Bergen, Festpillene Residency Day Three 2 June 2016
Without doubt, one of the most intense days of music making I have ever experienced.
Now I have a real sense of the sound, the air space, the smell, the textures of this extraordinary building as a musical home. My performances of the Tartini have evolved, become much more intimate. The Philip Glass has morphed into a far more meditative experience (for me).
There was an extraordinarily concentrated atmosphere for the evening concert, and the audience remained silent until the very last note-playing for 70 minutes without applause, without a pause between pieces, between centuries, is an amazing experience.
After the concert, we were honoured with supper by Schak Bull (Ole Bull’s great-grand nepher) and then went to his lovely home, where we talked about music making and played on Bull’s amazing bow- which is 2 inches longer than a normal instrument.
The walk home took us via a necessary pilgrimage. Ole Bull’s grave. He has been the centre of my work in Bergen for years, and was, like me, a Tartini enthusiast.
Bergen, Festpillene Residency Day Two 1 June 2016
Today was one of wonder for me, relaxing into the slow rhythm of a four hour performance, as listeners came and went, and as the light changed in the extraordinary church.
I was also delighted that Schak Bull, the great grandnephew of Ole Bull, came to the concert and noted its essentially meditative character.
The Bergen rain returned today so, after the concert, we spent time enraptured in the earliest buildings in Bergen, and particularly the 12th century carvings in veined soapstone on Mariakirken. A reminder, not that Malene needed it, that we are in Viking territory.
And with the rain, comes every more lushness; this is a country forever burgeoning.
Bergen, Festpillene Residency Day one 31 May 2016
Malene and I escaped from the unravelling British Summer, and arrived in Norway this morning. First order of business, settling into the sublime acoustic and memoried space that is St Joergen’s Church, at Lepramuseet Museum, where my performances/installation begins tomorrow.
I have set up stands in eight positions around the church, and spent a few hours today, feeling out the old and new works in this architectural wonder. Philip Glass ‘Strung Out’ seems to work perfectly along the aisle. It was particularly magical to feel Evis’ exquisite piece finding its way into the church. I had a real sense of the bridge that Evis is building between the ancient city of Nicosia and the North.
I am trying to feel my way into Tartini’s private/public practice/office in St Antonio Padua, which means being in the space, playing for myself for him.
And then three hours in the hills. Astonishing that to walk straight out this lovely town to this.
A perfect place to be quiet, to think. More on this project, when it gets going for real, tomorrow.