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The Pilgrimage … by night!

Article posted on 18 August 2004 Leave a Comment

Night One
O what a cacophony of snores filled the church. The majestic sound echoed and reverberated through its vast interior, bouncing off the beams and rafters to fill my ears with pure music and ensure that I should not sleep such an experience away. From the deep bass, reminiscent of a bull elephant trumpeting for his mate across the African bush, to the tuba playing with complete abandonment. From the trumpet doing its best to waken the dead, through every imaginable wind instrument to the little piccolo letting itself go in sheer delight at its freedom. Never before has St Peter’s been so blessed, nor have I risen in the morning with a tough day ahead feeling so drained of energy.

Night Two
This night was quite different being dominated by two soloists who vied for the prize for the loudest and longest performance. My, but they have unlimited stamina! This is not to say that the rest of the orchestra was idle, far from it, but it was quite impossible to compete with the duet of nightingales. They were however able to manage a substantial accompaniment. All in all a fine feeling of claustrophobia was created in the tiny hall which was our bedroom for the night. Another long and hard day lay ahead.

Night Three
We spent night three in a much larger hall which created a more diffused sound although the decibel reading did not seem to be any the less. It was a joint effort this night set in motion by the two stars from last night. Gradually all the various instruments joined in until the hall reverberated with the beat of a syncopated rhthym that may never be bettered. Sleep was a distant luxury from the past and with only one more slightly less arduous day ahead I was resigned to listening with unabated wonder to the full-length performance.

Nights will never be the same again. These three nights provided an experience which could not be missed, in fact was impossible to miss, and will be part of my dreams (or is it nightmares?) for many a long year to come.

David Linnell
“Battle Pilgrim”

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