The next day we all gave workshops for the kids and I managed to introduce my creative writing group to Keith Jarrett's The Koln Concert in the process. We have an exercise in which I suggest that music can provide a route into the stillness of mental space from which focused creativity can spring, but which is sorely lacking in modern life, especially if you're facing a heap of exams. I put on something suitably calming - here's where The Koln Concert works beautifully, but in the past I've also used Chopin (slow movement of B minor Sonata) - and treat it as a meditation, in which the music leads the pen. Some people respond more enthusiastically than others, of course, but it is just one example of an option that can be harnessed to help access that space in ourselves. And just occasionally, someone will produce something in the music exercise that is rather incredible... This group was no exception and I think KJ would have been pleased to think he'd sparked such interesting thoughts and reflections.
Meanwhile the voice coaching sessions I had a few years ago have proved their worth. I love rediscovering that fabulous "afterglow" sensation where you're on a total high after giving a really good concert - and without having to play a note! HA! Still, Bradley and Margaret play enough notes for seven, never mind three... The whole thing has been fantastic, dreamlike and showered with spring sun and daffodils galore. THANKS, FOLKS!
And so it's home and back to the hamster-wheel. And it's Friday. So here is Jelly d'Aranyi playing a Hungarian piece we don't have in the concert: Hubay's Poemes hongroises, Op.26 No.6. This should put a spring in everyone's step.