Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Day Before The Concert

Tuesday the 13th of May. Tomorrow is my concert “Landet som icke är” (The Land Which Is Not), my first composition recital! First thing in the morning I went and bought today’s copy of the newspaper Aamulehti for reading the interview. Although I of course know what I had answered I always want to know what they chose to write… On the way to the kiosk I bumped in to our caretaker, who had already read the article and said he would come to my concert. I am very flattered, he has probably never been to a contemporary music concert before.

The interview in Aamulehti 13.5. 

We have to keep a Tampering meeting today so that we will officially decide if I get money for paying the choir at my concert or not, and it should be decided before the concert.  But composers, timetables, and busy springs don’t go very well together, and only Matti and Timo were at the meeting. I sent a message to Matilda, to remind her and she said she would be there in half an hour, so we decided to wait, because we need to be four people for meetings to be legal.

While waiting for Matilda the music critic Wilhelm Kvist from Hufvudstadsbladet (the leading Swedish-language newspaper in Finland) phoned and made a short interview for tomorrow’s newspaper.

When Matilda arrived we held the meeting. We also called our chairman Henri, so he “attended” part of the meeting by phone. 

After the meeting, that anyway ended well, I started to bind together the score for my piece “Landet som icke är” which I will be conducting tomorrow. Well, the binding didn’t go that well, as I ended up binding the pages in the wrong order!  Whoops! Finally after trying to obtain a new unbound copy, I was already a few minutes late for the rehearsal.

This time all musicians and singers could come, yes! But my poor viola player had a very severe flu and was feeling like crap. I was for some reason really nervous (maybe after the notesheet copying rumba) and had a really bad day conducting… But the singers Anna Ranki and Julius Martikainen were doing absolutely great, I was really impressed. Also my trumpetist and friend Mari Pakarinen was doing wonderfully and coming in at the right place even though I (as a conductor) kept showing her in at wrong bars, it was so embarrassing! Yep, well I guess I once again was proven that I really should not be nervous when I conduct but instead meditate before and be 100% concentrated in rehearsals.

The rehearsal went so well that we decided to cancel our final rehearsal for tomorrow so that the singers could save their voices and the viola player have more time to rest and take care of her self (and the flu).

After “Landet som icke är” we were again trying together with the music technician Petrus Tuisku to get my electronic pieces “Die Berge” and “Der Wald” to work and this time we also managed to get it to work at about 23 o’clock!  I don’t know which of us was more relieved. But we still are both a bit worried about tomorrow, because there is an exam in the concert venue before my concert that ends at 16:00 and the orchestra will arrive for a dress rehearsal at 17.00 so there isn’t much time to set up all the electronics and recording equipment…

After this I headed home. Mari is staying over at my place this night (as she doesn’t live in Tampere anymore), so I let her sleep and went into the kitchen and continued writing the programme booklet for the concert. It has to be done before tomorrow morning, so I have to send it off tonight.

My rabbit Viljo was very happy to get company, and he is also otherwise always very active at night. I don’t know why, maybe because it’s spring, but he has the past month taken a habit of trying to hump my feet (especially when I wear white woolen socks). So when I crossed my legs for making it easier to keep the laptop in my lap while writing, I would every 5 minutes have a humping rabbit at my foot, which was really annoying! So I would put down my foot for a while (then he leaves me in piece) and after a while cross the other leg and off he went again!

My rabbit Viljo chewing his own feet. © Cecilia Damström

Well at 5 A.M. I was finally done and sent of the programme. It was in word format 40 pages long!!! But I am so happy still: I will receive free help from Tarja Reijonen who works for TAMK and Tampere Conservatory doing programmes and posters (among other stuff). If I would have had to think about the layout I would never have made it in time! Very exhausted but happy, I wished a disappointed Viljo good night.

"Already going to bed?" my rabbit Viljo wonders. © Cecilia Damström

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