Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day 2005

Since we have been exploring the historical aspects of The General I thought I would share my Remembrance Day 2005 experience with you (it ties in, I promise!).

Every year, the concert band that I belong to provides music for the Remembrance Day ceremony in Maple Ridge. We play hymn tunes, marches, anthems, etc. This year, probably due to my reading of The General and Parade's End, I was overly conscious of the sound of the ceremony. Every year there are the gun salutes, the yelled military orders, the flyover, and, in the last two years, a cannon. You can imagine the noise. The difference this year was that the 4 rifles and 4 muskets were shot from within the bandstand where we were performing. And the cannon was set up in a tent directly behind the bandstand. I found myself very conscious of the closeness of the noise; we were all literally crammed in together much, as I imagined, like we were in a trench (hiding from the pouring rain and wind, as it were). Anyway, the smoke was thick and smelled disgusting, and the noise had my ears ringing for a couple hours afterwards. From all of this, I got an (admittedly trivial) idea of the reality that Madox Ford and Forester were trying to portray in their constant use of auditory sensation in their novels (ex. Forester's "crackling" is an honest word to use to describe the guns).


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