Last week was something of a quiet one – this is the life of a musician I suppose – opportunities, gigs etc. come in big blobs of lots and lots and then not at all.
On Wednesday, I had a meeting with the other administrators/viola team of the Sheffield Guild of Strings, in order to keep up the momentum after our concert the week before. It was extremely productive, talking about our plans for future and immediate tasks to perform. We had some great ideas, and it was a good idea to meet so soon after the concert, whilst all ideas were still fresh! However, we haven’t published much to the group yet, so I can’t say much here!
On Friday evening, I attended my second university Gamelan rehearsal – with the Gamelan Sekar Petak. Aside from this always being an incredibly relaxing two hours – sometimes I am tempted to just sit on the sofa, listen, and soak it in – I sneakily brought my viola in this session and suggested that we do a viola-gamelan collaboration. Having tuned my viola to Pelog (one of the scale systems used in Gavanese Gamelan), we had a bit of a jam session – bowing the Gamelan (luckily there was a bit of a bow collection in the Gamelan room!) with me accompanying on the viola. It was an amazingly relaxing soundscape – the noise is difficult to describe but hauntingly beautiful. Hopefully, we will make something of a performance of this in our May concert (the 14th – save the date!). I’m excited to see what might happen.
On Sunday, I got to see the fireworks display at the York Maze. This is an event that books up months in advance, and we got to go for free as part of York Samba! It was such a fantastic evening. Members of the MEG Committee were asked to help out, and I immediately took up the offer, as I was missing out on fireworks before this opportunity came along. We rehearsed in the afternoon, and then played wrapped in fairy lights and many warm layers. A particular highlight for me was our first slot, where we played as people entered the event. At some point, we were joined by two people, dressed as Darth Maul and Anekin Skywalker, who entered into a lightsaber duel within our Samba Circle. A crowd gathered, and children got involved. It was a surreal but fantastic few minutes.