Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 02, 2009
the refined rough sleepers of Southwark

From a readers' Q&A interview with violinist Ruggiero    Ricci in the Dec. 2008 The Strad magazine:
Years later, when I made the recording [of Bach's complete cycle of sonatas and partitas] for Unicorn at a church in London, I remember that we had to start the session after midnight so that there wouldn't be as much noise from the street.

During the night, there was a knock on the door and a homeless man poked his head in to tell me how much he was enjoying my playing. Then he pointed to a barrel in which he had been sleeping and said, "When you leave, will you please give me a shake?"

The Bach recording in question is this one, on the Regis label, through which some records from the Unicorn catalog are available these days.

Ricci's website's discography states that the recording was done in early 1981 at St. George the Martyr, or "Little Dorrit's Church."

A few links with some info on the increase in rough sleeping/homelessness during the Thatcher years are

here (reprint of Dowding & King's 2000 Policy Studies Journal article "Rooflessness in London");

here (Rev.     Kenneth    Leech's "Changing Patterns in Homelessness") and

here (on Church Action on Homelessness in London).

Mayor Boris Johnson spent approx. 45 minutes this past holiday season feeding the homeless, in Southwark.                      (No violins.)