One of the nicest things about recording in as many schools as we do, is the huge variety of people that we get to meet along the way. Teachers are a pretty special bunch of people anyway. You’d have to be I think! Anyway this was one of those days where we found something rather special in a Primary School. The recording in question was at Bourne Primary School in Ruislip, West London.
Arriving at 7.30am as usual, we were met not by our main contact, but by a lady saying she was his ‘helper’. She didn’t explain why and it didnt seem appropriate to ask! Moments later we met Marek Maryniak our main contact for the recording. Mr Maryniak suffers from a degenerative eye condition that has caused him to be partially blind.
Music and Musicians
By 8am the children had started to arrive for a rehearsal. When they started singing John Tavener’s ‘The Lamb’ and a couple of numbers from Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’, I knew we were in for a treat.
We see all sorts of music going on in Primary Schools but seeing pupils arriving at 8am to rehearse is quite unusual. And this wasn’t just an extra rehearsal for the recording. This seemed to be a regular thing. From what I could see, despite Marek only being able to see where the children were without seeing the detail of their faces, the work he had done with them was amazing. Personally I am short sighted but enjoy perfectly good vision through the benefit of glasses or contact lenses. So I have some idea about what it might be like to be partially sighted. But certainly no idea of how it is to always be thus afflicted. I don’t think I could get through a day without my glasses.
But music is a strange thing. There are some extremely good musicians who are blind, and probably just as many who are deaf. At opposite ends of the spectrum you have Stevie Wonder who is blind and Evelyn Glennie who is deaf. Both outstanding in their field. And so it didn’t really come as any surprise to find that Marek was extremely talented both as a conductor / director and also as a pianist.
As well as supplying CDs, we now give all schools the opportunity to sell digital copies of their album online. You can purchase a digital copy of the album ‘Bourne Singing’ by visiting our online shop.