Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hanged, drawn and quartered

Spent all afternoon working with Fiona and Nathan on the Lincolnshire project. We’ve been trying to record a track that makes it easier for the singers to understand and hear the music, but ultimately we failed because a) we’re not a choir and b) we’re not a recording studio! I now think there’s no other option than to teach to teach the music directly to the choir, having proven there’s not a computer programme or lengthy Sunday process that can properly represent the work. It’s been a hugely frustrating day. Instead of going to the Curtain’s Up quiz, I’m going to sit at home and lick my wounds... and wait for the text messages to come from the rest of the team!

Yesterday’s late night cabaret was hosted by Hannah Waddingham, a good friend of Nathan’s and a fabulous West End performer. It was a hugely entertaining evening. She’s got an incredible set of pipes and a wonderfully witty way of interacting with the audience. Her mother, who performs in the chorus at ENO, joined her on stage for an all-too brief blast of the flower duet. The rest of the evening was Big Band-tastic and I’d definitely suggest a visit to see the Fabulous Lounge Swingers who were one of Hannah’s guests for the evening. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Madonna’s Hung Up performed by these guys as a high-energy, mad-cap big band classic! Genius.

I can’t believe it’s the last day of January today. It makes me feel a bit panicky; the feeling I used to get on a Sunday night when I hadn’t finished my homework and Last of the Summer Wine was on. I suppose I still haven’t got a clear sense of how this year is going to pan out, which makes me nervous. I’m also uncharacteristically aware of the passing of time at the moment. Thirty five suddenly seems so incredibly old.

Pepys was 27 on this day in 1660. He wouldn’t turn 28 until February 23rd. He started the day playing the lute and then did his usual round of socialising, delivering important messages and collecting money that had been borrowed or needed to be repaid. In the time before banks existed, this was pretty much the way the world worked. Later in the day, Pepys wrote that Colonel John Jones was about to be impeached for treasonable practices in Ireland. Jones was one of the men who signed the death warrant for Charles Ist, so it was only going to get worse for him as the country swung back into the hands of the Royalists. In fact, it got about as bad as it could get for the poor man who was eventually hanged, drawn and quartered, redeeming himself only slightly in the eyes of the watching public by being so jolly brave about the unbelievable pain he must have been in!

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