Friday, 26 September 2014

Brighton and Hove (and Worthing)

I woke up this morning in bright sunlight. Fiona’s flat is one of the sunniest places in the world. One of the most joyous experiences is taking a bath with the window wide open bathed in dusty sunshine. 

We had a slightly lazy morning, listening to music and eating bagels before I packed my suitcase and headed off to PK’s for another day on the Pepys Motet. I’m please to announce that this will be our last day of grunt-work on the project. Everything is now tuned and meticulously cleaned, although another day of polishing is probably on the cards once PK has gone in and worked his sonic magic. The problem I have with the process is that there’s sometimes a slight disconnect between the information which goes into my head and the things which come out of my mouth! One of the things we have to do is compare the notes that the singers are meant to be singing with the notes they are actually singing! This involves a great amount of faffing with me sitting with a score on a table in front of me, announcing quaver-by-quaver, part-by-part what’s required. I look at the score, I see a “B”, I register it as a B, but tell PK it’s a D. I realise immediately I’ve said the wrong note, and instantly correct myself… sometimes another wrong letter pops up in the process of announcing the right one. Is that an age thing? My dear old Grandmother used to do that with the names of my cousins, but it seemed to frustrate her a great deal less than it frustrates me! I’m wondering if it’s to do with music being a series of visual dots which you instinctively interpret by striking a key, or singing a note, not reading the letter out loud. I think that maybe relies on a different part of the brain?

On a far less frustrating note, I read today that Brass has been nominated as Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards. These awards are for regional professional theatre, so it’s almost gobsmacking that a show performed by the National Youth Music Theatre for just 5 nights would find itself nominated for something. We’re actually up against the Leicester Curve and the National Theatre of Scotland! Even more surreally, the show from the National Theatre of Scotland was written by my great friend, James Fortune, prompting people to write “fight” on our Facebook page! He’s bound to win. I can’t think that enough of the judges, if any, can have seen Brass. It certainly wasn’t officially entered for the awards. I think we have Mark Shenton to thank for the nod. And very grateful I am, too. 

This takes the award nomination tally for me to five this year, which is quite insane. We didn’t win the Guardian innovation award or television moment of the year for the wedding, but we’re still in with a shot for a Grierson for Most Entertaining documentary. My CV has never looked so rosy! 

I’m heading back to Brighton where I’m actually rather decadently staying the night in an hotel. I didn’t think for a moment I’d finish so early with PK, so it would have been more than easy for me to return to London. But hey, I found an hotel for forty quid which is suitably ramshackle and on the sea front. There’s nothing I like more than having a lovely hot bath and watching telly in a bedroom which isn’t mine. Fiona told me that a mutual friend of ours likes to stay there, where he’s often found “quietly off his tits wearing sunglasses whilst lying on a chaise longue.” Sounds brilliant. I’ll get off my face on chocolate.  

Turns out the hotel IS brilliant. Fiona dropped off a mobile phone charger at reception in a little envelope marked “for Benjamin Till on arrival”. It obviously made the concierge think that I was incredibly important, and he immediately upgraded my room to one with dual aspect, over-looking the sea and the pier. I arrived in the room and had the deepest, hottest bath in the world, wondering why I don’t do this more often! 

I then took myself off to a takeaway and sat on the beach eating chips, listening to the sound of the sea crashing onto the famous Brighton shingle. I can still hear it from my room. Such a wonderful, lulling sound. 

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