Three evenings, three outings. Planet Angel on Friday, introducing good friends to one of my favourite places. Mutual bigging up (which yes, I started :-)) a little bit of dancing, a lot of conversation and warmth. Having my lovely girl realise that PA is based next to the yard featured as one of the encounters in The Getaway (after the 20th time we'd both walked past it).
Saturday started with a cafe breakfast (although I'm informed by our resident Ilfordian that it's pronounced caff) and then disappeared into a haze of DVDs and chatting as the afternoon wended its way slowly past outside. Bad Wolf was broached (though I'm not sure what was on screen counts as an explanation, and that's all I'm saying given that a lot of my friends still haven't seen the latest Dr. Who) and then All The Chinese Food In The World was eaten in honour of 4 birthdays; westernind
and Roo WINOLJ. The table was split into near equal halves as the vegetarians congregated at one end and the omnivores at the other, for ease of sharing. It was quite suprising to me that so many of my friends are now vegetarian - I suppose I knew, but seeing the table split so equally really brought it home.
From Chinese meal to world music - 5 brave adventurers departed late into the evening to Hackney, and the 291 Gallery for Whirl-y-gig. Whirly and Planet Angel share many things in common, but one thing that struck me particularly over the weekend was the amount of people who refer to them as 'my club' - both seem to engender a sense of ownership in the people who attend; something that's deliberate on their parts. Planet Angel refers to itself as a party, and the visitors as party guests rather than clubbers. Whirly has much the same attitude. It makes them, to my mind, two of the friendliest clubs I've been to, and I guess that's why I keep going.
And then Sunday. Sunday was Mozart's Requiem. There were two orchestral Mozart pieces before the main event (though apparantly the woman playing the piano for the Piano Concherto was very famous - certainly she was very good, but she wasn't who I was there to see and listen to.)
I have a particular love for the human voice - I read somewhere many years ago that every musical instrument is doing its best to mimic the voice and frankly, in my opinion, none come close. The fact that this was the Levin rescoring of the Requiem, rather than the Sussmeyer version, which is the more familiar score, was exciting enough. My problem with Sussmeyer is the orchestra, and (weirdly) specifically the french horns; lumpy soft instruments that let the voices sink into them rather than bouncing them up to the sky.
And I was blown away.
The choir were magnificent; there wasn't one note that was less than exceptional. I tried to pick out a single thread of voice in the Great Amen and couldn't follow it because I kept getting distracted by the other threads wizzing past, weaving into a massive rope of sound that you could tether the Queen Mary with. During the Dies Irae the Altos spat one word out and then sucked the next one back in creating an echo and a hollow sound for the word to disappear into; angry, fearful - and the sort of effect that someone would find it hard to reproduce with a sequencer and a load of electronic equipment.
The Kyrie raised the hairs on the back of my neck. The Lacrimosa made me cry.
Lacrimosa dies illaSorrowful that day
qua resurget ex favilla,when from the dust will arise
judicandus homo reusguilty man to be judged
Huic ergo, parce, DeusSpare him therefore, O God
Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem, Amen.Good Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Amen
Thank you to all that made it there; too many to list.
My weekend was spent in the company of my friends and those I love.
How does it get better than that?