Thursday, 2 May 2013

Basses

We've been on the phone and sending furious emails to Paypal and Wefund pretty much all day today. Last night we realised we had to actively redeem the money which had been pledged to our Four Colours project. The process was like falling into a black hole. All sorts of conflicting information flashed across the screen. Certain names had "unsuccessful" daubed all over them. Others had strange messages attached. I subsequently found out that some of our donors had received up to six random emails, either from We Fund or PayPal, telling them their payments had failed and then seconds later that they'd been successful. WeFund were particularly slow to respond to my messages of panic. They don't offer a phone number on their website and resolutely refused to call me, insisting instead on a never-ending exchange of emails with useless information attached. Sometimes when you don't understand what's going on, it's good to simply talk to someone... 

It seems like such a shame that all of our kind donors have offered their money in good faith and yet the two organisations which are meant to keep everything fool-proof and user-friendly have made everything so confusing. Apparently it's our job now to follow up the payments which have gone wrong, which feels rich when you consider that between them, WeFund and PayPal are taking up to 20% of the money donated as "commission."

We've just finished our second session on the Pepys Motet at Sonica in Clapham. Today was the turn of the basses, and they very much matched the tenors in terms of absolute excellence. I can't tell you how excited I am by this recording and the prospect of just how good it's going to sound. We're really beginning to push sonic boundaries and the standard of singing is absolutely excellent. I had been worried that I'd hear the tenors again on the recording and find fault with everything they'd done but they were every bit as good as I'd hoped and remembered. 

We've welcomed a new bass into the fold; an opera singer called Trevor who has the sweetest, most beautiful, chocolatey voice. I sat behind the mixing desk listening to each of my five basses in the different vocal booths in different corners of the studio and felt an unbelievable sense of luck, pride and deep gratitude. 

We're now on the tube heading home and Nathan is sitting next to Trevor. They're both knitting. Nathan's doing a hat and Trevor's making some kind of baby cardigan. The middle-aged, lady sitting opposite, with a face like a haunted shoe, took one look at them, grabbed her ghastly pink coat, tutted and went and sat at the other end of the carriage. I do believe we may have just encountered a little slice of homophobia. Imagine being so small-minded that your world implodes when you see two blokes knitting! 

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