If the music’s too loud, you’re too old

I’ve had a complaint about the music.

‘That music you’re playing in the square,’ one man said, as he walked with his wife along the High Street.

‘Yes…’ I said, with trepidation. There was bound to be that one person who didn’t ‘get’ The Sound of Music Through The Square Window, the one o’clock music slot I’ve been doing every day from my spare bedroom two days after lockdown started, ostensibly to lift people’s spirits but also to stop me from going mad.

‘Well…’ he began to say, before his wife beat him to it.

‘It’s not loud enough – we can’t hear it where we live.’

So what to do? Luckily, there is a professional musician and record producer who lives in Lush Places. He founded Afro Celt Sound System and folk music project The Imagined Village. And guess what? He has two great big speakers and a mixing desk.

I’ve used the equipment before, a few years ago, when he and I ran the New Year’s Eve disco at the pub. I’ve also had the pleasure of doing the music for several village fun days so am familiar with the kit.

But I wasn’t sure how loud to turn it up for The Sound of Music Through The Square Window. To misquote The Italian Job, I didn’t want to blow the bloody windows off.

So, after I’d set up the kit in the spare bedroom and made sure it was working, by playing Clair de Lune very quietly, it being a Sunday morning and all, Mr Grigg was instructed to go up the road with his phone just before one o’clock.

He was to go past the house of the couple who’d complained they couldn’t hear the music and ring me to let me know if I needed to turn it up.

The trouble is, once Julie Andrews got going, I couldn’t hear Mr Grigg on the other end of the phone. Nor could I see out very well above the speaker to wave to my neighbours, Mrs Bancroft, DJ Landlord and Mrs Plum from the pub, and the Bings across the road.

Picture: James Dawson

Still, I could just about see Nobby Odd-Job who’d wandered down for his daily exercise to hear his chosen song, You’ll Never Walk Alone. It was an appropriate track, particularly in honour of Captain Tom Moore, although I didn’t play his version as I’m not keen on Michael Ball. (Sorry Michael.)

And then when I saw the video footage I almost cried.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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