Monday, 18 October 2010


When starting this blog I sort of made a personal rule that I would probably not comment on every dinner and lunch, particularly where I did not speak.  On reflection I think this rule should be broken as I went to the Musicians' Company dinner at Salters' Hall on Wednesday.

It was an interesting evening spent with a creative and imaginative Company that culminated with Professor Stephen Goss, who, in his response on behalf of the guests, managed to link Hans Werner Henze, one of the grand, yet angry, men of post war European music, with Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Creation.  As he concluded he challenged us to construct our own heterotopias, I felt this was quite a stiff demand after a good meal.  Such an evening should not go unreported.

The Musicians' Company play a large part in the musical life of London.  Further details are at   The current Master, Maurice Summerfield, has a distinguished musical writing and publishing career with a strong emphasis on the classical guitar and the speaker on behalf of the guests, Professor Stephen Goss, is a noted composer for the instrument. 

However the musical element of the evening was a short piano recital of Schubert, Liszt and Rachmaninov performed beautifully by Grace Yeo, a winner of the Company's Beethoven Medal.

Returning to the subject of heterotopias, it is a concept of  Michel Foucault, who uses the idea of a mirror as a metaphor for the duality and contradictions, the reality and the unreality of utopian projects. A mirror is metaphor for utopia because the image that you see in it does not exist, but it is also a heterotopia because the mirror is a real object that shapes the way you relate to your own image.  (I got this bit from Wikipedia so it must be true) I think most of my readers can agree this is quite an interesting set of ideas; one of the enjoyable serendipities of Mastership are the completely unexpected ideas and experiences that are encountered amongst the diverse liveries of the City.

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