The only chance I had recently of catching up with Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown who have formed an exciting piano duo http://marikojulianpianoduo.com was to go to their rehearsal in Birmingham last week. I arrived early and headed for the Museum and Art Gallery to see the Pre-Raphaelites there. I was not disappointed. As I wandered further, I passed a Stanley Spencer - and realised there was a connection: the strong subject matter, for a start, references to the past, vivid detail, masterly execution, etc. And then further, where, in my haste, I hadn't realised the Gallery was also showing Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences. I was stunned to see these six gorgeous tapestries. And thrilled to encounter the same connections! Pre-Raphaelites, Spencer & Perry. Bring them on!
And so to some very dreary institute to absorb the wonderful playing of Julian & Mariko. I hope I'll be able to write them something: how fantastic would that be, and a great relief and a challenge after so many vocal, choral and opera pieces. I think it might have to be modelled on Perry's tapestries somehow.