Review: Chick Corea Elektric Band, Barbican Centre

Did I just die in the stalls. If my pores were eyes they would have been crying crystals, and I would have made sacred offering of them for the Gods on stage.

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I keep on dying, because I love to live

Happy Summer Solstice. Time to write something a little less mysterious.

As the years pass by I’m believing more and more in Vivaldi’s depiction of summer, and becoming less ashamed of enjoying the clichés. London was at a violent temperature yesterday – 34.C. Mosquitos have already made a dance floor of my legs: clusters of mini gunshots along my calves and thighs. Damn these hungry, inebriated beasts. I am forced to douse myself with fēng yóu jīng and sprinkle it on my mattress. I leave the tiny bottle open on my bedside table; hopefully the fumes of magic, anti-demon potion will keep the evil spirits away.

Each day we wake up as if we’ve been wearing thermals in bed. We are hot from the air and the weight of time, then we cover ourselves against the ammunition of the sun. Hot hot hot. Layers and layers of  chain mail.

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Chainmail, Amartey Golding

 

In the Four Seasons, Vivaldi writes of a summer that rouses our blood and our propensity for violence. Violence and conflict, like the friction of two sticks, rub sparks, make fires. That much we have seen in London throughout June. From terrorists mowing people down on pavements, hitting worshippers at mosque, to the fires of nightmares; not to mention the news that is overshadowed by the blazing headlines and the offences that never get reported by the public…

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Postcard from Edinburgh

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I.

As the bus turns left from the East end of Princes Street, a macabre scene bleeds into one’s periphery like an incoming raincloud. The passengers look up out of the blindness of their touch-screens and crane their necks by the window-glass.

It can’t be. He was immortal…

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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.

 

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Tuesday 19 July 2016: Too hot to sleep

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“I am burning, I am burning … “

Well, thank you London, for showing me you’re capable of producing summer, but I am not sure if I can handle it.

Today I was stuck to the Tube, or more specifically to the millions of green and blue poly-fibres sprouting vertically from my grimy seat, which always cause unexpected yet significant discomfort against the bare skin of my thighs if I happen to be wearing shorts or a skirt shorter than knee-length. All these tiny sticks of plastic pointed and poised defiantly on my skin, irritating it slowly but surely, burning as the sun does as you walk about nonchalantly, gently going about its job as a minor disappointment in my perfectly decent life. Continue reading

Trouble in Beijing

Date: 7th August 2015
Local time: unknown
Location: A380 Airbus

It all began when I woke up in my auntie’s flat to a rainstorm. The time was 17:05, and I had overslept thanks to my grandmother who thought it better to let me sleep than be back at the hotel in time. A week had passed since the orchestra touched down in China, and somehow it was time to go, even though nobody wished it. A fourth concert please, we begged in our sleep.

In auntie’s car we drove up and out of the car park, beeping people out of the entrance who were hiding from the rain. A little girl under a link umbrella shouted “It’s hailing, it’s hailing!” And so it was, my auntie whispered, bemused and confused. How sweet of her to warn us. Continue reading

Life in a Suitcase: Canada, VSOIW 2015

Greetings from Whistler, Canada!

I’ve just returned from a full orchestra rehearsal at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute, and have chosen to blog over another early night in my plush queen-size bed. The rehearsal ended at 10pm by the way, AND I still feel the pull of an 8-hour jet lag.

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We are playing Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (Ballet Suites) and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Here’s a photo from the VSOIW Instagram account – I’m the one sitting closest to the lens at desk 5, ‘suicide corner’, and I am loving it there. I feel like God and can see everything but without any tremendous powers.

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First year is over: FREEDOM FOR FOUR MONTHS

I have been released.

How to describe the moment I left the exam hall? It’s a mixture of the following two clips.

Watch from the beginning of the clip to experience the journey of this year.
Then skip to 1:37 if you get bored of it.

Watch from 1:40:25

 

No more late nights at the library, unhealthy diets and panic attacks.

No more irritating people in the silent library zones. One of them was oblivious to the fact that his nose made a wheezy sound whenever he inhaled and exhaled.

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No more sights of people studying hardcore. The diagrams, textbooks and glum faces gave me one too many nervous pangs.

*Shudders*

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I’m not sure how to continue this post.

It’s been a while since I did anything human.

I’ve been living in a cave.

A little bit like Howl’s room:

But less dreamy and romantic.

Add a few dusty surfaces, smelly shoes and discarded plates – an overflowing laundry basket on the side.

A tower of books on my floor. A suitcase from a month ago.

I haven’t even touched my violin since NYO.

The muscles won’t know which way to push and pull.

The hands will ache during the first few practice sessions, but it will be okay.

I can have violin lessons again too.

My first rehearsal of the summer is on Tuesday evening. So many concerts to come, never mind a tour to Belgium. We even have t-shirts and stickers.

I can start on KCL Bar Society stuff. Updating the website, thinking up new pieces for the newsletter. I can contact a few lawyers and arrange some meetings.

I can plan my summer! I have so many things I want to do.

I want to read literature again.

I want to find a summer job for a bit, maybe.

I want to start watching French films and restart my mission to learn more Chinese.

I want to swim.

I wanna go back home to Edinburgh for a bit.

Meanwhile moving into a new house for next year!

I have a huge backlog of social activity to catch up on. I’m referring to the negative space during exam time, and also from over the entire year.

The fact that I can count the number of times I’ve been out with my fingers.

My, my.

Today, my first free day, I did some first-timers.

I had a coffee made from a Moka Pot for the first time.

I visited my first London cemetery – Highgate Cemetery – which hosts Karl Marx’s tombstone and other charming sights.

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My phone died by the time we came face to face with Marx himself. Here’s a Wiki image of his resting place for your interest.

Less effective in this image is the darkness which he casts with his eyes. Each eyeball must be the size of a grapefruit, which allows plenty of room for white, iris and pupil. The eyes are alive. Even the natural moisture (eye juice) is carved in.

I also had my first Magnum ice cream for the year.

I am very overwhelmed by everything. And so very, very tired.

Gonna go now. I’ll write something more substantial later.

Ciao x