For the sake of future historians, I’m posting this His Master’s Voice image of myself viewing and listening in on one of my many devices, Covid-style. Tonight it was Marsyas Trio, with the splendid singer Lotte Betts-Dean, part of a 6-part online concert series from Marsyas. Sound and vision are excellent; generally amongst video performers, the era of ‘livestreamed from my bedroom’ has passed, and musicians have upped their self-broadcasting standards to the max.
Incredibly to me, the ensemble had managed to commission, collaborate on, rehearse and perform a substantial new piece by Michael Finnissy, Wisdom, all done since the first lockdown. The lineup of flute,cello, piano and voice also included (of course) Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses; and also a companion piece I wrote in 2015, Nuits d’Afrique.
It made for a very manageable (to the listener) 70-minute programme, including a few helpful spoken introductions. People often ask if I think some Covid-era musical practices will stay with us after the pandemic is ‘over’. One thing I would like to keep is shorter concert programmes with no interval. For a well-thought out 70 minutes like this one I would be glad to get up from my kitchen table and off on my bike to a real concert hall.