THE (NOT SO) LONELY LITIGATOR’S CLUB 31: THE MUSICAL SECTION: NIKOLAS CLARKE – THE CONDUCTOR’S TALE
Having had 30 lawyers write about their experiences in lockdown it is now time to vary the membership. Indeed the club constitution requires us to lighten the mood and provide cheer to the profession. So I have decided to expand the club’s musical section The next tranche of members will be from lawyers who are also involved in making music.
(It is fair to say that some of the existing members already qualify, Hilary Wetherall sings in a choir, Spike Mullings is a bass player, Paul Nichols is a singer in a band, Snigda Nag & Paul Magrath both play guitar, and Gabor Covaks plays the mandolin).
The first “non-founding” musical member is barrister Nikolas Clarke, who conducts the orchestra of barristers and judges run through the Bar Musical Society. (The fact we are starting off with orchestral music should not be seen as confining the club to any one type of music, lawyers playing each and every genre of music are welcome).
What instrument do you play?
How long have you been playing and how did you find playing through your time studying law/early years of practice.
Who do you play with now and what type of music?
What’s your usual type of performance.
People always ask – “where do you find the time”
Most of the people in my choir also sing in other choirs and generally have at least two rehearsals a week already. The rehearsals are not just a means to a musical end, but an essential part of the process; socially, emotionally and musically. So I embrace the process! We rehearse near chambers and in the evenings and I have enough control over my practice to mean that I have never missed a rehearsal, even if I sometimes have to rush away afterwards to prepare my cross-examination afterwards.
The great thing about the Bar, and being self-employed, is that I have been able to balance a fairly busy musical life with my job. I still get panicky in the quiet periods of my practice, but at least I can fill them with (legal) photocopying and score preparation.
Do you think it helps or affects your day to day work as a lawyer?
Do you have any advice for lawyer/musicians or musician/lawyers out there?
Come and join the orchestra, obviously.