Notes ‘On Travel’ Launch Review

Alice French 15 January 2017

I would be lying if I said that my friend and I weren’t motivated to go to the launch of the latest release of Notes magazine by the promise of free pre-Cindies wine. I don’t consider myself an ‘intellectual’ person. I enjoy writing, of course, and I suppose that studying an arts subject at Cambridge qualifies me as possessing some form of intellect. Nevertheless, the prospect of entering a room full of poets and photographers and enduring an hour of poetry readings, with my very cynical friend as my only ally, was daunting. However, I am glad to report that I got through the evening unscathed. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by an event that turned out to be a welcoming hub of musical and literary creativity, which I would readily trade for my usual Wednesday night pre-drinks.

For those who don’t know, Notes is published fortnightly and acts as a platform for students to showcase original poetry, essays, creative writing, and art. Their latest On Travel issue involves a collaboration with Cambridge’s photography magazine, PhoCus, and the Geography society’s new publication, Compass. The result is a special full-colour edition of Notes, based around the theme of travel, incorporating poetry, photography, and art to create a very aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking issue.

To mark the launch of this collaborative issue, the Notes team held an evening of discussion, spoken word and music at Sidney Sussex on 23 November. The event was an inspiring space for musicians, artists, and writers alike to share ideas and enjoy each other’s work. There was something distinctly ‘Cambridge’ about the whole affair, and the grandeur of Sidney’s Know Shaw Room added to the feeling that this was to be a refined and cultured evening. The soundtrack was provided by Sam, Reece, and Ollie, who kicked the event off with some laidback R&B covers, and Jade Cuttle whose original acoustic set was an ideal way to end the evening. Notes launches are brilliant platforms for homegrown Cambridge musicians to showcase their talents and it was great to hear live music in such an intimate setting.

I would thoroughly recommend everyone, whether you are a budding ‘intellectual’ or simply intrigued, to go along to the next Notes launch if you get the opportunity. At the very least, pick up a copy of the 'On Travel' issue and, for just a moment, forget that class lists are here to stay and celebrate the talent of your Cambridge peers.