The Academy of Ancient Music & the Jubilee Pageant

A great film has bubbled up on YouTube over the past few days, proving that things like the recent Jubilee Pageant in London still has the opportunity to delight over a week after the actual event.

The Academy of Ancient Music have produced a touchingly straightforward and full twelve minute record of their big moment on the Thames, laying bare the true glamour any ensemble has to grapple with when fulfilling a brief involving live music, a moving barge and the very high risk of inclement weather.

I really enjoy watching this piece, for a whole variety of reasons. First, it proves the point that if you’re interested in the subject matter, then pictures and ambient sound will carry you through the narrative. Second, many of the shots are long revealing tender moments amongst the players who themselves were experiencing a special moment.

More than that however, this pseudo-behind the scenes footage sculpted effortlessly into an engaging record of a special day shows a specialist band having to carry out their toughest ever gig. Disconnected from their audience, they bash out the same music over and over again. I’m presuming they weren’t doing for nowt. Why should they? But given the conditions, I imagine it must have taken a certain mindset to embrace the challenge.

A terribly honest and gratifyingly refreshing record of a special day.

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