Friday, April 29, 2011

And there was music

from w
I tracked down the list of music played/sung at 'the wedding' and what an insular British list it was - no world music at all. Nothing from the 'colonies'! Some I liked especially the Mealor Ubi caritas which was deeply spiritual. There was far too much music actually and it must have been a bit boring for some of the congregation. Apparently they did the massive organ extravaganza by Vidor after the ceremony. That's a beauty and I wrote a short story about it one time after a wedding I attended at the local St Andrews church - suggesting that the organist must have had a 'very happy time' playing it!
Anyway here's the list (adapted from a website)

Before the Service
organ pieces: Fantasia in G (Pièce d’orgue à 5) by Johann Sebastian Bach, followed by Veni Creator Spiritus by the Master of The Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies; Prelude on St. Columba Op. 28 by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford andSonata for Organ Op. 28 (Allegro maestoso and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar. Elgar Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20 (Allegro piacevole, Larghetto and Allegretto) Britten Courtly Dance V: Galliard from Gloriana (Symphonic Suite) Op. 53a no. 7 Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves Maxwell Davies Farewell to Stromness Delius On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring Walton Touch Her Soft Lips and Part from Henry V Suite Finzi Romance for String Orchestra Op. 1 and Canzona from Organ Sonata in C minor by Percy Whitlock.

Processional Music
a Fanfare by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry to mark the arrival of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. March from The Birds by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. Prelude on Rhosymedre by Ralph Vaughan Williams will accompany the Procession of the Clergy, and was chosen for its Welsh echoes. The Couple have selected I was Glad, also by Parry, for the Procession of the Bride.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’, words by William Williams, translated by Peter Williams and others, and music by John Hughes. The second will be Love Divine All Love Excelling, words by Charles Wesley and music by William Penfro Rowlands. The third will be Jerusalem, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, words by William Blake.

The Anthem and Motet
The Anthem, This is the day which the Lord hath made, has been composed specially for the occasion by John Rutter.
Motet Ubi caritas by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer, who is currently Reader in Composition at The University of Aberdeen.

The National Anthem will be sung immediately before the Signing of the Registers.

The Signing of the Registers and the Recessional
Blest pair of Sirens, words by John Milton from At a Solemn Musick, music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry.
Fanfare, called Valiant and Brave, after the motto of No. 22 Squadron (Search and Rescue Force) The Recessional, for the Procession of the Bride and Bridegroom, will be Crown Imperial by William Walton. Toccata from Symphonie V by Charles-Marie Widor and Pomp and Circumstance March no. 5 by Edward Elgar will follow the Service.

More about Mealor and a sample is on youtube.

Little-known British composer Paul Mealor has been chosen by the royal couple to compose a new choral work for the Westminster Abbey ceremony. The 35-year-old's music may have been hitherto largely unknown outside his native Wales. The royal couple resides on North Wales' Isle of Anglesey, Mealor's hometown.

The composer has adapted music from his Now sleeps the crimson petal to a setting of a 6th-century Latin hymn. The incipit of the new work, Ubi caritas, translates to "Where charity and love are, God is there". Featuring a solo for boy treble, it showcases Mealor's accessible style and luminous choral writing.

“I was thrilled to hear that HRH Prince William of Wales had chosen my music for his wedding", he said. "How humbling it is for me to know that Prince William and Catherine will celebrate the beginning of their lives together with my music . . . The ceremony is going to be, without a doubt, the most emotionally intense and exhilarating hour of my life!’’

Mealor is shaping up to be one of the most significant choral composers in Wales, lauded by the New York Times for writing "music of deep spiritual searching that always asks questions, offers answers and fills the listener with hope."

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How the Age newspaper saw the wedding

from w
Though some newspapers just did rave, the Age was more perceptive.
Editorial from the Age on Saturday 30 April 2011-04-30
A swell party but what happens next

THE wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton - henceforth to be called Catherine, if the palace has its way - was planned as a grand occasion. Understandably. Nobody does pageantry better than the British, and seldom have they needed a heart-warming diversion more than they do just now. After the global financial crisis they are facing the harshest economic austerity measures they have experienced since World War II. Only curmudgeons would begrudge them - and the hundreds of millions around the world watching on television - this spectacular party.

