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During the 'Lock Down'

What have you been doing?

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#1 Barry Williams

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 09:35

Activity on this Board seems to have been quiet, perhaps unusually given the present 'Lock Down', so I thought that I would ask what fellow forumites (is that the correct word?) have been up to.

 

I have used the time to re-learn two (difficult) pieces that I have not played in public for over thirty-five years, as well as brushing up on score reading, etc.

 

Later this week I will re-open the discussion on nerves in public performance, having had some very useful (and successful) assistance on the matter.

 

In the meantime, I hope that it will not be inappropriate if I mention that the book I wrote in 2005, (with Robert Leach - Everything Else An Organist Should Know), is now available free on The Guild of Church Musicians' Website:  https://gcm.org.uk/

 

It is under the tab 'Help and Advice'. 

 

The chapter on 'Protecting Our Children' has been updated by a very experienced Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.  The tax chapter will be updated shortly.  All of this is available free to everyone, whether members of The Guild or not.

 

I note that one well-known composer has offered to write an anthem on commission and will donate 20% of the fee to research into a Covid 19 vaccine.

 

With every good wish to all on this Forum,

 

Barry Williams


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#2 thara96

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 15:30

I have been studying online. Victoria William's website is great! 


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#3 mel2

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 18:23

I haven't been near an organ since the lockdown. I'm hoping that when churches open again - probably in early July - those of us without an instrument at home will be excused if we sound a bit rusty.
I imagine some of the antiquated instruments in some of the churches in this rural area might well have seized up through lack of use.
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#4 Stephen Barber

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 10:46

My good intentions to relearn pieces that I haven't played recently have not come to much. I had hoped to have revitalized my repertoire when the churches re-open but it's not looking good.

 

Our village church choir is, sort of, keeping going. We are providing hymns and anthems for the weekly streamed services: choir members record their parts at home and I edit them together. Only about half of them have the technical know-how and vocal confidence to send me recordings of themselves singing solo. (We only have 16 singers, anyway - sops and altos only, no men.) Singing together is hard without a conductor, and without being able to see each other and hear each other breathe, but the results aren't too bad. Not a great deal of subtlety, though. People seem to appreciate our efforts and it's good to have home-produced music, freshly-recorded each week.

 

We also have choir practices by Zoom. We can't sing together as the time lag makes it impossible but we can go through what we're going to record and have a go at some new stuff. The singers have to turn their microphones off so I have no idea what the singing is like, just watch their mouths moving, or not! A large proportion of the time is spent in chatting, mind you - anything to keep us together as a group.

 

The one good thing about making these recordings is that I have complete control over the volume of each singer's volume!


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#5 fsharpminor

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 13:41

I acquired a volume of CPE Bachs Organ works, some of which are 'Manualiter'  so have been playing them on a piano.  Dying to get on 'my' Willis though.


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#6 Vox Humana

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 21:55

Having hardly touched a keyboard since I retired from active service four years ago, I recently decided that I'd better find out how badly my technique had deteriorated, so I dug out Debussy's Reflets dans l'eau (which used to be a bit of a party piece, though I've never had subtle enough tone control even to begin to pretend to be a pianist) with a view to getting the notes back up to scratch. Amazingly most of them were still there and with a bit of work it all began to come back. Similarly Clair de lune. Sadly it has all fallen by the wayside as I have become heavily embroiled in various nerdy matters to do with Tudor music which keep me glued to the computer. 


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#7 Aquarelle

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 16:58

The nearest I have got to organ music is listening to on line church services, mostly with organists having to make do with   a keyboard as churches were shut and then being treated to some beautiful playing live on Ascension Day.  I will just say it was a Willis organ and it was heaven to my starved ears!


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#8 mel2

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 09:38

It seems churches are going to be allowed to open on Monday 15th June for the purposes of 'private prayer' and funeral services.

I'm looking forward to being able to get back to some organ practice after a long and enforced break. I'm assuming this will be allowed.
I wonder what is the likelihood of finding a queue outside the building at 8 am?
In truth, this has been a rather busy time for me (as for many - I have yet to make banana bread or write a novel), working around the challenges of lockdown and conducting much of life online; I'm wondering how I will find the time.
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#9 Norway

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 12:25

Pray as you play Mel2 - job done!


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#10 mel2

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 15:41

Off to church for a practise; first for months. The building was still closed, Hoovers  Henrys left in the aisle and treated seats marked with paper towels. I would have thought any virus would have dried up and died weeks ago....still I was careful to touch nothing other than the instrument.

 

Oh, dear oh dear!

 

This might take some time - I had taken the Novello Bach IX, and a P+F and it was terrible. 

 

Reached for a hymn book and turned to some Ascension day hymns and instantly fell into my stride; Crown Him with many crowns; Hail the day that sees him rise; The head that once was crowned with thorns.....

 

As I was alone I gave it plenty of gas and probably loosened a few cobwebs. I hadn't realised how much I missed this.  :P

 

Feeling much better now, but the powers that be will not be allowing singing for a while yet.    :dry:


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