Sunday, April 18, 2010


from w
At the second venue for the Festival of Music in Geelong's Historical Churches we were at All Saints Anglican Church in Newtown, again a solid building like a rock of protection against the world. Somehow the idea of church design used to be tough solid walls, small windows, isolation from the outside world. And hard wooden seats. Thank goodness for some of the newer designs with comfortable seats, brighter sunlight, large windows, even views of the sky and trees outside. We were listening to a lovely choir - the Geelong Welsh Ladies's Choir as they prepared for a tour of New Zealand starting on Friday. No ash cloud down under.

Anyway I was thinking of the symmetry in ceiling design and order in the lining up of pews and repetitive shapes in walls and ceilings. (I wondered how different the front of the church would look if the colour was different, more jewel-like so made some alternations to post here. Also I played around a bit with a photo of one of the windows as I really don't go for such orderliness.) Perhaps religion is partly order from disorder, symmetry in a world of assymetry, safety as against danger, justice as opposed to injustice. We have a longing for some kind of order when there are accidents, bad things happening to good people, occasional chaos, sudden shifts in the earth such as volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones. Rock of ages, cleft for me, the song goes. Safety from the storm. The stability of God as against the often foolishness of people.

And of course I was also listening to the lovely songs such as Cohen's Alleluia, The Rhythm of Life, You Raise me up, and a lovely song from New Zealand Go Now in Peace.

The third concert was in the Church of Christ which was a less colourful venue and lighter than the first two places. It was more of a chapel but again there was order and symmetry. The concert was really quirky using songs about Mary Magdalena, the good and the bad bits, with an actor (Sue Tweg, Director pf Drama at Monash University) reading poems and stories in between ancient Latin and French chants and songs, some accompanied by a kind of hand-held organ and a bowl shaped stringed instrument. The legends about Mary Magdalen here equated her with the sinner Mary, though I think they were two different women. There were also stories of Mary Magdalen going to France as a missionary. Some of the readings were perhaps controversial as from gnostic sources and risque French songs as well. It was a strange contradiction to me to have this group, called Acord, performed in a plain no-nonsense Protestant building but of course the intimacy was suited to four performers without microphones.After that recital we were provided with a lovely Devonshire tea spread to gird our loins for the next gig. There were two more concerts to go - but I decided to do my 20 minute daily walk - back to the bus-stand to go home as three out of five concerts were enough for one day!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home