The royal family, too, needed a morale booster. Living under the long, dark shadow cast by the messy failure of the marriage of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and the early, shocking death of his wife, Diana, embarrassed by the indiscretions of some of its other members, and hounded by tabloid media, the royals required something special to burnish a tainted image. William and Kate, an attractive, apparently level-headed couple, seem ideally suited for the job.

Mind you, they will have their work cut out. When it comes to public relations, the royal family, or its establishment advisers, have a talent for getting it wrong. The heavy-handed decision to pressure the BBC to force the ABC to abandon a planned "alternative" royal wedding commentary by the Chaser team is such a case. The family not only lurched into censorship but, by making a goose of itself, made whatever irreverent send-up the Chaser boys were plotting quite unnecessary.

But that is a side issue. As the trampled bunting is swept from London's streets, the real question is whether the enthusiasm generated by yesterday's hoopla was just a flash in the royal pan. Or can this marriage, as monarchists hope, revitalise the institution of the monarchy and deliver a fatal blow to the republican cause, in Australia and Britain? After all, opinion polls suggest public support for that cause is declining.

There are other reasons for monarchist optimism. Prince William, second in line to the throne behind his father, Prince Charles, and his bride may indeed inject a shot of contemporary relevance into the house of Windsor. In some respects they are a thoroughly modern couple, a break from stuffy, exclusive tradition. She is no girlish, high-bred debutante but a 29-year-old commoner, daughter of self-made, albeit wealthy, parents. Both are university graduates. They lived together before they wed.

The best guess about what will happen next in the royal saga is: probably nothing much in the short term. Given that avowed republican politicians, including the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, are too preoccupied with more immediate problems to address the issue, the former prime minister John Howard may well prove right in his assertion that there will be no Australian republic while Elizabeth II continues to reign. But for monarchists there's the rub. The Queen comes from long-lived stock, and is apparently not attracted to the idea of abdicating in favour of her son. But she is 85. Sooner or later death or disability must strike her down.

When that happens, and after proper mourning for a much loved and dedicated woman, the republican debate will erupt again - particularly if the incurably uncharismatic Prince Charles, he of the doleful countenance and sometimes eccentric views, does succeed to the throne. The anomalies inherent in the monarchical system will then become more glaringly evident.

One is the lunacy that Australians still owe allegiance to a foreign king or queen who lives on the other side of the world and pays us only rare, fleeting visits, waving graciously. Another, in a nation priding itself on egalitarian values, is that the monarchy is hereditary. Worse, under the 1701 British Act of Settlement, the crown passes down according to arcane rules that discriminate on gender and religious grounds.

Under the law of male primogeniture, if yesterday's royal newlyweds produce a daughter or two, and then a son, the son will have precedence in the line of succession. Similarly unacceptable in a multi-religious country, the monarch must be a Protestant. If William or his wife converted to Catholicism, he would forgo any claim to the throne.

True, even if these anachronisms were discarded, it would still be hard to achieve national consensus on how to elect or select a head of state - a difficulty brilliantly exploited by Howard in frustrating the previous republican push here. But however charming the new royal couple may be, the issue cannot be dodged indefinitely.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kiss me Kate

from w
It's always nice to see a fine looking couple with good teeth getting married so best wishes to the eldest son of the eldest son of a privileged family. And of course any young couple getting married today, the youngest daughter of the youngest daughter as well.
I watched it and thought the church service was very good though old-fashioned English was used. The Welsh hymns were fine though many people there didn't seem to be opening their mouths. The John Rutter music was excellent as usual. The young couple didn't fluff their lines and looked charming. The bride's dress was really beautiful, not overdone. But the whole service too long towards the end - as the music went on and on and on. Michelle Griffen wrote a piece for the Age which sums up what some Aussies think - fine spectacle and the British do ceremony and pomp very well, but we still have our opinions about the relevance of the royal institution. I tried to copy the piece from the Age but my computer stuffed up the copying as a punishment for my skewed views I guess!
Kate's sister nearly stole the show with the little girls and boys dressed up.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More pictures from Torquay

from w
The temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius most days but the boys did go for a swim. The beaches at Torquay are very clean and there's plenty of room for the strollers, dogs, bikes, picnickers. Some photos were taken at dawn when we went to the Anzac memorial service - though we stayed down on the beach instead of with the crowds.


