Orkney Stage One
Well, the first stage of my adventure with the BBC SSO to Orkney and the St Magnus Festival passed off in a surprisingly trouble free and rather pleasant way. In a day when travelling as a musician is usually an event that requires the patience and saint like resignation of a member of a silent order due to an embarrassing series of friskings, pattings, searchings and scrutinisings with shoes on and off, belts done and undone, violins ex-rayed and the ultimate dilemma question to ask a musician "Is the nature of your trip business or pleasure?", I have arrived and am feeling genuinely relaxed. Partly due to the fact that the management team organised everything so well that I didn't have to engage my brain at all with logistics and mostly I think because I walked through security chatting non stop with my friend and fellow violinist Alex Gascoine. One minute I was arriving at the Airport with Alex and the next minute we were putting our shoes back on, on the other side of security. We were probably frisked but we were probably chatting, I can't remember. Our violin cases were quite possibly opened and whilst chatting to each other we probably explained what they were and carried on chatting. I can't remember. All I can remember is having a good natter with a mate whilst some things of great importance to other people occurred all around me. And when we touched down on Orkney in what really is a large field, we were greeted off the brilliantly small plane by a man whose wonderfully bearded and relaxed face spoke of all the benefits of island life whilst he smiled warmly and said "Hello and welcome". From his greeting, I was no longer tired at the prospect of a very heavy concert schedule, I was suddenly excited and can't wait to give him something in return. Flying to Orkney in other words reminded me of how travel used to be and as long as you take Alex Gascoine with you, it still can.
Principal Second Violin