Friday, 27 July 2012

Maddy Prior

My life just gets better and better! As if it weren't enough to have Barbara Windsor and the adorable Tanita Tikaram sing my music, today came the chance to hear Maddy Prior interpret passages from the Requiem. 

Maddy's is a voice I've listened to from my early childhood. I remember dancing to All Around My Hat in our living room at the age of five, and being a little bit frightened of Black Jack Davy. I drove through the mists of Northamptonshire as a teenager listening to Long Lankin, and up the steepest hills on the Yorkshire Moors accompanied by Gaudete. 

I wrote the music especially for her and she sang it to absolute perfection; that rasp in her voice, the way she seems to commit to the music with every fibre of her being. She is a great interpreter above anything else, shaping and draping the music she sings around and on top of the words. She is as good a singer now as she ever was. Possibly even better. I am a lucky, lucky man.

Nathan and I have decided to order a pizza and sit down in front of the Olympic opening ceremony. I've whinged enough about the games, but if you can't beat them, you might as well enjoy the pizza! 
On my way back from Oxford, I listened to the radio, and scores of foreign journalists were talking about their perceptions of the UK. I was horrified to hear the following words;

"Rain, rude people, behind the times, racists." Mortifying.  

I wonder if these games will do anything to change anyone's perceptions. I genuinely hope so. 
So far... So moving! 

350 years ago, Pepys took his wife to Westminster to take leave of her father before she went to the country for four months to escape the building works in her house. Because Pepys never visited his inlaws, he instead went to walk around St James' Park, which he declared got lovelier and lovelier. He met a friend and the two men sat under a tree in the corner of the park singing.

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