Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A missing quarter

Today was meant to be split into four quarters, the first of which was spent in Quarters Cafe, my local coffee joint, sending out copious emails and texts messages about Four Colours, which was officially released today. Or meant to be... more of that later.

Background chatter in the cafe was mostly about the wallaby which has been spotted in Highgate cemetery. Quite how a wallaby has managed to find its way there, I’m not sure. These crazy Highgate kids are probably rich and daft enough to have bizarre pets like that, but you’d think one of them might have reported a missing creature of that size. There are obviously several gangs of wild wallabies living in the UK, mostly escapees from places like Woburn Abbey. In fact, there’s a whole load of the creatures living near Thaxted in Essex. My mother claims to have done several emergency stops for them in the past, but in the middle of London? How does a wallaby hop, unnoticed, to a graveyard in zone three? In order to reach the cemetery, he’ll have had to have negotiated many roads. I’m intrigued.

I left the cafe at mid day and came home to rehearse the lovely Carmen, first soprano from the Rebel Chorus. She wanted to go over her lines in the Pepys Motet, which we start recording on Monday. It’s slightly terrifying. I don’t feel at all ready. The music’s ready, but the session this morning showed me how little I know all the individual internal parts. I was mortified when Carmen walked in. The house looked so untidy. I’d thrown all sorts of things into little piles and only managed to properly clean the bathroom because I didn’t want her to think I was a complete slob!

I was meant to head into town in the third quarter of the day to meet Jodie Prenger and the people from the Kaleidoscope charity who were being interviewed by Ian Dale on LBC Radio. Unfortunately Ian was ill today, and his producer rather incredibly decided the interview couldn’t take place without him because Ian is gay, and the replacement presenter isn’t. What? So I couldn’t talk to a black person about being black?! The hideous thing was that Jodie had come all the way from Blackpool on a train specifically so that she could do the interview face-to-face, and had to go all the way back home again for absolutely no reason. I am absolutely livid at the decision and would very much like to get to the bottom of why it happened.

I stayed at home, and saw Nathan briefly, who’d been teaching all day in Watford. He disappeared to see the official premiere of From Here to Eternity, and I stayed home to rehearse Matt, our new bass in the Pepys Motet. I came rather unstuck during the rehearsal, particularly during movement one, where there are a number of rather complicated rhythmic changes. It felt rather like the blind leading the blind and I felt very bad that I wasn’t able to be more helpful. My mind was still in an angry space about the fiasco with Jodie and I kept wondering what I should do. Plainly it would be inappropriate to go in guns blazing, but I just don’t understand how someone as well-known and likeable as Jodie could be dropped so spectacularly at such a late stage. She wanted to discuss something really important, and frankly, any presenter could have prompted her to say the right things. I can’t imagine that the producer, faced with the thought that Jodie was already in town to do the interview, would have done anything other than make it happen in some way. But then again, producers are not exactly renowned for their empathy. It’s all about the story and nothing about the people who actually create the story. There must be a logical and reasonable explanation. I genuinely hope that Ian Dale will be mortified about what has happened, and do everything he can to smooth things over on his return. It is an angry man who goes to sleep this evening!

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