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Aldeburgh


Since my music has rarely been programmed in the Aldeburgh Festival up to now, I believe my visit to the town this week was my first since 1986. I couldn't believe how Aldeburgh-like it still looked, as if out of an Ealing Film (see my snap of the Moot Hall above.) A vicious east wind was blowing off the pebbly beach, for added authenticity.


When I arrived in Snape the next morning, the upgrades to the 'campus' were obvious, including the addition of some imposing new performance and work spaces. I was there to attend a Discovery Session about my own music led by Lucy Walker. I already feel much gratitude to Lucy, as she was one of the earliest musicians to record my music, on what we believe might have been the very first Delphian Record. Her summary of my work was comprehensive and expressive, but also accurate - in my opinion anyway. It was heartening to hear a view that matched my own impressions, and didn't have anyone else's narrative, or worse, laid on top of it.


Afterwards there were some thoughtful questions from the assembled listeners, all of them it seemed, very committed to music in many kinds of ways. I'm haunted by the comment of someone who said that she didn't think her children's generation related to music (of all kinds) in the same way as her own older cohort did; that it wasn't really central to them, even though they sometimes appreciated having it around. I've recently been pondering the same thing, reflecting for instance on the recent cuts proposed by ACE, and wondering why so many educated, reasonably prosperous people seem largely indifferent to the arts. I hope I'm wrong about that!

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer

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