2009年1月7日水曜日

your favorite things 2008 part 5 COLLEEN

copyright : aude sirvain


Ten favourite things of 2008 - windbell

1) January 2008 Japan tour with Hauschka
In january I embarked on my second Japanese tour, once again organised by Windbell, with Hauschka and I playing as a double bill in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya and Kanazawa. In my five years of playing live, this has been my best tour experience on every level. Artistically speaking the pairing with Hauschka worked great, and he’s a perfect tour companion, and I had a feeling that this time I understood Japanese audiences better and that they also understood my music better.
But perhaps what was even greater was the time spent travelling and staying in those cities, revisiting places I’d seen on my first tour in 2006 (Ueno Park under the snow was just magical) and discovering new ones (Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en).
Food had also been one of the highlights of the first tour, and this time too it was even better !

2) In the space of four weeks, between march and april, I was lucky enough to play in three incredible places: London’s Union Chapel, the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de la Radio in Paris, and Lisbon’s Se cathedral. I will never forget those experiences, as it is rare for a musician to play in such beautiful and great-sounding places.

3) Other people’s music
This year I loved several contemporary albums, which is quite rare for me (I usually listen to older music), among which: PJ Harvey’s White chalk (released last year, but I only discovered it this year), Beach House’s Devotion, and Nalle’s The sirens wave.

4) Mitsuko Uchida playing Mozart, live and on record.
This summer I started listening to Mitsuko Uchida’s recordings of Mozart’s piano sonatas and I think it has been my favourite music this year: Uchida’s playing in the gentle passages is mesmerizing, like hearing dew drops and not really a physical instrument made out of wood and metal ... In november in Paris I saw her play and direct two Mozart concertos for piano, and she was absolutely amazing, and seemed so graceful and simple as a person. I can’t wait to see her perform again.

5) Starting to learn ceramics.
So far I’ve only mentioned music-related events, but actually this year was very quiet for me in terms of creating music: I produced so much music in the past couple of years that this year I really felt that I needed to take a break, and so I spent the second half of the year doing things mostly unrelated to music.
The most important non-musical thing I did this year has been taking ceramics lessons: I had wanted to do it for a long time now, but my concert schedule always got in the way, and now I’m finally able to do it. It’s even better and more exciting than what I was expecting, and I really hope that even when I go back to my normal music-making life I will still find the time and energy to make ceramics.

6) Reading.
This year I spent a lot of time reading, a lot of books about visual arts, and Japan in particular (modern and traditional aspects of Japanese culture and society – I even tried to learn a bit of Japanese !), and being at home reading a good book is one of my favourite things in the world, and something I hadn’t been able to do very much in the past few years because I worked so much. I ended the year with Natsume Soseki’s Wagahai wa neko de aru and absolutely loved it !

7) Going to exhibitions.
Paris was especially great this year in terms of exhibitions, and as France was celebrating 150 years of relations with Japan, there were lots of exhibitions showing Japanese artefacts, some of which had never been out of Japan, so needless to say I went to every single one of them !

8) Cooking Japanese food.
I love food and love cooking, and since I was at home almost all the time, I had to cook two meals every day and so I tried lots of new recipes, otherwise cooking gets boring ! For my birthday I got a Harumi Kurihara cookbook, and so now I cook Japanese food several times a week at home, and each time it brings me back to Japan in “spirit” !

9) Spending the summer by the sea.
Each year I spend the summer by the sea in Spain, and each year it is the same joy: swimming, playing with a ball, lying down daydreaming or reading ... I love Paris but spending time in a more natural environment is really essential to me.

10) Staying with great cats.
I love animals and cats in particular, and this year I was very lucky, because on tour I had to stay in several people’s places (instead of hotels) and a lot of them had really friendly cats that made a real difference to my stay: when I am in somebody’s place, away from home, but a cat is showing me affection without knowing me, it makes me really happy to be there and to be sharing those brief moments with an animal I will probably never see again ...


Cecile Schott - Colleen