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In the papers today: 19.02.08 – Frozen out of music

The cliché that describes architecture as frozen music is particularly appropriate for critic Nick Coleman writing in the Guardian about his sudden loss of hearing in one ear.

He describes how this has marred his lifelong pleasure in music, and attempts to understand why.

'I used to hear "buildings", three-dimensional forms of architectural substance and tension,' he writes. 'I did not "see" these buildings in the classic synaesthetic way so much as sense them. These forms had "floors", "walls", "roofs", "windows", "cellars". They expressed volume. Music to me has always been a handsome three-dimensional container, a vessel, as real in its way as a Scout hut or a cathedral or a ship, with an inside and an outside and subdivided internal spaces.'

Several papers cover the fact that another cliché, 'like painting the Forth Rail Bridge', will soon lose its currency with a new technique that means repainting will not be needed for 20 years, but the Financial Times scores most highly with a marvellous photograph from Getty Images of men in flat caps hauling battered buckets of paint.

Perhaps if those painters hadn't been so busy in Scotland, they could have spent some time in Wales looking after a little gem of a building in Gorseinon near Swansea, that is now reaching the end of its useful life. La Charrette, the UK's smallest cinema, is shutting because it is rotting away, but not before Kenneth Branagh is to hold a black-tie launch in its 23-seat interior. The Independent reports that it will then move to a heritage centre in the Gower.

Non-Londoners who believe the capital's streets are lined with luvvies will have their prejudices confirmed by the Evening Standard, which shows a picture of residents of Kentish Town, supportied by film director Ken Loach and actors Tom Conti and Bill Nighy staging a lie-down protest in a cobbled street. They are trying to prevent its use by lorries. One wonders if they will have more luck than residents of Florence who have failed in their attempt to prevent the construction of new tram routes, the Daily Telegraph reports.

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