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(I like that word. A sharper sound than grumble.)

I've lost a book! And I hadn't finished it! I'm sure I took it out of my bag on Saturday, because it was nearly finished and I needed one with a good while still to go, so it should be in the living room, and if it isn't there (and it isn't), it should be in my room, and if it isn't there (and it isn't), surely it should be in the bathroom, and it ISN'T. Wah.
I may have to get another copy. I'm sure I could find somebody who'd take a spare Langford book off my hands if it turns up...

Also, choir last night; unsatisfactory. Spent an hour note-bashing 10 bars. And pronunciation-picking, which is even more annoying. And it's the conductor who likes lecturing us about music theory. And we're supposed to be doing two pieces, not just a capella, but With Out Music, if you please, which is pure swank on his part because there'll be other choirs there; and of course that means we have to learn them by heart, and they're both soupy swoopy Victorian hearts-and-flowers nonsense that I don't want to be stuck in my brain.
(Honestly, late-Romantic classical music had gotten so... overripe... I can see where the atonal lot were coming from- it's just a shame they went all the way from gloopy to unlistenable.)
And he keeps going on about thinking about what we're singing and putting expression into it, when it's such rubbish. I'll cresc and decresc when I'm supposed to, but TBH, be grateful I'm looking poker-faced, because if I thought about what was coming out of my mouth, the expression I'd be putting into it would be "severely raised eyebrow". (Singing in Latin is a lot easier. "Credo in unum deum, patrem omnipotentem, factori caeli et terra...."- no problem. "O snow, thou'rt white no more, Thy sparkling, too, is o'er; O soul, be as before Was bright the snow"... um yeah right what-the-fuck-ever.)
But hey. There's a nice bit of Handel, and "I was glad when they said unto me" will be pretty rousing with three choirs fortissimoing.
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Astronomnomnomy has to be the best tag ever for a cat macro
"Every now and then, I like to take a moment to actively disbelieve in Bathala, just because I can."
Adorable "Love Games" live video!

So our concert on Saturday went OK- the free one in the afternoon all fell horribly to bits after we cocked up the a capella entry on one movement of the Poulenc, but the evening one was fine (DUDE, it's exhilarating if you get it right.) The Faure's niiiice. And the Durufle motet was pretty smooth too.
The orchestra and organ did some cool things, my favourite was probably the Unexpected Cancan In A Cathedral! moment (in the overture to Offenbach's Orpheus In The Underworld, since you ask.) It was sort of... nice French music, nice French music... hang on, is that...? it is, it bloody is, here comes the refrain, look at the audience getting it, hee!

Was fairly disappointed in Russell Brand last night )
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My first meeting of the choir last night; much smaller than previous one- scary. I'm suddenly one of the best at counting, apparently, which makes no sense! Doesn't do me much good to be ready for an entrance without someone to take a pitch from... and not a male alto, either, given the choice. There are always enough altos and not enough basses, go away and stop confusing me with your head-voice!
Good to see that the Rule that the choir never looks at the conductor unless reminded every five seconds still holds, even when the conductor is tall, dark and handsome rather than stringy and balding. In this world of flux and change, some certainties are needed.
I was amused to be asked- before the rehearsal, they wouldn't have bothered after they heard the voice- if I wanted to audition for the Cathedral choir. No, really, thanks all the same.
We're doing some lovely pieces, Bach and Tippett. They didn't seem too hard to get to grips with on first acquaintance, we shall see. It was fun to be singing again, anyway.

I've wandered around town a bit more now, which was interesting, so I know where I can get embroidery thread, a pile of tatty Agatha Christies, or the fixin's for bollito misto, should the need arise. ([ profile] sigmonster, remind me to get some trotters in when you're around.) There's also a bonsai department store; all the departments, each about ten feet square- with heaps of stuff crammed in onto the shelves, and half-walls and arched doorways allowing glimpses of, say, tiny clothes next to the foodstuff section. Are they really childrens' clothes, or could they be... far away, and warping space itself to make them appear close? It's as if the whole place is under terrible pressure and some day someone's going to tread on a weak place on the threshold and there will be a crack as of prison walls breaking and it will explosively uncoil with a hideous grinding of masonry and crush half of Northgate as it rises to blot out the sun and take its rightful place among the great powers. John Lewis and Debenhams will cower before it, and its future will be read in the entrails by the Chancellor, intoning the sacred phrase "encouraging growth in the retail sector". Pleasant unto it will be the smoke of burning tax-breaks rising, yea, and an sacrifice of youths and maidens will be brought to toil in its halls, the corridors of which will stretch on forever, even unto the boundary of the unitary local authority. Longer than the walls of Meadowhall the Accursed shall stretch its sparkling windows, and higher shall it reach than the roofs of Bluewater which is in the South, and of the traffic jams of its car parks there shall be no end.

I bought a teaspoon there.
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New term this week so choir started up again yesterday; Stravinsky, Poulenc, Vaughan Williams. Spot the deliberate mistake? Yes, they're all evil modern composers whose work looks simple, but never has any patterns you can get hold of, and the key and time-signature change every other bar. Why are you so mean to us, Mr Conductor? Whyyyy not leaven it with something twiddly??? [Bambi eyes]
(And yes, a lot of the modern stuff does sound good, and yes, it can be fun to sing when you get to grips with it, and yes, it does stretch the skills. Just- a mixture of old and new is a hell of a lot easier to manage.)
On the plus side, for the first time we're singing something I've done before (the Poulenc Gloria) and it's amazing how much has come back from five years ago and how much easier it makes it.
I'll be able to go to a couple more rehearsals before I leave. Should be worth doing.
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"Thy strong right hand, with terror arm'd,
Shall thy obdurate foes dismay;
While others, by thy virtue charm'd,
Shall crowd to own thy righteous sway."

... Yeah, that'll work!

Handel's Saul. (Where the "Dead March" is from.) Keep having anachronistic thoughts like "Saul? Chill, dude." Seriously, the bloke's a nutter.
Lovely music. Should be fun. We read through all the choir bits last night, and for once at a first rehearsal it doesn't seem impossible. (That means even more stress and notebashing at later ones, probably, especially as we don't have very many this term.) Already getting earworms of bits of it, which is a good sign too.

Oh, I thought I'd have time to nip to the shop before going up to Little Venice, [1] but I think I've dithered too long. Drat.

[1] Which, as far as I can see on the map, consists of one (1) narrowboat-turning-circle place in a canal. How reminiscent of the Bridge of Sighs and St Mark's it actually is, I will find out later.


Mar. 10th, 2006 10:20 am
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Well, we told that fugue who was boss. Pity I'm missing the concert, really. It's got to the stage of rehearsals where bits of the music pop into your head all the time, which is nice when it's an enjoyable piece... (this one's OK.)

I wonder whether we'll make the conductor cry first or if he'll drive us all mad? I have to say I preferred our previous one. She remembered, for example, that we're not actually trained musicians, and therefore telling us to "resolve a chord" will get you a very ragged sound and a lot of puzzled looks. Yes, I expect your other choir can do that. They're music students. Eyeroll.


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