Warren Ellis: The Beautiful Connections of a Bad Seed

2021 was a busy year for the multi-talented Warren Ellis. The award-winning Australian musician and composer, well-known for bands The Dirty Three, Grinderman and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and for a host of film scores, released two albums – Carnage with his long-time collaborator Nick Cave, and She Walks In Beauty with Marianne Faithfull, and wrote his first book, Nina Simone’s Gum. An exuberant celebration of creativity, inspiration and connection, the book was inspired by a life-changing performance by Dr Nina Simone. After the show, in a state of awe, Warren Ellis crept onto the stage, took Dr Simone's piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and put it in a Tower Records bag. The gum remained with him for twenty years, growing in significance with every passing year. Ellis has kept the memento – now cast in silver and gold – as a symbol of the meaning we place on things. Nina Simone's Gum is about how something so small can form beautiful connections between people. It’s a story that shows how everyday experiences can foster unexpected creative output. We were thrilled to welcome Ellis to the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time for an inspiring conversation about creativity, the artistic process, friendship, understanding and love. Chaired by artist and novelist Tice CIn.

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