Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Technoethno takes a knock

I had been enjoying my new techno-geek status so much the last while, that it was absolutely inconceivable that anything could possibly threaten it. Anything, that is, until the transformer on the powerlines to my parents out-in-the -middle-of-nowhere house blew early yesterday. I had just plugged my cellphone in to recharge when it happened, and I was left with an hour of computer battery time, and no cellphone. Now there was a time when I did all my work with pen and paper, but that was in the days when cellphones were something only businessmen carried, and when books were stacks of bound and printed papers. I was even stuck for reading material, as so much of what I am at present reading is digitized. And the worst of it was, the power was expected to be down for several days. The fact that we pump our own water here, and without power would have no water, and nowhere to store the masses of uncooked Christmas food rapidly thawing in the freezer, was the least of my concerns. How was I supposed to maintain the tenuous link on my sanity with no e-mail!?
Unbelievably, more than one transformer in the valley had blown, including the one supplying the local hotel with power, and so the electricity company made quick work of it, and by 21:00, we had power. It was with some amusement that I watched our neighbours, whose transformer was intact, barbeque their dinner, while waited plaintively for the power to come back on to microwave ours.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas concerts

This week has been very special. the Drakensberg Boys' Choir held their Festive Celebration from Wednesday to today (Sunday 12th December), and I went to a concert every day. On Wednesday, it was their Christmas concert, Thursday was a Christmas concert by the Chanticleer singers, Friday was the boychoir again singing the Rutter Magnificat 'and a bit of Bach', yesterday was the Boychoir's secular program, and today was a service of lessons and carols. I sometimes forget what this is all about when I am singing or conducting. I usually enjoy myself, but often the work gets the better of me, and it all becomes just a job. Well, over the past five days, I laughed harder and more than I have in a while. Yesterday, I happened to be sitting front and centre for the concert, and got some delightfully direct interaction from the choristers. One sweet little chap sang directly to me during parts of his solo, and another actually sat on my lap to sing part of it. I laughed so hard my sides ached! And I had forgotten how easily certain particularly animated faces catch one's attention. The singers who look most like they are enjoying what they are doing are the ones whose faces I look out for again and again. It reminds me just how important it is to continue to enjoy what I do. Chanticleer, who gave me a lot of pleasure with the sounds and music they made, simply failed to capture me the way the boychoir did. And don't get me wrong here, the choir are excellent singers, and that is of course important: if the choir didn't sing well, their enthusiasm would be pitiful rather than inspiring, but I almost think the expression on their faces, and their energy and playfulness is more important than the actual singing. Not absolutely, but to a certain degree. And after all, if making music isn't fun, what is the point?
If you are in South Africa for Christmas, watch out for the choir performing on SABC 2 at 21:00 on Christmas day, otherwise, they have a website which I will blog soon, and on which some of their concerts are broadcast live during the term. Just a little free publicity for them, but they really are worth hearing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Just a thought...

I never read horoscopes. I absolutely do not believe in them. But occasionally inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I happened to read my horoscope this morning, and it said something about looking for happiness and not stability. I really had difficulty understanding that, because to me, happiness has always been synonymous with some level of stability. Funny how things change. I am unbelievably satisfied and just plain happy at present, and yet in some ways, my life is potentially very unstable right now. And yet, that instability is a large part of what is making me so happy. For once instability = potential. I have always thought that the concept of heaven must be epitomized by endless potential. Heaven has always been associated with timelessness, and the appeal of that is endless potential. There is so much that can happen in my life right now, and the personal space I am in makes that possible.

Ok, so enough with the out-of-character philosophizing. I just wanted some sort of permanent record of that to remind myself what its all about at some appropriate point in the future.