Saturday, November 28, 2020

Danse Macabre


Recorded at home, all 15 percussionists of the BBC Orchestras & Choirs perform Camille Saint-Saens’s Danse Macabre arranged by Alasdair Malloy, as part of the BBC Instrumental Sessions.

When I was an undergraduate, I got myself a season's ticket for the Toronto Orchestra concerts, downtown in a big modern hall I can't now remember the name of.  Cheapest seat, of course, way up in the gods and around the side, so that I was beside the players in the back row, and behind the rest.  It was fascinating watching the conductor, and what various players had on their stands beyond just the music, to keep themselves entertained for those stretches when they weren't actually playing.  But then I forgot about all that, because I fell in love.  (Which, in all fairness, I did A LOT in those days.)  I fell in love with percussion, by way of the orchestra's principle percussionist.

He was tall and lanky, with a beaky nose and brown hair and the loveliest, longest fingers you have ever seen.  As a pianist with stubby, dinky hands, it did feel a bit of a waste that his fingers were so very long and elegant, given that all they had to do was hold sticks.  But it was part of his beauty.


He never looked up, in spite of all the adoration I was pouring down on him.  But it didn't matter.  (A LOT of the falling in love I was doing was unrequited, so it was familiar ground.)  If I passed him in the street all these decades later, I doubtless wouldn't recognise him, though if for some reason he was several stories below me and in profile, maybe.  But I would thank him for introducing me to the joy of percussion if I could.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dancing Non-Fiction

This week I'm over on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure musing on writing non-fiction and dance - join me there!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Story's Not Over


The lovely book of the project - 26 Wild - has arrived, and you can see my poem on the endangered Kittiwake here.  (We were asked to write an essay and a centena* for our creature.)

* A centena is exactly 100 words, with the first and last three words being the same. For this project, we were asked to use [ ] instead of the animal's name, to highlight the real possibility that they will disappear.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Phew ...

 And breathe.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Free Stickleback

How about a super-incredibly-slim volume of poetry for free?  It's not about fish, and it's not those colours, but on a grey day, why not?

Download available here, from me to you.