Imagine it’s 2010 and you’re reading this in the week that I actually wrote it ….
‘Sorry I haven’t a clue’ on BBC Radio 4 was broadcast from Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago and Jack Dee set the scene by saying ‘Cheltenham is often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswolds‘. Proud ‘mmms’ rippled through the audience and then laughter when he added ‘and if that’s the case then Gloucester is the ASDA of the Malverns’. Having lived in Cheltenham for the first half of my life and Gloucester for most of the second half I can happily say I’d choose ASDA City over Cotswolds Town! Gloucester has a lot of heart and is a down to earth patchwork of people and cultures and with a rich history.
We’ve lived in Gloucester for over 12 years and made some good friends here. The naming of ‘best friends‘ that seemed so important as a child ceased being necessary when I married my best friend in 1998. Our dearest friends come hand in hand with lovely others now so how could I possibly single out any one person, other than G. Well I couldn’t but I completely understand the affection with which some people are able to name that one special ”best friend” in their life. G is one of them when it comes to our friend Dan. And what makes Dan worthy of this title? Well, I won’t embarrass him by sharing all his wonderful qualities and endearing quirks here but the strength of Dan and George’s connection is tied to their shared passion and talent for music. They’ve created some of the most moving tracks I’ve had the good fortune to smile, sway and cry to and I’m sure the quality of their music making is rooted in the depth of their friendship and their openness to love and let go in equal measure. Music reviewer Stephen Morris said ‘‘their music is as sumptuous and gorgeous as it is poignant and imaginative”.
The music Stephen was referring to was ”Nocturnal City Journal’‘ , an album of 10 tracks telling the stories of imaginary residents of the old worn out historic English city of Gloucester. Big Blue Sun made a limited run of CDs and once these sold chose to make their music as widely available as possible on-line. So you can listen and download any of their 4 album recordings from Soundcloud or Bandcamp.
”How come making war can be called keeping peace?
How come lovers are the ones we mistreat?
How come everything is equal till you’re sitting in my seat?
Wisdom’s a colour and the colour is blue.”
Thanks for bearing with me if you’re still reading thus far. It probably seems a bit random to have tweaked this post rather than hitting delete on 7 year old copy. But it serves to remind me how G’s need to craft beautiful, meaningful music runs through him like the writing through a stick of rock. Although Dan no longer lives in Gloucester G continues to be inspired by the City we live in and has been awarded funding by the Arts Council to develop his creative practice making music inspired by and performed in 8 iconic spaces around the City.
July 2018 update: George has completed all 8 Spaces recordings now and is releasing a film a week from now until the project launch as part of Gloucester History Festival on September 5th. This first recording is the first release and is so beautiful.
It was 5.30am when George played ”The Quietness of Stones” video to me for the first time. I listened to the music while seeing familiar faces among the musicians and choir. As our friend Sebastian hit that first note I cried, releasing the feelings of isolation and exhaustion that had been building that I hadn’t shared with George for fear it would effect his music making. The feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and Mum guilt that hits hard when you’re parenting small ones on little sleep or company. It’s not always easy being married to a creative person but the George I’ve loved for over two decades wouldn’t be the same without the music running through his veins. I’m in awe of everything he’s achieved through his #spacesgloucester project. If you have a minute or two to spare please taken a listen each week and RT the links I share on Twitter.
I’m linking this post with the supportive and positive blogging community that is #BestBootForward hosted by Kate on Thin Ice and Indigo Wilderness. It’s a weekly linkup for sharing positive celebrations of life, successes through challenge or simply spreading a little cheer. Kate posted a prompt about friendship this week so if you have any posts to share on that beautiful topic please come and join us.