….and yet!

I’m an early bird! As soon as I waken I have to get up. Came down to a beautiful morning, blue sky with a thin layer of high cloud, tree-branches gently waving in a light wind, birds happily chirping as they search in the under-growth for breakfast…..all’s well with the world……

…..and yet….there is something strange happening in Portugal. When we holidayed in that area, the heat was so intense that we could hardly leave the shade of the trees round the Hotel. So we didn’t get much chance to see the area or meet the ‘real’ locals, but those we did meet seemed perfectly pleasant.

So they are now wakening up with the realisation that possible suspicions may end up as proven. Whatever will materialise, there has been a lot of play-acting by various individual groups or individuals. The McCanns, their relations and friends, the Portuguese Police, and the media, have all come under suspicion as being ‘economic with the truth’ to use a long-standing phrase.

There may be good reasons for this, at least in their own minds, but hopefully the truth will appear, and this story which has gripped a large part of the European media will come to an end. This may not be the result we all hoped-for, but it may give some closure to the life of a little innocent girl.  

I suspect that it will, however, leave a feeling that human society is still not as clever at self-control as we like to think it is.

Art or Craft?

The passing of Pavarotti brings again to mind  the question (doesn’t it?) as to whether a performer is an artist or a craftsman. In other words, is he simply providing the vocal expression of what the composer wrote down, or, by his experience and expertise, is he adding to the value of the piece.

Even deeper, it opens the debate about the parts played by the composer, the producer, the conductor, the performer, and the listener (or viewer), in how we appreciate music or other fine arts.  All are essential in the activity, as each has a speciality, and, hopefully, expertise.  

I can only imagine the situation where a composer writes a piece of music, plays it (badly) and listens to his own composition alone. Was the quality of the composition lessened because of his mistakes, or might a hearing problem lessen the experience?

Do you ever wish you had never opened a discussion, but just left the question in the air?

I think in this instance, the latter might have been easier on my brain!!

Ancient and Modern

The choir at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral is back from their holidays….and are in fine vocal fettle (if one can say such a thing!).

Two wonderful pieces were sung by them during this morning’s service. The ‘Ancient’ one was Mozart’s ‘Laudate Dominum’, with a supremely-sung solo part, and the rest of the choir just gently coming in….superb.

The ‘Modern’ one used the beautiful lilting Scottish Traditional tune ‘Dream Angus’. But the words were by Graham Maule and John Bell, and the chorus has a line…’Christ makes with his friends, a touching place.’

So reminiscent of Iona, where I was honoured to spend some time, after designing the sound and loop system for the Abbey. It was indeed, a ‘thin place’ as described by the founder of the Iona Community. A place you must visit…intriguing!

10 years on…

The remembrance of the death of Princess must have stirred up emotions of some kind in most of us. These were just a few of mine….

  • The realisation of how short 10 years are, in this one-way street called life
  • How suddenly life can be changed for a large number of people in a flash
  • A communal outpouring of grief, or any other emotion is much larger than the sum of its parts
  • The power of a piece of music like ‘In Paradisum’ from the Faure Requiem
  • The effect that we, as individuals, have on our friends and colleagues, or society in general, may never be known to us, but we will certainly be judged, not necessarily during our own life, but certainly later. By then it is too late to change anything!

What emotions did you have, reliving 10 years ago?