The “Great War,” far from being the “war to end all wars,” marked the beginning of a new age of conflict that has continued to the present day, and warmongering and the threatening of invasion are still familiar weapons in the armory of our “leaders” seeking to plunder the resources of other countries or to shore up their counterfeit political reputations as they stand pleading and posturing in their Armani suits amidst the wreckage of the economic system.
I have no experience of banking, other than that of having to deal with inappropriate and hidden charges on my account, the gradual withdrawal of any personal service and the consequent increase in the amount of nuisance telephone calls, all of which leads me to a strong suspicion that a career in banking must demand some facility in fraud and deception.
Here in Edinburgh, the Millennium Window in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Palmerston Place is a truly glittering example of his genius, and his only work in stained glass. It illuminates the south transept from the south wall.
Thank you and Superbrass and for making it all happen with such care and professionalism. The CD is certain to sound very special. The fabulous sounds rang in my ears for hours afterwards, and my ribs were aching from laughing about old times with old pals.
Darth Vader was Wagnerially incinerated at the end, accompanied by a horn solo from yours truly, and the great delight of Pat Vermont who always refers to him as “that horrid asthmatic man!”
“Oh mercy! Why does the vilest person in the universe have to be black?” he has been pleading since 1977.
He told me discreetly, to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of the trombones, that he always dreaded Darth’s appearance on the screen because it involved more loud trombone music. He’s wearied by sitting in front of them for thirty years I think, but his going back to Jamaica to live with his auntie is scheduled definitely for next year, he says.
Politicians, concerned continually for their media image and anxious to avoid exposure to real truths that are superfluous to statistics, become lost in their obfuscations, chicanery and feasibility studies, and are simply baffled when they come across serious matters that concern the role of music, or art of any kind in the human community. And they clutch desperately at the term, “market forces” like a disturbed child cowering in the corner with a broken toy.
In the peaceful symmetry of Trinity Square the rush hour rumblings of Borough high street softened and gave way to the sound of brass that came striding across from the church to meet us, and I could feel the first vibrations of the exhilarating day that was to come.
One of the ways in which the Chinese cook duck, is to poach it in water and rice wine, the resultant liquid forming a disgusting, off white viscid soup, the drinking of which, we were told was to be the most nourishing and desirable part of the experience, second only to the eating of the brains of the unfortunate animal which are exposed by the waiters, who split the head lengthwise with a cleaver, thereby enabling the contents to be picked easily from the skull with chop sticks.
Our children are everything. They are the future. There is no future without them and they are our responsibility!
We have burdened them with the debt of disgraceful and illegal wars. We poison their food and then we blame them for the disorder in society. We refuse to pay for their education and berate them for their ignorance and naivety. We complain when they take no interest in politics while the politicians entrusted with their future and security are prosecuted for dishonesty and duplicity.
Thirty-five people make a perfect audience for Chamber music, and Steve’s instruments, having lain asleep in the workshop for more than a year, filled the room with their song: a glorious gratitude to their craftsman and the quartet, and for the joy of having an audience. Afterwards I felt a warm satisfaction inside, redolent of my early days performing. No critics were there, no conductor or agent. No fee or potential recording contract. Only applause and smiling faces.