Thursday, May 05, 2011

Early Morning London

There is something romantic about a big city early in the morning.
I travelled by tube and DLR to the University of the East with my guitar on my back, sharing the experience with some tired businessmen and all sorts of support staff, from security men heading off the ExCel to cleaners heading home and school-kids heading off to school.
The idea had been to set up in the corridor outside the cleaners office, play the song and recruit more members for the choir. The corridors are industrial-chic gloomy concrete and although they look spectacularly ugly, they have a fine and crisp reverb.
But although Ana was there, and Alessia, a student who is filming, there were very few cleaners around.
I unpacked the guitar and played a bit of the riff and some heads popped out of the office. Although they were reluctant heads, they were curious heads and I think we might be able to persuade one of the supervisors and another one of the cleaners, who told me in Spanish that he was a percussionist, to join us at a later date.
Meanwhile, the cleaners who normally sing appeared; they had been waiting in the Lecture Theatre where we normally rehearse, so we went back there to carry on. It was difficult rehearsing without Luis (he had to take his children to school today), but it meant that the choir had to try to understand me, and I had to try to understand them, without a translator. In some ways this was good!
We added a bit to the song; each person now has a tiny cameo and can do what they want with it before we all join in again...
This means that their personalities come to the forefront, and it also means that other people can quite easily participate at any point.
I stood at the back of the lecture hall (which is huge) to listen.
They were in fine voice. I leapt ecstatically off the wooden shelf I'd been sitting on and fell over into a dramatic heap of tangled arms, legs and guitar.
Luckily, they couldn't see me. I am a proud cat and don't like to broadcast my disasters, so I stumbled to my feet behind the partition at the back of the lecture theatre and bounced back down to join them.
Three cheers for The Cleaners' Voice Complaints Choir!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I can just imagine the scene! The cleaner's choir I mean-not you falling over! Though I can imagine that too-hope you didn't hurt yourself. I fell over yesterday morning whilst setting up my ropes for Forest school-all on my own but the first thing I did was look around to see nobody saw me! I fell on my shuffle-but it survived-well done apple for making them so strong! Hope you enjoy Milton Keanes