Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Gawd bless 'em

It is difficult to even attempt to describe how exhausted I am right now. I was up at 5am - 5am, I say - driving Nathan to Heathrow for the start of his mini European tour with the Westenders. I returned home, packed my bags and immediately set off for Clapham.

Today ought to have been a relatively simple string session at Sonica, but I'd slightly underestimated the difficulty level of my music! There were all sorts of other factors involved in the general slowness of our progress; we started the session late, the players felt they were siting a little far apart, one of them was isolated in a carpeted room with a dreadfully dead acoustic, but the bottom line is that I was asking them to play a phenomenal amount of material and must learn from my mistakes! The good news is that all the players rose to the occasion and we got everything done, though God knows, by the end we were literally throwing music at the engineers to see what would stick! 

I was proud and hugely grateful to all the players for sticking with me, and doing so with such grace and a sense of humour, but at the end of the six hour session, I reckon we all felt like we'd been raped by semi-quavers. 

All this aside, there was some stunning playing going on, motored along as usual by the magical 'cello fingers of Vicky Matthews, who could break a man's heart with her luscious tone. Fiona and Gillon proved a winning combination on first and second violin; sparring off each other like the ancient friends they are. Viola was provided by the glorious Rachel Robson, and Beth the Brummie played a mean bass from her carpeted prison off the control room. Poor thing. Frankly I'd have told me where to go! 

Fiona, gawd bless her, stayed behind to do a sequence that I'd aborted in a frenzy of "we'll never leave this place if we don't cut something" and the two of us went for tea in Clapham afterwards. Pasta. Just what the doctor ordered. 

Tomorrow is likely to kill me and I'm already battening down the hatches 60 amateur musicians and singers. 12 hours. One tiny Western studio. Hell. Deep hell! I can't wait until Friday! 

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