Monday, 7 May 2012


We've been in Worthing all day ensconced in producer PK's little attic studio whilst recording a demo of the last movement of the Requiem. It's been a relaxed, laughter-filled day and I'm confident that after PK has waved his magical wand, we're going to have a lovely little recording to send off to you know who. Well you would know who if I didn't think that by announcing the name we'd instantly jinx any prospect of working with the world's most iconic living singer!

Fiona jumped on the coastal train at Hove Actually, armed with her Klotz violin and husband, Paul. She appeared in the attic, tuned up, dragged her bow across the E string and instantly brought my music to life. In that important moment the Requiem ceased to be a concept and I became a happy man.

Julie sang the lead vocal with simplicity and deep emption, and Nathan, Michelle and I created an ad-hoc choir, which will hopefully add a lovely dimension to the demo. I love Michelle. Just one of her wistful smiles would power a hundred lightbulbs!

It rained all day, but the sun suddenly appeared as we recorded Julie's vocals; her flame-red hair suddenly became a burning fire.

On the way home we stopped at Worthing's famous pebble beach, essentially so that I could smell the sea air and jump up and down a bit in the sunshine. Nathan and I had a race across the shingle and down to the water's edge. It was a strange sensation, peculiarly exhausting and weirdly destabilising. I ended up in a little heap at Julie's feet. It took me the best part of the journey home to feel well again!

All days should be like this; un-pressurised, fun-packed, creative, surrounded by good people, and filled with promise and hope. It reminded me of the days in the mid 90s that Julie, Arnold Wesker and I travelled up and down the country looking for backers for our production of Letter To a Daughter. Anything seemed possible then, as it does now. I feel more alive and optimistic today than I have in many years.

350 years ago Pepys spent the day gallivanting around town listening to tittle-tattle and watching the glorious ladies on display in their coaches in Hyde Park.

News finally came about the future Queen of England who was still on her epic journey from Portugal. Her flotilla of ships had been spotted, however, somewhere near the Isles of Scilly. Surely it would only be a matter of days before she made her much anticipated grand entrance in Portsmouth? But would anyone have bothered to wait around that long to greet her?  Surely anyone who was anyone was wheeling around in a coach in Hyde Park?

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