Tuesday, 12 August 2008

A dream reality

Whilst I am by no means an addict of TV, I can and do go weeks, sometimes even months without watching it, I have also been known to change plans if I am taken with something

Tonight, flicking, whilst waiting for the kettle, I came across Maestro on BBC2. It's about celebrities of all shapes and sizes learning to conduct an orchestra. It's wonderful!

I found myself smiling all the way through the programme. Even doing something that was strange for each of them, their real personality shone through. They all did it their way. So Jane Asher came across as a serious perfectionist, Jon Snow as mad etc.

The one I am now rooting for ( though I guess others could take my fancy next week) is Goldie.

He was in a different class today. Even though he can't read music, he found his strategy to track the patterns on an orchestral score, listened to his mentor and put himself completely into the job at hand. No half measures, no staying in the safe lands, but risking himself and being himself.

I actually didn't see who was conducting when I heard the music for the first 30 seconds, engaged as I was in an activity involving pain killers and a loud and not very pleased cat.

BUT the orchestra sounded completely different, the audience enjoyed it and the orchestra clearly did too as they responded to him. What a feedback mechanism an orchestra is!

And he maintained it too.

Playing in an orchestra is the ultimate in team playing I think, even better because it doesnt involve sport. HA! But the adrenalin rush of a concert and a hard piece is hard to beat..and I am remembering this as if it was yesterday, rather then decades ago.. THRILLING

The conductor's role is an interesting one. All the musicians are excellent in their own right. They all choose to play together as together they can achieve more. Good orchestras can and do manage without one. Another, usually a violinist, may step in and lead from the front, or a soloist likewise can operate in this way too.

They are no mere metronomes either, as their interpretation of the music and understanding of the musicians adds a dimension that the composer can only guess at on writing.

It is generative. And when it works, magic happens. Some people are never lucky enough to experiencec this. I see it often at work, and its equally thrilling.

This is one reality show I would love to take part in. What luxury.

I already know what I will be doing the same time next week. The cat will get her medicine early and lump it

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