This morning sees the posthumous announcement of Stephen Hawking’s last theory, that of Holographic Reality, explaining previously unexplained elements in the first few fractions of a second of the creation of the universe. It’s a bit of a deep subject even for academics, and I suspect that, had I asked for a show of hands at last night’s rehearsal of people who understand the theory, the air would have been a bit thin.
Now, not only great scientists propose and prove new principles of science. From observing the simple things of life, never mind the grand concepts, it is possible to derive all sorts of theories.
For example, have you noticed that for every person you know who is successfully losing weight, there are several who are putting it on, despite all attempts to get rid of it? When I noticed that some years ago, I proposed the Principle of Global Body Mass. This states that there is a fixed amount of body mass in this world, ie that if you add up the weights of everyone in the world, it is a constant number. Any one losing weight is merely transferring their body mass to some other poor unsuspecting soul . One consequence, which many of us may find re-assuring, is that dieting is anti-social. Needless to say, I have not yet developed a rigorous proof of the theory, but then these modern scientists do not seem to do that nowadays either.
Another theory arising from experience, this time from a lifetime of singing in choirs, is the General Theory of Relative Performance and Rehearsal. This states that one essential prerequisite of a really good performance is at least one really bad rehearsal. Think back, for example, to our concert last December. The last two rehearsals were amongst the most fractious I can remember, yet we gave two stellar performances under the direction a Carlos who exuded confidence but, deep down, must have been quite worried about his and the Choir’s reputation.
However, I think this theory is about to be disproved. The rehearsals for the Mozart concert have been pretty good. Not without the occasional moment, but none has been dreadful. This week’s rehearsals have been wonderful. Carlos has been on top form. Orchestra and soloists have been well prepared. The Choir knows the music reasonably well, and Carlos has been able to focus on expression, bringing out the meaning of the words to communicate the music in all its nuances to the audience on Saturday. He was clearly very pleased at the end of last night’s rehearsal.
All we have to do on Saturday is to hold our nerve, concentrate, and watch Carlos. If we do that, we will deliver another memorable performance.
And the General Theory of Relative Performance and Rehearsal will bite the dust.