Thursday, 7 May 2009

United I stand

Silence is golden after all. The mobile phone has been firmly shut away in my drawer for one month now, and with no calamities to speak of. No piercing shrieks in the morning from the built-in alarm clock. Daylight wakes me now.

The occasions where I've needed to call someone, or have someone call me, I set aside some time when I was ready, and made or took the call in the comfort of my chambers.

People have often tried to get hold of me urgently for various reasons, but have had to either work it out themselves or call someone I'm with. Both ways are prime examples of devolved responsibility. I feel entirely comfortable with this new, albeit, minor freedom, and intend on continuing in this fashion.

My father on the other hand, a man of reasonably advanced years, who has written hand letters well into the 90s, and typed letters on Word Processors well into the 00s (all in capitals I might add) is now telling me he wants to "get on the net".

As I slowly turn away from the vulgarities of the 21st century he'd spoken of my whole life, he sees the false light of global communication as a portal to a more fulfilling world.

I was so ready to embrace him. To pen a letter on parchment with quill and squid ink, and ecstatically confirm "Dad, you were right! You were right all along!".

Who now will clasp me to their bosom in solidarity? United I stand. Alone.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

For the love of music

I have just returned from a free lunchtime concert in the new hall in Lincoln's Inn, just by Chancery Lane. As usual, it was breathtakingly brilliant, with some of the best young musicians in the world, if not the country. Today's concert comprised of violinist Zhanna Tonaganyan and pianist Yulia Vorontsova, both from Russia, playing Mozart's "Sonata B-dur", Liszt's "Tarantella", and Glazunov's "Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 82".

Also quite staggering is the fact that there were just 10 people in the audience. Last night I went to Ronnie Scott's for the first time to see John Surman. As much as I like Surman, and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere of the legendary venue, I couldn't quite get over the exclusiveness of it all. Ronnie's was as far as I could see, sold out, despite the cheapest ticket costing £30. On a Tuesday night.

This brings me to the usual conclusion that the public, tragically, only trust certain media for their sources of entertainment. Established venues pull in crowds simply because they've been doing it for a long time and people believe in the prestigious nature of the venue. The thought is something like this: "If they're playing there, then they must be good". This is quite simply, not the case.

For the love of music, I implore you to go and see one of these free concerts at Lincoln's Inn. Not only have they sparked a burgeoning interest in classical music in me and provided a grounding in that genre, but they have been some of the best concerts I've had the great fortune to witness in the past year.
For details of the upcoming concerts, see this programme.