was a great day today.
Lots more people than two years ago and lots more chant being sung all over the place. Last time felt like lots of people were just coming out of an ice age. Now more of a feeling of being able to get on and do stuff (I hope) and a lot more laughter.
James MacMillan was great and managed to cover everything of note in his talk, whilst not dwelling on some of the more gory incidents of the recent history of sacred music in this country.
Clare and I were having a coffee in the cafe opposite The Oratory before the event started and saw him walk by, prompting me to remember just how good, 'Tu es Petrus, ' is. I gestured the first couple of notes and the waitress came over, and in an Italian cafe too. I wish my orchestras at work were as attentive.
Good to make contact with fellow chanters in Faversham and Canterbury. Hope they can come to Blackfen sometime. Maybe on a Feast Day. Trouble with people who do stuff on Sundays is, we do stuff on Sundays and can't up sticks somewhere else.
It was very interesting to hear all about what's going on in B'ham from Fr Guy Nicholls.
After lunch we practised for Vespers and were pretty together, though you could hear the complete variety of interpretations of the quilisma, episema and dots in general, as well as just how long do you pause for half way through a psalm verse. We did not dwell on such contentious isssues, after all we were all getting on famously. Just do what the do at St Cecilia's and you will have it right. (!) (The quilisma, don't let's get started on that one.)
Big Thanks to Joseph Shaw for getting everyone together and organsising it. He took lots of photos and so and Clare.