An Early Morning Cage

July 16, 2007 at 8:07 pm (music)



Yesterday morning, after a night of drinking, I woke in the early hours to go to the toilet. As I was washing my hands I heard some music and straining to listen, I thought, “that sounds like gongs, actually, that sounds like gamelan!” Immediately I turned off the tap in order to hear it better and I was surprised to hear that it was John Cage’s ‘Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano’. (To hear an example click here and when you get to the Amazon page click on ‘Listen to samples’ and you’ll hear what I’m talking about)

In these pieces of music, Cage puts nuts, bolts, rubbers and other small bits and bobs inside the piano, on the strings, so that when a note is played it sounds more like a gong, drum or saron (the closest western instrument is a Glockenspiel or maybe a metallophone but they don’t really sound the same as sarons have only 5 different notes and a duller timbre).

This music is not particularly common, so I was amazed to be hearing it at 5 in the morning. As I opened the window to see if I could work out exactly which Sonata it was, the music stopped; all I could hear were the birds! Confused and sleepy I thought that maybe I had imagined the whole thing and began to wonder “how much did I drink last night?” However, when I closed the window I could, again, hear the faintest sounds of percussion. With this, I decided to return to bed but I couldn’t help wondering where the music was coming from. My guess (and it’s the most logical solution, although I would like to imagine that someone, somewhere is recreating John Cage on their parent’s piano in the wee small hours) is that a neighbour is studying music A-level and is cramming before next week’s exams. This being said, I am given a glimmer of hope that there are other gamelan (and in fact Cage) lovers out there and when I returned to my bed, I slept peacefully, reminiscing about all the crazy and wonderful music I studied at school and uni. Good times.

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A Beautiful Country Wedding

July 16, 2007 at 2:05 pm (photos)

I had a fab day on Saturday at a gorgeous wedding 20 minutes from Bury-st-Edmunds. Jess and Tom were the happy couple, and they were exactly that.

The wedding was set in Jess’ parents grounds where the little church is about 200 metres from the house and marquee! The weather was gorgeous and so was the bride with a nice tan and the most beautiful dress.

It was really refreshing to go to such a laid back, enjoyable wedding. Lots of little nibbles were being brought round as we all relaxed on the grass whilst the photos were being taken. Everything had been organised so well that the day ran extremley smoothly and although not entirely traditional, much the better for it.

One example of this was the cake, I think it must have been everyone’s idea of heaven, so when it appeared at dessert, we were all very impressed.

After the wedding ceremony (and far too many champagnes in the grounds of the church) we all took our places at the tables in the marquee and waited for the speeches. They were very tasteful and Jess’ Dad’s brought a tear to my eye. (In fact I was welling up at various intervals throughout the day!)

Food was gorgeous and (on our table at least) everyone just had a generally great time.

The first dance was fab and Jess and Tom had obviuosly prepared; we took too many photos of it but it was just very cool!

There was a full evening of dancing to the live band and after this the night ended with fireworks.

The heart shaped firework with J and T in the middle was the cutest. Unfortunately it was too far away and my camera wasn’t feeling up to taking a good shot of it!

In total, I took 240 photos!! I’ve never taken so many photos in one day. I have deleted about two thirds of them though (all the rubbish ones), so I am sticking to my new rules about taking photos! They are here if you fancy a gander.

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