Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Banana & Blueberry Bagels etc

^^ That tastes as good as it feels to say!

Monday Roundtable came round scarily quickly, marking 1 week of my residency here! There have been a few people leave over the weekend, as well as a few new musicians joining the jam, so it was super cool to hear about their projects and to hear how others are getting on. I spent some time working on the new tracks I've been writing/recording before having a really interesting chat/lesson with the new visiting artist, cellist Simon Fryer. It was great to pick his brains on starting out as a freelancer after college, as well as how to keep the cellist in me in good shape..! As a result of this, I am now on day 2 of a very satisfying cello 'exercise regime', which takes about an hour and tackles one key a day - I can already tell it's going to become kind of addictive! I'm very grateful for this pointer though, as I have been feeling a mild panic about losing the cello muscles/skills/abilities that I've spent a long time building up, now that I'm not immersed in the music college bubble/having lessons etc.

Later that afternoon, we had a small workshop, exploring a work called "A Piece of Sky", which can work for any size ensemble and combination of instruments/voices... and it's formed of about 8 different musical cells, each of the same duration. On our second try, I thought it sounded very effective - and we'll maybe perform this in Friday's Rolston concert.
On Monday evening, it was our chance to hear Artemis' research on Nationalism/the origins of Greek Music and many other super interesting aspects of the chapter she is writing - it was again really cool for us all to hear what each other have been working on. Monday night also heard an exchange of 'bedtime stories' in room 2413, in which Alex and I exchanged accents whilst reading whatever we could find - we're nearly there with a convincing Parent Trap-style swap..!

Tuesday was a quieter day, as there wasn't much scheduled in the music department, which meant some quality hut time. I also skipped back into the lunchtime yoga studio for a 'third time lucky' attempt at my new favourite/most painful sport! There was yet another instructor this time, but she was also really good - although I'm not sure I can forgive the playing of Justin Bieber on the speakers during a particularly peaceful pose of a child (she did apologise to us all for the rude interruption!) The instructor this time seemed to enjoy prodding me at the hips whilst I balanced precariously on one leg, which almost saw my new-found yoga career come crashing down - literally! I came away feeling amazing again, and with a renewed focus for the afternoon (and jelly-legs!).

I decided to amble down into Banff for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which also meant my first face-hurty (technical term) experience of the cold here - and it's apparently still quite mild for the Winter in Banff, but I can feel it getting colder. I also did my best Bambi on ice impression on the way down, but luckily I think only the squirrels witnessed this embarrassment... I had a mooch around some of the shops and a good explore in the supermarket (I think other countries' food shops are too interesting! Dad - you'd love it!). Once back on campus, I had some more hut time, some yummy dins (I'm still finding the naughty desserts a novelty!), before this week's Bentley Circle. Just before it started, I had a good chat with one of the new musicians, a singer/songwriter called Nancy and the next thing we knew, we were playing one of her songs together for everyone - another good aural test for me! I think we'll do some more collaborating next week. I also played in Paul's jazz composition, and listened to all the other really varied and wonderful offerings. There was a beautiful flute/harp duo playing Debussy, some sparkly Scarlatti on piano, as well as awesome Bach fugues and a South American influenced piano work - so much variety!! It was definitely time for some chats/wine in Maclab before bed.

Today's another fairly independent day - so a chance to sit at the piano and get creative...
P x

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