Sunday, 20 June 2010

Tantrums and tiaras

It’s been a mixed day in the Purple Pro studios and it’s had more than its fair share of tantrums and tiaras. We timed out and lost a French horn player very early in the morning. I threw a few books around and shouted at a stroppy teenager. Same old, same old, really. Today’s renegades included a transvestite farmer, a 12-piece wind ensemble, a singing barrister, 2 rappers, an extraordinary burlesque performer and a stunning jazz singer. The highlight was probably the Millhouse Green male voice choir; a brilliantly disciplined group, with a wonderful conductor, who smacked us round our exhausted faces with a dose of proper Yorkshire pride just when we needed it most.

We had a big boost last night upon listening to a completely unmixed version of the third movement of the symphony. It’s the dark movement; the one that features all the rock stuff, and it’s already beginning to sound pretty exciting. It bristles and there’s something rather raw and electrifying about it.

Today’s low point arrived in the shape of a young lady from Doncaster, who shambled into the studio, 2 hours late and had absolutely no idea what she was doing. I was particularly unimpressed because she’d asked for a copy of the “piano accompaniment” for her section of singing so that her piano teacher could help her to learn the music. I duly spent about an hour creating something that she could use. Obviously a symphony doesn’t often come with a piano accompaniment! When I asked why she hadn’t taken said music to her teacher, having requested it, she told me that her piano teacher had gone away on holiday. When I asked why she hadn’t got in touch with us to tell us this fact, I got a surly shrug. There was certainly never an apology for the time we wasted as she stumbled her way through her section. I worry she’ll forget to drag her grumpy arse to the filming and leave us all in the lurch. To think how many people I turned down to give her a chance...

We’re currently recording the top half of the brilliant Yorkshire wind ensemble; two flutes and an oboe. It’s a privilege to have them play my music.

Wednesday June 20th 1660 and Pepys was very relieved to receive the money he’d sent away to be exchanged from Dutch currency into English money. He’d been panicking that he’d never see it again, ever since handing it over to someone whilst still on the Nazeby.

Pepys dined at home today, which must have felt like a wonderful change. His wife, since arriving back in London, had busied herself turning their dwelling into a home again.

In the evening, after a day of letter writing and ordering people around, he went out drinking to the Bear Tavern on Fleet Street with his father and one Mr Swan, who Pepys obviously had little time for because he described him as a hypocrite. And this wasn’t the first insult. Previous diary entries refer to him as a “fanatic” and a “very rogue”. I say! Poor Mr Swan.

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