What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us HOME.
By household task, I hope one means ‘a task which is done within a household’. At home people put up with me playing on the piano (it’s crazy having a baby grand in a tiny flat, I know). It drives them up the wall sometimes. Shouting. The slamming of doors. All because I need to practise. Music feels like it’s the whole world around me. For example, I was walking through Princes St. Gardens today at around 8am, and I saw the first squirrels and rabbits I had seen since Autumn last year. There were noticeably more bird calls – some very elaborate ones could be heard.
This is what I mean by music being the world. Even though I’m not a massive fan of extremely contemporary music, contemporary composers use sounds and noises in their music. I find that bird-call can be surprisingly tuneful as well as noisy. Similarly, pitches of the whines of vehicle engines as they speed past you can also be tuneful. It breaks my heart sometimes when I have to be silent to let others work, I guess, because of how much it means to me. When there is silence I feel trapped in my own head. It’s true that there is music in silence – you can very easily hear music in your imagination. However, for someone like me who uses music as a means of communicating to people, it can feel restricting.
That’s the household task I hate the most. The silence of a working home.
‘The Protecting Veil’ is a piece by composer, John Tavener, who sadly passed away late last year. I was first recommended this piece of his, for Cello and strings, by a friend who is very into contemporary music. To be honest, I am not a massive fan of the kind of contemporary music that has eliminated harmony and made way for viciously abstract effects. However, ‘The Protecting Veil’ is a wonderfully harmonious and beautiful piece of music.
The legendary Steven Isserlis, who is playing the solo Cello part, spends immense amounts of time on the quality of sound he produces. This plays an important factor in ‘The Protecting Veil’, since it is all about tone and quality of sound. The high introduction is beautifully played by Isserlis, as he produces a very lyrical sound. However later on in the piece the Cello part goes lower and more mellow, and it wonderfully displays the full range of the Cello, which in itself is a beautiful instrument. It’s a beautiful piece generally and goes through several sections:
- The Protecting Veil
- The Nativity of the Mother of God
- The Annunciation
- The Incarnation
- The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
- The Resurrection
- The Dormition
- The Protecting Veil
I hope you listen and enjoy to this piece! It’s a good piece to listen to whilst you’re on the computer for a long length of time, perhaps when you’re working on some piece of writing, as it is a long piece yet it tells a fantastic story – something perhaps you could interpret in your own way and use to bring on further creativity!