World Saxophone Congress
Now that it is a few weeks after my trip to Europe, I thought I would take some time to post pictures! Overall, it was a great time! I had the opportunity to meet and reconnect with some wonderful people and hear many excellent performances.
A few days before my flight to Scotland, I found out that there was a SNAFU with my hotel reservations, and of course St. Andrew's was completely booked up for the Congress by this point, which led me to use CouchSurfing.org to find other accommodations. I was lucky enough to find some local university students in St. Andrews who let me crash with them for the duration of the Congress. It was a fantastic experience meeting them and their friends, getting a little of the local culture in, and saved a little money to boot. Plus the walk to the events was considerably less than if I stayed in the hotel. It was absolutely fantastic, and I would definitely use CouchSurfing.org again in my travels.
My entire week at the Congress, I saw less than 30 performances, even though there were hundreds happening. It would be interesting to know how many saxophones were in that town during that week :).
One of the very cool things I learned about at this Congress was a new instrument called the Karlax. Philippe Geiss did a lecture and demonstration over the instrument which was very interesting! It is not a wind instrument, but rather completely digital. It has many buttons, is motion sensored, and even twists in the middle, all of which can be programmed to do virtually anything you like. I recommend checking this thing out. You can visit the Karlax website here. During the lecture, I had the pleasure of going up on stage to try the instrument out. It was programmed to manipulate the video from Jacob TV's Garden of Love while Cliff Leaman played the saxophone part.
My recital took place on Thursday July 15th in an amazing medieval chapel that was several hundred years old. You can take a virtual tour of the space here. I performed the world premiere of Mark Oliveiro's new piece Bayaami: From the Sky which I wrote about in a previous blog post. I also performed a wonderful little piece titled Monologo en Tiempo de Joropo by Colombian composer Carlos Gonzalo Guzman-Munoz. A little over a year ago, my wonderful AVIDduo partner Brittany Primavera traveled to South American to teach and perform in Le Ceja, Colombia and the area. She was encouraged (read: harassed) to bring back some Colombian saxophone music with her, and this was undoubtedly one of my favorites. I have since gotten to know Carlos a little bit, and he is a great person and composer and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to give his piece its first performance outside of Colombia! If anyone is interested in performing either of these piece, please contact me and I will put you in touch with the right people :)
Aside from the week long saxophone extravaganza, St. Andrew's was a pretty awesome town!
An all around great time. I wish I had gotten to see more of Edinburgh, but after the last day of the Congress I flew to Prague, CZ where I met up with Brittany for AVIDduo shenanigans... More on that to come.
Saxophonist, Artist, Listener, Thinker, Teacher, Performer, Curator, Veggie, Reader, Lover of Contemporary Music