Carpets, batteries and coffee.
Yes, it is a strange title for a chamber music festival blog because:
- You might think that these particular items don’t have much in common with chamber music.
- As lovely and/or useful as carpets, batteries and coffee can be, this combination of things is not usually your average conversational topic.
Backing up a little, the 2012 festival is now over. It has taken me a while to get back to writing here, as there always seems to be a need for recovery from all the excitement! I really could not have asked for a more thrilling festival, and thanks to those who either made the journey over (as taxing as it is to come to a beautiful island) or those who popped down the road in their local community to support this event. I know I keep saying it, but when people actually turn up it always surprises me and is a moment for jubilation.
It’s extraordinary too, that this lovely audience that we have conjured (bad word; I’m distracted by the cello quartets going on in the lounge room!) seem to trust us to the extent that they’ll come, no matter what we put on. That is indeed a sentence to behold. In fact, I asked many people what they enjoyed/had found the most memorable and most said the George Crumb…Amazing.
So, back to the topic.
There are certain commodities that I wouldn’t have given a second thought before the festival. It’s always amazing to see which of these are going to become the unforseen major focus during the week…
Firstly, the carpets.
Dave, our amiable new manager, hadn’t seen this one coming either, but his main task was to be a hunting mission to round up all the known rugs and carpets on the island.
This was to protect the newly laid, not quite finished, lovely wooden floor at the Surf Life Saving Club. It seemed every time I saw him he had a slightly mad look in his eye and was struggling with a number of rugs that he had captured from some unsuspecting local’s home. This was lucky, as my panic at the acoustic of the new Point Lookout Hall being akin to a giant bathroom (later proven to be unfounded), caused me to run to Dave for carpets again to soak up some sound. Luckily he happened to have an arsenal of them at his disposal by this point.
Again, an unforseen requisite. Those pesky little light sconces that are meant to last for an age, kept turning themselves on in my bag…by the crucial moment when we actually had to use them in the concert, of course, they were about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Quick, somebody procure 12 batteries in approximately 8 minutes!
Yes, good coffee is a necessity for all of us, and, it seems, particularly for stringed instrument players. This is a particular problem if one is used to the extensive supply of good coffee in a city like Melbourne, for example. On a small sub tropical island it becomes a little harder to come by… Thank goodness for Michael’s coffee at the beach over the weekend, it was getting desperate.
So, if anyone needs a crash course in how to run a music festival (I look meaningfully at myself): always expect the unexpected.