66 The Hon DJ - Part Five - The Russian Sound Man
The Russian dawned from Tennessee.
Speaking twelve languages fluently, his voice of choice was gently modulated in international twang and cadence. His was an accent that demanded ‘place me ‘ and yet, in doing so, one will undoubtedly, fail. Far from ironic, the concept of failure was a foreign land for The Russian, failure was something he simply did not do.
Back in Tennessee he had pitched ball and his stats ran second only to Reggie Jackson, though it depended how records were accessed and here we were in England where all was cricket - the Gentleman’s Game - and no-one much cared a jot for men of stripy costume, who leg it round a dust laced diamond.
If our birthday boy, The Honourable DJ had espionage in his DNA, The Russian’s was spliced with hard-core, trench warfare with countless members of his family achieving greatness as career service men and women. However, as previously stated, the world was experiencing a renaissance in regards to warfare. Evolution had altered how rebels were quelled and riches retrieved. Battlefields were to be found in the schema of counter-intelligence and The Russian had an intoxicating aptitude for reading sliding loyalties and the subtext of subterfuge.
He was also a classical trained Harpist.
The Russian enjoyed global renown, celebrated for re-engaging audiences with sounds and wonder not experienced since the heights of Rococo teased from Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon. With his harp he had travelled, his show an inspirational template of old meets new, began as follows: The room of performance was wired. Every chair, every door, even the floor with both speaker and a mechanism that caused deep vibration. Kicking off is if armoured tanks were rolling across cobbled lanes – a deep chest-clattering, death-rattle and this grew and grew till a sense of urgency found audiences wanting to race out of the auditorium and then, light! Light from the ceiling, glorious tumbling shafts as if spilled from a place of heavenly splendour. And then a sound. Oh, that sound. Nothing could prepare the ear for such perfection. Just one simply plucked, perfect chord. Perfection. Harmony. Peace. Then lowered from an opening high above, he appeared. A man of sound. Sound man. Lowered from his heights in high voltage performances, thrilling the art hubs of the globe. He was indeed a wonder to behold.
And that is how he meet the DJ. One night in New York where The Russian, looking for escape from the tedium of Carnegie Hall, hired himself a taxi with a broad sunroof, virtually a convertible and placed within it’s back seat a tennis umpire's chair, recent sequestered from the Athletics Club of Central Park South. Climbing, harp in hand, placing himself aloft the chair, The Russian instructed the driver to proceed slowly, up and down the streets of Manhattan as he serenaded the city. Coming to a halt, directly outside a club in the Meat Packers serendipity connected the two twenty year old men. From here on in they were to be inseparable. No joke unshared.
Serendipity? Or a conspiracy of greater forces? Perhaps we will find out.
But tonight on the lawn, as The Russian is about to delight a crowd more intimate than that of Manhattan, he bids them to join him, to come inside a structure of ancient wood and fabric – something we will come to know as the Bedazzled Bedouin Tent, for as we have been talking, a league of servants has been slowly erecting, on the grass, on the lip of The Dowager's Haha, this structure, lighting it with candles so it’s mirrors glint and through small windows that buffet gently in its walls, we see the beautiful faces of the have’s. And as The Russian begins to play a song so ancient it halts all breath, all life, we notice that it does not quell the single tear that rolls gently from The DJ’s eye and perhaps on this, his 21st birthday, not all is quite as blissful he would have us believe.