I feel washed out today. The weather’s damp and miserable and I don’t feel I’ve slept properly in days! I spent this morning assembling a short-list of quotes from Pepys’ diary which might work as text for the motet. Part of the process is categorising the passages to work out which lines will work when sung by different voice types. This could well make a difference to the singers I'll eventually want to work with. I still like the idea of “Pepys the social climber” being represented by opera singers, but wonder which group will sing all those atmospheric passages relating to Pepys’ home and family life. Folk singers? Gospel singers? If anyone has any thoughts on this subject or is interested in reading the short list, please get in touch. I’d love to know which of the passages have resonance with people today.
I spent much of the afternoon trudging across Hampstead Heath with Fiona, looking for locations for a video shoot she’s involved with on Friday. It was incredibly muddy and my one pair of sensible shoes now resembles ancient Egyptian bricks! Bring back the pattens! That said, the heath, as usual was stunning. Everything seemed to be silhouetted against a sky which looked liked bruised flesh. It’s such an incredible place; whatever the time of year.
I’m on my way into town to watch Nathan in his first performance of Nunsense A-men at the Arts Theatre. It’s about nuns. Nuns played by men. The clue’s in the title. Puntastic!
350 years ago, Pepys and his wife spent much of the day preparing for a dinner party they’d scheduled for the morrow. To give it a dose of proper glamour, the plan was to host the event at Montague’s London residence. Pepys doesn’t mention if Montague had granted them permission, or whether, like naughty school children, they were running riot behind his back. Elizabeth spent the day making tarts and larding her pullets (fnah fnah) whilst Pepys prepared fires and decorated the house. Pepys was an aesthete and loved nothing more than tasteful and fashionable home improvements. From the time he started making money, builders were almost entirely present in his house. In fact, I read somewhere that Pepys used his Navy boat-building connections to commission the world’s very first custom built bookshelf! A 17th Century Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen!