Monday, 3 September 2007

Ripon Cathedral

Last week we were singing the services in Ripon Cathedral, one of a series of visiting choirs substituting for the regular cathedral choir, since the kiddies were on holiday.

Ripon is in Yorkshire, somewhere near the arctic circle, I think. Ee, it were grim.

Actually, that's a complete lie. We had a wonderful time. The only downer was Tuesday when we arranged to meet some of the other choristers in a village pub for lunch. After taking the 'scenic' route, we eventually found the pub, but despite the signs in the street and the lights shining inside, it was closed. They lost quite a bit of trade. Not only Jen and me, but also the 6 folks in 2 other cars that arrived at the same time, plus the 4 we were to meet and a bunch of walkers who arrived at the same time as they did.

We drove back to another village pub we've eaten in before, only to find that one closed, too, as was another at the other end of that village. We gave up and drove back to Ripon, where a pizza restaurant we know was also closed. Abandoning the car, we walked into town, calling at the Lamb and Flag, which was open, but "Sorry, chef's day off." We had very pleasant fish and chips in the Unicorn Hotel on the main square. And 2 glasses of very nice French sauvignon blanc, 'cos we deserved it after all that!
On Wednesday we went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where there's lots of Andy Goldsworthy, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the opening of the park. Also numerous Henry Moores, Barbaba Hepworths and Elizabeth Frinks, in huge grounds. We had a fabulous time and ended up completely exhausted.

Sadly, all the Goldsworthy was protected by 'no photography' signs, so I can't post any pics of what we saw.

These are 2 of about a dozen Hepworths.

On Saturday afternoon after lunch and before the afternoon rehearsal started, I spent a happy 3/4 hour pretending to be Andy Goldsworthy myself, stitching together blades of grass to make 2-metre long tendrils which I tied to the frame of the choir school's cricket nets. Did I say we were staying in the choir school?

In true transient artist style, I took a short movie clip of it. Sadly, my copy of RAD Video Tools, which I use to convert .mov movie files to more compact formats, has taken to crashing the minute I try to use it. I'll post the movie when I've converted it. At 35 Mb it seems a bit big to try to post it straight. Edit: fixed RAD Video Tools by uninstalling and reinstalling, so here's my Grass Flag in WMV format. I admit it's not up to AG standard, but it was more an experiment to see what was possible than an attempt at a serious piece of art. It was also very windy, so if you have your sound on, you'll get a lot of wind roar from the camera microphone.

Edit: I've fixed the broken link to the Elizabeth Frink entry in Wikipedia.


orchidea said...

Ripon is in Yorkshire, somewhere near the arctic circle, I think. Ee, it were grim.

There be dragons, indeed! ;-)

(The cathedral, however, is lovely.)

Rob Clack said...

The cathedral is a joy to sing in and our organist really enjoyed the huge pipes, as it were! He does like making a lot of noise. He played the Boellmann Toccata for me, cos I particularly like it. (The link is to a synthesised version in a .ogg file, but you can get the idea.) We were also fulsomely welcomed and thanked by the clergy, which was very gratifying.

Suffolkmum said...

What a shame you couldn't take pictures, I love Andy Goldsworthy. Haven't been to Ripon in years, but have dim memories of the lovely cathedral. How lovely to be able to sing, I sound like a strangled cat.

antisocialist said...

A most edifying and enjoyable blog. Thank you.

Best of all possible regards.

Rob Clack said...

SM: Never actually attended a cat strangling, so I couldn't possibly comment. Your writing, however, is beautiful. And that's not just cuddling up to a friend, I really do mean it.

Antisocialist thank you. Most kind. I have a (inevitably worn out) T-shirt bearing the legend "Flattery driven" on the back!

DJ Kirkby said... stiched the grass together? Okay I saw the vid so I bleieve you but stiched with what?

Rob Clack said...

Sorry, DJK, stitched is probably a poor choice of word. The action was probably closest to attaching a label to your luggage before checking in at the airport.

I made a short slit in each end of the blade, some distance from the end. Then fed the tip of blade 2 through the thick-end slit of blade 1, and the thick end of blade 2 through the slit in its own thin end.

I could try to draw a diagram, but I'm not sure I wouldn't make it worse!