Thursday 25 February 2010

A reply from my MP

addressed to Mrs Leutgeb (Mother, sister-in-law, late Grandmother....but not me,)


'When [later the same day, in fact] these matters come before the House I shall take your views into account.'

A clever way of saying, 'I shall not be voting the way you'd like me to.'

Wednesday 24 February 2010

St John Fisher, pray for us.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

CES No comment

available for the Today Prog this am.

Makes you proud to be a Catholic.

BBC iPlayer

Tuesday 23rd February
The Today Programme

40 minutes and 17 seconds in.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Within or without

I used to think that it was a race between forces within Catholic Education and the Government as to who would dismantle the edifice of Catholic Education built by past generations at such cost.

Now that the CES are in bed with HMG and have formed an axis, that question is rendered unnecessary, but the conclusion assured.

The fact that I have forgotten to give the CES any money for at least 15 years and no longer work in a Catholic School is of no comfort.

Once you concede that the state can dictate what is taught to children, against the wishes of parents, well where might that end?

Friday 19 February 2010

A Choir Blog open for business

I thought it might be an idea to provide the Choir and Congregation with some easy links to the Chant that we are singing.

Brutally simple and hopefully didactic, it is here.

The Sun

I took the opportunity to quiz Austrian Friend (AF) on snow and the like. Does everything run to clockwork etc? She says at times the snow ploughs do give up, that hospitals are full of people who have fallen and hurt themselves etc, so it's not a picture of total success in the battle against nature. It can go as low as
-20C quite regularly, so that is in a different league of cold to SE England.

On Wed we were going to go to Bluewater and see a film, but as I described this to another friend I was already thinking, 'and sit in a blacked out room whilst the sun shines.' So we walked to the shops to pick up a few things - her Marmite (yuck) - and she rhapsodised all the way there and back about the sun, sky, green grass etc. Apparently, when the snow melts after perhaps four months, the grass in brown. I keep joking about the short growing season explaining those tiny Alpine flowers.

Capitalising on the weather we went in the afternoon to a garden centre and I picked up some spuds ready for chitting and and some very cute tomato seedlings. Only 5 months til I start harvesting the tomatoes! Then we had a bit of a walk somewhere else. Quite pleased it was all very local.

Then it was to Church for some singing, (and a few organ bits but only, 'to support the singing.' Lent and Advent the oranists friends...)

Thursday 18 February 2010

Half Term Hols

are here again.

I've just had my Austrian friend staying for a few days, which meant that I did all the things in the locality that I like doing, but don't usually get round to. And just had to make pancakes, served as is traditional with lemon and sugar.

She's a serious singer and in lieu of any suitable concerts up London, we went to Choral Evensong in St Paul's Cathedral, one day, which was, well different. It was just the Choristers and Andrew Carwood. I quite like a bit of clipped English now and then and we got to sit in the Choir Stalls next to the Precentor (if that's what the man with the silver stick is called.)

As she comes from Graz but lives in Linz and mindful of some of the things you hear about Linz, though to be fair I've never witnessed, I asked her about the place. Where is the medieval bit (I've yet to find it), when did it get a university, that sort of thing. Bearing in mind Austrians are fiercely regional etc she said it was a Johnny come lately steel town which got a university in the 60s and that Upper Austrians were conceited and inept. Not all of cause, Bruckner springs to mind. We went to Mass once at the Augustinian monastery just down the Danube, the history of which relates the arrest of the Prior in the late 30s/ know the rest.

Still her description put a gloss on that region. What do they make of SE England...?

Tis Mended

Having thought that I had broken my internet, I have hacked in via another route and am now wireless.


Monday 8 February 2010

A new position

The Organist extraordinaire(literally as it goes as this is a Missa Cantata of which I speak,) decided to retire on Sat, after 65 years service.

That's worth repeating - 65 years.

She played at one of the Altar Server's Grandparent's Wedding (and he's a student so do the Math!), she played through my early childhood and First Holy Communion and now no more.

Her melancholic postludes of thirty years ago were still being heard until Saturday lunch-time. Amazing.

The replacement?


Friday 5 February 2010

Gregorian Chant Network

Just launched and here.

Thursday 4 February 2010

Extreme or normal?

Going to Mass every Sunday
Going to Confession
Not eating meat on Fridays
Maybe going to Mass during the week....

A friend of mine once said that he didn't want to be labled a this or that Catholic he just wanted to be a normal one. Trouble is doing the above things in 2010, puts you in the extreme camp for most members of the general population and alas for some Catholics...

Since when did reading what the Pope's just said and trying to act on it make you extreme?

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Viva il Papa

The trouble with dissent is that dissenters are very very bossy and they don't like silence, because we are all supposed to be listening to them.

Once you ignore legitimate authority, who do you believe? How do you decide what to do? How can the big questions get different answers in 2010 compared to 1510, 1010, 510...if we are dealing with eternity?

Random thought of the day 2

Have you noticed how modernist music is totally agin melody?
I wrote an essay on one of my finals papers on 'Melody in Boulez and Stockhausen,' where I basically went through their respective outputs describing the characteristics of melody and how their music does not possess them.

Schoenberg for all his serialism wrote some excellent books on composition and knew how to write a good tune. He just chose not to.

Where do we find melody par excellence? Plainsong. Funny that. Seems to be hardwired into human beings after all.