All alone in the woods
2008-11-10 19:34:58
I've been banished back to my little hut in the woods since the return of the pianist whose room I have been squatting in for the last 2.5 weeks. It feels like a post-apocalyptic scene as nothing has changed except it smells musty, and since the Turtleboys left tonight, ALL the surrounding huts are now devoid of people.
I do love my wee hut and have refurbished it with a coffee maker, a rose and some more wall decorations, however it will never be as cool as hanging with the late-night crowd in the Music building. And there were no strong men in the neighbouring huts that I could summon tonight when I was about to leave - it was pitch black outside except for the flicker of an enormous deer-antler right in front of my window.

This week has rolled in a fresh bunch of adventures. Wednesday night saw a Klezmer jam hosted by yours truly, which began with 3 of us running through a piece of music in 7/8 that we had transcribed the week before. By the time we had finished the piece, 15 people had magically appeared, some with instruments, many curious artists who were up for clapping and dancing while we read and improvised pseudo-klezmer music. It was an electric night, made even better with the eclectic pile of pilfered drinks and snacks that people brought.

Of late, I've been getting down and dirty with a big transcription project - I set myself the challenge of transcribing Isora Club - a Danzón, and arranging it for flute, clarinet, cello, bass and piano. I was quite smug what with perfect pitch and all, and my head has since shrunk a tad as it's two weeks in and I'm still struggling with getting down the notes in the piano part. I'm going about it very analog - pencil, paper and a small mountain of eraser-shavings on my desk, and trying to 'hear it in my head' - as I could probably get another college degree in the time that it would take me to learn how to use Sibelius.

Inju (my wonderful collaborative pianist and future wife) and I found ourselves in the right office at the right time, and yet again playing in a friday night concert! Though this time the piece was not nearly ready when we were propositioned 2 days before, so following the National Arts Centre Orchestra concert with Pinchas Zuckerman, we found ourselves practicing side by side until 1am. We pulled it off (memorised too... but only just) and celebrated hard at the reception afterwards.

Sunday a small bunch of us met at 7:30am at breakfast, then drove to some natural hot-springs nearly 3 hours away, in the heart of BC (British Colombia). Needless to say the whole trip was amazing, and the almost-untouched hot springs were sublime. Some of us even braved the running back and forth from the hot water to the freeeeezing creek. I now feel like I can say that I have seen a bit of Canada beyond the castle-in-the-clouds that is Banff and the West Edmonton Mall. We saw some incredible countryside - ghostly expanses where the pine-beetle has ravished all the trees, and some glorious mountains bathed in sunlight. And I was awarded my first proper Tim Hortons experience - terrible coffee and a greasy box of 40 'timbits' donuts. There's a whole system to eating Tim Hortons and every time someone bit into the unpopular Cherry Surprise, they passed it back to ever-fattening 'tourist'.


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