Skipping the Country


Amongst Australian classical musicians it’s generally known as “a rite of passage”, that for a (lucky) few turns into a new home and an exciting career. Travelling overseas for study – usually Europe, my preference, and sometimes America.

It’s necessary because of what Australia does not have – for example, Australia does not have (all flautists) Pierre-Yves Artaud or Harrie Starreveld or Eva Furrer or Helen Bledsoe or Felix Renggli or Emmanuel Pahud or Andrea Lieberknecht or Petri Alanko or Michael Cox or Richard Craig. Or a history of music in the European art tradition. Or really any great composers. Boulez, for instance (I mention Boulez not only because I share a birthdate with him, which also coincidently happens to be Beethoven’s deathday, but because the wonderful Peter Clark – conductor of Kupka’s Piano – has been accepted into the Lucerne Festival Academy’s conducting masterclasses with the man himself!!!!).

With the current political climate here, what with Campbell Newman’s stronghold over Queensland and the very real possibility of Abbott taking power in the near future, Australia’s artistic future seems pretty uncertain. It makes me nervous about the idea of trying to make an ensemble work here. And with Liam overseas and experiencing some of the musical wonders that still exist in a city like Paris I’m increasingly feeling the urge to leave, get out, with an intention of not coming back… I’m not sure that’s what will happen (for one, I’m gripped by the terror of failure, being incapable of competing in the “field”, with visions of being forced home and giving up on music altogether, doing a nursing degree), and I really would like to see Kupka’s Piano through in the longterm if I could. But right now, I’m feeling the pull pretty darn strongly. And I’ve that little old British passport burning a hole in my pocket, or something to that effect.

My year-old fear of flying presents something of a problem, especially for this current trip. But my willingness to face that is only testament to my desire/desperation. Brisbane, where things are perhaps just getting off the ground in some respects, but are painfully backward in others. It’s eating me through and I’m just about fed up with it.

Also, as may be evidenced by this post, I’m lacking clarity of late. Ideas fly around my head and catch on each other then fall in a big heap. My motivation is limp and easily disintegrates. Perhaps I’m just describing the symptoms of having to deal with life ohne Liam, but maybe because of where he is just now it feels like something more. I lust after a new start.


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