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Malls and melodies

11 April, 2013

Here’s Ben on our first day in Minneapolis.
“A true Brit always starts by talking about the weather. So, we left the sunshine in Westport for what was widely predicted to be the worst weather we’d ever seen – storms of Biblical proportions and 5 feet of snow. As it turns out, our first day in Minneapolis was only extreme for its dreariness. Grey, cold, and 1cm of snow. Undeterred, we retrieved our winter clothes from the bottom of our suitcases, trudged to the nearest greasy restaurant and ordered several tons of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hash browns, oatmeal and a token blueberry. It always seems a good idea at the time…
“Some of us went on to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, for a rendez-vous with a cherry and spoon.
P1140983    P1140989
“Next stop was Hennepin Methodist Church for an appointment with the nice people at America Public Media’s Performance Today.  After a quick sound-check we performed a selection of 5 pieces from our Passion and Resurrection programme to… a completely empty church. It was actually a live recording for Performance Today, an American Public Media production, and it’s set to be broadcast in May.  Here we are with host Fred Child, adding our support to Public Radio Music Month.
“We emerged from the church mid-afternoon and decided to wander towards the town centre through a nearby park. We knew we needed a plan for the rest of the day, but it became more urgent when we started cruelly mocking a passing squirrel, which treated us with appropriate disdain.
IMG_3746   A very disdainful squirrel  
“So, we decided to head to Mall of America, the biggest mall in the USA. We knew it would be pretty huge, but nothing quite prepared us for the full-size roller coaster, carousel, the enormous sea life aquarium, the 50ft lego models, or the disorientation as we tried to navigate to just a couple of the 520+ shops. Without the frequent stops for ice cream and chocolate we might never have made it out.
“Having seriously lost all perspective, we headed back to the safety of town and to the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant. As luck would have it, we had stumbled on a great evening of 1930’s swing jazz with a band called Patty and The Buttons. All we then had to do was sit back and enjoy the heady mix of good food, wine, and music.”
We’re looking forward to today’s discussion and performance, hosted by The Rose Ensemble!