Work reached warp speed on Monday, as various projects came up for completion: cue two days’ frantic juggling of hefty spreadsheets and Eastern European cardiologists. (The spreadsheets were certainly very large; it brings me a certain amount of satisfaction to imagine that the cardiologists were, too.)
To wind down, I thought I’d take in some culture. Yshani’s concert on Monday evening, which I’d naively pitched to myself as a relaxing evening of contemporary song, saw me sitting next to an enormously fat man wearing a three-piece pinstripe suit in the otherwise empty front row of the stalls, watching a (doubtless talented) Catalan pianist coaxing harmonics from a repeated, ear-splittingly loud B natural, and praying for a perfect cadence.
(Explanatory note: a perfect cadence is the part of a piece of normal-sounding music that tells you when to start clapping. Bom, BOM. Etcetera. Interesting though it was, there were no bom BOMs in this particular concert. Luckily, I had bought a programme and with this my new friend and I were able to lead the audience in applause at appropriate intervals.*)
On Tuesday, I rushed late from work to the first Canticum rehearsal of the season. Our forthcoming programmes (‘Bach and the German Tradition’ and ‘Bach and the Double Choir Tradition’) are so exciting I can barely breathe, and not just because of the asthma. I found out at Tuesday’s rehearsal that Canticum’s official constitution actually states the choir’s obligation to uphold the works of JS Bach. Brilliant. Then, halfway through the rehearsal, I found out that I’d left my keys in the office, which meant that instead of having a relaxing catch-up with the Cantiladies I had to rush back to Ealing to meet my long-suffering father and his spare set of keys.
Luckily, today I left work at a normal time and was able to schedule a grown-up evening of writing, laundry and cooking. I even managed to sing through some more of the Bach motets and Mahler’s exquisite Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen. Seriously, these concerts (at Holy Trinity Sloane Square and St Martin-in-the-Fields) are going to be amazing. And then Voce is doing an exciting Passion Sunday Passions concert. The next couple of months’ singing will be OH JESUS I LEFT THE BATH RUNNING OVER FORTY MINUTES AGO I’VE BEEN FAFFING ABOUT CROONING AND WASHING UP AND WONDERING WHY THE WATER WAS SO COLD AND ALL THE TIME THE BATH HAS BEEN SILENTLY OVERFLOWING AND PROBABLY DROWING ZEINA DOWNSTAIRS OH GOD OH GOD WHY WHY THE NEIGHBOURS ALREADY HATE ME ENOUGH I SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO LIVE ALONE I WANT MY MUM
* This isn’t true: the concert was superb. Yshani’s playing was as incandescent as ever, the soprano she accompanied was in wonderful voice and radiant in her Terracotta Dress, and the Catalan pianist blinded himself when the B natural key splintered, lodging itself deep in his skull.