Jonny’s new piece, Popcorn Superhet Receiver, is being played at a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. (The full programme: BBC Concert Orchestra – Red, White and Blue. Anne Dudley – Northern Lights, Steve Martland – Crossing the Border , Joe Duddell – Shadowplay, Jonny Greenwood – Popcorn Superhet Receiver (Thomas Carroll – cello, Robert Ziegler – conductor, BBC Concert Orchestra)
There is a fairly large scale boardie meet up – we have a quick go on the Carsten Holler slide at Tate Modern then food in the Archduke pub. My impatience with the others spurs decision making.
The first half see the BBC Concert Orchestra play a sort of cello concerto with the emotional performances and wild hair of the soloists providing the entertainment.
At the interval I spot boardie Estelle in the foyer and think she’s queuing for the bar, but actually she’s taking to Jonny, so I wait and say hello, faltering into a two handed hand shake. He thanks me for coming and I ask “How are things?” and he says “How are you?”. I ask if they’re keeping sane and he says no – and I say “good sign” – he says at least they can all stand to be in the same room together – I ask him to tell them hello from me.
I find the rest of the contingent in the bar, the late comers having arrived. Some people want me to go with them to talk to Jonny and I tell them “go on, do it yourself.” I’d forgotten how they get the shakes in the presence, because I don’t really get that anymore.
His piece in the second half starts noisy then gets rhythmic with slap bass and violins played with picks (like ukuleles). Half the players look bemused and the other half look like they’re enjoying it.
After, we regroup, people get Jonny to sign tickets but I don’t speak to him again. The rest of us repair to the South Bank for drinks.