Thursday, April 13, 2006

Music and Silence

The Cathedral of The Isles
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Holy Week is a special time in the church year, but to spend the beginning of Holy Week in a beautiful cathedral, living in community, attending Morning Prayer, the Eucharist, Evensong and Compline and singing sublime music every day is an experience beyond words.

Today, just before we left for home, we sang the second part of Tallis' Lamentations of Jeremiah. This is a setting for 5 male voices - as the top part is for an alto I was involved along with two tenors, a baritone and a bass. The music is complex, unrelenting in its demands, and totally rewarding. I have performed it before - 4 times, in fact - but still am unable to claim to know the music or my own part, and keep discovering new things in it. Today it was the magic of the dissonances - and the passion of the writing towards the end, when the prophet describes the desolation of Jerusalem.

When we had finished singing, Bishop Martin said a final brief prayer in what was almost a whisper, and we left in silence. Half an hour later, we were on the ferry heading for home. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, and we continue Holy Week in our own church. Life seems very full, and very rich.


  1. So you had fun then...? Great!

  2. Mmmm. Do you think "fun" is the right word? It was deeply enjoyable, fulfilling, knackering .... but fun? What do you think?

  3. Busy it seems to be, but I am envious of the fact that you have time for thought....and blethering...oh and very much of the fact that you can sing. The family used to say I had a voice like my Grandma...for years I thought that was good...then I heard her sing!! Oh and it was true! But my ear is good...sing the note and I can find it on the piano....just can't get it from my throat.
    Did you note I had published your teds on the blog?
    It started a rush to the class email and the children are enthused by such input. They wonder what Moses has been doing since he was found again.

  4. I did indeed see Moses' debut in the blogosphere. I'll have a word with him and see what he's been up to ....