Tag Archives: Italy

Syrinx Journey Day 7: Field in Tuscany; Twilight

We pulled over in a field about 20 minutes outside of Siena, not wanting to lose the light. It was twilight and very peaceful: evening birdsong, the smell of freshly cut hay and grass, a gentle breeze. I was standing in the mushy earth tracks made by tractor treads, facing a tractor and barns across a small road. I was thinking about the performance tradition of playing Syrinx in a darkened room. I have often had the lights dimmed for this piece at recitals. I smiled to myself thinking that this time, the lighting had been most marvelously adjusted for me in nature. The hush of evening inspired me to play quite intimately and softly in the soft parts, though I did well up with some anguish in the climactic phrases.

The setting

Syrinx Journey Day 5: In the Town of Castelmuzio

Playing Syrinx outdoors usually means in open air with the sky as the upper limit of my concert hall. This space was different: a covered archway in the Tuscan hill town of Castelmuzio. The stone surfaces bounced my sound back to me, not an echo which might have invited me to alter my pacing, but a slight concentration of the sound.

There was a lot of wildlife, most off camera. While I was playing, three cats and one dog came out and sat facing me across the street. On camera, you’ll notice me brushing a fly off my face near the end of the piece.