Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Narnia and some more bruises

Found it hard getting back into Narnia again after a two-day break. I already felt a bit under par, and by the time I'd had my tail caught in the poop deck's back doors, had it stood on later in the second act (undoing the seam again), and fallen over, flat on my face, in the storm scene (scattering chess pieces across the stage in the process) I was beginning to feel it wasn't quite my day. In the fall I came down with a clump on my left knee, which is of course would be the one that's not feeling the liveliest, and though I don't seem to have done any major damage, it's quite unhappy at the moment. I don't think I'll be adding that particular stunt to the play from here on in.

We had a large audience of schoolchildren, which was good, even though they failed to laugh at any of the real jokes. Instead they laughed at an odd line of Eustace's: There's a strange look on his face. Don't ask me why that struck anyone as funny. Who can understand the nature of audiences? I'm sure someone's done research on it somewhere, as they have done on everything from Electrolux vacuums to how many days of the year the average person sneezes on, but I doubt that they were able to come to any decent conclusions.

Apropos of nothing above, I've just been listening to John Adams' violin concerto again (with the sound turned up - there's no one else home). It's hugely energetic in the two outer movements, though it's not always easy to feel a cohesion between the orchestra and the soloist (Adams says that'ss the way he's written it), and it must be a bit of a nightmare for the soloist to figure out where he is at any time - though admittedly he hardly ever stops playing anyway! The Chaconne is a strange piece, with the constant bass line moving at the 'pace of a glacier' (to quote Adams). The line, however, never moves consistently; as the piece progresses it gets more and more out of sync with itself, and the listener is forever thinking - whoops, they've forgotten to come in. That's part of its charm and design, no doubt, and it adds a curious edginess to the slow movement.
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