becoming a tree
On tour: A tour of turquoise lung shaped tables, the bulges of which are just fat enough for a laptop; a tour of snow and ice and wood effect bathroom flooring underfoot; of Chilean and Swiss wine in out of town hotel bars; of ‘lunar’ and ‘techno’ parks; of a half bottle of Bordeaux in a bumper coca cola cup; of six Haydn symphonies.
The problem of performance, especially the first, is that we feel we have to show our interpretation, rather than let the music be. The challenge of doing this, of becoming the music in public, reminds me of those drama exercises as a kid where, next to the spotty boy you fancy, wearing embarrassing knickers, desperate to be accepted by the gaggle of girls to which you do not belong and blushing with your crush on the teacher who, you have just noticed, does not shave under her arms, you are told ‘Become a Tree’. Becoming a Tree is a tall order unless you are alone in the forest, and Becoming Haydn on stage in front of a thousand people who have paid money to watch you do it is even harder.
Last night was the first performance and the chef walked on stage with his ego by his side like a bodyguard. Probably we all did to a certain extent but he and his bodyguard were more visible than me and mine. We got out our toolboxes, we did lots of things to Haydn’s music, but we didn’t become it.