Word studies / excerpts

20161122_154623


16 October 2016

Sunday morning. Look out beyond your bedroom door. Celebrate the sunlight humming along the silent corridors and the caress of your blood floating back to room temperature.


7 January 2017

pro cra sti na tion |prəˌkrastəˈnāSHən, prō-|
noun

The process of swallowing an abnormally large tablet. A deeply uncomfortable experience regardless of its nutritional content and proven long-term benefits. Positive effects include (but are not confined to): rays of sunshine, drops of oil to your joints, strengthened muscles. However, such accounts have little bearing on one’s decision to actually and willingly accept the giant particle. Subjects are warned to expect a dark, prolonged sense of dread right up until the relaxation of the tongue muscles, a period which can last from 10 seconds to even 1 month or more.

The task – allowing this pebble creep down your throat and grind against your windpipe – is not to be underestimated.


2 February 2017

The most beautiful thing I saw turning left onto Russell Square, was an overweight blue rubbish truck as beaten and bruised and triumphant as a gladiator.


3 February 2017

Today I feel the filth of London and the gritty woes of its people enter my lungs, drying the moistness at the back of my throat, as if I’m inhaling the excrements of dust mites and vacuum cleaners in a windowless room.


Two Pairs of Hands

Two pairs of hands very close to me.

One at my side bursting with ink
Scriptures flowering – bleeding – under the skin.
Half-human, for sure
Out to observe, absorb. Transform the lines
Of all them masters over whom she will be virtuous mistress.

Two – I hold onto them
(but in my eyes)
As metals do to magnets
As waves do to gravity
That leads the dance
bending the bend
stretching the stretch
pulling the push of invisible currents.

These silky feather-brushes lather paint onto the air
Bleeding colours from here – there – harp – snare –
Add water to the strings,
Chuck oil on the bass-
line to thicken the paste,
Burn the wood, the wind, the brass,
Then tame the flames…

These hands.

I held them all –
within me.


Pair No. 1

20161102_224803

The hands belong to my friend and artist, Iona Roberts.
See her amazing work here.


Pair No. 2

François Xavier-Roth, Les Siècles
Royal Festival Hall 02.11.16

20th October 2016 – Gloomy Sunday, All Days, Always

I am in a place where I congratulate myself for merely opening my violin case, tuning my strings and fumbling a scale on the fingerboard. If by some miracle I make it any further, my soul seems to shrivel with dissatisfaction and hopelessness into one of those slimy slaves in Ursula’s cave, the name of which is frustratingly hard to find even on such magnanimous search engine like Google.

photo-on-20-10-2016-at-21-22 Continue reading

Alive on Pluto

A sheet of silk
A slice of silver paper
Perfect glass at one atom’s depth
The wing of a bee between your index and thumb


It feels as pure as the 0, with 1 being and only ever being the exact opposite: unconsciousness, non-existence.

Death.

As flat and smooth as the side of a sheet of aluminium paper, and its binary counterpart the underside. The left to its right; the light in the darkness; the silence that gives birth to sound.


Maybe it’s one of those 20th century post-modern paintings – only one or two blocks of raw colour – by one of those American names who has a load of canvasses in the New York MoMA. I remember a special sharp blue and it was a square.

See how it lingers in the back door of the mind, like an anonymous, faceless bringer of information.


Sometimes if I’m lucky I feel the sheet flutter in my hand and I have the power in my fingers.

Yé Ye | 爷爷 | Grandpa

He was a lone traveller, a truly gentle man, who had nearly lost all his teeth. He sat at the back of the bus, hardly spoke, and often wandered away all by himself. When he did speak it was a dialect that nobody could understand.

 

20160815_192923

 

Continue reading

On China, family and writing

Location: Hainan
Time: 02:30AM – 05:00AM

How refreshing it is to fly to a country that feels like home yet bewilders you at the same time. I am swallowed up in the population, the ginormous bureaucracy, unknown to billions of people and barred from social media. It is weirdly pleasant, especially after such a publicised and popularised fortnight in another place, to escape into this culture. It means that I don’t get carried away wallowing in the memories of this ‘success’ and that ‘achievement’, swimming in the blue aftermath of adrenaline-filled days, all mopey that it has come to an end. The last thing I want to do is self-indulge and forget about where I am and who I am with.

Image 3
Continue reading

The Forgotten Youth – a response to David Nice (The Arts Desk)

Location: On the 9-hour plane from Helsinki to Guangzhou

My happiness of the weekend has diminished a little after reading someone’s written words. The good memories on- and off-stage, regardless of their emotive strength and permanence, are now partially smudged out by one particular 5-star review about our BBC Prom – quite ironic I know. Sadly, some of the review was not written in the right way, and I thus feel guilty for enjoying our success and accepting the praise. It also brought my attention to an even bigger issue – NYOS and Scotland’s reputation that has been largely ignored in the classical music scene.

Image 2

These thoughts have been brewing in my mind ever since I read it, muffling the glorious music I saw performed this weekend. Believe me it really takes a lot to beat Petrushka, Scythian Suite and The Rite of Spring. So, I am going to let it out.

The disappointing words were from David Nice, writing on behalf of The Arts Desk a joint review on both the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Prom and the NYOS Prom. Many nice things were said for both orchestras. He lauded them both. He rightly recognised the potential, standard and professionalism of NYOS that have been ignored for far too long by the BBC Proms and everyone else. NYOGB was given a much-deserved 4-stars. However, a few sections render it a distasteful comparative analysis of two fantastic youth orchestras, which bothers me quite a lot. I speak out against it as a young Scottish musician, as an alumnus, friend and former intern of NYOGB, as a friend to some of its current musicians, and finally as Leader of NYOS Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading

About a Violin

Part I

Wake up, wake up …

I wrote my final thank you card today and accepted the fact that I was going to cry very, very badly and uncontrollably in the violin shop. I buzzed the door, entered and greeted the lovely receptionists. Also there, by chance, was the lady who had made all of this happen. She was attending to another violinist – American, I think, judging from her accent – and took a tiny second to recognise me in my granny glasses and state of exhaustion.

Oh dear, I thought, this tragedy’s going to have an audience.

20160808_151443 Continue reading