Friday, 21 September 2012

Goldfish in a bowl


I spent the day in my favourite cafe starting the process of creating a detailed camera shot list for the Requiem performance. It’s an exhausting task; one which is only going to get more exhausting I suspect. Every shot – and there will probably be about 600 – has to be considered. Which instrument or singer do we want to see at which point in the music? How will the shot develop? How will it look in context? Brrr. It makes me shiver.

Meanwhile I’m trying to get news out there about the CDs of the London Requiem, which are now printed and looking very beautiful. I have 1000 of them in my hallway at the moment, all needing to be sold! So if anyone reading this would like to buy a copy, please go to my website www.benjamintill.com and purchase away! All you need to do is click on the paypal button, wherever you are in the world, and I’ll send them out.

My friend Cindy arrived from New York late this afternoon. She’s staying with us this week. She’s a very spiritual person, so I took her to the heath in a gentle autumn rainstorm and we wondered around the stunning pergola on the West Heath before visiting the tree with the hole in it. The place was almost empty. A few joggers and sturdy-looking dog walkers were milling about. Cindy couldn’t get over the emptiness and we talked for some time about the madness of New York and the fact that, on Manhattan, you’re never alone. Not even when you’re desperate to be.

350 years ago, Pepys spent the day spotting royals, most notably the new Queen, Catherine de Breganza, who spent the day in Whitehall Palace, being watched liked a goldfish in a bowl.

“I crowded after her, and I got up to the room where her closet is; and there stood and saw the fine altar, ornaments, and the fryers in their habits, and the priests come in with their fine copes and many other very fine things. I heard their musique too; which may be good, but it did not appear so to me, neither as to their manner of singing, nor was it good concord to my ears, whatever the matter was. The Queene very devout: but what pleased me best was to see my dear Lady Castlemaine, who, tho’ a Protestant, did wait upon the Queen to chappell...”

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