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Monday, 20 November 2017

Alter Ego does a duet

Just got back from an intense singing lesson which...

Uh-huh, still on about that craze of his. Silly old fart. Should stick to flower-beds like any self-respecting, half-dead octogenarian.

... three months devoted to Schumann’s song Im Rhein...

Must be tone deaf, just like his blog. I know for a fact the song lasts only one minute, twenty seconds.

...but then it is a masterpiece...

How would he know?  Age fifteen he listened to Radio Luxembourg.

... the way the music fits the Heine poem...

Oh yes, anything German and he’s away. Did you know he can order a beer in German and that’s about it.

... the more detail, the subtler it ...

See how he pretends he can read a score. Sheer bollocks. Im Rhein’s marked Ziemlich langsam and I doubt he knows what that means.

... no reason why we should not spend another three months...

But does his teacher agree?

... V is very patient ...

Aye, she’d have to be. Listening to an eighty-two-year-old throat mangle a so-called masterpiece. She should be paid in euros, by the cartload.

... magic moment! The last four syllables – liebsten genau – exactly fit my natural voice.

But what about the other five-hundred syllables? Ear-plugs anyone?

... V says so ...

The alternative would be to say he needs putting down.

... private lessons, a better choice of music ...

Here’s the key. At his age he should have joined a choir, so he could hide his croakings. Mind you, a choir with very low standards.

PS. Still a thrill, after almost two years. Making a stab at Mozart in a resonant kitchen with this portable, ever-available instrument. Shockingly difficult of course but, then, that’s one of the attractions – an adult thing to take on.


  1. Stick with the joy.

  2. MikeM: I intend to do just that.

    What you see above is an exercise in imagination. It happens all the time in fiction when one ascribes lines of dialogue to a character who is quite unlike you, the author: a different nationality, gender, predisposition, etc. Thus I might have a sympathetic character who loves cucumbers and speaks glowingly about them. Sometimes readers may say (naively): But you hate cucumbers. It's true but my aim will not be to duplicate myself in the story, there's not much fun in that.

    In the above exercise I am, in fact, duplicating myself and then setting up antagonistic arguments against my existence. (After all, I could hardly choose someone else as lab-rat, could I?). Seeing what emerges. Should you ever try this (A quick attack of midwinter insanity, say.) I urge you to be more rigorous with your opponent's rhetoric. The above results are pretty flat, pretty disappointing, with the possible exception of the first response. It's a mistake to have my opponent (Let's call him Satan) simply lie about me. I can do slightly more than order beer in Germany, also I know what Ziemlich langsam means. Satan's insults have to be more hurtful, ironically more "honest". Which is a useful discovery. Also, right from the start, I knew this was a cop-out. I had had a good lesson and felt the urge to write about it. But who the heck wants to read such self-serving blah? I looked for a new garnish.

    You could say I enlisted Satan and paid one of the prices Satan exacts. In this case self-underminement. Next time I'll try the running game.