No part of my

College life that

gave me more

enjoyment than

belonging to

the Choir

Mark Dobell, tenor (1993-96)


Asia Tour Blog - Day 13

Date: Thursday 15 September 2016 10.00am


“A [blog] that doesn’t shock isn’t worth [blogging]”

Marcel Duchamp (adapted)


When we sat down to write this blog we did so in full knowledge that for the last few days the choir has demonstrated its extraordinary literary skill by creating masterpieces of iambic pentameter and verse. These offerings have been both entertaining and deeply humbling for those who have been tasked with following them. However, they have led me to question the artistic direction of these blogs. My colleagues’ avid quest for stylistic flourish has meant that ‘substance’ within our blogs is in danger of being abandoned. The reader is being enticed with the luscious cupcake of literary embellishment; as the Adornians amongst you would have doubtless noted, ‘its promise…is illusory’. And so our predicament becomes clear: how do we intercept this problematic? Can we ever break free from the dialectical logic of creation? What is art? What is truth? To challenge these issues a new avant-garde minimalist artistic statement must be made within the Clare Choir Blogosphere to rediscover the essential blogness of our medium. In doing so we draw inspiration from that great father of formalist modernism, Clement Greenberg - ‘successful art can be depended upon to explain itself’- and present an informative and succinct list of the events of the choir’s thirteenth day on tour.

·        We woke up.

·        The choir sampled our hotel’s diverse and exotic breakfast buffet which included “The Full Malaysian”: luke-warm curry, hummus with flatbread, breakfast spring rolls and noodles.

·        Leo “Organisation” Benedict’s passport was found by Air “we’ve checked the whole plane” Asia…on the plane…

·        We walked to the Petronas Towers, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, to lead a choral workshop with children from four local schools.

·        Throughout the workshop Graham played the role of compare-cum-Jeremy Kyle as he worked the audience, microphone in hand, occasionally making useful comments to each school choir before opening up the discussion for ‘constructive criticism’ from the floor.

·        While many of the audience made encouraging and interesting comments, Kit “it’s not my style, G” Holliday’s attempts to contribute fell flatter than Graham’s Brexit joke at our recent Bury St. Edmunds concert.

·        The workshop ended with an uplifting performance of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ by one of the choirs. The members of Clare Choir quickly realised that they were being given a masterclass of their own as the choreographed animal noises and actions moved and inspired all those present.

·        Awimbawe.

·        After Clare Choir’s customary performance of The Bluebird and Country Dances the massed choirs ended the workshop both edified and enthused.

·        The choir’s attempts to leave the workshop were halted by a wall of selfie sticks and giggles, with Kit Holliday and Joshua Cleary proving particular favourites amongst Malaysia’s younger demographic.

·        We had a rehearsal.

·        We ate supper.

·        We were tired.

·        We went to bed.


Laurence Booth-Clibborn (Dec Tenor 1) (Power behind the Throne) & Alice Halstead (Dec Sop 1) (The Throne)