April 2019

Weedon’s Wanderings: 29th April 2019

Kit Kat ad

THE VALUE OF HAVING A BREAK

D’you remember that ad? Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. And to my mind, having a break is good policy.

Golf fans will probably have been amazed by the recent come-back of Tiger Woods, winning the Masters Tournament after a fallow patch of several years. Admittedly, he had been out of action with a bad back, but his flair on his return seemed even greater than before his injury.

Meanwhile, we’re being told to forget gruelling long exercise routines. These days, the fitness buzz-word is HIIT - high intensity interval training. The idea is that we go at our given exercise (cycling, press-ups or whatever) hell-for-leather for 30 seconds, then take it slowly for 4 or 5 minutes before another burst. The benefits, they insist, are immense. 

I’m a great fan of having a break. I’ve applied it...

Weedon’s Wanderings: 18th April 2019

The Cavaille-Col at Notre-Dame, Paris

Holding our breath in hope...

Hearing news of the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame rates as one of those ‘never to be forgotten’ moments for me, and many other organists I expect. In addition to the shock of seeing such a huge, iconic and ancient building going up in flames there was the sick-to-the-stomach fear for the organ it housed. The glorious Cavaille-Col is the stuff of organists’ dreams. Something about the awakening of its enormous lungs when it’s switched on, the background thrum of its circulation, and then the unique beauty of its singing voice. It seemed impossible that it would live through an inferno and flooding such as we witnessed. And yet it also seemed impossible that it would die so horribly and we’d never hear it alive again.

Aristide Cavaillé-Col (1811-1899) single-handedly changed the future of organ music through his highly individual...

Weedon’s Wanderings 8th April 2019

Morris Men

MAINLY MORRIS

We just happened upon a fascinating documentary about Morris Dancers on BBC iPlayer this week. You can view it here. Who would have thought such turmoil raged behind this gentle rural art-form?

This programme took me back to 1984, when I was loitering aimlessly in Bristol Docks and caught sight of some Morris Men practising their traditional dances.  I sidled a little closer: too close. The next thing I knew, I was pulled into the middle of the group where a smiling chap in a smock and battered hat hit me jovially on the head with a pig’s bladder. Ah, the shenanigans of youth!

You may well be wondering what this has to do with the price of onions. To bring it firmly back to music, I was so impressed by my Bristol experience that I wrote a piece about it (entitled Morris Dance - what else?). 35 years later,...