Good grief. Late Junction on Radio 3 is playing The Leatherwing Bat.* I wonder how many other drought-oppressed inhabitants of bat nurseries are twitching in anticipation of a very wingy season.
* * *
Okay. The day has been a success. I hit the frelling A. Repeatedly.* Although Griselda was back this week so it didn’t really matter if anyone else hit it or not. Still, one has one’s pride.
Thursdays are now a bit fraught since I have handbells and choir practise, and while dirty dishes in the sink** don’t necessarily give me a nervous breakdown*** still I prefer to get the uneaten food† put away and the four†† tea mugs washed up as soon as people leave. It’s not the dirty-dishes aspect that’s the problem. But four††† mugs looks like it might have been . . . gasp . . . a social occasion. In my house? Now that’s nervous-breakdown fodder. And then as soon as I hang up my rubber gloves hellhounds must be emphatically hurtled‡ and finally, with more luck than foresight, five minutes at the piano singing ee oo ee oo ee oo ee. Where’s that frelling A. Gotcha.
I was much happier with Vivaldi
I would love to sing more Vivaldi. We’re singing just the first part of the Gloria. This was supposed to be for the wedding and was then pulled . . . but we’re still learning it. There was some hilarity tonight over plans to wedge the doors shut and put a bag over the head of the family member who has stolen our Gloria’s slot to sing some inadequate solo, and do it anyway. More prosaically I believe Ravenel is planning to add it to the programme for the summer concert. Have I mentioned recently that we still have no idea what the programme for the summer concert is? I feel like a lab rat. Here, eat/drink/press this. Never mind why.
Schumann is unrelentingly emo.
I would like emo if I could put it over. I’m still at the ‘try not to look like you’re being tortured’ stage. Sigh.
And I’m being pushed at the entire “Frauen-Liebe und Leben”, starting with this one…and I think it’s a bad match. Maybe when I was fifteen or so, but now?
You at fifteen? You are trying to tell me you weren’t a snarling, ass-kicking feminist at fifteen? I did the snarling—and the humourless—and the feminism, but I was way too afraid of my own shadow to attempt any ass-kicking. Aside from the fact that I’ve had a tricky back my entire life and would probably merely have dislocated myself.
At one week from sixty-seven? It’s absurd….German ideas of womanhood…not me. Not me at all.
Double sigh. No one in their right mind, however teeny, would push me at this incredibly huge and complex song cycle . . . about which I feel rather the way I feel about Verdi’s Falstaff: I’m so glad I don’t understand German/Italian so I can just listen to the music. I find the story behind ‘A Woman’s Life and Loves’ repellent in the extreme‡‡ and, because there’s still some of that humourless fifteen-year-old feminist about me even now, I think it calls into doubt the whole pretty fairy-tale of the relationship between Robert and Clara. Interesting that they had eight children and she didn’t actually get much composing done, did she? I always wonder about why she didn’t manage to visit him at the asylum. About what thoughts might have been going through her mind, consciously or unconsciously, after they carted him off the last time, like, I wonder if he’s managed to give me syphilis? Or any of the children?
. . . Anyway. Good luck. It’s gorgeous music, but I’ll never sing it. I’ll never have the voice for it, and I don’t think I could engage with it anyway.
. . . today’s voice lesson, in which Svengali elicited better sound than I do at home (nothing new)
::bangs head against wall:: Indeed. Although I was making decidedly more noise, and particularly more noise at my top end, tonight than I was in October. And as I say kind of a lot, all you need as a choir singer is to be on pitch and loud. If Svengali has you singing a famous solo cycle however you may be in a lot of trouble. Mwa hahahahahaha. Please be sure you record your recital for YouTube so we can all hear it.
and then I sang (it could indeed be called “singing” though not particularly good singing)
Yes. I understand this distinction.
Schumann’s “Seit ich ihn gesehen”. I don’t have German….at least in the choir I can panic and go silent for two notes while someone with better language skills sings. . . . But. This was my assignment. I wrestled with it for awhile and finally gave up, going to YouTube, which helped.
Svengali lets you use YouTube? Nadia is really against it. I think I blogged about this a while back. She says that you pick up aspects of the performance without realising that’s what you’re doing—I was saying I couldn’t sound like Marilyn Horne/Cecilia Bartoli/Janet Baker if I tried and therefore where’s the harm. So I now try not to.‡‡‡ It came up against this week. An old stupid error that I thought I had eradicated in Dove Sei returned . . . just in time for my lesson. ARRRRRGH. I said sadly to Nadia, well, you see, I’m not using YouTube. Good, she said.
. . . So on the last go-round, where he swore he wouldn’t stop me and I should sing through the whole thing while he played, I did. The triumph? His next student knocked–Svengali invited him into the room (into the same room, with me, singing fairly loudly for me) and…my throat didn’t close up and silence me. . . .
YAAAAY. Well done. And you didn’t lose your place. This also counts, or it does with me. I’ve had to deal with the ‘someone can HEAR ME’ from the beginning with Nadia, because of the layout of the house, made especially horrific the days that Wild Robert is there, as he was this week. Uggggggggh. But someone coming into the room? Suddenly both the page and my mind are a blank.
Now to sing WELL. (maybe.)
You and me both, honeybun. No maybe! Just WELL!
* * *
* Speaking of indoor wildlife:
How long do house spiders live? There’s one in my bathroom and I need to know when I can stop strip-washing in the downstairs loo.
I feel for this person. Although that wussy little creature in the photo, feh. You could pick him up in your weeny dilettantish plastic spider catcher, the one that is too small to employ against anything you need dedicated armament against. I’m still waiting for my arachnoid license to exclude. I can’t imagine what’s taking so long. They assured me that the spider representative had signed the contract.
** WHAM. WHAM. HOLD STILL, YOU RATBAG. WHAM.
** I had an email from Clotilda after she read the blog in which she was introduced.
‘I have also decided I am not letting her indoors at the cottage, where I haven’t hoovered since approximately . . . when I turned the second draft of SHADOWS in. Furthermore I suspect her of being a neat freak and never having dirty dishes in the sink.’
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HA. HA. Um… no.
That is not the case. . . .
Ah. Well, maybe we’re the same species after all. I realise it is important to establish friendly cross-species relations with other denizens of this planet, but some boundaries are easier to negotiate than others. I have more trouble with spiders and people who always do the washing up promptly than I do with most things. Give me a nice straightforward person-eating tiger over a neat freak any day.
And honestly, I didn’t even notice any dents on Wolfgang.
That’s very nice of you and all, but if you want to get anywhere in this life you need to learn to lie better.
*** Which is a very good thing
† Chiefly chocolate biscuits^
^ Clotilda brought chocolate chip cookies. I wonder how many townships who’ve had ogres and dragons and things take up residence at the town borders and start demanding virgin princesses have had the sagacity to try a switcheroo with chocolate chip cookies? I acknowledge that’s a lot of chocolate chip cookies to makeweight your average princess, but it has to be worth a try.+
+ There’s a story here, if no one has written it yet.
†† Probably five. Because I won’t have washed that morning’s tea mug. Because I’m running late. Sigh.
††† Or five
‡ YOU ALREADY PEED FOUR AND A HALF SECONDS AGO. AND SIX SECONDS BEFORE THAT. AND THREE AND SEVEN-EIGHTS SECONDS BEFORE THAT. COME ON.
‡‡‡ For Nadia. I have every intention of using it for the Muddles. As I listened to the Five Childhood Lyrics this week after last week’s practise.
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