Holiday in Torquay

from w
A few days away from the computers in our household was a daumting task for most of us when eight of us spent a few days in a friend's holiday house in Torquay, a seaside town not far from Geelong. Torquay is a great place, very clean and with beautiful beaches. Nearby is Bells Beach where the surfers have their annual Easter Rip Curl carnival. Going without the internet was a trial for the kids too who are on Facebook or youtube a lot of the time! Anyway it did give an impetus for me to do some drawing - mainly pen or pencil. It was nice to roam around the beaches and on Monday get up before dawn to be near enough to the Anzac Day sunrise service at Point Danger. There were thousands of people in Torquay for the weekend - with Bells Surf carnival on, school holidays and Easter and the Anzac service. We had a lovely time and the boys want to go back often - the household had extra bonuses such as a barbecue, a pool table, boogie boards, etc. etc. Thank you Rev Richard for inviting us to your Mum's holiday house!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reworking an old still life painting

from w
I barely recognize the bits and pieces I used in this still life I painted when at Deakin Uni - maybe a lump of wood, a coffee cup, a drawing of a shell. Today I photographed it, (the top picture is the original) then fiddled with variations by overlapping and so on. Well, messing around on computer generated images beats doing housework doesn't it!



from w
Some members of our family have been painting portraits lately, but I'm too lazy to do new work. Instead I found a drawing of a profile that I did when I was a student at a Bendigo Tech night class - while I was teaching at Bendigo High daytime. A long, long time ago. I think I've been a student for more than half of my life, one way or another. Must have had lots of energy those days. Here is the original picture (purple) and some variations.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A forest of tall trees

from w
Often the Australian bush seems to be so scribbly and disorganised with various gum trees going every which way but loose. At other times you come across a stand of tall straight trees rising up into the sky. Here are some variations of a small painting I once made in the You Yangs. I think national identity isn't so much about flags or anthems - it's about landscape and the smell of the eucalypts. There's a song 'Give me a home among the gum trees' that's a better anthem I reckon! And, I wonder if there are 'trees' in heaven as we are just too passionate about the physical world to look yonder!

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When friends visit

from w
What a joy it is when you get a phone call from old friends to say they are coming to visit, such as the Caniogo family - originally from babasiga land in Labasa. Rinieta came down with her daughter Lucy, and two of the delegates to a church conference at Phillip Island. We drank kava then had afternoon tea and there was plenty of laughter, nostalgia and story-telling. Here are some pictures.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Footie or church?

from w
Sundays - church or football? Being the grandsons of a preacher man the boys have been going to our Geelong East church every week, and often also to Altona Meadows/Laverton in the afternoon for the Fijian church. But yesterday was different - they missed the usual routine, their games on at the same time as Church/Sunday School at Geelong East. Our grandsons however were happy to gain awards for their playing - Subway or some other place for meals, etc. Anyway one of the boys rocked up at morning tea time to say hi to the minister. Both have had to unlearn rugby rules of course as they play for St Albans juniors.

It's a pity that the football clubs often have matches on Sunday mornings. A compromise is possible by trying to do both such as going to church later in the day somewhere else. Yesterday it was the Anglicans service of mainly pre-Easter choir music as two of our friends are in the choir.


Friday, April 08, 2011

Myers Street

from w
With a plan to walk 20 t0 30 minutes a day now that I don't go to the gym anymore (too expensive) yesterday after picking up scripts from the chemist I walked back home along Myers Street, taking photos occasionally of trees, plants, flowers. A walking pace is much better than the quick ride by bus or car where you don't see the details. I am still passionate about the natural world though I do tend to turn photos into fantasies at times. Many of the houses in this residential street are Californian bungalow design of the 1930s but some are earlier, almost Boom Style from the 1890s. Some of the trees are melaleukas with their untidy strips of bark but these are admired as being very Australian. Untidy trees don't matter.

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