Life, photos but not the universe

If music be the food…..

I remember driving up a narrow twisty lane a few years ago, listening intently to a Vivaldi concerto which I hoped to be able to play for a grade 6 violin exam.

I can’t remember which concerto it was or who was* playing on the CD but I do remember how the sheer deliciousness of the sound he made suddenly seemed to flow around my tongue and down my throat in a way which caused me to say out loud, “Ooh!  Honey and wine!”**  The children in the back of the car didn’t seem at all phased by this though I don’t think they realised that my comment had anything to do with the music.

This was such a delightful sensation that I found myself considering other musicians I knew and thinking “well Kate sounds like running water and the scent of primroses”.  After a bit, I noticed that whoever it was I was listening to sounded a lot like my fiddle teacher though her sound had something a little bit savoury added to it.

Anyway, I couldn’t conjure up any taste sensations when I listened to other violinists (though Vengarov came complete with compelling images of sparkling brown eyes) so I decided I probably don’t have synaesthesia.  I definitely don’t hear music in colour.  Oh except that Dave Burland has a dark brown voice but I think someone else made that comparison and I’ve just remembered it.  Also, his voice has been compared to chocolate but  myself, I think it’s more like liquid caramel which means that in the song ‘Sweet Thames Flow Softly’, he can just about carry off the lines

kissed her once again at Wapping,

(Flow, sweet river, flow)

after that there was no stopping

(Sweet Thames flow softly)

Much better anyway, than we were able to when we sang this song years ago.  Our performance was rarely helped by the fact that the first time we sang it, Alan, our bass singer, misread ‘creeping fog’ for ‘creeping joy’.  After that it was impossible ever to take it seriously again.

I have just learnt that the original poem by Ewan McColl is one that will be displayed on the London Underground. I must say, I think ‘Whalesong’, brought to my attention by the wonderful English Inukshuk is considerably better but perhaps I should attempt to take it seriously after all.

*Pinchas Zuckerman

**It was unfiltered, slightly grainy honey with a warm toasty flavour and the wine was a Viognier with an apricot aroma.

January 15, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. *listens to Der Rosenkavalier waltz sequences. Desperate bloating (Fr. ‘ballonnement’) through simultaneous Sachertorte feeding frenzy. Dr. prescribes Monteverdi and lettuce*

    Ah. …fatten and so die.
    But surely you can’t fatten on imaginary food?
    Lettuce is imaginary food as far as I’m concerned.

    Sachertorte on the other hand sounds like a recipe for some quite serious bloating and indigestion too, if you consider it’s legal history.

    Comment by Christopher | January 16, 2011 | Reply

  2. I really miss all the classical music that I experienced when I went out with The Violinist all those years ago. . . he ended up being a barrister tho, so he probably wanted a change

    I used to love the rehearsals, especially when he played with the LSO because Claudio Abbado was such an interesting conductor and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields because when they played “at home” the location was so beautiful

    I think you’re very clever playing the fiddle!! isn’t syneathesia interesting, I was thinking about it only the other day


    (will check the links later, small girl just arrived home soaked to the skin and needs a warming cuddle)


    I’ll never forget wandering into a free concert in a church in Venice Inukshuk – heavenly music and a stunningly beautiful location. It’s one of the nice things about classical music, that it gets played in classical venues. I’ve never been to St Martin in the Fields but just the name sounds a bit magical, especially when you know it’s in the middle of a city : ) I suppose once upon a time it was in the fields!
    (Lucky small girl : )

    Comment by english inukshuk | January 17, 2011 | Reply

    • (lucky me – that she still wants to be cuddled!!)

      Oh yes indeed! The mutualness of cuddling is such a good thing

      Comment by english inukshuk | January 18, 2011 | Reply

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