In PassingJuly 12, 2012
Looking out over the briar grass of southern France towards the hot and wonky hills at distance, I’m reminded of a trip to play a festival in Spain a few years ago, when such views were still exotic, invigourating, and full of wonder, to me.
But I’m reading Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell and what I really want just now, is to use Wikipedia to verify a rumour I’ve heard, that the author had once been a spy in the employ of the Crown against Communism.
Each of us in this party is reading, and the countryside passes us apace, glorious and forlornly ignored. We’re here to work, and the more and more we do this work, the more it becomes just so. Being flown to a remote and beautiful part of another country to give just one performance takes one tiny step, each time, on a road from adventure towards task.
Some are afforded little or no opportunity to leave the country, even on holiday, and I share your disgust, those of you dumbstruck at my jaded ingratitude. Probably you could find a way to remain ever astonished by such alien climates and cultures, regardless of repetition and associated pressures, but if you can I would be sincerely delighted to learn just how.
Luckily, though, the work itself (music, that is – we are employed here as musicians) remains, and will remain, fluid. An audience, likewise, will not grow to be a predictable thing. The true effects of this work, when it’s done right, cannot be typified, nor even fully known. Here is a realm in which I find myself likely ever to remain a gawking tourist.