Bleeker Street, Carta Cantata, Choral Diplomacy, Dame Stella Rimington, Intersection, Louis Theroux, Parliament Choir, Westminster Hall
After a day of driving around the more upmarket parts of sarf London, taking broken bits of house to the tip and donating the salvageable bits to a charity shop, I sat down in the evening, watched Louis Theroux (a fellow Magdalen alumnus) put some unsuspecting victims to the gentle sword on iPlayer and cast my thoughts over the Atlantic to Bleeker Street where Intersection was receiving its first performance. I think I shall go in for more of those submissions when the time presents itself.
Although things should, in theory, be calming down now for the summer, it feels as if this week has been busier than ever. I am still carving away at the broad granite of the Carta Cantata, struggling to expose the finer details, all the while juggling various other matters, professional and domestic, so it does feel as if the wheels keep spinning ever faster.
Tomorrow morning on Radio 4 there is a documentary called Choral Diplomacy, which will document the build up to last month’s concert in Westminster Hall which included a combined choir of the UK and Bundestag Parliaments. I will be interested to hear what the people involved make of it, and I am gently amused to find myself mentioned in the programme description, although if that photograph at the top is not a sitter for a caption competition, I don’t know what is.
I am slightly concerned at what the angle of the programme might be, and also at how they will have edited together my utterly rambling thoughts on Anglo-German unity, the nature of the Parliament Choir, and music in England from 1830 to the present day (which I think I got through in about thirty seconds). For the record, I only mentioned my own piece under duress, to point out that the concert did not include music only by German composers, and I hope that the recording shows this.
My experience with the broadcast media has generally been good, however, because, of course, they have to put out what you said, although the editing and context might change (which brings us nicely back to Louis). The printed media are another matter altogether, and many is the time I have viewed something in print attributed to me which has been wholly fictional. I once heard Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, give a speech, and at the end she summed up by saying “…and never, ever believe what you read in the papers” – amen to that, I thought.
Alex Stevenson said:
Hi Nick, I do hope your concerns were allayed on listening to the programme! Sorry we couldn’t feature ‘Of All Persons’ – we wanted the focus to be very much on the WW1 stuff and Anglo-German relations. Your analysis was, frankly, excellent.
Hello Alex – yes, my concerns were indeed allayed. It was a truly excellent programme, superbly put together. I had no idea how you were going to concentrate all the material you had gathered into just half an hour, but it really could not have been better. Many, many thanks and sincere congratulations.