This was taken on the way to the bus stop after the first Olympic torch choir rehearsal in the Purcell Rooms.
Only a few of the Blackheath Chorus turned up, but there were plenty of people from other choirs. I made friends with a very chirpy and feisty lady called Jo, who also sings in a Vaughan Williams choir. We have to sing three songs: the Lemn Sissay/Laka d commission, a Howard Goodall song (lyric translated from German) that was quite sentimental and made me cry, and the Thomas Tallis Canon – which the organisers seem to presume that we know. eek.
I know Lemn Sissay’s work pretty well. He’s a performance poet and pretty good as far as performance poets go. His lyric concerns the torch, and its symbolism. A choir of children will sing about being Icarus, and flying high in the sky, etc…
And this is where I started having doubts.
After all, Icarus did fly high with his lovely man-made wings, as any fule kno. But he flew too close to the sun, and the heat melted the wax, and the wings disintegrated, and…
So, is the message of our song: “Don’t be too cocky, kids.” Or is it: “Aim high, like Icarus, and then you cannot fail – but then Icarus did fail, but at least he tried, eh?”
Laka d. turned out to be not some trendy hippety hoppety type, but a short, powerfully-built middle-aged white woman with pink streaks in her sensible haircut and a beautiful, soulful voice.