Saturday, June 24, 2006

We are lost, we are lost ...

I was involved the other day in a discussion about how choirs learn music. Some well-known choirs seem to teach music by rote; even if the choristers can read music they will perform without it and everyone has to learn rather than read. I was of the opinion that this would end my choral career, as my memory is becoming less reliable by the day, but recalled the struggle I'd had in my youth to master the alto part in Tippet's "A Child of our Time". In the end, I'd learned it - so that now I can sing bits like "We are lost, we are lost" with remarkable accuracy from memory.

Hence today's photo, for which I am indebted to my bro-in-law: at this moment I was far too fraught to take photos. All I could sing was this wretched snippet of Tippet - inside my head, with what I yesterday learned is called an "earworm". We were indeed lost, as this took place on the search for the vanished Cretan mule path now hideously overgrown with strong-scented jaggies, to which I refer in a previous post. And as I sweated and cursed and coughed and spluttered in the pollen cloud I was singing in my head "We are lost .....". In at least four parts. So despite my ability to read music there is still a memory in there - it just doesn't replenish as it used to.

Another ridiculous accompaniment to my hike was the anxious call of "Help, help", which I and my sister actually uttered from time to time. Understandable in the circs? Oh yes. But I had become convinced that in some piece of literature - perhaps children's literature? - there was a creature, possibly furry, who was in the habit of pronouncing the words "Hellip, hellip." To date I have not been able to find the source of this nonsense, though several people when asked have assumed a far-away look and murmered "Mmm ....yes...but ...?"

So if there is anyone out there who can put me out of my misery and exorcise this particular niggle, the virtual Mars Bar will reappear. Until then, I shall continue to murmur "Hellip, hellip" in times of need. And we can't really have that, can we?


  1. It's either Bambi or Peter Rabbit. I can recall some form of rabbit saying it.

    In terms of learning/playing from memory... I think the Moonlight Sonata and An Die Music will haunt my voice and my fingertips forever!

    Bought my first conducting baton today. Quite a thought...

  2. Himself says you don't need a stick - wants you to learn to use your hands (!) He says also that if you want to use a baton then read Adrian Boult's book "The Point of the Stick".

    Sorry - I'm only the messenger ....

  3. I use my hands when conducting choral music. I am told I need one if I am to be conducting an orchestra in a pitt. Something about the people on stage and the orchestra seeing the beat.

    Funny you should mention that book... it has already been recommended.

  4. Bambi was not a rabbit! I don't know if Beatrix Potter would have been so silly but I will continue to be so!

  5. I simply had to follow up these comments with a Bambi-sighting. We were driving home from Toward half an hour ago when we had to slow down for a deer which crossed the road, calmly and slowly, just in front of us. She looked back as she reached the safety of the small wood on the far side, and a tiny fawn bounced out after her, all long legs and cartoon movements. The Aww factor was very high - expecially for the wee one. However, neither creature appeared to be uttering distorted pleas for assistance .....

  6. Yes, I know! I was meaning Thumper in the film Bambi - ha ha