Princeton

Besides the one and half extraordinary days of warmth and sunshine – I actually wore sunglasses – this week in Princeton has been nothing but damp, cold, grey weather. Fitting, since we put on three shows of Olagón and I’m told that the weather in Ireland is exactly like this all the time.

We moved into the brand new CoLab space at the Lewis Arts complex, which is a stunning new building housing several performance spaces as well as the most beautiful and acoustically pleasing practice rooms I’ve ever been in. We rehearsed seven Princeton composer pieces in the CoLab during the week (performance tonight) with the composers, and ate what felt like every meal there as well. Aside: There is good food to be had in Princeton, but you will pay dearly for it. The prices reminded me of the prices in Australia, except then you add tax and tip. How’s a student supposed to live??

Our happy reunion with our dear friends and collaborators Dan, Iarla, and Mark was filled with stress as we tried to combine much-needed rehearsal with essential tech and lighting time. But the show must go on, and it did, getting a bit better each night. Except for the second night, where I learned the painful lesson of why one always needs to turn off one’s iPad wifi during the show. I got the dreaded software update dialog box, and in my panic, holding my instrument and needing to turn the page quickly, I accidentally hit the “install now” button instead of the “later” button right beneath it. And that was the point of no return. I watched in horror as the Apple logo filled my screen, progress bar not moving. This could take the rest of the show, I thought. I sat down as calmly as I could, instrument in my lap, looking out into the distance, listening to all the holes where I knew I should be playing. At one point, Nathalie looked to me for a cue, and I looked back and subtly (I hope) shook my head. Then, Lisa got up and I was flooded with relief because I realized this was the number with all my choreography, which was memorized. Plus, this number was about 10 minutes long. When I got back to my station, the update was nearing completion and the rest of the show went as planned. I do think I might have lost a couple years off my life, though.

Tonight we perform the seven pieces by Princeton composers at the Princeton Sound Kitchen. We’re back at the familiar Taplin Auditorium for this concert, and then home for a whopping 18 hours before leaving for Eau Claire and Madison.

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