Hotel Acceptable Of The Notionally Italian Kind, Chapel Hill, NC.
Oh no! The Shrimp Tail threatens! Directly in front of this desk is an Appleby’s Food Provider of Dangerous Dishes. Somewhere within its kitchen a shrimp is being prepared with sharpened & intact tail, ready to dis-uvulate an unwary diner.
Coffee provider of the morning: a Caribou close to the hotel. A woman’s group was meeting at a large table, shouting loudly & repeatedly at each other. My assumption: this conduct was expressive of amity & felicitations.
Elgar & Elgar again this morning, the musical Elgar on Happy Gigster Noise Cancellation Headphones. These are a lesser form than the Boise Beasts, but are also more portable: the Boise carry-case is large, round & rigid, not ideal for easy carrying. Sitting adjoining a women’s group in full flight is a major test of any noise cancellation system, and a challenge that should be written into the manuals. I am enjoying the multiple-Englishness of E&E, and much of me is resonating with time, place & persons; and it is interesting to move listening between orchestral Elgar & the coffee shop symphony.
Now, file under Spooky Or What? Alternatively, it is impossible to escape our circle of connections, aka Six Degress of Limitation…
According to Portrait of Elgar by Michael Kennedy, in 1898 Elgar considered writing music based on Maurice Hewlett’s hit book of the year The Forest Lovers.
Maurice Hewlett lived at King’s Old Rectory in Broad Chalke, 200 yards from the DGM HQ front door, and by All Saints’ Church where Soundscapes were performed on January 14th 2006 and are available for download from DGM Live.
Back to my room, in this hotel that is notionally Italianate (Aspirationally Italian is more accurate) over the bed are two architectural prints that imply the theme…
We may note that they are not hung on quite the same horizontal, although I have rebalanced them to closer approximate to the vertical. The print on the right…
… is of the archway to Wilton House.I drive by this archway on the way to DGM HQ in Broad Chalke, 6 miles distant. WiltonChurch, very much in the influence of earlier Pembrokes, is genuinely & exceptionally Italianate. Actually, it doesn’t look like an English parish church at all. It is where RF & The League of Crafty Guitarists played 2 evenings in early 1987, traveling there from the Red Lion House, with Tony Arnold responsible for recording. Elizabeth Bennett was in the audience one evening & Paul Richards of The CGT had a howling feedback, wonderfully unaware that it was coming from his guitar. This was a charity performance, precipitated by the Mayor of Wilton, who wasn’t there. The promotion was sufficient to ensure there were probably more people in the LCG than the nave of the church.
So there: aka How to Escape The Endless Repercussions Of The Conditioned World?
Meanwhile, in the bathroom…
This picture demonstrates the difficulty of establishing a horizontal plane. If we take the towel rail as a more or less horizontal, then how could the mirror possibly be considered as approximating to the horizontal? My friendly laundry provider of Red Hanger Cleaners, who prides himself on the quality of his service, would be horrified at this piece of work.
Also in the bathroom: a new Happy Gigster Toiletry Bag…
14.01An e-flurry that almost counts as an e-frenzy.
22.47Tonight’s venue: Carrboro Arts Center, SC, which had a very helpful staff.
Looking left from the stage…
Overall, a very supportive, generous audience. Overall.
Right at the beginning, as I was about to play, a red light buzzed my eyes and then – the flash! Astonishing. In this arts centre, with a mostly mature audience, there were clear indications that photography was a not, and yet there it was: right at the opening notes of the opening performance of the Soundscapes Do Dixie tour.
But even a supportive & generous audience has difficulties listening to unfamiliar music that isn’t readily accessible. And so the coughing began after 15-20 minutes. For the performer, this is a reliable sign that it’s time to move on. However, the performer also accepts the responsibility to hold the space while music unfolds in its own time, regardless of its reception. So, some 15 minutes into the developing coughing, it was time for the Q&A.
Then right at the beginning of the Q&A, once again – the same woman with the same concern to take a photo. But it’s not flash! she protested, demonstrating a willingness to use evasion & prevarication to avoid responsibility for her intentional, selfish & inappropriate behaviour. Despite this, a well-humoured audience with questions of moderate necessity; possibly none of which I would have answered were I to have had 10 minutes to live.
Then, a final piece, a whole tone scale that morphed into A major.
Now back at the hotel, listening to BBC Radio 4 news online.
23.54A different approach with
the slideshow this evening, based on reports from audients of varying degrees
of familiarity with Soundscapes. Those who were mostly unfamiliar preferred the
pix; those who were deeply familiar preferred not to have representational
images, as distracting to their musical experience. So, concrete images for
walk-on & Q&A; abstract graphics for the musicking.
Biff Blumfumgagne’s pix of this evening (courtesy of Beeftone.com):