This is a very quick blog simply because I only have abotu 5 mins of internet left.
Sitting in a hostel in amsterdam after visiting paris and heading to berlin tonight. In paris we lost one of our group: he didnt want to puch onto the metro on the night of bastile (SP?) day and so got seperated form us. It took us the next few hours to find him. Then after finding him we thoguht it would be a good idea to see the eiffle tour at night causing us to spend an hour after trying to find a way back to the flat, we only jsut got hte last metro…the doors were beeping! Also in paris went to muse dorse (sp?) for the art and sat abotu the louvre gardens, it was closed on a tuesday annoyingly!
In amsterdam we all split up because of different interestes. Went to anne franks house, bigger than I expected, and then the Van Gogh museam. With that in mind for my own notes ‘the outline of a piece. Nothing more. Just the basic compressed and stripped down’.
Anyway that is all I have time for I think. HEading to Berlin tonight to spend a few days and then onto prague. Possibly another update soon.
It has been almost a month since my last blog. Since then I have been in Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Rome, Geneva and Barcelona. I was planning to try and blog as I went around Europe but that didn’t happen. Needless to say it was a really good trip and saw some amazing places. Even found a CD shop in Vienna that sold only classical music and another that was stocked with scores! I was like a kid in a sweet shop! Probably not that big a deal to anyone reading from a big city but Belfast doesn’t have these kind of shops annoyingly. The classical section in HMV is rather pathetic and matchets, though great for exams, doesn’t stock that much. Ach well, amazon helps. Finding the shop which had cds I wanted gave me the impetus to by them, finally got round to getting Chronochromie and a CD of Takemitsu’s chamber music. First introduction to him and I’m hocked. Also went to the Picasso museum, Van Gogh museum and saw an exhibition of Turner’s paintings, all amazing in real life.
Anyway, I have been home about just over a week and finally getting back into the swing of things. It took me almost a week to recover and catch up on sleep! The second Queen’s Composers’ Concert is pretty much organised, posters are being designed, music is being written, will be in the Queen’s concert brochure and there should be a mention going up onto the CMC Ireland website soon about it. By the way its on the 25th November at 7.30pm in the Harty Room in Queen’s Music Department and its free.
As for the opera its coming on quite nicely. About 1/3 of the way through it with about 3 weeks left to write it piles of time… I hope. I think reading ‘Morton Feldman Says’ has influenced it a little, or at least my ideas but I will reserve judgment until its finished. I think the dates for it are the 13th and 14th of November.
Just as a final note one of my friends, Daniel Barkley, has just put up his own site http://www.danielbarkleymusic.com/ . Have a look, hes doing continuing blog on how hes writing a Euphonium concerto which looks interesting
We have decided there is a curse on leaving cities after more than a day. On the way to checking out in Berlin Laura decided it would be a good idea to fall over on her ankels while carring her bags. After which she couldn’t carry herself, let alone her bags, so we had to carry her and her bags to the front door, get a taxi and then to the train station which thankfully had a wheelchair. Train journey to Prague was pretty good had individual rooms for 6 people. Was awkward getting down the train with bags to the room but it was good to have a bit of privacy for the 6 hour trip. Sat talking to some Sweds who were in my room, who tried to teach me some swedish (cant remember any of it now) but was good fun.
From the train station to the hostel was, yet again, interesting. Found a porter in the train station and put Laura on a baggage trolley before finding more taxis and taking out money to get said taxis. Took out 2000 koruny but wasn’t sure weather that would buy me a bun or a car… Worked out it is about 40 pounds so wasn’t to bad. Some of the prices here are about the same as at home but others are really cheap, a loaf of bread for 10 crowns (about 30p). The hostel I’m staying at is really good, Hostel Marabou. Its about 30mins walk from the centre of town but the best thing about it is the atmosphere. Really friendly, really homely and a constant stream of metal music played at most hours on the radio. Def going to come back to it again when I come back to Prague (which I will do).
Went on another free walking tour yesterday. This time gave a bit more because I had more spare change but still not as much as I would have paid for an equivilent tour. Again it was about 4 hours and gave about 800 years of Prague’s history, admitidly very condensed and potted but still interesting. Also went on a ghost tour last night, was really cheesy and after the first story I thought it was a waste of money. Though after the 2nd one people in costume started to jump out. If it hadn’t been for Lynn and Susie, both rather jumpy, it wouldn’t have been that good. Even with them jumping it was ok, wouldn’t go on it again and wouldn’t advise anyone else to go on it. One of the others on the tour was an austrailian who was travling from aus, hong kong, round europe and back home for 3 months costing him about 35000 austrailian dollars (abotu 15000 pounds!). How he was able to afford it, had a traffic accident a few years ago and broke his back. He got 25000 compensation.
Back in the hostel I sat talking to some English people who were in a rally, to drive from London to Mongolia! It sounds really interesting, think I might look into it maybe for next summer.
Having a relaxing day in the hostel today before getting a night train to Krakow tonight though I really like Prague and this hostel so dont want to leave it. Ach well, can always come back.
Annoyingly haven’t had a chance to write much music on the trains, might try and do some tonight while everyone is asleep. Seeing some of the places and modern art around the place is quite useful to get the brain going. If only Belfast had more galleries!
Think thats it for now, till next time.
This will hopefully be a fuller update. In a hostel with free Internet and wireless so have borrowed my friends iPhone so there will prob be some typos.
Paris was pretty good though getting list at 2am is fun but tiring spent the day going round the place but not for any real perpuse. The louvre and the pompeasue centre were closed so just ended up lowing in the louvre gardens having lunch and going to muse Dorset, think that’s the right spelling. Was a good mix of modern and older art. Also while walking around found a stall selling sheets of plainsong manuscript from the 1600s. If it’s a fake it’s a good one only problem is carrying it round for the next few weeks until I find a post office or get homeafter Paris went to Amsterdam.really nice city and quite interesting stuff. Headed to the van gogh museum and to Anne franks house. More I wanted to see but didn’t have enough time. Definitly going back at some point. Now I’m sitting in a hostel in berlin after a 6hour train journy yesterday. Here for a few days so have a chance to relax and take our time rather than rush round everything like before. 1/4 the way through and been to 1/3 of the cities. Going really fast but still enjoying it. Lynn summed it up really well yesterday “you don’t realise your have fun until you realise you realise your fed up”.
Think that’s about all for now possibly going to the body works exibition aoon and then onto a museum or two because they are open late. Wanted to go to be Berlin phil but they seems to be off for the summer, ach well. anyway till next time.
I leave to Paris and inter railing tomorrow! Will be trying to update this thing on my travels maybe with pictures but more than likely just with text. Away for a month and heading round Europe clockwise form Paris to Barcelona. It should be fun, really looking forward to it.
As for last weekend and this week I have been frantic. It was my 21st birthday last thursday and then friday afternoon I flew to York to CNMC (creating new music communities) to have Beyond the Tone played. Though the players only had a few hours rehearsing they did a very good job of it, hopefully get a recording of the concert up soon or at least when I get back. The whole day was a mix of open rehearsals, open ear sessions, networking, composers surgiories and two concerts all of which were really interesting and useful. Though I only managed to get to the tail end of one of the open ear sessions. The event was in York uni and was part of the ICC and organised mainly by Peter Moran and James Whittle.
Once I got home from that I had to organising moving flats and getting packed for inter railing! Oh yea, also decided to scrap what I had written of the opera and start again. Got about 2mins written and going to try and do some more while I’m away with many hours spent on trains.
Anyway thats all interesting to mention. Check back regularly over the next month for updates on my travels.