Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Foggy airports, chamber music and travel woes.

I'm sitting in the Victoria International Airport. Last night at around 8 PM local time I boarded a plane in St. John's Newfoundland, went to Toronto, ordered a double Tom Collins, boarded a plane to Vancouver, sat behind a baby banshee, landed at 1:30 AM local time, slept two hours in a hotel, boarded a bus to a ferry to another bus to the Conservatory, returned their cello, had lunch with Marcy and Trevor, and then got http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifdropphttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifed off where I now sit, sipping a double White Russian, and staring at my computer screen.

The last three weeks have been awesome. I took a red eye to St. John's, via Montreal, and landed midday. I fell asleep on the plane before it landed in St. John's. I'd had a brief conversation with a kindly old man from St. John's. As we made out descent, he tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to open the blind. I looked out into an endless white fog. He asked me if I recognized St. John's, and I certainly. Did.

After landing, I had a quick lunch with our dear friend Jenna whom I was staying with in St. John's(check her blog and her photography, both awesome). Jenna was kind enough to house me for the extent of the festival and then some. She is possibly the sweetest person I've ever met, and I feel really awful I didn't get to spend more time with her. Sadly, I was there for two reasons: to house hunt and to take part in the Tuckamore Festival. I'd say both were a huge success, though my lack of fun hang out times were regrettable :(

With the help of Jenna, I managed to find Josh and I nice a suite beneath Pippy Park, a large nature reserve just outside of downtown St. John's. It's also in proximity to school, but in a quasi-rural area, which means some peace and quiet. I thankfully found if mere hours before the start of the Tuckamore Festival, which took over my life for two weeks. If I hadn't found it at that perfect time, we would have had no where to live because I would have been to exhausted to even look for anywhere.

The festival was pretty regimented in a way I wasn't expecting. We had about three 45 minute private lessons a week, daily 2 hour+ chamber music rehearsals, and roughly three 1 hour coachings per week. In between that was individual practise time, master classes, performances, both by students and professionals, and somehow, time for socializing. I met some pretty awesome people, a few of which are going to be attending MUN in the fall, and others, who will be moving on to other prestigious things on other prestigious cities.

The festival was a huge mix of personal improvement, self deprecation, crying, laughing and other excitement. Our quintet was apparently one of the most gossiped about of the entire festival (mostly because of violin drama....oh violinists...) I also had the stress of an audition for the use of MUN's cello, which I will find out about a couple of weeks into September.

My quintet had the joy of learning and performing all four movements of Schumann's Quintet in Eb Major. Videos of our groups' performance can be found here, here, here and here! It was a shit tonne of work, and we all worked really hard to pull it all together. It was a real treat to work with the folks in my quintet, and I'm really grateful for all of the guidance we received.

Aside from the festival, I had some pretty interesting run ins with people in st. John's, all which were either humorous, heart warming, or both. I'm really looking forward to living there. To give you an idea of what I'm looking forward to, please enjoy this picture of a puffin, and imagine it flying through the intricate tunnel system beneath MUN (otherwise referred to as "Munnels", which sounds like the name of a sect of cave dwelling sub-humans that will hopefully never exist...but I digress...

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