I don’t know much about the history of Old Street, where LSO St Luke’s stands. But I do know that in my head I have an imaginary conversation between two roadbuilders that goes:
Roadbuilder 1: Right, job done. Now we just need a name for it.
Roadbuilder 2: How about Old Street?
R1: We can’t call it that – it’s new!
R2: Ah, but it won’t be once all the others are there.
This is my final blog from the LSO St Luke’s 10th birthday festival (although that continues throughout this Easter weekend, with a family open day on Monday). So I thought I would end with one last reflection on the building.
From some angles, particularly after dark, you can look in through the windows and the building appears to be empty. Of course it’s not (music is invisible, after all), but I like it that the exterior betrays little of what’s happening within. Last night’s concert is just one case in point: subdued, monochrome, English on the outside; inside, north African mysticism whirled together with Scandinavian jazz and rhythmic grooves from all over.
That plainness of churchyard and church is probably my favourite thing about LSO St Luke’s. It’s such a pleasing contrast to all the snazzy activity inside. Peaceful whereas behind its doors, people are dedicated to exploring all manner of man-made sound, and allowing ideas of old to rub up with those of new.