About the Choir
Sing With Us
The author hasn’t time to write much just now, and busy readers will not have time to read much. So we’ll text you. This medium is ideal for keeping the fingers busy while allowing the brain plenty of time to catch up. It also comes with ready-made jargon and clichés (remember CB radio?). If you’re reading this on a WAP phone: ha ha. Full English translation is provided for our older readers.
RECENT CONCERT: ST. JOHN’S PASSION AT ST. JOHN’S, SMITH SQUARE
On Palm Sunday, the choir’s first large-scale concert under our new-ish musical director Jeremy Jackman was a great success according to most. We were pleased to be the subject of two newspaper reviews (well, one we were pleased with and one we were not). The Independent compared us favourably with another Passion in town that evening. The Evening Standard included the statement that “the clashing semitones bit like rusty nails”. This may read like a criticism but we would point out that semitones are meant to clash, and that the average rusty nail has so few teeth that it would struggle to bite at all. So this may mean that the semitones did not actually clash as they should have done, which would indeed be A Bad Thing. The church was nearly full so our bankruptcy prevention department was happy. :-)
Jeremy has instituted a Save James Gilchrist From Starvation poorbox into which we are urged to throw small change at rehearsals. The idea is that by Palm Sunday 2003 we will be able to afford his fee for the St Matthew Passion without having to skimp on other soloists. :-D
Chchstr+ Rctl n Evnsng
EVEN MORE RECENT PERFORMANCES: CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL
It is usual in the summer for us to venture outside the M25. On 2 Jun, we started our peregrinations with a busy day at Chichester Cathedral, Sussex. First, a lunchtime recital of fairly modern English music (by Vaughan Williams, Naylor, Britten & Elgar). Much of this was written for specific buildings: Canterbury Cathedral, St Paul’s London and King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. Having apologised for lack of authenticity, Jeremy was quick to point out that it would probably sound better in Chichester Cathedral. O:-)
The audience was somewhat sparse, but perhaps many potential listeners were mistakenly in the church opposite, St. Toad of the Blessed Slurp. However, this exhibited some tell-tale un-cathedral-like features, including giant TV screens, food menus and a very wide variety of communion beverages. Also had no spire, so not much excuse really. :-9
Then the choir sang Evensong, standing in for the holidaying cathedral choir. \o/
WORKSHOP AT CHELMSFORD, 25 FEB
This was a first for the Choir: not just a performance, but also a workshop led by Jeremy. The serious business went very well by most accounts, though the weekend was memorable also for the most dangerous mixture of drinks in Harlow, and for the most dangerous candle act of 2001 (by one of our female members). =><8(-:E
Patrick and Jayne will be moving soon to Norway for a couple of years, and for some reason they did not want to take their aquavit with them. Nor their Bols, Martini, vodka, wine, advocaat, absinthe and Guinness. So they generously brought those along for us to finish off. If you mix those all together you will have what is known as a “Moathouse Sludge” (parasol & cherry optional), and later a very bad hangover. And the first recorded instance of a minibar with more contents than it started with. %-(
Mary W set fire to her music at evensong. Well, if the candles weren’t bright enough, something had to be done. =-o
All in all the weekend was wicked. >:-1
The next excursion is not only beyond the M25 but beyond the English Channel. The EBC will visit Tournon-sur-Rhône in early July, to participate in the Festival d’Art Polyphonique. There will be a warm-up gig at St. Mark’s, Marylebone 2 Jul, to which our Friends and Patrons are cordially invited. Actually, wine will be served, though there will probably be cordial also.
The first concert of next season will be at St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge, on Sat 3 Nov, featuring works by Purcell & Finzi.
DISTANT DIARY DATES
Christmas concert Sat 15 Dec, St Cyprians, Glentworth Street (nr Baker Street).
Och aye the noo (this is not txtish, this is Scottish). Burns Night will be celebrated by the choir social circle on Sat 26 Jan 2002.
