I’ve seen two remarkable musical performances in the last month or so. One was a Norwegian orchestra in the Musikverein in Vienna, in the same hall where the New Year’s concert is held every year by the Vienna Philharmonic. I mention it because it was my first time there and I was impressed by all the gold leaf on the walls and nymphs etc. The acoustics were great, I recognized “celebrities” in the audience as well as several regular people I knew and, whoa, great band. Their first number, by a modern Scandinavian composer, reminded me a lot of Sigur Ros. It was quiet, and beautiful.
They had a young German cellist play a couple solos, also very nice. Guy in his early thirties, I guess. I went with my cello teacher and a couple other students of his to hear this guy. I apologize for not including names and links in this post, but I am typing fast before I have to go wake up Beta, who is visiting; then I must hop in the shower and scurry off to work.
Anyway, driving one of the students home afterwards, fighting to stay awake because I seem to get sleepy after lunch and stay that way, I saw a ton of martens on the streets. Little guys slinking around, bounding down the sidewalks, zipping into driveways when my car came by, staring with their yellow eyes.
They like to nibble car wiring, so everyone here hangs bags of mothballs under their car hoods.
Last week, a friend and I went to see a young blues musician, Peter Kern, perform in a wine cellar near where we live. The walls were covered with soot and cigarette smoke, the place was tiny. There was a framed print of Gina Lolobrigida on the wall and a small stage in the corner. Peter Kern is in his early thirties, and an amazing blues guitarist. Chicago blues. Great voice, too.
All day long that day I’d had the feeling that wasps were walking around under my pants. Up and down my right pantleg. I figured it was connected with the back pain I’d been experiencing that week, pinched nerve, but the tick vaccination campaign here is so effective that whenever you have an itch or something, you automatically suspect some sort of infestation.
I never got stung, and not even Chicago blues made the wasps go away, though, so I figure they were nerve damage. Only temporary, though, because they’re gone now.
In the intermissions we stood around an oil drum outside, in which a fire burned, and tossed wood onto the fire and joked around. The fire was hot, and the wind was cold, so I had a stiff neck the next day and stank of several kinds of smoke, but otherwise the concert was great.
I reserve the right to edit this post for coherence later when I’ve had more sleep.