Instructions for Dancing

Sunday January 9, 2011

tip of the iceberg

Filed under: Uncategorized — by hettyweston @ 11:30 pm

Last Sunday night I was sitting in the back of a minibus, speeding in breakneck manner through the hilly countryside around Mousehole, Cornwall. The passengers of the minibus were my consort group: two sops, two altos, three tenors and two basses. One of the tenors was driving. Badly. There was a music student in charge of the radio, but we ended up on Classic FM anyway because of one very special case. It was the hall of fame countdown, and they were playing Nimrod, that very overplayed but stunningly beautiful movement from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. This movement spends three minutes building from nothing to one intensely amazing climax, then it falls away again into silence. As it played, gradually all our conversations stopped and nine people fell silent, listening to the build-up and waiting for the resolution.

The music built, gradually, as we listened in silence. Hearts were tight. We were a second away from the crucial moment.

The minibus drove into a valley and the radio went dead.

Nine people screamed in unison.

(for some reason this is my sweetest memory of the whole thing.)


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