Today we admitted that we were time travellers (and not in Kansas anymore). So with the exception of a quick bash through “Johney Cock Thy Beaver” from Playford’s 1684 book The Division-Violin, we didn’t set foot in the 17th century. Francesco Geminiani was a pupil of the great Corelli and his connection with Dublin ended with his burial here in 1762. we remembered him by playing through 2 tunes from his 1749 treatise on Good Taste in the Art of Musick:- “Lady Ann Bothwel’s Lament” and “Auld Bob Morrice”.
Boccherini’s Passa Caille (from his c.1780 quintet Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid, G.324) was made famous in the 2003 film Master and Commander, with Russell Crowe doing a creditable job of miming to Richard Tognetti’s violin playing. The movie is lent a certain historical authenticity by the use of this musical detail, but the music itself was written in a self-consciously ancient form, out-of-date by over a century. We enjoyed the layers of references but in the end it’s just a bit of fun.
We returned to the Dublin Bay ballad from last week, arranging it in a way that would feel natural to our 17th-century selves (17CS) , with divisions on the violin and musical-rhetorical support for the text.
We then returned to the Bach concerto and experimented with various fine details of interpretation. What music.
Picking up our work-in-progress Light and Depth we brought some new material. it took some more shape as we worked on it, with more layers developing and strands emerging.
Finally, the lament for Bowie was given some attention and having done a bit of homework and chosen the harmonies most intelligible to our 17CS, it really started to flow.
Before leaving we had a look upstairs at the wonderful exhibition by artist PJ Lynch and visited the spot designated for our first concert at lunchtime on the 4th March in the children’s library. Wouldn’t it be cool to provide the soundscape that goes with the great view of the harbour? Boats, ropes, seagulls, water…. We’ll see what we can do.
- Malachy 19/1/16