And she’s off again, dismantling the treasures from her sweet Camden bedroom. Postcards and posters peeled off, books taken off for light to shine on the dusty shelves. Staring at this four-walled shell one comes to realise how even the scrubbiest of flats can always become beautiful with human inspiration.
Did I just die in the stalls. If my pores were eyes they would have been crying crystals, and I would have made sacred offering of them for the Gods on stage.
Knowing I’m a puppet
bobbing along the canal,
Someone’s pulling on the strings
controlling my wheres and hows.
I feel I have some say
on how to hold my arms.
Even at the mercy and sway
of unforeseen harms.
I can resist
the forces in my wrist,
but not enough to break that solid grip.
I can’t find you in me.
But, I hear your footsteps!
Pounding the balcony.
Somehow it’s much more simple
to style myself in ink
than play those notes,
and hear my voice
in the sink.
I’ll wait for notes – Enter my head!
– but hear these words instead.
I seem to love notes
less (much less)
than muttering words in bed.
Don’t get trapped within yourself.
I’ll look beyond my eyes.
I feel much safer on the page
than in my musical lies.
I feel more present when I write
than when I play violin.
I feel like I can show the world
the girl that lives within
the spectacles and photographs
suffering from lethargy,
until words come to rescue her.
Since I read Kate Tempest
I can’t help but rhyme my words,
and structure them in rhythms.
Pretty chirping birds.
Poise, bend, analyse
disciple with strong knees.
How to best move through the air
to get to where you want to be.
You have your Way,
I’ve my coffee (and cigarettes
zipped in my bag) it’s
all I have,
plus this green pen,
to fly through life
with the skills and brain
and body, we have
to get that ball
to hit your bike
parked in the corner of the world.
Poise, bend, analyse
Trace the process step by step.
That’s technique! Joyce ‘Donato said
to the young soprano, Mix and mix
inside the stomach. Open!
The snake of air whose trajectory
must not, by unnecessary
bits in your mouth
and mind and body, be
Legato vowels, then go go go
and follow through be Ursula the
villain who is you on the stage,
for there is only true
and only false,
and everyone can see when you are true,
and everyone can see when you’re not you,
says, Tap-Tap-Tap the racket and the ground
going ’round the ball to contain it in two
worlds, but the ball just giggles
away, pulls her tongue out and says,
Imma listen to the man,
so let me roll
and let me play!
Come ON, yells the samurai
when he fails to shape the sky he wants.
Gotta listen to the man, says the ball, You see,
‘cos he wants his stripe of movement to fall.
he performs for me now? says she.
Stabs her dagger in the bench,
Smells her own blood’s stench.
Written to be read aloud. Inspired by a man practising tennis in Cartwright Gardens called Tom, and Joyce DiDonato YouTube videos.
Friday 21.04.17 – 10.27AM
I’ve just submitted a law essay which I believe has redirected me onto the path to Enlightenment, and I need to stop everything that I’m doing in order to write down what’s in my head. Brace yourselves…
And then he said to me, ‘Isn’t it funny we’re all just people walking around trying to put on appearances. . .’
‘I’m gonna grow a moustache and start smoking. It’s just another way to meet new people.’
Location: On the 9-hour plane from Helsinki to Guangzhou
My happiness of the weekend has diminished a little after reading someone’s written words. The good memories on- and off-stage, regardless of their emotive strength and permanence, are now partially smudged out by one particular 5-star review about our BBC Prom – quite ironic I know. Sadly, some of the review was not written in the right way, and I thus feel guilty for enjoying our success and accepting the praise. It also brought my attention to an even bigger issue – NYOS and Scotland’s reputation that has been largely ignored in the classical music scene.
These thoughts have been brewing in my mind ever since I read it, muffling the glorious music I saw performed this weekend. Believe me it really takes a lot to beat Petrushka, Scythian Suite and The Rite of Spring. So, I am going to let it out.
The disappointing words were from David Nice, writing on behalf of The Arts Desk a joint review on both the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Prom and the NYOS Prom. Many nice things were said for both orchestras. He lauded them both. He rightly recognised the potential, standard and professionalism of NYOS that have been ignored for far too long by the BBC Proms and everyone else. NYOGB was given a much-deserved 4-stars. However, a few sections render it a distasteful comparative analysis of two fantastic youth orchestras, which bothers me quite a lot. I speak out against it as a young Scottish musician, as an alumnus, friend and former intern of NYOGB, as a friend to some of its current musicians, and finally as Leader of NYOS Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading
Wake up, wake up …
I wrote my final thank you card today and accepted the fact that I was going to cry very, very badly and uncontrollably in the violin shop. I buzzed the door, entered and greeted the lovely receptionists. Also there, by chance, was the lady who had made all of this happen. She was attending to another violinist – American, I think, judging from her accent – and took a tiny second to recognise me in my granny glasses and state of exhaustion.
Oh dear, I thought, this tragedy’s going to have an audience.
Edinburgh – 03.04.16
The clock reads 02:59AM and my train is at 07:33AM, but my mind continues to reel round between my temples the pages of music that I don’t know, and my heartbeat is running away. I have tried every corner of the bed. I’ve crooked my back into countless different angles, spread my arms out under the pillows, listened to the radio, gone to the toilet, drank water …
The tiny doll in pink glasses and bubbly ringlets looked up at me from her chair, with eyes as bright as the light of summer waters. Her two dainty yet hasty hands fluttered at me. I obeyed and crouched down to face-level.
“Hm?” I said. Even closer! said her hands and eyes, so I leaned the side of my head towards her ready to receive the secret. A whispered gift. She moved forward to my ear and curled her hands into a hollow by my cheek. A few seconds of silence; I heard no whisper. Then, from the stillness came the quietest, softest, smallest kiss in the world.
A cherry-blossom petal had fallen and was floating on the water.