Friday, 28 September 2012

Never judge a book by its cover version

I've sat in a darkened corner of a dining hall in Rich Mix all day today. We've been rehearsing the live version of The London Requiem all afternoon. It was a wonderful day. The choir know the work really well, and, more crucially, have started to blend really well as a group, which means we can work in proper detail. I genuinely think we're like a big family these days. All sorts of curious friendships seem to have developed within the group. When someone's struggling with a sequence, someone else assists. All the singers excel in different ways. What unites them, however, is their commitment to the emotion and the drama of the music, and this is really special in a choir. They're electrifying to watch. I feel so proud to have brought them all together. 

Our conductor, Sam Becker, did a particularly fine job today, not just when it came to the music side of things (although the man's plainly a genius), but also by taking the reins, rather manfully, when I went into melt-down whilst discussing the technical side of Saturday's gig. 

Sometimes I feel as though people assume everything I do will  work out because I have a history of being at the helm of relatively successful projects. It's a lovely position to be in, but what people sometimes forget is that, in order to maintain the reputation, I spend every hour of every day working, which can mean that even more work ends up being dumped on my shoulders because people realise I'll find a way of coping. That's my perception anyway. We can't ask the person who's being paid ridiculous sums of money already to do something above and beyond for fear that they'll charge overtime, so let's see if Benjamin will make another compromise! 

It sounds like I'm whinging. I'm not. I was hugely proud today and sometimes can't believe my luck that, on a daily basis, I get to do what I do. 

Probably the most exciting aspect of this evening was when two East End ghetto boys came up to me as I was taking a break outside and said, "who's da choir?" I put my fasty face on and puffed myself up like a peacock thinking they were gonna tell me we were making too much noise, or take the p*** out of our sound. 

"Man!" he said, "we was passing and we heard the singing. We produce music. Dance tracks, but vibey, you know. We wanna work with you!"

I invited them to sit in on the rest of the run and they sat through every number, applauding wildly. They then bought CDs afterwards. 

Two things struck me about the encounter. Firstly, that you should never judge a book by its cover, and secondly, that good music is good music regardless of its genre. I've spent ages, unsuccessfully so far, trying to get our piece into someone's hands at Classic FM, when perhaps I should be targeting a whole different market. 


  1. I loved today Ben. Thank you for making this happen.

  2. affirmation that music transcends and is for all

    can't wait to see it live on saturday