We’ll be in Carmel Valley (CA) in a couple of weeks for the Hidden Valley Early Music Road Scholar weeks. We love this workshop and this place. We have a lot of new people coming which is very exciting. Looks like a fun two weeks ahead of us. There is still room for viol and recorder players in the second week (November 9-15). Visit www.hiddenvalleymusic.org to find out more and register.
November 19, 2013
We haven’t been very good at posting on this blog! It’s been a good year – a Tibia Adventures in Music workshop in Italy with us and Shira Kammen. We have been going to Poggio alle Ville north of Florence for several years. We love it there and Raffaele Edlmann and his family are wonderful hosts. Two Next Level Recorder Retreats – one in Carmel Valley CA in February and one at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, NC. Both beautiful places that we’re looking forward to being at again in 2014.
A friend just asked how to get her recorder joints re-corked. We don’t re-cork instruments, we use thread. Here’s a link to Philippe Bolton’s page, with a nice description of re-threading – just scroll down until you find it. Click here. If you have Ken Wollitz’s The Recorder Book, you will find another good description of re-threading on page 171.
We arrived home last night from a week at the Port Townsend workshop, which was held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma WA, and a week at the Amherst Early Music Festival, which is held at Connecticut College, in New London, CT. Hmmm, maybe we should convince one of them to move to Hawaii! They were both great weeks – lots of music and meeting up with friends, old and new. The heat wave hit the Amherst festival in the middle of the week which made for some slow commuting between classes. As much as I dislike air conditioning I was grateful for it last week. I must remember to take one of those soakable neck cloths with me next year.
My kids’ music workshop starts next Sunday so I’ll be busy getting ready for that all week. We fly to Charlotte in mid-August for concerts with Barbara and her baroque orchestra in Davidson, Durham and Greenville, NC.
Frances just finished the SFEMS Baroque workshop and will take a very short breather before getting ready for the next couple of workshops: Port Townsend and Amherst. I’ve been visiting my mom and sister in the mountains of Georgia, and am now in Augusta GA where I coached the Good Shepherd recorder group and will play in church today. Then off to Atlanta to see friends and play the ukulele! Home tomorrow, then off to Seattle. We’re looking forward to visiting friends in eastern Washington before Port Townsend starts. Mom and I drove down to Brunswick, GA (her childhood home) for a couple of days this past week. Went to one of my favorite places – the pier at the village in St. Simon’s Island.
We have been spending a good part of the day packing and cleaning, getting ready to take off tomorrow. How sad we’ll be to leave Sitka! We went down to the dock at Knight Park this morning. I looked up to the top of one of the spruce trees and saw a bald eagle perched on a branch. There weren’t too many other birds around that we could see, not surprisingly. We saw black-headed grosbeaks in the woods on the Nature Conservancy trail. I love their song.
We each had to hand in a written summary of our residency experience as part of our exit interview. Here’s what I wrote:
This was an amazing journey of self-discovery. Having the time, a beautiful resonant space, beautiful natural surroundings, and the friendly supportive staff of the Sitka Center all contributed to a deeper understanding of myself as a person and musician, and of my instrument, and the music I worked on. Since I don’t have any of this at home this residency was a gift that cannot be surpassed. (I have already vowed to keep the computer turned off until noon every day so my new morning routine comes first – exercise, journal, practicing.) I am very grateful for this experience. An extra plus we had not anticipated was the community of residents. Each of them added something wonderful to my time here. I know mostly other musicians at home so it was a treat to talk with artists and writers. Socializing with these particular people , observing/seeing/hearing their work and their working process was an important part of my residency. I loved spending time with all of them.
Today is Frances’ birthday! We walked down to the dock at Knight Park this morning, where we saw several pairs of merganser ducks, a great blue heron, gulls and swallows. Thought about canoeing on the Salmon River this afternoon but it was a little too windy. Took a bottle of champagne Corinne had given Frances for her birthday down to the office for a toast with the staff and Bill, the last resident to leave but us. Had a last kayak outing yesterday with Corinne, and saw lots of seals and two bald eagles. We’re very sad to be leaving, but eager to incorporate our new habits into our daily life at home. Thank you Sitka Center, and everyone who works here, for an incredible experience!
We’ve had some great kayaking trips with Corinne. This past Monday we were on Drift Creek. Saw a kingfisher, a bald eagle, a tern. Fun playing ukulele and double bass afterward.
Today was Volunteer Appreciation Day at the Sitka Center. We had been asked to play for the volunteers so we put together a show-and-tell with Renaissance and baroque recorders, my slide flute, and a little douçaine demo. We played an antiphon by Hildegarde von Bingen, a new duo by Frances with harmonies based on Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade, a Telemann duo, and a new solo for the slide flute by Frances which I played, called Phantom Sun. The volunteers were a great audience, and had lots of questions about the music and the instruments.
This morning I took a painting class with the resident painter, Bill Parks. I hadn’t painted since high school art class and I loved it. Bill preaches the no rules school of painting – just get some paint on your brush and paint! It was a wonderful experience. Frances went on a bird walk down at Knight Park with local Audobon Society folks.
We’re in our last week here. It’s been such an incredible experience. Our task on returning home will be to keep the time in our day for practicing and composing. For me, that means no email or other admin. work before noon.
Last Tuesday we hiked to the top of Cascade Head with our friend Jane. It was one of the few sunny days we’ve had here. We had a picnic when we reached the top. What a great hike!