January 7, 2011 04:23
In my home state of Bavaria, Epiphany is a public holiday. Since the weather was blah (cloudy, drizzly, the snow melting and black ice on the roads in the morning) we decided to see an interesting movie in our local arthouse cinema "Lichtspiel". It was a live recording of an evening (2005-04-07) with the Swiss Zen teacher Marcel Geisser, interspersed with Klezmer music by "Harry's Freilach" (a Russian playing accordeon and German playing clarinet) in the Christian "Osterkirche" in Berlin-Wedding.
Buddhist words, Jewish music and a Christian location: more than enough diversity to attract my interest. At first, I was a little bit disappointed since there was no fiddler in the Klezmer band, but Marcel pointed out that the higher we raise our expectations, the more we set ourselves up for disappointment - not because what is is bad, but because it's not what we want it to be. So I contended myself with listening to the fascinating music played by the two formidable musicians and Marcel's inspiring words.
To me, that's exactly how the adherents of different religions and philosophies should treat each other: look, listen and learn.
January 5, 2011 04:25
The 365 days of 2010 are now behind me - time for some musings on the old year:
- Musically, it was very rewarding - several sessions with my ACMP quartet friends, continued membership in my amateur chamber orchestra - playing the viola instead of the violin, becoming part of a little world music band - playing violin or viola, playing duets with my dad on each of my visits to the family, going to some very interesting concerts - most of them with the fascinating BSQ, and expanding my musical horizon by taking part in the workshops offered during the Fürth Internation Klezmer Festival. Last but not lease, the joy of playing in a symphonic orchestra with the project "Kronach Classical Afternoon Orchestra"
- As a square dance caller, I got another special dance, some class/club nights, a demo and a one night stand under my belt - by far not as active as I used to be, but still not quite out of it.
- Personally, I learned a little bit of Portuguese for a short vacation on Madeira, improved my French language skills with a week of "full immersion" in Paris. On the job I improved my knowledge of using wikis, social networks and other Web 2.0 stuff.
- Weather - don't ask. But my wife and I enjoyed a white Christmas in our "Hidden Valley Ranch". None of my business trips were spoiled by the dust clouds of a certain Icelandic volcano.
So, while not exactly a banner year, it can be filed under "pleasant" and "mostly harmless" *wink*.
What's in store for 2011? How about New Years' resolutions?
- Musically, the year started out with a rehearsal of the abovementioned world music band on Jan 2, followed by a run-through of Heitor Villa-Lobos' fascinating Quartet No. 1. A folk music workshop is in store on Jan 15. Our violist sang the "Canto lírico" on his four strings so it really moved our heartstrings. If this keeps going like it is, I'm satisfied. Maybe I'll find time to take part in the intensive workshop "Kronach Classical Academy" and/or one of the chamber music courses offered by violist András von Tószeghi in Switzerland.
- Square dance calling will continue to have to take a back seat to my other activities, especially due to the frequent business trips caused by my day job. Destinations in Austria and France are "out", destinations in the UK and the Netherlands are "in".
- Personally, I hope to continue last year's good points - especially maximizing time spent with my wife and enjoying heck out of every little upside life offers.
- Weather: let's just hope that it won't get worse. While it is hardly imaginable, "al peggio non c'e' fine", as the Italians say (there's no limit for things turning out worse), but maybe this year we'll not be kept out of are beloved garden by never-ending rain (and the ensuing mud).
Welcome 2011, may you be good to all of us.
More entries: September 2011 April 2010