I was back in London on Sunday morning for another session at the organ bench, again feeling good to be back, again feeling that somehow Oliver Cromwell had managed to get his way after all. One of my favourite Cromwell facts is that despite his abhorrence of all things uplifting he nevertheless managed to ensure that his daughter’s wedding was replete with entertainment and music.
Well, it is a good job that we have progressed since then to a place where one rule for those in power and another for the underlings is no longer an issue, and we can rub along in sure knowledge that we are all in this together, a Dunkirk spirit. Or do we instead love our freedom too much? It seems to change from day to day, but no point grousing about it.
If I seem a little grumpy about the whole thing once more it is because, well, it is hard to see a quarter of a church cordoned off, to work with singers who do not know when their next work is coming, and to be in services with only a minimal and barely functional amount of music. There have also been sporadic articles over the weekend about research into singing and Covid, but, folks, it’s October now, and this has been going on for months.
I believe quite strongly that one cannot control many events but can control one’s reactions to them, even if this latter part can be difficult, so while it remains the case that we live in a clamped down world I am trying to react to it as positively and as proactively as possible, but I still think that some other reactions have been a little muddled, to put it very, very kindly indeed. It seems to have turned from “we’re all in this together” to “every one for themselves”, and I think – no, I know that this could have been different.
So, yes, while performing music live makes me remember quite why it is such a magical thing, it also makes me think about the state of the industry and the way it seems as if it is generally being held as fine and dandy to let it wither on the vine. Already we are looking ahead to December, to whether concerts and carol services and the like are viable (to use the current buzzword), and it is not good to think that in March it seemed like this would last three weeks while here in October we suspect that we are in it for the longest of long hauls, not good at all.