I saw Belshazzar’s Feast recently. Wonderful listening – very dramatic, dynamic and with a fabulous ending! Conductor Ashkenazy was very entertaining to watch. Kakadu was also played and it was a nice surprise when Sculthorpe came on stage afterward. Tintagel was underwhelming, but I realised that it is impractical to wear a necklace and play the violin.
I went to the Sydney Writers’ Festival* and listened to Robert Dessaix and Drusilla Modjeska, Don Walker and Stephen Cummings, Kate Grenville and Ashley Hay, plus James Maskalyk, Christian Lander and Antony Loewenstein in conversations. Dessaix talked about travel and explained that it crystallizes him: he becomes compact and solid, but strangely transparent and therefore needs to go home after a while. He talked about conversations you have at home vs. those you have as a traveler and the significance of both. The bloggers talked about the validation of publishing your blog as a book, despite the success of the blog and Lander’s comment about MSF bearing witness distracted me from the topic of blogs. The musicians were hilarious and while crushed between strangers under an umbrella in the pouring rain I listened to them via a garbage-bagged speaker as they compared writing a 60,000 word autobiography to rock song lyrics. Grenville discussed conversations between early settlers and the local Indigenous people – real conversations about interesting things. She argued that by learning another language you gain another soul. I wish I could have gone to more such fascinating sessions. Great logo too.
I went to the markets and bought some orange mushrooms and white roses. I sat on the veranda of a beautiful house and drank tea, for once enjoying bergamot, while interesting conversation flowed lazily around and through me.
I saw Yayoi Kusama’s Mirrored Years exhibition. I like the small rooms that you had to line up for most – and the large silver balls that went through the window and onto the balcony. I saw Sampson and Delilah too. An incredible film – such a beautiful story in a fascinating setting but what a terrible reality. Walking around the flood-lit Opera House I discovered I am easily distracted.
My favourite line from the weekend was: Oh, that sort of ‘they had a BBQ’.
* I’m confused about the apostrophe here. Festival for writers? Festival of writers?