Following the success of the Chelmsford workshop weekend, a similar event is planned for Portsmouth Cathedral 9-10 Feb 2002. LOsAlr
MARCH 2002, ST. JOHN’S SMITH SQUARE
The programme will be Mozart’s Requiem, Salieri’s Mass in D and Allegri’s Miserere. BthråB2
ENGAGEMENT WITH A VIEW TO MATRIMONY
Tobin (who lists his skills on the choir register as “standing up straight”; or perhaps that’s only one of them) has become engaged to Elizabeth. They are both lawyers, so I’m saying quamdiu se bene gesserit. In fact, I’m only allegedly saying that, or whereas anything in the aforegoing or subsequent text shall be construed as anything other than what I meant, by any party or parties, then it doesn’t.
RU30? we R
CHOIR MEMBERSHIP AGEING
There is a worrying outbreak of 30th birthdays: Angela, Mary, David, Simon, Tom at the last count. Good for parties though.:-)))
QUIZ NIGHT: SWOTS WIN AGAIN
Hilary’s team was again victorious, but as the evening raised about £250 for choir funds, no one is complaining much. 8-)
Some readers will of course be already in our website www.ebc.org.uk, but if not… It has been revamped (as we say in the vamping business), and is now even cooler, funkier and more relational than ever. Surfers can search our concerts and repertoire, which is particularly useful if people such as your workmates or mother ask what you’ve been singing / listening to. You can now do better than “oh some stuff, you know, this and that”.
Check it out! Or if you haven’t time, check-out assistants are available in all major supermarkets.
Also, afficionados of the choral genre [get on with it Ed.] may be interested in a relatively new website for choirs, www.gerontius.net, featuring concert searches, discussions and FAQs. My Q “why are some notes filled in black and others have a white centre?” does not appear to be FA, so I’ll have to try the discussion board.
Ears of a clown
EARN £££s IN YOUR SPARE TIME: MUSIC CRITICISM INTRODUCTORY COURSE
Music lovers. Make your voice heard. Don’t be intimidated by the impenetrable nonsense you read about your fave gigs ‘n’ albums in the so-called “quality press” and ”glossy magazines”. Write your own reviews, and perhaps make a comfortable living on the side enabling you to give up your day job.
You will need:
the word kit below; and
five dice (or the ability to remember five throws of a single die etc etc).
Throw the dice, and write on a piece of paper the word or phrase from list A corresponding to the sum of the number of dots on the top face of the dice. Repeat with list B then with list C.
Repeat ABC as above on the next line of the paper, until you have 70% the number of words required in the review. If the same words keep coming up, throw again (readers notice this kind of thing). Now insert the names of the venue and participants, and those of any other performances with which you want to make comparisons, in what seems like the most appropriate places. Then fill up to the total number of words required with suitable prepositions, conjunctions etc. You will also need a few verbs, mostly “played”, “sang” and “sounded”. Don’t forget to use plenty of semicolons, and go easy on those full-stops.
Scan the contents of your paper into a computer (laptop or smaller) using OCR software, correct all the mis-scanned words, then email it to all national newspapers using a satellite or mobile phone. And wait for the cheques to roll in!
Music Criticism Elementary WordKit
21. not at all
5. tour de force
6. pile de merde
7. plagal cadences
8. tierce de Picardie
10. contrapuntal filigree
11. rhetorical overload
13. if you ask me, stands to reason, innit?
14. tumultuous finale
15. like wet crowds on a muddy road
17. cataclysm of unfettered decibels
18. not to put too fine a point on it
24. like rusty nails
25. abbatoir noises
26. fragility of reverberation
27. in the manner of a middle-aged unmarried female primary school music teacher in an industrial part of the East Midlands
30. as though they’d just staggered out of a pub.
An advanced course is in preparation which will enable you to bring a truly professional feel to your reviews. You will learn sarcasm, opacity, pomposity, imagery, pretension, Booker-grade metaphor and even more unusual and foreign words.
EBC newsletter 3.rtf v1.0 Neil Thompson 03 Jun 2001
Any comments or suggestions for future issues gratefully (?) received at email@example.com