V is all the teachers I didn't get at grammar school. When I fall short she apologises before she corrects me. She strives manfully (Wrong adverb, surely? Ed.) to explain "interpretation", the musical equivalent of quantum mechanics. Her compliments are technically devised. Her lovely singing voice, commanding mega power, reminds me why I'm there, standing by the piano. And she applauds my initiatives.
Not forgetting her musical knowledge and taste. Two songs I'm doing are from genres (Irish folk, Neapolitan sentimental) I would normally avoid, yet I love them both. Last Monday V handed me a new score.
Her expression was quizzical and I was under scrutiny. Clearly she had noted more than the state of my larynx.
And the new score? The Lord's Prayer, set by Michael Head.
Anyone who knows Tone Deaf knows I parted brass rags with Le Grand Seigneur ages ago. But, in my own defence, I do not prosyletise. After all I play Bach's B Minor Mass on my car radio.
Theoretically music is non-ideological even if the Prayer’s words aren’t. Perhaps I flapped my hands.
V said, "I knew you'd react."
What could I say?
She played it on the piano, singing, while I sang the easier parts from the score. Struggling over “trespasses”.
Afterwards V may have mentioned the setting’s beauty but my mind was elsewhere. I was transfixed and asked if we could re-do “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory...” We did this several times. Here typography stands in for melody.