Last weekend I had the privilege and distinct pleasure of being able to attend the performance of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Kingston. It was magnificent despite all the challenges of the venue, including the heat and the lack of sufficient seating, but absolutely nothing could take away from the glorious music. That performance made me realise in no uncertain terms that music that elevates and lifts must always be a part of my life, if nothing else to provide relief from the day-to-day trials of life.
I was just in time, or maybe a tad late, and as a result my wife and I had to wait for additional seating to be brought in. I suppose I could complain, but why? The music more than made up for any inconveniences, and guess what? Because I was "just in time" I had to sit by the door. Seated as I was right by the door, the early-comers who were in the middle of the building suffered with the heat much more than I did. Maybe being just in time wasn't so bad, after all.
The sound in the Holy Trinity Cathedral was something. Again sitting where I was I got stereophonic sound. The performers were to my right and the sound bounced off the wall to my left, and as a result I actually got a surround-sound effect. It was something that I can't fully describe but which enhanced the experience.
My only peeve, if you will, is that the Jamaicans who conducted, Peter Ashbourne being one of the guest conductors, did not bring out a sound that could be identifiable as us - as Jamaican. I am no expert, but in my experience the sound of music is simply the interpretation of daily life and sounds by the author of the sound. Mr Ashbourne produced sounds that painted black America, so I could hear The Colour Purple and Paul Robeson, but I really did not hear us until the last piece he conducted. Nonetheless, the experience was stellar.
I really want to thank all involved in bringing the RPO to Jamaica. They had a marvellous time, we had a marvellous time. It reinforced the point that with all that is around us which makes us weep, there are still those things which bring us much joy and pleasure. The performance by the RPO definitely tops my list as one of them.