When I heard that this year’s Domcantorij tour would lead us to Rochester, I got very excited. Not only would I have the change to improve myself as a chorister and deepen the relationships with my fellow singers, but the trip would also allow me to connect to King Alfred in a new way. This blog post is a reflection of my findings and the first of a series of four.
Last week, I got a nice brooche – or fibula, if you like – from the British Library. It is an enamel pin of an old fashioned typewriter, the kind of machine that’s also featured in the sidebar of this weblog. I like typewriters a lot, but not just because of my love for writing, my fascination for retro technologies, the funny scenes in the movie The Secretary and the memory of playing Leroy Anderson’s 1953 piece with our youth orchestra. No – for me, the typewriter is also a symbol of the emancipation of the writing and publishing woman.
“PING!” beeps my computer as it announces a new email, sent by Robyn Ochs. Her call for writing is like a storytelling guide, with many interlinked questions: “How has aging transformed you?” “What have been the most significant moments or transitions in your life?” “What do you imagine your future holds?” Pondering these prompts, for a short moment, I feel like I am in a movie, at the point where someone (almost) dies and we—the audience—see a life flash by. My brain replays some film-like memories, scary ones of the nagging children on the schoolyard and my homophobic ex-boyfriend, but also happy ones, of the first European Bisexual Conference. And I realise that Robyn cannot know how she and her work have affected my transformation. So, time to answer her questions!
Together with 35 of my fellow singers and our conductor, I crossed the Channel! For this week, the Domcantorij sings the Evensongs and Sunday services at Rochester Cathedral. And I thought it would be nice to write a short blog about the (medieval) history of this special cathedral where we are the “visiting choir”.
For my research about the historical reimagining of Alfred the Great, I am currently looking at fan fiction about The Last Kingdom, that includes one (or more) of the Alfredian (Anglo-Saxon / Old-English) psalm translations. The following story was written by by Cheyenne and republished with permission of the author.
For my research about the historical reimagining of Alfred the Great, I am currently looking at fan fiction about The Last Kingdom, that includes one (or more) of the Alfredian (Anglo-Saxon / Old-English) psalm translations. The following story, by Bandi Crawford, features some romance between Lagertha (from Vikings) and Aethelflaed (from The Last Kingdom). Republished with permission of the author.