My visitors today

Sunday 5 May 2013

In-between-times are still conductive

'Blue lanterns'
' Blue railway station with white stretch-limo'

'Blue opera house with drinks on the balcony'

'On the Museum Bridge'

'St. Lorenz Church in blue'

In Nürnberg the night was blue for the fourteenth time –

Before I was able to take part in the Blue Night celebrations I attended a concert at the Meistersingerhalle with one of my clients. I had been invited by her and her mother as a thank-you.

The Nürnberger Symphoniker played Haydn, Villa-Lobos and Franck

I found it interesting to hear for the first time a mouth organist (Gianluca Littera) playing classical music in the work from the Brazilian composer Heiter Villa-Lobos. My only previous experience of hearing this instrument played was in the hands of Bob Dylan and other folk musicians.

My favourite part of the concert, however, was Joseph Haydn’s symphony No. 85 in B-minor, La Reine. I would have preferred to have heard this at the end of the concert evening to end on a jollier note. As part of a series of Parisian symphonies the music was romantic and stately and optimistic. The other pieces by Villa-Lobos and Franck were, for my ears, louder and heavier. While I listened to the Haydn I imagined the work involved in orchestrating it. I thought about how hard it must be to write a piece of music and imagine how each instrument will sound as they enter and then leave the compostion. Much harder I thought than the composing I do in my work but then again maybe Haydn would have said the same about what I do!

Conductors conducting in their very special ways

Talking about conducting – the conductor was an Englishman, Alexander Shelley, who has been the conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker since 2009. I felt quite at home as I watched his elegant style of conducting and tried to take a few tips away with me from observing the way that he moved his hands. I thought that they might help me in the delicate art of facilitating.

Yes, I really was thinking about my conductive work as I sat relaxing in the Meistersingerhalle, listening to Haydn.

Problem solving, conquering fears

My thoughts also drifted on to upbringing when I was persuaded by my friend to visit a night-club at the end of our Blue-Night adventures. The night-club belongs to her son and she wanted us to pop in just to say ‘Hello’ as we were passing.

I have disliked night-clubs and discos for most of my life. There was only one that I quite enjoyed visiting, it was called the Black Hole and was in Budapest, and it was always full of very young interesting people, all dressed in black from head-to-toe.

As a teenager I did not like the noise, the excessive drinking and the dark strange atmosphere of discos, or, still at that time, the smoke. Today it is just too loud for me, but last night I overcome my fears and ignored my dislike and entered a night-club for the first time in over twenty years. I can still not say that it is something that I will now be doing on a regular basis, I do not think that I will mind if it is another twenty years before I go to one again, but it was a very nice experience. 

My friend and I were welcomed by the young people, treated like special guests and not stared at like oddities as I had imagined we would be.

I found a solution to the problem of noise by sharing a paper handkerchief with my friend. We divided it into four and plugged our ears for the duration of our fifteen-minute visit.

With this solution it was by no means quiet but it was for a short time at least bearable and I was able to enjoy the experience of being a VIP in a night-club!

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