Getting on for six years ago, when my appointment as Master of The Queen’s Music was announced, this blog was set up in a great hurry. Kate Johnson of Chester Music brilliantly designed and built the site in a matter of days, and I have posted regularly on the blog, with pleasure, ever since. There are now approaching 350 posts covering my musical experiences since July 2014.
It became clear to me early on that I was mostly going to be writing simple reports about the places I’d been, the people I’d met, and what they’d said to me about their musical lives. Writing my visits up afterwards – regularly travelling around the UK, and further, to so many fascinating places - has been enormously helpful to me in processing what I have heard and seen, and in simply keeping a record of where the time has gone. I like to think I am also filling a gap, because the musical press and broadcast media don’t even scratch the surface of what is going on.
All that has of course come to a sudden halt with the current injunction to 'stay at home'. Although I greatly admire colleagues who are already performing and giving masterclasses online, and much more, my personal online presence is limited to these pages. So I hope to continue to post here, but about what exactly I don’t know yet. Much like the current situation with everything else.
Pictured – a field outside Dülmen, Westphalia, snapped while visiting the grand, historical German city of Münster just 5 weeks ago. But with time bending as it has in the last month, the visit seems almost imaginary, as if it had happened long ago in childhood, and I’d just recalled it after decades of not thinking about it.