A place where stories, thoughts and ideas come together

Saturday, July 29, 2006

"Rachmaninov by candlelight"

Another late night concert: a magnificent Russian choir sang Rachmaninov's Vespers and the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom tonight at St.Mary's.

The name of the show wasn't a joke: actually, the two huge chandeliers with real candles (not fake ones!) of the Cathedral were used. The voices sounded astonishing in that space, the whole atmosphere was magic, but... I have never ever, since my arrival in Ireland, assisted to a performance with such a noisy and unrestless audience! Caughs, sneezes, feet moving on rough surfaces, chairs... For me, the music had something sacred (even if I only understood a few words, the original ritual was the Orthodox Christian one, which is so familiar to me!) and when the lady beside me touched me with her arm, I almost fainted. Another lady had a coughing crisis and finally decided to leave the Cathedral, but she came back and started again...

In the second half, I succeeded to focus on the music ... magic voices! I was transported so far by the flow of music, that I found it really difficult to come back when the applauses started. I wanted to stay in that extatic state for a few more minutes!
The conductor offered some additional pieces that pleased the audience maybe more than the main program - and the evening ended in ovations...

I was thinking again about my schoolmate who was struggling to understand my preference for classical music. He asked me how did I actually get to like it - and I remember answering: "by listening to it, again and again". Of course, it's difficult to listen to something you can't stand in the first place. But he went home, followed my advice, and after one week only, he came to tell me he began to enjoy some of the Beethoven's works.

My guess is that we need a minimum of affinity - and then it's a process of fine tuning - by listening to the piece again and again, you get to resonate with it, and once there, you start to enjoy its energy, its flow... you become one with the music! When we were in school, we were told that we have to learn to understand the music... I doubt it was about understanding... reasoning... brain... music is meant for the heart - you either feel it, or not!

Anyhow, wonderful evening!
|| Gabriela 3:38:00 AM
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Undeserved glory

In the last few days, several friends congratulated me for the success of my colleagues. The benefits of being part of a department with such spectacular outputs:-)...

"We" made it into the 2nd page of the Irish Independent on Tuesday

This is what the press review said:
The paper ... says that passengers at Shannon Airport are flocking to a newly installed dolmen in the transit lounge. The "Shannon Portal" resembles a prehistoric stone but is in actual fact a futuristic installation that allows people to send e-postcards all over the world for free.
The project that gave birth to The Shannon portal is called Shared Worlds, and it's meant to bring technology in public places.

On the portal site, there's a gallery of postcards edited and sent by visitors , and you can vote for your preferate ones.

Here are some of my favs:
What about yours?
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Wow! What a nice surprise:-)

My last night's post got a lot of attention. I couldn't imagine there was anyone left on Earth keeping an eye on this blog, after all this silent period! I was away the whole day as I had to attend a Lero meeting in Dublin, and when I got back this evening, I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened my Inbox!

Thank you all for your kind words! They are a strong motivation for me to go on ... even if I still wonder what could be of interest...

This blog used to be my personal archive; my current duties include keeping a project archive. As my work = my life (almost!), and that information does not belong to me, I found myself somehow disorientated - what could I talk about? and why? What would be the point?!

It was quite an important shift from doing individual research on selected topics (somehow together with peers) - to becoming part of a research team that grew continually in the last few months... But I have the feeling that we've reached a stability point now.

My research domain also shifted ... and so did my personal life.

I've been in Ireland for almost 14 months now, and I continue to be fascinated by this country.
I can't avoid seeing its problems, but still... I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now!

I'm afraid I'm not very coherent, I had a long day with more than five hours spent on the train...
They were not completely wasted, as I'm reading some very interesting stuff right now. I finished Ulrike Schultze's paper presenting an ethnography of knowledge work and I found it really instructive for what I'm doing right now, while Van Maanen's Tales from the Field was waiting its turn.

Anyhow, after that, I treated myself with an amazing concert: Anthony Marwood played Chausson's Concert in D for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in St.Mary's Cathedral (right around the corner from my place) as part of the MBNA Shannon International Music Festival. The night was really special - Limerick is such an oasis for classical music fans!
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Long, long silence...

I'm striving to understand what's happening to me, and why my apetite for blogging seems to have radically decreased. I guess it's because I'm changing, going through a transformation period, becoming somebody else... and I like this new person much better than the old me...

I know, it would have been interesting to document this transformation. But I didn't feel like...
I simply felt the need to be on my own for a while. Things are changing again now ... I'd like to reconnect to my peers, to lay a bridge between the old and the new "me"... to get my voice back!

Let's see if I am able to sustain this impulse by blogging regularly again!
I need a fresh start, and I should forget about the tens of unfinished drafts - they'll never get published!
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