Thursday, 23 June 2016
Remain with Tillmans
24/6 Any updates in the comments (do add if you feel like it). I haven't the spirit to put up another piece on this craziest of days.
My New Best Friends in the Gildas Quartet reacted with this photo to the Wolfgang Tillmans-designed T-shirt I wore at a fascinating mini-conference on press and young artists organised at the Goldsmiths' Centre in Farringdon by the City Music Foundation. I could only stay for an hour because I had to rush to get a tube, bike, train and bus to Garsington for what turned out to be a first-class Idomeneo (an opera, incidentally, by an Austrian about Greeks and the forerunners of the Turks with an Italian libretto, performed by Brits and one Australian, with a Swedish conductor, and I'm making a guess, though I can't find it confirmed anywhere, that vivacious assistant conductor and chorus 'master' Susanna Stranders is Danish).
That was a shame, since the CMF artists seemed like a lively group, and I know and admire several, like the pianist Samson Tsoy, already. The panel consisted of lovely Maddy Castell from the BBC (below, foreground left), Kimon Daltas, Editor of Classical Music and sometime contributor to The Arts Desk (right) and myself. The Gildas Quartet are on the left.
It was a rush beforehand, too - had to go and pick up two of the T-shirts designed by Tillmans by cycling via the Serpentine Gallery, where I had a lively chat with the very nice woman in the shop. She thought I should flout the 'antiquated dress code' of Garsington by displaying one or t'other, but of course in the end I didn't have the nerve, merely opening my white shirt to reveal the message to selected punters. Here are the shirts sported by model, the simpler message first
and the one I really like, which - since I took the shot in the mirror as the others didn't work well - needs interpreting: 'No man is an island. No country by itself'. I hope to get to wear it after today by simply adding a 'd' to 'Vote' at the bottom.
Worth adding a few more of Tillmans' manifestos to the ones I've already posted. The list of hostile names on the Brexit side has become more piquant, though of course Trump with his unequivocal support for Out - is he really coming to the UK today? - isn't there yet.
and the messages crystal-clear.
As a recent reminder of the darker forces at work, just read this on my main source of information about Russia, The Interpreter: some vile misfit has been insinuating to a state-owned TV channel that the murder of Jo Cox might have been a put-up job. Negativity knows no bounds. Yet in all the nastiness of the past weeks, there's been more resourceful humour. This one I like
as well as one aimed at the oldies who are most likely to vote Brexit - 'Vote Leave on Friday'.
But enough - though it'll be on my mind all day, and at the first night of Jenůfa at ENO before we go on to some gathering or other. A few calming floral scenes from Garsington, which obliged with sunshine after the rains and before the big storm last night.
Finally, one good piece of news: Jonathan Bloxham, very talented cellist and conductor, and my guest at Garsington last night, has just been appointed Assistant Conductor at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. What a wonderful time to start, with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla taking over as Principal Conductor; sure she'll be a wonderful mentor, too. Nice to end, as I began, with a take on the young musicians who give us such massive hope for the future.