Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lunchtime recitals & Evening talk

I've only been working here for a mere 12 years, and during all that time, I had never been to one of the weekly lunchtime recitals put on by the music department.  I managed to remedy that today by making the two minute walk from my office to the performing arts studio and listening to final year students perform.  It was heavily flute-themed, beginning with a piece by Carl Reinecke, accompanied by piano, another accompanied piece by Ian Clarke, dating from 2007 (and rather good, I thought), then a Rachmaninoff piano piece, which started off quietly and ended with a loud crashing tempestuous finale, and then back to a calmer flute solo piece by Telemann.

It is easy to forget that there still survives an aspect of University life which is about very highly-educated people sharing a communal experience of being amongst other very highly-educated people and engaging with each other.  So often it feels like I am here to do a job, to make bosses happy, to satisfy various metrics, but every now and then a glimpse of some crazy idealistic view of the academy peeks through.

So, more fool me for waiting so long before attending... and really, there is so much else going on that one can attend, but I rarely do so.  I even organise one series of events here, albeit under the cover of the Institute of Physics.  In fact, tonight we kick off this (academic) year's programme of evening public lectures on physics (and related topics), with Jon Butterworth of UCL (and Horizon and the Guardian, etc.) talking about a euphemistic "discovery" at the LHC earlier this year.  If you are a reader of this blog (if there are any) and you are in Guildford, feel free to come along this evening.  It should be a great talk, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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