Although I have been reading a book about writing, I am now having a hard time getting started on this post. Why did I read a book about writing? Because I was traveling and had to fill some event-less periods of time: on the boat between Göteborg and Kiel, in numerous trains and before and during recording sessions. Some other activities besides traveling and recording required a kind of private brand of mindfulness instead of reading and will not be mentioned here.
One of the tasks I had in Bremen, first stop, was to finalize the voicing and regulation of Martin Skowroneck’s No. 89, a five-octave French 2manual harpsichord. Then I took the train to Leer to play organ continuo in Markus Brutscher’s and Le Chardon’s recording of two Bach cantatas and a few additional arias – my first true record-while-you-rehearse experience. This technique turned out to be more useful than I anticipated, since we had a bunch of good players in addition to a fabulous singer. But for an ahead-planner like myself, it was also slightly bewildering. I like long takes and whole-breath recordings. Can’t wait to hear the results.
After a private, sunny week in Arnhem with my children, I once again stopped by in Bremen on my way back home, in order to double-check my voicing job, to get a few more bites of Bremen’s fabulous Hachez chocolate and to eat some more asparagus which, during the season, is sold right from the farm in enormous quantities.
I also made a few recordings of the new harpsichord, which can be found all the way down on the “recordings” page. Yes, I know that Francois Couperin’s Préludes were not really meant to be played in succession like (probably) Chopin’s, Debussy’s or Rachmaninoff’s, but I had only time between tea and dinner to set up my mini-disk player and go for it, with the music I had at hand, so here’s what I managed to achieve in those two hours. The instrument will be sent to Mexico any day now.
Now I am home again, back to practicing and administration routines and eagerly waiting for the Swedish research council to announce the Postdoc stipends of this spring – another five days to go.