12 May 2016

Faces in misty light

We are volunteers for the CIMF and we love it. We've billeted visiting musicians for several years and enjoyed them all. Even if I bore them with endless chatter about the music. This year, we've also helped out with the taxi service, collecting whoever where-ever and delivering him/her to another wherever, essentially Ainslie Arts Centre or Fitters Workshop, but a few others besides and some other billet households. This is fun if you have the time, and perhaps more interesting than attending the concerts these people are here for. This is more personal, more informative. So, this year we had Laura Barton staying, a younger artist in the troop, one of the Festival Ensemble. A New Zealander, studying at the Te Kōki New Zealand School of Music (NZSM). We had some great chats around the breakfast table and goss about the festival itself. All amusing. We couriered a few other names, too. Featured artists and others, not least Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey and Marco Beasley and Nadia Ratsimandresy. Poor Nadia who plays the obscure Ondes Martenot and is probably driven near insanity by questions about her instrument (~10 prof players in the place of origin, France, and maybe 30 others around the world). I was little better than others, noting the Ondes M with some trivial knowledge from a YouTube video. But how nice to chat with a thoroughly pleasant Parisian on a visit down under. All immensely satisfying and beneficial for the festival and mind-broadening for us, if you have the time. And necessary: the Chair spoke at the final concert and advised the CIMF covers 40% of costs through ticket sales. So immense thanks are due to volunteers and embassies and the ACT Govt, and, to date, to the Australia Council. So, final cheers to Laura.

Eric Pozza and Megan Curlewis billeted Laura Barton for the Canberra International Music Festival 2016.

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