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Inspired by [personal profile] biascut although not actually answer her question, the first of probably many 'treats' on the subject of music.


It’s December. It’s snowing. I need to phone a man about a Christmas carol.

I don’t associate Christmas music with seasonal weather. Even if you’re just working a concert platform you start planning Christmas music in September, before the last of the summer sun has set behind the rehearsal room. And you record music for commercial Christmas release at the height of summer.

I associate carols most strongly with beating summer sun, with the smell of fresh-cut grass, with the shadowed interiors of suburban churches where in the bleak midwinter that we’re singing about the lack of any form of heating would be miserable; but on this hot July afternoon (scorching, melting, dripping summer clichés) the holy chill of the stonework is something of a relief.

That first time, behind schedule, I was banished to the graveyard for youth and inexperience, sat on tombstones in the beating summer sun kicking my heels and complaining. The church warden had chosen that afternoon to mow the lawn, and we had to wait out the roar of the strimmers and rotors.

We got to number three in the classical charts, later.

At university. A church by the beach of a tiny Italian town somewhere south of Genoa; an intricate black and white stonework affair that absorbed the heat as much as it reflected it. The church’s interior was unexpectedly hot and airless; strange, under the height of vaulted ceilings to feel suffocated. The Mediterranean sparkled like stained glass; the stained glass was absent, tiny slits of windows open to the elements did not let in the air or let out the heat. No one fainted; a miracle. We wore our swimming costumes to record in, and renaissance polyphony made the still air shimmer, like a heat mirage; the chords catching the resonances of the building so perfectly that the harmonic series thrummed in our ears and the recording equipment captured notes that nobody but the stonework was singing. Beautiful, poetic, holy, wonderous – in a live performance. Less useful on a commercial CD. We transposed, and tried again.

Date: 2010-12-01 04:22 pm (UTC)
ext_901: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
<3<3<3 Gorgeously written.

Date: 2010-12-01 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Loved this. Thank you.


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July 2011

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