April 10, 2017

Invisible Places

The Invisible Places conference was good, if a little overwhelming. There were so many talks and activities, and I'm afraid it's all a bit of a blur. Also, Mary arrived on the first day of the conference so I missed out on some papers I would have loved to hear that day because I was picking her up at the airport and getting her situated in Ribeira Grande. (Some papers that I especially liked were those by Stephen Roddy, Hugo Branco, Paul TourleAndy McGrawAngeliki Diakrousi, and Hildegard Westerkamp's moving keynote talk, which you can watch here even though it is incorrectly titled.) I also had rehearsals with my musicians on the first two nights, so missed out on many of the evening social gatherings, which apparently went on until the wee hours. I was especially sorry to miss a surprise concert by Peter Cusack in the same small church where we heard Medeiros/Lucas a couple weeks ago. The resident artists all gave short talks on Saturday, and I spoke a bit about my project then.

L-R: Raquel Castro, Robin Parmar, SP, Yannick Guéguen, Jen Reimer, Max Stein, Cláudia Martinho. Photo: André Mestre/Invisible Places.
The performance of my piece was the final event of the entire conference. I was very pleased with how it turned out. The musicians I had been working with for the previous two weeks really formed into a solid group and did a fantastic job. It was a pleasure getting to know them and working together to build an ensemble and a new version of the piece, and to present it here in the Azores to the people for whom it was made. (You can listen to it here.) The audience was large and appreciative, and I got some very nice feedback from people who found it quite moving. The entire experience was incredibly gratifying, and certainly one of the most meaningful and significant events of my entire life. My deepest obrigado again to Raquel Castro, Diana Diegues, and all of the musicians for making it happen.

Now, who's gonna book that inter-islands tour?