I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of Déjâ Vu, and this story originated in something I wrote when I was still at school, a highly melodramatic piece about walking into one’s own past. That story remains as just one scene, as Lucy/Hilary steps out of the train at a station, and goes to a house she once lived in. The rest is dystopia and fairy tales – Sleeping Beauty and Snow White both get their tropes in, waking from long sleep and being offered poison by a door to door saleswoman. There is a hefty element of paranoia to the story – a Stepford Wives meets Smiley’s People cold war angle inspired by one of those what-if conversations. Huge fun to write!
So: Saturday was a singing day, 3 hours or so, rehearsing, performing, singing with the audience, interspersed with beer at the lovely Ivy House.
We like to have a theme or a project for Vocal Chords, in the summer it was love songs for the planet, this autumn it has been folk carols, learnt from Lester Simpson and dragged out of our collective record collections and memories, and performed with gusto!
The arrangements sound quite complex and the parts can get a little competitive as to who can sing loudest, but they are actually quite simple so long as you can keep in time.
Here is a sample, my absolute favourite of the songs we sang, although it is a hard, hard choice, as I loved all of them!
This is the definition of Joyous, for me, cynical old atheist though I am.
And then Sunday we were selling Arachne Press books at a christmas market at the delightful Alexandra Nurseries (still singing under our breaths, both ‘Curly Hark’ and snatches of Britten’s St Nicholas, mostly ‘landlord take this piece of gold, bring us meat before the cold’…although we weren’t cold, thanks to our lined walking trousers, winter coats, hats mittens, long-johns…) It was a very jolly day, good weather and plenty of punters.
SO apart from all the events we are going to and taking part in over the next week – Liars’ League Snow & Stars tomorrow, Story Sessions Wednesday, (where I am reading as well as compereing)The ‘work’ xmas party with my fellow WooA writers, and christmas shopping at Brockley Xmas market & the £3 christmas bazaar and enjoying V G Lee and Rose Collis’ drollery at Bah Humbuggers (Dyke the Halls) on Saturday – all spare time is going on rehearsing for St Nicholas, which we are singing at Blackheath Halls in the Christmas Concert on Friday 20th
and for our Carol Singing in aid of Shelter with Summer All Year Long around Brockley, Honor Oak and Forest Hill on Saturday 21st.
Carol singing, my friends, the sound that cheers: loud, raucous and invigorating. We’ll be driving the cold winter away and getting our vocal chords around some songs going right back to the 15th Century at the Ivy House today at 3pm (ish- depends on how long the rehearsal overruns by). Come along, listen, drink and JOIN IN, with songs about getting cold and drunk and herding sheep. We will teach you the tunes, which you may never have heard before, to words you almost certainly have. There may be some incidental religion.