Looking Back at 2016 & Happy New Year!

It is wonderful to reflect on the year and to look forward to the new year of 2017
and to thank many people that have made this year so special for me.
I started 2016 by filming the video for my song “Free Will”.
It was directed by Charles H. Joslain and we completed it recently, after an idea by my husband Simon, showing the story of me as a little girl sitting at the piano and demonstrating my own Free Will and growing into the women that I am today.

My husband was inspired by a photo we found of me sitting at a piano as a child
and it’s a nice closure for me.

Press on the photo to watch the video of ‘Free Will’ –

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A big thank you to Rupert Truman who filmed the new footages of the piano and as always capturing my journey this year through photographs.

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Thanks to Charles Joslain and his team at the Central Film School.
Thanks to Gagik Karagheuzian for editing the video which, coincidentally was completed on the very same day that I composed the song on Christmas Eve all those years ago.

This year, the Jewish Festival Hanukkah also fell on Christmas Eve and is a perfect time to bring the message of celebrating light that the message of the song is all about.

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In 2016 I released my single ‘A Love Song For You’ from the album of the same name.
The song was written as a surprise for my husband on our wedding day and I co-wrote it with Barry Upton, who has achieved global success with hits over the last three decades.

tally-koren-a-love-song-for-you_single_itunesThe wonderful Regional Radio team of Hart Media were involved in the campagne, spearheaded by the vibrant Jo Hart who introduced me to Cat Hockley from Fifth Element PR – thank you. It was also a real pleasure working with the National Radio promotersLisa Davis and Mike Armstrong.

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For the release of the single I re-edited the video of the song with the help of Boyd Skinner who has been so loyal to me throughout the years – thanks Boyd!
The video premier was featured on the front page of the Female First magazine.

press on the photo to watch the wedding video :

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I was also invited by the TV station London Live for a thirty minute interview
with Vanessa Baffoe.

press on the photo to watch the interview:12928298_860467867409272_8600419452400050743_nThanks must also go to Robin Marsh and Margaret Ali for inviting me to speak at the House of Lords about Peace and Reconciliation.
This subject is so very important to me, though as a singer, it is easier for me to sing than to talk, so my heart was beating extra beats, especially after hearing the oratory talents
of Lords Eames OM. The biggest surprise for me was when Lord Eames concluded the meeting by saying that he was touched by my speech. So filled with Israeli Chutzpah, I spoke to him at the end and told him about my vision to have an event and to invite influential women from different Nationalities and Professions from around the World to discuss peace and to show the strength of the women through simple communication and to emphasise the
similarities of our cultures.

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The event did happen and I would like to thank Lord Eames with all my heart for giving me that opportunity and believing in my vision of putting the emphasis
on building bridges.

I also had a very inspiring event on International Women’s day and would like to thank the main speakers Baroness Blood, the former Mayor of Enfield, Katie Anula the Palestinian Women’s right activist Ahalam Akram. We were entertained by the Bristol TV stars Livvy and Chrissie.

I have edited a special version of my song Free Will , starting with the piano version and ending with the Latin version in the hope that it will make everyone dance.

press on the photo to watch my performance of Free Will at the House of Lords

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The launch of my album ‘A Love Song For You’ was at the heart of Piccadilly with great musicians and great guests, so I’d like to thank everyone who was there and especially Phil Curran who co produced the album with me.

For the first time in history  I used the words of Mozart himself from a letter that he wrote to his wife when and  made my own adaptation –   ‘One Million Kisses’ – to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, K.488

To watch the performance at the Launch Event press on the photo:

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I had a lovely birthday gift in May from my Lebanese friend, the journalist and actress Lina Kay and accompanied her to the Queens Palace Garden Party and it was a day to remember.

To read the full blog with special tips of how to get ready  for the Queens Palace Garden Party press on the photo:

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In July I was invited again to Birmingham to perform in front of the
Muslim Women’s charity BTM.
It was an important event and I recieved such a very warm welcome and I would love to thank Davinder Prasad from BOPA for inviting me to sing not only there but at other events in the Midlands.
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In August I was very privileged to be on the stage at the Shalom festival in Edinburgh and sing Jerusalem of Gold amongst other songs. It was very special for me to be at this Festival as a former fringe award winner but especially for the importance of its statement. Special thanks to Nigel Gooddrich for organising such an event.

To watch the performance  of Jerusalem of Gold at the Shalom Festival press on the photo:

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Thanks to the Director Arnie Voysey of the video ‘Just Want to be Loved by You’
The video illustrates the life of a women captured in a golden cage and breaking out to became a free women and it was featured in Music Week.

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Patricia Teitelbaum deserves special thanks too for inviting me In October to sing at the Antwerp Peace Festival and to my musicians Dean Ross and Antonio Soto who accompanied me. Standing on the stage in the heart of the City singing Hatikvah was a very emotional moment in my year.
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In November I met with the Archbishop of York at his Palace and what an inspiring man he is. He kindly presented me with a signed copy of his latest book Agape Love Stories which you really should read.

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On the same day I met with Steve Kay, the winner of a competition I was running in September, who is a fan and supports me through social media. We met in York and it was good to hear his feedback about my music .
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It was lovely to be involved in important Charity events throughour the year and singing raises peoples hearts, so I would like to thank Keith Best for taking both myself and Kate Anoula back to Enfield – a town were I lived first when I came to London.

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Thanks for my friend Barbara Dingle who introduced me to many people this year and to Bota Hopkins who invited me to sing at the Lansdowne Members club for a Christmas reception with prestigious guests including HRH Princess Katherine Karađorđević and Prince Mohsin Ali Khan of Hayderabad.

