Thursday, 15 October 2009

Zinc wire of Angels

Man, this dictation software is pure poetry. That title was supposed to be 'sing choirs of Angels'. Zink wire of angels is kind of tangental to what I'm talking about though, so I'm letting it ride. It conjures the sound that is happening just behind me, the squeaking of my cello's strings de-tensioning in the dry heat. I'm in rehearsal for a Christmas concert and so breathless with excitement it's ridiculous.

I am in a cello choir. For the next couple of Saturdays, about 15 middle-aged women (and one bloke) will drive to a tiny country Hall in Eudlo, just south of Nambour, to play together. It is just about the most adorable thing I've ever been involved in. We sit in a circle, in our part groups, in the midst of a large wooden speaker box, and fill it with the honey notes our instruments. Our teacher is a world-class player and has just moved to Eudlo. There is almost no opportunity at all for adults like us to play in ensemble, so when the opportunity comes up you grab it with both hands.

Even though I'm still not much more advanced than beginner (because I never practice, and I don't have a parent nagging me to do it, and it makes my shoulders ache and my neck stiffen up, the lure of that sound has got me hooked. Oh, and the morning tea. And the drive, which is pretty gorgeous. It's a bugger of a climate to play a baroque instrument in, they were never meant for such extremes of humidity and the virginal will be a million times worse to keep in tune.

Apologies for being so off the air lately, I'm flat out with the residency workshops, and for the past two weeks I have revisited planet parenthood which was a shock to the system. I can do kidlets in small doses any day, but two weeks? Woah. By the end of my niece's stay we were both counting sleeps till mummy came home. However, I did get a front row seat to the modelling of the 10-year-old fashion show of loot her mother brought back from Singapore. Beautiful Chinese silk pyjamas - two pairs, a fluffy merangue ballgown covered in ribbons and bows, a fairy floss creation, and a Bollywood outfit to die for in blue sequins, with bangles, junky Indian jewellery - the full catastrophe. At one point she looked like she'd died and gone to girly princess heaven, ecstatic - angelic even!


  1. Well, you are a surprise, Hughsey!
    A 'cello player indeed. 'Cellos were made in Heaven along with trombones.
    A few years ago, Len Evans (sorely missed,)as his usual contribution to Hunter Valley culture, booked eight cellists to play the repertoire of a composer whose name I cannot recall. However, the pieces were written to be played by eight 'cellos and no doubt you know the name of the composer and probably play those very pieces! Yum!
    Are us lesser mortals allowed in to hear the heavenly sounds of many 'cellos?

  2. Sunday 29 November, 2-4:30pm
    However, you'll find yourself battling a crowd of parents of budding cellists like poor Flinthart who'll no doubt be doing the same in Tasmania - lining up for a hot program of christmas carols being squeaked and strangled by children.
    Louise King teaches students from 7 tp 70, and we'll all be there, big poeple backing up the babies - though I imagine most of the babies are more advanced than me - I still have to sit and pencil in the fingering on my music because after fifty years of failing learn to read music, it still all looks like fly shit to me. Sigh.

  3. Our grownup program includes:

    Dvorak Largo
    Vivaldi Autumn
    Mozart Ave Verum Corpus

  4. Helloooo. Tell me. Is the only man in your group called Des? I am an ex viola player and love the sonorous tones of the lower strings. In another life, a lerng time ago, I taught strings in the school system on the coast.

    Turnips and music. See! We have heaps in common.

    Noice program - music and software.

  5. OK. I know what a cello is because James Bond boarded on one with a spanky hot wench in the Alps somewhere. Wood and animal guts I guess in a QLD enviro..hmmm YEAH NOT GOOD. But better yet, is you have found a crew of like minded ferals...good stuff.

  6. I reckon its just an excuse to get some bong action, cut a record deal and go on a summer tour (groupies included). Oh, hang on. I thought I'd stumbled into Dr Yobbo's story blog.
    Havock knows what a cello is. Snort snort!