radegund: (Default)
I got back from rehearsal this evening (for our CONCERT on SATURDAY, which is going to be ACE, plug plug) to find that our gas boiler appears to have packed in. At least, when I tried to turn it on earlier there was a rather sickening little sound from its innards, as of something small and vital going clunk. And now there's no heat.

At least it's May (not that you'd know it from the driving drizzle outside). I hope we don't need to replace the boiler, because I'd much rather spend that money on nice tiles or a spiffy new hob or similar. Replacing the boiler is on the medium-term list - we want to get a high-efficiency one, for which there's now a grant - but if we have to do that straight away, we'll need to compromise on something else.

You know, people don't realise quite how pinchy diamond shoes can actually be.

Concert

May. 9th, 2009 11:10 pm
radegund: (swan-head)
If you're in Dublin next Saturday (16 May), why not come and hear the Mornington Singers concert in the Pro Cathedral? I have tickets for sale, if you're interested; they're also available online.

We're singing mostly modern music from Britain and America, and there's some really amazing stuff in there. Our conductor has a gift for programme choice - she seems to nail it every time.

The two settings of "When David Heard", in particular, knock my socks off. The Tomkins is lovely curly baroque, and the Whitacre is astonishing. (Mind you, I have trouble singing the words "Absalom, my son, would god I had died for thee" without my stomach turning over. This is very much the point of the story, I suppose. Probably adds to my performance...)

We're also singing Barber's Adagio for Strings, aka the Platoon theme. And we're doing the Barber piece that the choir performed at [livejournal.com profile] niallm's and my wedding in 2005: Reincarnations no. 3, "The Coolin", which I chose because its text (translated by James Stephens from the Irish of Raifteirí) gives me goose-bumps. Allow me:

Come with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat,
Or wine if it be thy will;

And we will talk until
Talk is a trouble, too,
Out on the side of the hill,
And nothing is left to do,

But an eye to look into an eye
And a hand in a hand to slip,
And a sigh to answer a sigh,
And a lip to find out a lip:

What if the night be black
And the air on the mountain chill,
Where the goat lies down in her track
And all but the fern is still!

Stay with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat
Out on the side of the hill.


Anyway. If you're into choral music at all, it'll be a fun evening. See you there?
radegund: (Default)
This week has been ... about as varied as I'm able for. Possibly more so, in fact, considering how it's ending up. But I get ahead of myself. Allow me to give you a précis:

Blow by blow )

I'd quite like a quieter week next, kthxbai.
radegund: (Default)
LEONARD COHEN last Saturday OMG OMG OMG! OMFG! He's seventy-three, and we (my sister, my parents, [livejournal.com profile] kulfuldi and I) bought our tickets largely on the basis that he almost certainly won't play in Dublin again. And he was ... just. Utterly. Stunning. He performed for three hours, and the only thing wrong with the gig, from my point of view, was that he didn't do every song he's ever recorded. And I include "Jazz Police" in that. Srsly. I mean, I wasn't exactly expecting "Teachers" or "Avalanche" or "Dress Rehearsal Rag" or "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong", but ... well, he rehabilitated "Ain't No Cure For Love" for me, which is saying something.

He didn't do many of the oldies - "Suzanne", "Bird on a Wire", "Who By Fire?" - possibly because he had a six-piece band and preferred to do the big-sound stuff he's focussed on since the 80s. But he started with "Dance Me to the End of Love", fergawdsake! And he did "I'm Your Man"! And all six verses of "Hallelujah"! And "The Future"! And "Take This Waltz"! And "Tower of Song" (featuring himself on keyboard for the plinky bit)! And "Anthem"! And and and stuff I didn't recognise but now have to buy! And a poem ("A Thousand Kisses Deep")! And then he finished up with "First We Take Manhattan", went off, came back and did a few more, finished with "Closing Time", went off, came back and started again with "I Tried to Leave You"! Ahahaha, Leonard, I see what you did there.

He had one memory lapse - sang a verse of "Democracy" twice - but other than that it was, as far as I could tell, a flawless performance. He was dressed in a grey suit and a fedora, doffed his hat and bowed slightly to receive applause, gave plenty of praise to his musicians and backing singers - in short, generally epitomised charm and gentlemanliness. (Funny line: "I last stood up on stage almost fifteen years ago. I was sixty years of age - a young man with a crazy dream...") More than that, though, he epitomised, for me, a genuinely inspiring dedication to his art. There was no posturing (OK, a little kneeling, a little dancing), no rambling patter, just understated brilliance, a straightforward delivery of songs that are still some of the most thoughtfully constructed, beautifully polished pieces of writing I've ever encountered.
radegund: (Default)
The chamber choir I sing with, the Mornington Singers, will be performing in Christ Church Cathedral this Saturday evening at 8pm. "Consider my Calling" is a programme of music written in response to war, including works by Britten, Parry, Tippett and Poulenc.

It'll be my last concert for a while (cutting it fine, at 37.5 weeks pregnant!), and I'm confident in declaring that it's going to be luscious.

Tickets will be available at the door or from me in advance, at €15 (full) and €10 (concession). 25% of the profits will go to support Trócaire's work in areas affected by war.

Plug

Apr. 4th, 2006 10:55 pm
radegund: (swan-head)
I'm really no good at the whole self-publicity thing. Should've posted this ages ago, but I've been procrastinating for no good reason.

Ahem.

*shuffles feet, collects thoughts*


Come to our concert!



That is, if you're free this Saturday, 8 April, at 8pm, and within reach of the Pro Cathedral, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, and enjoy choral music, come to our concert. It's going to be pretty good, though I say it as shouldn't. We're doing a particularly wide range of stuff (which all, mysteriously, seems to hang together), including melty Purcell, ribald Monteverdi (yeah, "die", hur-hur-hur), tongue-in-cheek Pärt (it's a setting of Jesus's lineage from the Gospel of Luke - what's not to like?), OK-somewhat-grating Ligeti (but you'll get over it), mercifully brief Wilson (although it's growing on me...), Procrustified Bach (you'll know what I mean when you hear it), swoony Kocsár, swoopy Martin, soupy Alcaraz, folk song settings in Hungarian and Ingrian Finnish, some Hogan- and Johnson- arranged spirituals, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. Did I mention the Zulu wedding song?

Tickets are €12 (full) / €6 (concession) at the door, but choir members can sell them in advance at a WHOPPINGLY REDUCED PRICE of €10 / €5.

Go on. It'd be a sin not to.
radegund: (Default)
ONE [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau is back in town! She is foxy and funny and fine, and her haircut and conversation are most excellent. Plus, I have now encountered the GOLD COWBOY BOOTS in the flesh (or rather, with the flesh in them). Mmmmmmmm. La Glitz, Oisín and I are going Down The Country this weekend, to a house of astonishing pinkness. Yay!

TWO As you may remember, I'm following The No-Cry Sleep Solution in an attempt to get Oisín to sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch. We did another monitored night on Tuesday, and it went really well. He woke up only twice. (Admittedly, the second time he howled and fretted for most of an hour, but he had nappy rash, so I don't blame him ... and anyway, this is a list of GOOD things.) His longest sleep span was only 3 hours 44 minutes, but last night he slept from 19:30 to 0:55. Like, 5 hours 25 minutes! How cool is that?

THREE I've got choir practice this evening. I've been away from my beloved chamber choir for more than a year, and I've really missed it. We started back last week, and the rehearsal went really well. My sight-reading is a little rusty, but I'm still well able to hold my own. The programme for this term seems scrumptious. Happy dances.

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