Sunday, 1 September 2013

Josh in Mumbai - 5

With all the other WAMers having left on a homebound flight, I sit here in a practice room coming to terms that the current ‘tourist’ population of Mumbai has probably just dropped about 40%.

I am fully accustomed to the usual questions I get asked when I walk down the street, get a taxi, or practically encounter anyone in this cement jungle…  “Where are you from?!”…  “Married?!”…   Or just general queries as to why I’m here. (Admittedly alarm bells did start ringing when the first question one taxi driver asked me was “What religion are you?”).  However these questions usually result in a happy exchange of information and then asking for money. Lovely.

Work at the MMMF is going well.  As I presume is the case with other WAMers, I’ve been well and truly in the routine now, and have admittedly forgotten about this website for a couple of weeks.  Work-wise not much has changed, Mika – the Japanese violin teacher and I are trying to encourage chamber music playing.  We’ve divided the more able pianists into several groups and I am teaching them different movements of the Seitz Student Violin Concerto No.5, along with other violin and piano works.  I’m now also taking more students than normal because one of the main piano teachers has gone on holiday to London.  All the piano lessons are going well, I’ve also started aural training lessons for the piano and violin students that will be having ABRSM/Trinity exams in November.

The String Ensemble will be ready for their performance on the 11th September, and, provided the students work hard, the choir will also be ready.  The String Ensemble are so ready in fact, that they will be able to perform the Kinder-Sinfonie by Edmind Angerer by memory (!) The Choir are learning Suscepit Israel by J.S.Bach, John Rutter’s ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ and an A Capella version of the Nutcracker March by Tchaikovsky.

Sadly my first Listeners’ Club Concert was canceled on account of internet/email difficulties which in turn meant problems inviting people.. But that’s another story.. I had been spending a fair amount of time practicing for it so it was a mild disappointment to find it canceled just the day before.  I am supposed to be doing my second concert, with Mika, on Wednesday (4th September), though I foresee the same problem of the administration inviting people. I’ll keep you posted, if you pardon the pun.

I am however busy enough learning new music; A professional Indian tenor (who studied both an undergraduate and postgraduate at the Guildhall School of Music) has asked me to accompany him for a private audition with Zubin Mehta.  The program will include two Mozart Arias – “Così Fan Tutte - Un’ aura amorosa” and “Don Giovanni - Il mio Tesoro intanto”, along with Gaetano Donizetti’ “L’elisir D’amore Una Furtiva lagrima”.  I’ll also be the accompanist for everyone at the Foundation when Midori Goto will provide a string masterclass on the 9th September.  I’ve already listed a lot composers and titles of works so I won’t bore the minority of people who have probably made it this far into my 5th blog.

My trip to Goa was interesting – when people told me it wasn’t the season to go, I didn’t expect it to be empty.  On the second day I walked up Morjim beach by myself, and I only saw a couple of fishermen in the 90 minutes I walked north.  There were actual ghost towns, where people had retreated, leaving their businesses and huts neatly gift-wrapped in blue tarpaulins.  Nevertheless it was nice to get away from the pollution and chaos of Mumbai just for a couple of nights.  The Konkan Kanya Express* train was a great experience and something I really do hope to relive sometime in the future.

*’Express’ definition in India: A 13 hour overnight train journey, travelling over 700kilometres from Madgoan to Mumbai.

Enjoying The Fresh Air
Konkan Kayna Express

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