THE WHANGIE!

I don’t mind getting to the airport early, it gives me a chance to reflect a bit on the trip that is ending, and people watch….

The past 2 days were both enjoyable and productive. Thursday was spent in talking/coffee drinking about the piece. The question remains how much does Nick capture of me, and how much does he contribute of his own source material. How do we make things repeatable (so we can play the piece more than once and have it be the same piece!) AND how does Nick become more agile to keep up with the cello and its ability to switch musical, and sonic gears so quickly? One option is, of course that I just do less, which is something we talked about, but kept forgetting to try! My reaction is always to play more due to Nicks quite rhythmic and stuttery patch…

There’s more work to do at Ross Creek, the next stage of our project! We also spent some time organizing those February dates and communicating with Chris O’Neill there.

In afternoon we had a show and tell for graduate students and some faculty. We talked about our process and how we were interacting. And we played some of our ideas for material.

Eventually all this will be packaged by Nick in concert with a new patch he’ll create from out work together this week. Most recently he began to talk about notation, as a way to achieve repeatability! Proven techniques! Even though we are still committed to the spontaneity and listening that comes from improvisation, some sort of system of scoring will be necessary to make it a piece not an improvisation.

  Thursday night Sebastian, his partner Jane and I were invited to Nick and Kate’s home where we ate vegan curry and drank among other items Whisky! A very nice Glen Elgin, that I’ve never seen in Canada. Smooth and tasty!

Thanks to 2 of those, we started late on Friday, and had a final talk about next steps and loaded out of Nick’s studio. Then we picked up Kate and headed north toward the hills. We walked up The Whangie. It would have been enough just to say Whangie several times, but it was also a nice walk uphill through soggy terrain to the end of the ridge where there a cool rocky outcropping, and views of passing rain storms, rainbows, Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond (a Monroe, I learned: Scottish for mountain over 3000 feet tall). Really so gorgeous. We then retired to a beautiful warm pub in a nearby village for a pint and burger, and talked to the pub dog, who was welcoming all who entered. The weather was generally clear and crisp and only violently windy at the very furthest point of the 2 hour hike, just to remind us that although it looked nice, the highlands can be pretty angry at times! We were never rained upon, a rare occurrence, although we saw lots of rain from the foot of the high country and north.

This is a place I’d return to, Kate and Nick have walked around, and explored many islands and remote parts of Scotland. I’d like to see some of that, with Sue next time though!

After final goodbyes to Nick and Sebastian, I’m heading home after 12 days away.

The trip was varied and stimulating. I’m tired, but feel like there was good adventure and learning throughout the time. I’m a lucky guy to get to venture out and find this work, and see these sights and meet these people. Period. Now home to home and Sue and boys and dog!