I performed Façade for the second time with the marvellous Music of Renown Ensemble (pictured left) at Marlborough College on August 8th this year. Having previously narrated the piece without the aid of a microphone, the particular acoustic of the space we were in this time made it a necessity in order to be heard over the strongly-defined timbres of trumpet, sax, clarinet and percussion. It was a revelation to perform it this way, allowing a much wider range of vocal colours and inflection. It was also clear from the reaction of the audience that the words were properly audible and, even if they are often nonsensical, there is still much humour in them when properly and clearly delivered. I don’t know whether Edith Sitwell would have opted for a mike if it had been on offer, but it beats a megaphone for clarity, if not for dramatic effect.