Abergavenny


What a nice place. I was here to take part in ‘Conversations in the Chapel’, a beautiful venue, run by the same people who run the lovely Angel Hotel, the Bakery and the Art Shop. (I liked the idea of a whole town being operated surreptitiously out of an art shop.)

Locally based documentary maker Alastair Laurence has created this series and takes every effort to make it work. A sizeable audience turned up and listened attentively. But of course once we had finished our dialogue, and the questions and conversations started, I realised as I often do that it was the super-clued-up listeners who should have been giving the talk. With an anthropologist I discussed “is cultural appropriation actually a thing ? ” and "how can composers live in the moment when every moment of music takes such a long time to write down?". And a musician asked me what I was going to do with all my paper sketches (a very good question I already ponder) because ‘our present computers/ways of internet access will soon be superseded’. We proceeded with one of my favourite conversations which goes via “remember when fax machines became briefly popular? ” and “what did you do with all your floppy discs?” An illuminating, enjoyable evening.

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer