped in a green cover and intricate scaffolding.  Stonemasons are rare these days I was told, so when the church gets wind of some in the area, work or maintenance is the first order of business to be done on the old stonework of the building.

Then it was time to explore the inside. By just walking in to the doors; I cannot tell you all, how massive the sight was and how it captivated my tired eyes and head. The organ was being warmed up for later in the day (At times, I believe the organ was made for angels.), visitors were meandering around at their own pace, and I saw a tour here and there. It was quite peaceful actually.  Various stain-glassed windows were filtering the sun below making it splatter on to the floor, illuminating various corners and isles of the minister. One could get lost in there for sure just taking all the sights and sounds in. Like any student or historian, I went straight to the catacombs and exhibits that I found and learned what I could in the short amount of time I had.  I had to run and catch the train in a matter of a few hours. 

Burial of Prince William of Hatfield, Infant son of Edward III
The catacombs were underneath the main priory screen in the center of the minister. It was dark, and had that musty old castle smell, but very impressive. They had a few exhibits and you could see and the old stones of the original cathedral were left over, as columns before they were moved the building outwards and larger. There was some pretty gorgeous wooden furniture, specifically a trunk.
I went back up stairs and out, and wandered around to see who had funeral vaults, saw some I knew and some I was not so familiar with. All quite impressive.

My gaze then shifted upwards. It was a sight I probably will never forget. The latticework and intricate design and stonework of the celling were astounding. 
Overall York Minister did far more than impress. It blew my mind away. I know now why Richard III had his son instilled Prince of Wales in its massive and captivating walls. It was built for a prince, and for a king.  A well-loved king of the north.

A little video I made of the inside:)