My latest step towards normal music making was a very important one to me personally – my first visit to a live concert in which one of my own works would be performed (The Sweet Primroses, a duo for viola and singer). Observing perfect onstage social distancing, both these parts were sung/played by the same musician, the amazing ‘singing violist’ Katherine Clarke about whom I’ve written before.
Even leaving aside the great pleasure of hearing Katherine’s bright voice teaming with the richness of her viola, what a tonic it was in itself to make my way to the charming venue, St Bride’s Fleet Street. Hats off to the church for getting going with a series of twice weekly lunchtime concerts which are now running regularly.
I was reminded once again how important, besides the thrill of live music, are the peripheral rituals of finding the venue, chatting to the front of house staff, maybe meeting the artist afterward. Over the years I have so often mentioned my surprise at finding a church or space practically on my doorstep previously unknown to me, thanks to a musical visit. So it was with this beautifully positioned Wren church (possessing a really clear, alive acoustic) whose spire is said to have given someone in years gone by the idea for the now traditional shape of wedding cakes.