Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Crowd surge

I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus! We’ve just done a quiz in a school which featured some of the biggest crowd surges I’ve ever witnessed! Note to self: run for the hills if anyone tells a group of children that the prizes for winning are a) boxes of chocolate and b) at the front of the room (where your computer and a shed load of expensive equipment are between you and them!) A stampede will almost certainly occur which will involve an almost bewildering number of 13 year olds, all of whom will tell you they were on the winning team! The capacity young people have to think adults were born yesterday knows no bounds.

I have rarely been handed such a random set of answer sheets in such a collectively awful state of repair. Several young people arrived holding pieces of paper by the corners which were literally dripping with sticky fizzy pop, covered in great blobs of pizza oil and smeared in chocolate. At least I hope it was chocolate...

Sometimes, when running a quiz, you have to understand your function. In this instance, we were definitely there to facilitate the youngsters having a good time. Many simply wanted to eat crisps and Haribo sweeties, flirt and chat. The quiz for them was just background noise. Some of them wanted to quiz, however, and those who did, on the whole, did very well. One team, right in front of me, took everything incredibly seriously and eventually won, which was gratifying. The team which wrote “I’ve just peed my pants” for every answer in the last round, I’m pleased to say, lost!

I’m back to writing Nene again. The version of the composition which is being performed in Peterborough and Northampton in early 2018 is twice the length. It feels like an old friend, but it’s a little difficult to crack into. The piece rattles through scores of different keys, and inserting sections is proving to be a little tricky from a technical perspective. I’ll get there.


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