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photo above by Oliver Oxygen Visuals

img_2404-copyphoto by Natalia Kolosova

I thank and I bless every moment of this year and feel very excited about next year.
Happy New Year to all of you and I hope you’ll be inspired by my song ‘Free Will’ to choose moments that are best for you and for the World!

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The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

I recently had the wonderful honour of attending the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

So many people have asked me ‘how does one get to be invited to such a prestigious event?’

It’s a simple yet wonderful story of friendship and how an instant understanding of how beliefs and ideas can sometimes gel when you meet someone for the first time.

A while ago, I invited the Lebanese journalist and actress Lena Kay to be a speaker at an event I organised with the kindness of Lord Eames at the House of Lords for  International Women’s day. Prior to the event, we sat together in a Lebanese restaurant enjoying the wonderfully similar cuisine of my grandmother’s recipes when she lived in Lebanon many years ago.

We discussed the agenda and my vision of the event and we shared many ideas about possible collaboration in the future. It was a really joyful evening and it was clear that a great working relationship and even a potential friendship was in the making.

As I reflected on that evening, I thought how lovely it is that in London things like that can happen and how different cultures can come together with such positive harmony. I then got a WhatsApp message from Lena the following day asking me if I wanted to come to the Royal Garden Party as her guest and I of course replied with a resounding YES!

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Posing for the camera at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel

Photos by Daniel Balica

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Off to the Palace wearing the most comfortable wedges by Pons Quintana

IMG_9686 Searching for the end of the queue, but every moment was a joy! 

Leading up to the special day, I had to decide what to wear.
My love of vintage clothes took me to Camden Town and Notting Hill and then on to the Sunday vintage fair in Hammersmith, where I often find unique dresses for my performances.
The world is so small and I was so lucky to end up speaking to a wonderful lady about the Palace Garden Party and what I should wear and some of the rules and guidelines that I should follow.
She spoke with authority as she was herself in those parties and events and she even showed me the dress and hat she wore to the last garden party.
I loved the dress and fascinator immediately and bought it.
Though it was beautiful, I knew I could work with my dressmaker and with some changes, I could make it even more special and uniquely mine!
The joy of seeing so many beautiful dresses and hats on that day is a treat for someone who loves fashion.
Beautiful pastel colours and flowers dominated the afternoon and interestingly many people were wearing dresses from the collection of the talented Ted Baker.
Everyone looked wonderful.
Suprise, suprise it rained on the day and one tip that I would share with you is not to wear high heals on wet grass.
I’m so pleased I chose wedges and they were not only great on the grass but so comfortable for the hours of standing required.
If you have the privilege of being invited to the Garden Party, can I suggest that you turn up early as it takes so long to get in and then to stand in various queues for delicious cakes and canapés. You can imagine how everyone wants to see the Queen, which involves  yet more queuing and standing about in the hope of talking to Her Majesty.
The personalised invitations offered helpful tips regarding protocols such as not taking photographs and not bringing in our mobiles, though some people flouted these instructions and those that did, were promptly reprimanded by security personnel.
I was shocked by the sheer volume of guests which can range from four to eight thousand, so if you are invited, do plan ahead as much as you can and don’t leave anything to the last moment.
Also, don’t underestimate the time it takes to move around the stunning grounds and then you can really enjoy the once in a lifetime Buckingham Palace experience .

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The best Vanilla Ice Cream in the World by Marshfield Farm 

 

IMG_9691From Top to Toe 

Handmade fascinator, Jacket, Dress – http://www.vintagevalentina.net, Hair  by Anna Hannon -Supercut, Earings – Sally Greville-Smith and Vintage bag  – Hammersith Vintage Fair, Chanel neckless.

Dressmaker – Bozena Wnorowska

Wedges – Pons Quintana.

Makeup : Eyeshadow – Diorshow Mono 616 Pulse,  Mascara – Diorshow Black, Lipstick -Chanel – 90 Pimpante, Eyeliner – Long-wear Gel – Bobbi Brown, Foundation – Mac  Studio Tech and Sunbasque Blush, Primer Hourglass – Mineral Primer, Secret Brightening powder- Laura Mercier,  Eye Base Essentials – Linen Trish Mcevoy, Eyelashes – Salonsystem, Nails polish- Essie Limo-Scene.

Receiving the Ambassador for Peace award at the Houses of Parliament.

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Receiving the Award of Ambassador for Peace with  Dr Nazia Khanum, OBE Photo : Peter Zoehrer

Last week I was invited to receive an Ambassador for Peace award by UPF

at the Houses of Parliament.

The occasion was part of Parliament week and the ceremony itself was the conclusion of the European Leadership Conference –

Women’s Federation for World Peace.

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with Martina Coombs : Former WFWP – UK & President WFWP – Europe   Photo : Aime Bapaga

It was such an honour to be amongst influential and powerful ladies and to receive the award  at the same time as Dr Nazia Khanum, OBE: Director, Equality in Diversity ‘Women’s Leadership: Family, Community and Democratic Values’ was a very proud moment for me.

 All I can say is that dreams can come true !

I was walking in London a few years ago and I had a lovely thought in my mind about how important the influence of the Princes Diana’s and Mother Teresa’s of this World have been.

I then thought about how I and the many other people around the World could work hard for peace and harmony.

Music is of course still my life, but how wonderful to be able use it in the right direction and do something useful and meaningful and I’m so pleased to be one of those people and for my hard work to be acknowledged in this special and formal way.

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With Robin Marsh UPF Secretary General who recommended the Award  Photo:Christophe Murphy