Counting Down!

Well, these last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. I performed a concert, worked multiple events, packed, prepared for the trip, took a mini-trip with the family, and then went to Houston to have a week of family time.

On June 11th, along with my great friend, Luciano Correa, on cello, I performed a concert of French or French inspired music. We included music by the great French composers including Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Chopin, Satie, and many more. We also performed a wonderful piece that I had never heard of before, The Song of the Black Swan by Heitor Villa-Lobos. While Villa-Lobos isn’t French, nor did he study in France, it was a wonderful piece that we could link with Saint-Saens The Swan from the Carnival of the Animals. The Song of the Black Swan is such an amazingly beautiful piece and I have fallen deeply in love with the piece and the music of Villa-Lobos.

We had a rather small turnout for the concert but we were completely fine with this. Although there was only about 12 people in attendance, the entire crowd really enjoyed all the music and made some amazing donations to help me with some costs for Paris. During the week, the music director at our church, Trinity Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, received a few more donations that I later picked up. I have definitely been warmed and filled with admiration for the members of our church and for our reverend in her amazing support.

We also performed a new piece of mine for cello and piano titled Lamentation. The audience really seemed to enjoy the piece and many had wonderful comments after the concert. It is always nice to perform music that you have composed; but then to have such an amazing reaction from the audience is just the cherry on the top.

During the rest of the week, I have been busy working as much as I could to have a some summer cash still in our bank account. I worked weddings, bar work, orientations for the incoming freshman class at LSU, and many other things. It’s nothing special and I won’t go into too many details, but my co-workers are awesome and the management is actually some of the few managers I don’t dread to work with.

It is only 6 days away from when I fly out to Paris, and we are finally in Houston. We decided to come a little earlier than we had planned because of the tropical storms building and the chance of flooding in Baton Rouge. We were planning on going to New Orleans before we left for Houston but Tropical Storm Cindy made us change our minds. While she has weakened significantly, she still packs a lot of rain. We didn’t want to be trapped in NOLA or Baton Rouge and wanted to make sure that I could make my flights. But we will have a lot of time to spend together as a family and do some family activities in Houston.

I also figured out yesterday that I will have a 20+ hour layover in Istanbul on my way home, so I might look into getting a short visa and exploring the historic city. While it will be over night, I am thinking of watching the sunrise in Asia. My original flight plans to and from Italy included a layover, both ways, of 20+ hours in Istanbul. I was so excited! I had never been to Istanbul and I had always wanted to see the Bosphorus Straight, the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, and the Markets. But, when I changed my tickets, I noticed that I had just about 2 hours on my flight to Paris in Istanbul and knew I wouldn’t be able to leave. I was very saddened. But we will see.

I am also getting two days in Venice by myself and I will be spending the nights at a hostel. I love Venice and would love to explore the city at my leisure and explore the little hidden spots that most people never see.

Even though I will miss my family every day, I will be definitely enjoying some alone time. I am really hoping to get a lot of writing done when I am not in class, and when I have my free days. Fingers crossed!!

Well, I think that this is all that I will post for today. It has been a long day at the end of a couple of long weeks. I can’t wait to depart and start sight seeing beautiful Paris!! Thank you to all those that have supported me (financially and emotionally), and encouraged me to participate. So far, the few other composers that I have met that are going (through Facebook or email) seem to be really cool and amazing composers. Maybe they can teach this old horse a few new tricks!!

A plus tard!!

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