Saturday, 16 April 2011

Your special wedding day

Q: How do you know which woman is the bride at a Liverpool wedding?
A: She’s the one wearing the white track suit.
OK it’s a pretty awful joke and I didn’t make it up, but it does illustrate the degree of informality which has overwhelmed many sections of society in the West. In some ways it’s a healthy reaction to a stuffy,  over-regimented way of doing things, but the down side is that informality is also a reflection of absolute self centredness, that no one and nothing is more important to me so I don’t have to dress up, sit up or shut up for anyone, anywhere on any occasion.
It’s the It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to attitude applied to one’s whole life.
I’m thinking about weddings thanks to a message from Visiting Arts in the UK, a busy organization which promotes links between practitioners in the arts:
Apparently there is some kind of a high profile media event on 29th April in London, still trying to remember what it is…. Anyway, here’s the idea: Visiting Arts are inviting short contributions of 100 to 300 words, maybe with a photo or two, of weddings around the world, with some comments on  your personal view, how it fits in with local culture and a brief description.
If you have some ideas for this collaborative project, and would like them to be included in their presentation, the address is: and the closing date is 20th April.
Here’s my reflection on weddings in Spain.
I have been fortunate enough to be invited to perform music  at many weddings in Spain over the last 20 years, and have admired the simple dignity of the mass and the seriousness which the moment is given by all concerned.
The most spectacular moments have always been at the end of weddings involving a bride or groom from Valencia, the epicentre of Spain’s inventive firework industry. There’s nothing like playing the wedding march for the exit procession and being overpowered by the acoustic interference, let’s say noise,   of hundreds of firecrackers exploding on the ground as the happy couple leave the church.    

Oh, I remember now, all best wishes to the royal couple for 29th April….

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