Saturday, 30 June 2012

Balanescu String Quartet


It’s Nathan’s birthday, but we only managed breakfast together before zooming off in separate directions. I bought him some wool. He’s all about the wool at the moment, having recently become a very talented sock designer. Who’d have thought!?

Today, I sat in the wonderful West Heath Studio in West Hampstead listening to the Balanescu String Quartet playing their sequences in The London Requiem. There are no real words to describe how exciting it is to hear a legendary quartet interpret your music. The Balanescu specialise in taking music to a different level. Twee is not a word you’d ever be able to use to describe their playing. They are ferociously talented players, but they come alive when you ask them to shake things up a bit; add an extra bit of colour, an extra dimension.

I am thrilled to announce that they will be playing at the live premier of the work in Abney Park cemetery on September 29th.

I am also thrilled to show you all this photograph of the guys, which I took after the session. I think it’s the absolute antithesis of a string quartet publicity shot. It somehow feels incredibly appropriate.

Tomorrow the vocal sessions begin and very soon we’ll have a proper piece of music. I’m officially excited.

350 years ago, Pepys arrived at the office to find a maid cleaning. “God forgive me!” he wrote “what a mind I had to her, but did not meddle with her.” Thankfully...

He spent the afternoon, very randomly, boring holes into the wall, so that he could see from his closet (in the house next door where he lived) into the great office, one assumes to spy on people from the comfort of his own house... but a very bizarre thing to do in my view.

He spent the afternoon in the company of Lady Carteret, gossiping, showing her boats in Deptford, and then his house in Seething Lane (where I was only yesterday) where Pepys “took great pride to lead her through the Court by the hand, she being very fine, and her page carrying up her train.”

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