Tristan: A note from Arcata, 2/15/13

I’m constantly struck by the diversity of experience we find, amidst our musical travels.  One day you’re in a modern hotel in the midst of Glasgow, on a truly nocturnal schedule of concerts, rehearsals, and late night sessions, the next day hiking a windswept trail past frozen lakes and rocky highland formations on the Isle of Skye.  Now we’re in Arcata, for two nights of shows at the Arcata Playhouse.  It’s great to catch up with old friends; some of whom Tashina and I have known all our lives.  It’s also fun meeting folks for the first time, who have known us all our lives.  One lady remembers us as the kids who always busk in front of Payless…  We’re staying at the wonderfully unique and quirky home of Rob Diggins, who was our baroque violin teacher from the time I was 3 days old.

Rob and I woke ourselves at 6 AM, had fresh chai tea in the silent solitude of the pre-dawn morning, then began a 2 hr practice of Indian violin techniques.  He led and I followed, and it was really nice to reconnect with him in the role of teacher, which is a role he fills so well.  We played the slowest I’ve played in years, then moved on to patterns of 6 variations on 4-notes, moving up three octave scales, as the sun rose..  For all it’s technicality, it was beautiful musically, sitting cross legged on the floor, tuning ourselves to a drone and a tabla beat.  Afterwards we walked on the beach, in the sparkly foggy morning light.  What a time the early morning is, for appreciating the quiet of the world!