Sunday, July 27, 2008

Perth episode two: WE WON!

I've only got a short amount of time on the computer at Perth airport (our flight back to Melbourne has been delayed - boring!) so this is a short post about the overwhelming events of last night.

We came to Perth to perform in the Putting on an Act festival at PICA, seeing it as a good opportunity to showcase our work. After our performance on Friday night, we were told that we had been selected for the "best-of" program on Saturday night. It was amazing for us to have so many people enjoy and believe in our work, and we were stoked to have the opportunity to perform again. The only problem was, we had no harpsichord! I had organised the hire of a harpsichord from WAAPA, but received a phone call from them a few days ago telling me that there had been a double-booking, and the opera company was promised the instrument for Saturday night. I wasn't worried about that originally, as I didn't think that we'd be performing on the final night...

So there were many, many phone calls made yesterday to assorted members of the small early music fraternity in Perth, to no avail. At our 2:30pm sound-check we developed what we called the "plugged" version of the piece, with an electronic keyboard wired into the sound system and lots of reverb - very different from our restrained baroque-minimalism of the night before.

We were a bit anxious before the performance, having to deal with a different sound and completely different touch on my part. I normally listen a lot to the acoustics of my instrument as I play, and respond to the sound-waves coming from the strings. Not having any sound at all near me, and having to rely on what came from the overhead speakers had me a bit nervous.

Once I walked out on to the stage, though, and played the first few notes, I knew that it was going to be fine. The theatre was full, and the audience warm and enthusiastic. As soon as the last note died away we were greeted by a wall of clapping and cheering. I was overwhelmed by the response, and really moved that people loved our work so much.

Afterwards, it took us about 20 minutes to get to the bar to get a drink, we were continually stopped and congratulated by people who loved the combination of harpsichord and voice. Finally, red wine in hand, I relaxed for a moment, only to have us announced as the winners of the inaugural City of Perth Award for Most Innovative Act! The rest of the night was a bit of a blur of thank-yous, congratulations and posing for photographs...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Perth episode one: Icey Ice Snow Ice

Fernando and I (aka Beautiful Rubble) flew to Perth today to perform tomorrow at PICA. So far we haven't seen much of the city - we arrived at dusk and spent over an hour in a shuttle bus being shuttled around what seemed like every hotel in the city before finally arriving at our backpackers in Northbridge. After dumping our bags, we ran down the street in search of food. And it was during this hunger-filled dash that I made the discovery: The Icey Ice Snow Ice shop. I'm not exactly sure what snow ice is (well, I obviously know what snow ice is, but not what it means in this context). The description on the business card-sized take-away menu didn't enlighten me: " Snow Ice ... ice tastes like snow and melts in your mouth!" It may be a kind of frozen fairy floss. I decided not to experiment tonight, and settled for a grean teacino (itself a wondrous invention). Tomorrow will be the day to sample the snow ice. I'm particularly taken by the idea of Peanut Ice with chocolate sauce, although the Green Tea Ice (standard topping: wickedly taste good by itself) would be hard to pass up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Open House photos...

...another view of the tower.

The view from the Chairman's Office

Inside the boardroom. The table is covered in a single piece of glass, which had to be craned in through the windows.

I got a little excited about this building, as you can see!

Open House Melbourne

Yesterday I stood in a queue for 2 hours to get a look inside the top floors of the iconic Manchester Unity Building as part of Melbourne Open House. This is the first year they've run this in Melbourne and I think they were quite surprised by the number of people who turned up - hence the l o n g wait.

Luckily we had cupcakes to occupy us while we waited...

The view from the rooftop terrace was spectacular and just about worth the wait - the windows were mirrored and had interesting reflections.

The tower - it used to be a penthouse, how great would it be to live here?!

More reflections...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday round-up #6

This week I've loved The Coveted's simple yet not-so-obvious transformation of holey socks into stirrup legwarmer-type thingies; On an Overgrown Path writing about music in Moorish Spain and classical music and the credit crunch; some crazy two-wheeled action over at The Scooter Scoop; and Gala's tips on how to be more assertive. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hypercolor is back!

This should not be happening. But apparently it wasn't bad enough the first time around. It's official, hypercolor is back. Another bad 80s trend rises from the grave to look just as terrible as it did in 1988 (year of the bicentenary, fellow antipodeans may remember - what a treat that was!). Yes, I know we live in a postmodern world where everything is recycled and nothing is really new, but there are some things that really should just be left to rot away peacefully.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beautiful Rubble

Introducing... Beautiful Rubble! Drum roll please!

This is a duo I am one half of - together with the lovely Fernando. We've got a rudimentary myspace site here.

We've been invited to perform at Putting on an Act, at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, which is very exciting, and the first time we've presented our work as a stand-alone. We started working together a couple of years ago, and found that we fit together musically very well, and that it was easy for the two of us to come up with ideas and beginnings for songs.

I realised today that I am improvising all the time now, something that I could not do two years ago. All our songs have a basic structure, but the detail is improvised - there is a bass line or chord progression that is set, but everything else I am making up on the spot. I am very conscious of how far I still have to go in this area, but am proud of what I can do now, compared with a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I was not prepared for that

The wisdom teeth. How can four little teeth cause so much swelling and pain? Well, the removal of them, that is. I was barely able to talk before Monday, let alone think or conceptualise in any way. I blame that on the painkillers and aftereffects of the anaesthetic. My mouth would barely open for the first five days or so, and my cheeks were swollen so that I was looking distinctly peculiar. I have eaten what feels like half my body weight in jelly (but it was so good...), and watched four-and-a-half seasons of Sex and the City on dvd. I'm just glad I never have to go through that again!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

No Wisdom Left?

I had my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday, and now I look a little like this. On a steady diet of soup, porridge, jelly and ice-cream, I've been working my way through Vikram Seth's From Heaven Lake and dreaming of traveling to Tibet.

In between slugging back Mersyndol Forte (gotta love that codeine) I've been drooling over fabulous pictures by Sanna, Dotti, The Sartorialist and Ranna, and secretly getting jealous of it being summer in Europe, where I am not.