Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Dream Come True, part 4

our next stop was the giant facility which houses Amsterdam's
four orchestras including various large spaces for rehearsing
and a very nice state of the art recording studio.
we stayed long enough to hear the symphonic orchestra
rehearsing an operatic piece and snap some pictures of me
in the hall the Metropole Orchestra uses, a place I will be
very familiar with by the end of next February.

a nice lunch and back to Tom's studio to continue scoring.

it is mentally exhausting work to think about every note,
every passage of a 43-minute piece of music, deciding
who plays what and then writing it into score form.
I don't know how Tom does it but I found it fascinating.
at the end of most days, a short break back at the hotel was
usually followed by dinner with Tom.
lots of conversation, stories, laughs, maybe a walk
around the canals lined with houses and cafes,
and certainly a stop for a well-earned beer or three.

the first night we found a cozy little bar with cool music
and two delightful bartenders, Celine and Paul
who spoke perfect english (most dutch people do)
and indulged my stories about my "musical odyssey".
the bar is called Biblos; I highly recommend it.
Biblos became our nightly hang.

on wednesday Aad from VPRO came to Tom's studio
to film us working together as part of the "making-of video".
Aad seemed pleased with the results. he was very upbeat.
in fact, everyone I met in Amsterdam was friendly and nice.

by day 4 we were in full gear, turning out a movement a day.
I was happy with the work, pleased with my surroundings,
the weather was beautiful as I trounced all over the place,
and I looked forward to our talkative evenings.
but we only had 3 days left.

friday: work work work, and the question became whether or not
we'd actually finish in time or have to somehow complete
the remaining parts via transatlantic phone lines. yikes!
Gert-Jan took Tom and me to a delicious Indonesian dinner.
Tom and I attended a friend's bachelor party held at a Karaoke bar.
no naked women, just some very frightening Karaoke.
then off to another pleasant evening at Biblos.

saturday was my day to play tourist.
Tom had other things he needed to attend to
and Gert-Jan graciously agreed to be my tour guide.
one of my best memories of the week was an hour-long
ride around the canals in one of the tour boats.
Amsterdam is beautiful at this time of the year.
we spent the afternoon sitting at outdoor cafes chatting about
all things musical, with Gert-Jan asking a thousand and one
questions about particular moments of my musical life.
I really enjoyed it and we got to be good friends.

then it was time to visit the venue where the concert
will be held, a very famous venue called The Paradiso.
it's actually an old church converted to a performance hall.
the acoustics are great. there are two balconies.
krimson played The Paradiso in the 80's.

after a nice Indian dinner we called it an early evening.
back at the hotel I suddenly realized how very tired I was.

sunday was another strong work day.
Gert-Jan stopped in to say goodbye
then suddenly it dawned on us: we had finished e,
we were done!
I had a 5:30 a.m. leave time to catch my flight home
but Tom and I still managed a fine Italian meal
and one final visit to Biblos. goodbye Celine and Paul!
I was sad to leave, but happy to be going home.
all in all it had been a perfect week.