Of course with alcohol.

Alpha is in Kyoto getting a massage, or something, so Gamma was kind enough to accompany me to a concert last night at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, where the Klangforum Wien performed Donatoni, Brice Pauset and György Kúrtag. It was quite good, if you want my in-expert opinion. We subscribe to their concerts, and are really enjoying this year’s series. I fall asleep a lot, I feel bad about that. It’s like borderline narcolepsy. When I have trouble falling asleep at home in my bed, I imagine I’m in a concert and I usually fall right to sleep. It’s because I get up so early, I think, and then have a long day, and then go to the bar at a hotel that shall remain nameless for legal reasons before the concert for a drink, and not any sort of condemnation of the music. Also a little more oxygen in the atmosphere  inside the concert hall wouldn’t hurt.

Gamma is 14. She joined me at the bar last night. I had a beer although I wasn’t really in the mood for a drink, because they won’t bring you peanuts if you don’t buy a drink. Gamma ordered a strawberri daiquiri. With alcohol? asked the waiter. Sure, said Gamma. She let me taste. It was very good. That is something I find agreeable about Austria, they’re not all paranoid about carding people who order drinks.

Another agreeable thing about the country is that its president also subscribes to this modern music concert series, and sits two rows in front of us, just him and his wife. Either that or his security detail is so good that they’re invisible. Last night Gamma went over and said hi to him.

I think it’s neat to have a president who enjoys new music and is accessible like that.

And it’s also neat to have kids like I do.

Even my cats have been friendly and remarkably sane lately, except for the senile gray cat, who is as nuts as ever.

Concert report

Alpha and I went to a concert last night. We have a subscription to a series of concerts in the Konzerthaus in Vienna, performances of mostly modern works by the Klangforum, which is an ensemble founded in 1985 to perform modern music. As usual we went to the bar in the Intercontinental Hotel, which is near the Konzerthaus, for a drink and frankfurters, which we ate with our hands (the horseradish was freshly-grated and made me gasp) and joked about a group of British businesspeople, mostly men, and chatted and generally had a date. I also had a cup of coffee to make it harder to fall asleep in the concert, because it turns out dissonance makes me sleepy.

The first piece performed was by Debussy and involved harp so it was real pretty. We were reminded of Beta and her harp playing and missed her, and her harp music. Alpha noticed a lot of men with ponytails in the audience, so we steeled ourselves for something artistically significant to come. The next couple pieces were more dissonant, the third piece especially. It was interesting because the harpist was playing two harps at the same time. The composer was present, and took the stage to enthusiastic applause. A group of people near us also booed him, however, which was kind of cool. I had to wonder what that was all about.

The President of Austria was there. with his wife. He apparently has a subscription to the same series, we see him there almost every time, although his wife was there with a friend last time. He doesn’t just show up at the beginning and sneak out, either, he sits through the whole thing so apparently he has genuine cultural interests. How cool is that? It is things like this that make me appreciate living in Austria.

We went out during the intermission for some fresh air. Because we were both so tired, we decided to go home. My wife gets up at 4.30 most mornings, while I sleep in until 5, generally so by 9 pm or so we are both beat.