Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble, ten thousand times

'Think of the thing you really love and try to make it sound like that.' Rosemary Nalden is rehearsing the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble for their Queen Elizabeth Hall concert.

'Practise something ten thousand times if you want to do it properly,' says Rosemary, quoting the violinist and teacher Suzuki. I know. A drawing is an idea, a what-if. Most drawings should be discarded, not put up on the internet ten thousand times.

Lunch is a surprise. The price, anyway. Here in the Indian YMCA in Fitzroy Square, an aromatic vegetable curry with pilau rice costs £3.80.

Karl Jenkins has composed a piece for the ensemble. Another surprise: he turns up after lunch to conduct his work.

The orchestra rehearses some of Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes. I remember singing them in the school choir in the final concert before we left. We wore cotton summer dresses, some home-made like mine.

We stood on the stage with a drop in front of us. Where were we going? Disastrous loves awaited more than a few.

We sang a heavy-duty English translation:

O stray not, dear heart, midst yonder green meadow fair,
The flow'rs about thy feet will harm thee, so wet are they.

More pictures if you scroll down.

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