I am in the habit of playing old movies in the background as I work. There is just enough noise to keep me productive, but since I can basically recite them all I don’t get distracted enough to stop and watch.
Royal Wedding is showing behind me today and I just had to share with you the scene where Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling.
The room was mounted and rotatable as they filmed. It’s one of those things that, if it happened today, would have so much YouTube footage of the contraption. However, since it wasn’t filmed today, we have to make do with representations.
Also, if anyone tried to remake this I would go see it.
Tavener’s Song for Athene is a slow building anthem that is a simultaneous reflection on death and celebration of life. The song is cloaked in a brooding drone that carries throughout the piece, forever the mainstay and support of the remaining voice parts. The whole thing progresses from a slow and quiet prayer for the departed and builds until it eventually becomes a brassy, shining celebration of God’s promise.
The story behind Song for Athene is as interesting as the music itself. It is an ode, not to the goddess Athena, but to a family friend who passed. The words are inspired and quoted from the Bible, Shakespeare, and other texts; all of which come together in this breathtaking and soothing piece that is the favorite of many.
I had the distinct privilege of singing this piece with the Te Deum Chamber Choir under the direction of Matthew Christopher Shepard.