andrew's blog

Singing River pictures on Flickr

I found someone else's photographs of some of the Singing River rehearsals on Flickr. It looks like it's one of the boat choir singers. Anyway they were kind enough to post all of their photos on their Flickr site.

I appear rather prominently on this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zefrog/526046376/

There are also some really nice pictures of Tom, a tenor I usually end up sitting next to at Beethoven rehearsals. He was another War Oratorio singer and is so good he was chosen to be one of the megaphonistas for The Singing River. Here and here.

Thanks, zefrog, whoever you are...

And there are even more pictures from last night's rehearsal at the London Bulgarian Choir's Flickr page.

Missa Luba

After this weekend's exertions - Friday and Saturday nights performing The Singing River and Sunday participating in the mass sing of the choral movement of Beethoven's 9th - the next Voicelab project is to do with the Meltdown festival.

This year, Meltdown is being presented by Jarvis Cocker, former Pulp frontman. He has a superb lineup, featuring some bands I might actually want to see (believe me, for me this is a rare thing) - The Jesus & Mary Chain, Iggy & the Stooges, Roky Erickson (former frontman with The 13th Floor Elevators), Cornershop, Devo and more.

And to start and end with, the harmonious voices of Voicelab. He has asked us to sing the Sanctus from Missa Luba. Missa Luba was compiled/composed/arranged by Father Guido Haazen based on traditional Congolese songs. Regan was keen that I did this as well, so I am. Maybe we'll even get to meet Jarvis too!

Other Voicelabbers who want to find out more about the piece may find this link really helpful...

Misplaced pride

From the occasional newsletter which one of our councillors, the delectable Mary Mills, sends from time to time:

These are the three Councillors for _Peninsula_ ward - and we are all proud to represent the Labour Party.

Which rather begs the question - why? The Labour Party is synonymous with incompetence, sleaze, economic mismanagement, bad government, and the deceitful disinterest in personal liberty throughout its ten years in power. Dr Mills, by far the most popular councillor in our ward, would do her reputation no end of good by quitting this shambolic outfit.

Even more London2012balls

So that's the logo for the London 2012 games. But what on earth does it mean?

Some comments, most of them mercilessly nicked from the BBC's website.

"This is the vision at the very heart of our brand," said London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said: "This is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games - namely to inspire young people around the world through sport and the Olympic values.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: "This is an iconic brand that sums up what London 2012 is all about - an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone added: "The new Olympic brand draws on what London has become - the world's most forward-looking and international city.

And grumpy 36-year old blogger, andrew, said "This logo shows how stupid our politicans can be when you stick a microphone in their faces. Are they blind? This is the worst, most uninspiring logo I've ever seen. A five year-old child could do better. This proves once and for all that these parasites can't be trusted with our money."

War Oratorio!

I got an advertisement for it by e-mail the other day, so here it is:

I've been invited to a special screening of it tonight at Channel 4's headquarters so clearly I'm totally psyched! The public broadcast is on More 4 at 10pm on Monday 4 June.

One month to go

I haven't written much recently because I've been busy at work. At home I've had various Voicelab rehearsals and I've also been writing a web application in PHP/MySQL (with a bit of perl thrown in for good measure) to track our pension investments. It's going well, but is nowhere near finished.

Anyway, today is 1 June and there's one month to go before England goes ahead with its ban on smoking in public places. Well that's how it's described but the name is pretty far from the truth. What we'll be getting is a ban on smoking in enclosed non-private spaces. There's a difference - it means that cigar clubs attended by willing adults will become illegal, whereas it will still be legal to smoke in children's play areas. We also have the daft situation that it will be an offence to fail to display a "no-smoking" sign in a place where smoking is banned. So it appears churches will have to post signs, despite smoking never having been a problem inside.

Anyway, it also means that there's a month to go before Bonapartes dies. Bonapartes is a shabby, horrid little 'bar' in London's Cannon St station. However it has a clearly defined niche in the market - it's the place to go if you smoke. And it's definitely a place never to set foot in if you don't. Every morning and evening the place is jammed to the rafters with desperate nicotine addicts "enjoying" their fix.

It always reminds me of David Hockney's inane and cretinous dribblings about how non-smokers are so colourless. But his soldiers deceive him - the monochrome patrons of Bonapartes are a deathly grey, wretched people, chained to their habit and always look curiously out of time, as if they were in a zoo exhibit - "smokers in their natural domain". But the cage designer forgot to give them enough space so they sit about, grumpy, unable to do anything about it, not happy with where they are but even unhappier anywhere else.

30 days to go and this will all be gone, unless the owners can execute a dramatic about-turn in strategy. Don't hold your breath.

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