Friday, 25 July 2014

The First Day at ISAM 2014

Friday the 25th of July. Oh my this day feels again like half a decade!

This is where we dine breakfast, lunch and dinner, chandeliers and original
frescos from 1740'ies. Photo © Cecilia Damström

So I was up at 7.30 and was at the breakfast table at 8.30. We ate breakfast in this incredibly beautiful large hall in the castle which is decorated with
beautiful pictures. At breakfast I met the first three composers; Jasper Schmich Kinney from Colorado, "Snooz" Leyou Wang from China, but studying in Stuttgart, and Marc Migó Cortés from Barcelona. I had already gone to sit by myself but Jasper waved me over, which was so nice of him!

Landes Academie Ochsenhausen, the place where the International Summer
Academy of Music is held every year. Photo © Cecilia Damström

After breakfast I went for a walk to see the whole place and OH MY DEAR
GOD it is BEAUTIFUL! I want to live here! There is a stable as well and an
art exhibition in one part of the monastery. I even found Jesus sunbathing
in the yard!

The art exhibition. Photo © Cecilia Damström

The entrance to the castle.
Photo © Cecilia Damström

The stables. Photo © Cecilia Damström

Jesus sunbathing in the backyard.
Photo © Cecilia Damström

Because the property and the castle/former monastery are so huge I grew tired
quite fast and went in again and composed for a bit more than an hour and
managed to write about 40 seconds of music!

This is where I composed today.
Photo © Cecilia Damström

Then it was already time for lunch at 12. At lunch I met another composer
from Colorado; Robert. After a great lunch I went to Marc’s and Jasper’s
room and they showed the pieces they have written for this course (Marc
has written a trio and Jasper a quartet). By the time they had shown their
music (at around 14 o’clock) it was already time for coffee and tea! So
off we were once again to eat.

After our afternoon tea we dropped by the library, which is very nice,
one more reason to live here! But the librarian, Andreas Kreißig , had to go and get professor Ofer Ben-Amots, so we only spent 10 minutes in the library before it closed. After that we went back to Marc’s and Jasper’s room and I presented them my pieces Dagbok and my orchestra piece Unborn and then Snooz presented us his Fugue and the second movement of his violin sonata.

Then I went back to my room and by now my roommate had arrived; Emi Morishita from Japan, but studying piano in Belgium. After having updated my Facebook with a picture from the amazing castle I napped for half an hour and then it was again time for dinner at 18 o’clock! I already have asked the librarian Andreas, in a joking tone, if they are trying to get us fatter for
slaughtering us at the end of the course…?

For dinner I had my own meal made, so nice of them! At dinner I met so
many new people that I have a very hard time remembering them but I will try: Evan Pensis from LA studying piano, Thomas Kudernatsch from Stuttgart studying organ, Aarón Ribas from Barcelona studying organ, Spencer Lyons from Colorado studying composition, Andrey Stolyarov from the US studying composition, Michael Essl from Stuttgart studying composition (at this course, in Stuttgart studying jazz piano), Sam Kinsey from LA studying piano and Geoffrey Conquer studying piano at Montreal. I also met professors Ofer Ben-Amots , Daniel Pollack and Jürgen Essl. There are a lot of more piano and organ student’s whom I haven’t met yet though.

After dinner we had a short presentation round and then an hour’s free time,
during which I composed a bit more (15 secdons) and wrote most of this update.

At 21 o’clock we met up and went to the “Gasthaus zum Schäfer”, a small
restaurant pub literally just across the street from when you leave the
monastery/castle ground. I had a big glass of banana juice, best juice
ever, but it’s mostly only available in Germany. The sun was setting and we sat
out side where we have this amazing view over the sloping fields. It turns
out Geoffrey Conquer, from Toronto (studying in Montreal), knows my friends Paolo Griffin (from summer camp as a child) and Sarah Albu (only by name, but anyway)! Such a small world! At a bit before 23 o’clock most of us were so tired that we all left for bed and I’m now sitting on my bed, with a head ache but still happily writing this update. But goodnight for now!

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