Friday, 23 December 2011

Michael and Music

One very odd thing in life this year is hearing strange stories, unknown to me till recently,  about Michael. 

One concerns computers. There were 14 in the house when he died along with as many ,if not more, keyboards and mice, many still in their original boxes. We are now down to 5 plus a laptop which is a great improvement and I hope to get down to three shortly. Anyway, the more important computers run LINUX, not Mr Gates's offerings, and I know nothing about Linux. So when I needed help, an old friend of Michael's came round and sorted it out. I complained bitterly to him about the lack of notes from Michael. I always keep a hardback notebook with details of my computers and its programs in it (Mine are all Microsoft anyway). Richard laughed and said ' I worked for Mike for 15 years and he never kept written notes. It was all in his head'. That may explain the lack of info but it's not helpful. A bit startling though. I never knew that.

The other story concerns the chaplain at Malvern Community Hospital who  is a middle-aged lady with a fine taste in knitwear. I never saw her with the same multicoloured cardigan  on twice. She was very good at her job and I saw her dealing with several people with real problems.but never saw her talking to Michael. One day she approached Michael in bed and he said 'I warn you that I am a devout atheist' and she said ' It's the 'devout' that matters not the 'atheist', Now, shall we have a good row about religion or shall we discuss something else?' This story I got from some one else.  But although Michael was an atheist, it did not stop him liking church music. Byrd's masses were a particular favorite of his.  My tastes are a bit different.

I was reminded of all this by what has been on offer on Radio 3 this week. It started with Palestrina's Mass Sancta Maria which is one of the greatest and last night we had Bach's Christmas Oratorio which is another of the greatest. I was brought up on Peter Schrierer's version which uses a very small choir. Once we were in Munich for Christmas and went to their annual performance of the Christmas Oratorio at the Symphony Hall and it was upsettingly dreadful, mainly because they had an enormous choir and, dare I say it, some of the solists were not much cop. Well last night's was up there with the best, a small choir from  Trinity College and first rate solists.    There are moments when  I wonder if all these composers, not to mention painters, had something and maybe I am wrong. 

I am working my way through Victoria's complete works at the moment.  The same remark applies to him. They have a fine choir and choral scholars at Worcester Cathedral. Maybe I should go there more often. 

On the textile side, yesterday I made up all the rest of dye solutions which have been emptied and the garage table now holds a pile of stuff ready to go to Dundee next week. I am taking the Guild's 12 shaft loom and have wound one warp and half another for it. The Megado warp is finished and I might start threading up today but first I must finish the paperwork. How come I need to spend so much time on paperwork?

Another bout of cooking is required.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Christmas to you, and wishes for a wonderful New Year. Have fun in Dundee - not too much work!



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.