Today is the very significant anniversary of – if not quite the ‘recording’, as such – the finalisation of the getting-together of Valinka’s eponymous album on 10th April 1974 for release the following year, with the final track on the album, ‘Slova kolem nás’ (‘Words Around Us’).
With a title like that I think this would be an ideal juncture at which to announce to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Blog readers that I have made a quite remarkable discovery regarding the header used for the Lyretail WordPress theme, that I happened to choose because the name Lyretail put me very much in mind of the Bratislavská Lýra (Bratislava Lyre) Festival at which Valinka made three notable appearances, in 1969, performing her debut single, a cover of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, 1973, deputising for Petra Černocká, performing Petruška’s song, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’) on her behalf and 1979, performing ‘Žádný ptáčník nemá křídla’ (‘No Birdwatcher Has No Wings’), winning the Bronze Lyre.
The font used for the text in the header of the Lyretail theme is known as Abril Fatface, which is part of a series of fonts under the umbrella title of Abril Display. This was co-designed by Veronika Burian, of TypeTogether, who was born in Prague in that year of many recorded music highlights for Valinka, 1973, so it’s very good to be able to link the theme to (a) Prague and (b) 1973! Here is my entry for the Lyretail WordPress theme, in the category Abril Display, at the ‘Fonts In Use’ site. To add to the Valinka links the headquarters of TypeTogether are based on Korunní, one of a group of streets that run parallel out from the City Centre of Prague through the Vinohrady suburb of the city which includes Vinohradská, which is the street that leads to the Nový židovský hřbitov (New Jewish Cemetery) where Valinka is buried, so, when I visited Prague in January 2017 and walked out along Vinohradská to the Nový židovský hřbitov and back again I would probably have passed just 250 yards or slightly over 200 metres away from those headquarters.
With national thoughts being very much on those passing away in view of the death, yesterday, of the Duke of Edinburgh these can be reflected here with one of the photographs I took of Valinka’s tombstone on the (very wintry!) day I visited the cemetery, which, like the last track in both ways that ‘Slova kolem nás’ is, further carries on the theme of endings.
To play the half-upbeat/half-haunting ‘Slova kolem nás’ please head over to the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, where one will also find the recording details and credits.
It’s all about being born in and passing away in Prague today.