The Sound of Music Through The Square Window: the video

This new video tells the story of how the sound of music every day at one o’clock helped a sleepy Dorset village get through 72 days of lockdown.

With thanks to Simon Emmerson for providing the sound system and making the film, James Dawson for the photos and Stornoway, The Imagined Village and Emma Gale for the music.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

Thank you for the music

As I thought it would be, it was a very emotional day in the village yesterday.

The very last Sound of Music Through The Square Window. Tears were shed. And not just by me.

You can see the final requests and selections, in reverse order, here on the village website. The final playlist is more than nine hours long. You can find it on Spotify here.

The sun shone on us yesterday as we socially distanced danced on pavements, the village green, windows and doorways. Hats and colourful clothing were in abundance and the village people came into their own for The Village People’s YMCA.

It just had to be done.

The songs over the last 72 days have been pretty eclectic but they’ve all been enjoyed immensely. Thank you to those who made suggestions, gave me requests and then waved and danced at home and abroad.

Thank you for your thank yous yesterday, including a spirited rendition of Thank You For The Music sung a cappella with accompanying placards and a signed copy of The Sound of Music poster.

And then a bottle of wine and card from Connor and his family, who have so enjoyed the one o’clock sessions every day.

I don’t think I’ve cried so much.

Just as I was wiping the tears from my eyes, Simon Emmerson thrust a copy of The Sound of Music on vinyl at me from a distance, with the instruction to ‘smash it up’. I can’t bring myself to do that, Julie Andrews has been such a steadfast companion these past ten weeks, although the suggestion of tossing it out of the window like a clay pigeon might feature in the fictionalised account of this wonderfully uplifting village story.

I will leave you with Simon’s Pilsdon Pen, which was part of the final set.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

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