25 March 2012

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I got up on the morning of Saturday the 24th wracked with fever and having not slept, looked at my baritone before putting it in the trunk and wondered if it would just be better to pack myself in it rather than the horn. Christof Kurzmann and I went to the airport around 8am in the presenter’s car, I immediately fell asleep, completely drained. At check-in it turned out that Christof didn’t have his passport, only his Austrian ID, and the airline employee would not accept this as valid identification, so we had to push our flight back an hour and drive back 30 minutes back to the apartment to see if we could locate the passport, again I slept. Once we arrived, Christof couldn’t find the passport at the apartment; starting to panic we went to where we had rehearsed the day before, still no passport; then we drove back to the apartment and all 3 of us looked for it, the organizer located it, and we had exactly 30 minutes to make it to the airport in time to get Christof checked in; while I slept a 3rd time in the car it turned out that the presenter was about to run out of gas! We arrived in time, checked in with no added expenses despite the flight change and baritone trunk- we’re clearly not in North America or Europe anymore. The two of us arrived in Sao Paulo with me continuing to sleep whenever and wherever I could- the plane, the car from the airport to the hotel, at the hotel, backstage, trying to store up some energy for our 1st concert. This resting plan worked and Christof and I played 2 strong sets to a large and excited audience; only glitch was at the end of the 2nd set when Christof’s laptop crashed and he asked me to play a solo piece to cover. The material we worked with was based on two pieces developed with Martin Brandlmayr for the Nickelsdorf festival in the summer of 2010, one of which included a poem by Joe McPhee that Christof turned into a beautiful song. By the end of the night I felt well enough (with the help of some medicine given to me in Florianopolis) to eat some basic food; then I slept for 10 hours straight- the most rest I’d had since arriving in Europe at the end of February. The next day I worked in the hotel, then had a great lunch with Christof at the organizer’s home, then drove through the serpentine hills of Sao Paulo to a club to play in a quartet setting with 2 musicians from the city: the percussionist Panda Gianfratti and the soprano sax/Brazilian folk violinist, Thomas Rohrer. I’d only met them both briefly the 1st time I came to Sao Paulo in December of 2010, with Mark Sanders and Luc Ex, and had never heard their playing before, so I was curious how the music would turn out. It ended up being another special night, 2 wide ranging, dynamic sets performed for an audience of around 60 avid listeners who demanded an encore that the quartet happily played. I ended the night late with Christof at a 24 hour bar/restaurant, me not eating and happy to drink a beer without feeling sick anymore. It would be another short night- pickup for the airport was at 4:45am… From another spectrum, Free Fall in Budapest: