Monday, July 30, 2012

The Halfway Point

Greetings from high in the sky!  To refresh thine memories, I am in Aspen, Colorado this summer, participating in the Aspen Music Festival.  It's all right here, very different from Pittsburgh.  Allow me to enumerate the differences.
1. Everyone seems to have a lot of money.
2. It's very "kid-friendly."
3. Everything costs a million dollars.  ($4 for a piece of pizza?  It should be free!)
4. It's almost 8000 feet up.
5. No one has a comforting accent.
6. Everyone (men, women, children) wear biking outfits,  It's stressful.

That's not to say that I'm not having the time of my life, because I am.  I have played six concerts since I got here, so I have been quite busy.  I have gotten to work with some really great conductors, and some very fine young musicians.  Also, some professional musicians, who I will not name for fear of retribution.  But I suppose I can tell you WHAT I played, right?  The highlights have been, Dvorak's Ninth Symphony, Symphonie Fantastique, and Ein Heldenleben.  But I would say my greatest and most satisfying musical achievement to date was playing second bassoon in the Fourth of July Band.  Yeah, that was definitely it.

Today I rode the gondola up Aspen Mountain.  I did not like it.  It was slow, and went very high above the ground, and when I got to the top, I was very high in the sky.  I like to be down low.  I am but five feet tall, so I am not accustomed to seeing above things.  Even so, it was quite fun and enjoyable.  At the top, there is a building called The Sundeck, where people can buy different foods and beverages (alcoholic and non) and play games.  I played 1/4th of a game of chess before I gave up.  My friend took over for me and won!  So by proxy, I won.  He he he.

Allow me to share what I seeeeen:

No Smoking, please.

Goodbye bottom of mountain.

Looking down on Aspen.

Some jutting rocks.  And they are jutting!

Ugh, it's so far down now.

For those of you who have wondered what I would look like on top of a mountain, your prayers have been answered.

My view from the porch-thing of The Sundeck, where I enjoyed a cookie and a diet coke.

Mountain chess.  We had to substitute some pieces because it was an incomplete set.

On the way back down.  Bye Aspen Mountain.

This week I am starting rehearsals for John Harbison's opera, The Great Gatsby.  I am playing principal and my part is hard, so I ought to learn it.  Peace out!

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