In late November the weather flipped from balmy 18C to driving snow off Lake Huron. The time of long days and easy travel is over.
Is there a musician who has not spun out or been eerily wrapped in fog on the way back from rehearsal or concert? I so admire their vitality, dedication and courage. They incessantly traverse through hum drum infrastructure.
In this time of globalization and climate change, I feel privileged to have been able to stay, work yet expand my horizons within a relatively small geographic area.
Concentrating on finishing my latest cello this summer, I rebuild a treasured cello and restored 2 violins, which were unstrung by accidents, did service and fit up work, experimented with fittings as well as catching up on back ground such as making varnish. (More in future posts)
Summer Music Festivals, I believe, are a congenial way to travel for audiences and musicians alike. The latter embrace the challenge of unusual repertoire and combinations and the intensity of going to the edge,yet seem to find a landing spot, which brings opportunities to meet and chat.
We had our instruments played by talented students and professionals at WLU Quartet Fest, the Canadian Music Competition,Kincardine Summer Festival and the Sweetwater Music Festival both as trials and in concert situations.
What is it about life music that leaves me fuelled, I was wondering after a performance with the PSQ, David Gillham and Chiharu Inuma at the “Music Room” in Waterloo?
Ian Narvesson’s space offers a grand piano,the friendly open nordic decor of the 70s, an uncomplicated generous hospitality and proximity to world wandering accomplished players . So I hitch hike, dive in and sneak as if the dynamic range and the inner pulse were my own
Meredith Hall, Roman Borys,Mark Edwards (harpsichord )and Matthias Maute with Haendel Arias in the “Early Music Rock Stars” Concert, Sweetwater.
Mark Fewer, Annalee Patipatanakoon,Aiyun Huang,Steven Dann and Roman Borys perform Jaroslav Kapuschinski’s”Alikeness” (more photos at www.sweetwatermusicfestival.ca).
Of course it feels good to be able to contribute to excellence at the margins through emergency repairs and adjustments. Jurani and Ever, Mexican students at Quartetfest put a flea into my ear to travel to Aqua Caliente with my toolkit. I am not immune to the pull of exploration.
Greg and I had a lot of fun with our foray into Quebec at the beginning of July. Rebecca Pierce and Charles Arsenault hosted us in Montreal for a couple of days of a Metroplolitan luthier’s life. The crew at Wilder and David’s are experienced and efficient at servicing instruments and bows out of their travelling tool box. We heard about the Con Cuerda project, which took Rebecca and Charles to Colombia. They were amazed by the gratitude intensity and engagement of the musicians there.
We asked Charles to show us the documentation of his restoration of a shattered Gagliano violin,now played again,which is mind boggling.
We joined the makers forum for exhibits at the Canadian Music Competition in Drummondville. In between the last rounds of competition finals and the amazing Gala event,we hiked in la Mauricie staying at a quirky guest house in St Ellie de Claxton with a self serve common, reading and breakfast area and a bath shared by 6 rooms. Quebecers do seem to be able to easily share at least tables and banter. I fondly remember the late and hilarious outing with 8 gregarious, ravished Quebec colleagues after the festive Gala concert looking for Drummondville poutine.