Among my highlights of Banff this year included performing alongside legendary bassist Edgar Meyer, undertaking an intensive study of JS Bach’s 6th Cello Suite (http://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/BlogEntry/303075,bach-banff-and-the-baroque.aspx), collaborating with a fellow resident percussionist who wrote a new piece for cello and percussion, and being both inspired and challenged by performances of outstanding visiting faculty and friends.
Here you can see one of the new pieces that came out of my last residency. A work written by Canadian percussionist Greg Samek:
My experiences however extended beyond those of a musical nature, with stunning landscape, outdoor activities and a sense of spiritual connection with the land and its inhabitants. There are not many places in the world I have experienced where I could be so close to nature and inspired by my surroundings. So close that while practicing one day I was lucky enough to have a large elk roaming around behind me while I recorded a take of the Dvorak Cello Concerto:
In light of potential changes to the Banff Music and Sound program, I would ask that those fortunate enough to make these decisions consider the impact that this sort of self-directed residency has had on me and the lives of resident alumni from all corners of the globe. I look forward to no doubt seeing exciting new programs and opportunities for a broad range of musicians, but I do hope that it is not at a sacrifice to what has been an immensely rewarding and stimulating residency.
Not only were we provided with numerous performance opportunities, but we were provided with an unprecedented level of support from a dedicated team of staff. I would particularly like to convey my thanks to the current Director of Fall and Winter Programs, Mr Henk Guittart. As one of the most inspiring and knowledgeable coaches I have ever had, I believe his understanding of what a musician needs is surprisingly rare and deeply valuable to those that were lucky enough to benefit from his guidance.
I feel an immense sense of gratitude towards the Banff Centre and its supporters for providing me with two life-changing residencies this year. I do hope that the same opportunities and support will be available for future generations of artists and musicians on a global scale. The value of these experiences is far reaching and immeasurable.