I am with you all in spirit tonight. Hayley's last concert of the decade. Quite a momentous occasion. so sorry for those of you who were prevented from traveling by the weather. ( I understand your loss)
I wish you all safe journeys home for Christmas,
Especially Hayley who has yet to travel half way round the planet to get home for Christmas.... Safe journey home and Go raibh míle maith agat (Thank you in Irish or "May you have a thousand kindnesses" )
Best wishes to you all from Dublin
" But you make me forget so very much.
I forget to pray for the Angels
and then the Angels forget to pray for us. " ......Leonard Cohen
Hello, Sandchimp 1. We probably encountered one another without realising it. Welcome. You have been Hayley-wowed. A very common phenomenon. Explore here and you will be amazed how many perfectly normal people have become completely speechless in her presence or speaking complete nonsense. It takes a few encounters to be able to hold a rational conversation with her. It's not her fault, its just the awe in which we regard her. It was only in Exeter and Liverpool that I believe I managed to talk with her like an ordinary human being for the first time (oh, and tonight when we talked about my boots!).
I said to someone tonight that this report needed only one word. "Superb". Another one word would do, "Hayley". While Hayley is a believer in simplicity herself, or perhaps more accurately she believes in effectiveness and her effectiveness is usually achieved in simple ways, such a simple report inevitably undervalues her.
I mentioned in previous reports (Liverpool in particular) that the beauty of a Hayley concert is that everyone rises to match her standards. "Cohesiveness" is another good word to describe this night (already last night)! The whole evening was one solid tour de force of superb artistry throughout.
I said in my Liverpool report that in working with the high calibre of other artists the collective whole builds exponentially (or words to that effect). I think we are seeing increasingly the influence of Tim Evans as an arranger. There has always been an arranging talent within her grouping but I think I am perceiving a new influence which I am assuming is Tim's. I do not discount a singular arranging talent within Raven but I think that tends to be in relation to themselves rather than in any influence directly on Hayley.
The Barbican is a concert hall I love--once I have got there, until then I hate anything being there! I still haven't got to it or from it without getting lost at least once in transit! Steve and I debated if the woodwork design was pure design or was an example of form--a design meeting requirements for acoustical resonance. The stage was simply but well laid out and the stage was well filled.
The addition of a double bass added some depth to the strings but Raven are so superb in their delivery that arguably it wasn't essential BUT, that subtle addition did have an effect. Tim's influence again?
Percussion was another addition which helped add body. On a cost basis, the Batbican venue justified it unquestionably, for other venues, perhaps not BUT one sensed she did not need an orchestra. Is this another Tim influence? If so, it provides her with a real body of sound and a wider range of subtlety in arrangement options. It is also a cheap way of gaining an overall small orchestral effect.
Looking at how Hayley might develop and where does she go from here, I think the Barbican provided us with insights into fascinating future possibilities.
Oh, perhaps I should mention the weather, especially since my boots may well appear in photos, I was right to wear them, that is why I am writing now and not after breakfast!
While London seemed to be melding and hopefully ensuring Hayley's flight will not be delayed, outside London the temperature was the usual two or three degrees colder if not six or seven. I had left Berkhamsted station with the length of 8 carriages cleared of snow on all relevant platforms. I returned to see no sign of clearance what ever, two inches of snow having settled since. Likewise my journey home, trudging through impossible conditions, grateful I had my boots!
Consequently I arrived home in need of a couple of Ryvita biscuits, overly daubed with New Zealand butter and mature English cheddar cheese and... yes! A Canada dry with a double snort of The Famous Grouse. I don't normally drink a blend, preferring single malts but they 'do' for colds and things so I made do, not that I have a cold or anything but I had preferred a long drink, hence the Canada Dry. And so to bed. Good night!