Or just the one will do. So here we are in beautiful Tasmania, taking in the sights and sounds on this wonderful long Easter weekend. What more could you ask for? Well, now that I mention it, there is one little thing . . .
As you no doubt know (I mean, I am constantly mentioning it) this weekend is the culmination of a couple of years work (and I'm not even exaggerating when I say that). It takes a whole lot of work to get almost an entire concert band on the other side of the country and to everyone who has been involved, a huge thank you doesn't even begin to cover it. In fact it's probably been a bit of a journey in itself (it certainly is a big enough undertaking) and you can see what is possible when you have a group of such wonderful people working together.
That said travelling over there was definitely a bit of a journey. Have you ever been at the airport and seen those huge groups of people travelling together, basically looking like a party in-transit? It's slightly less of a party and more trying to keep track of everyone. Because even though we are all responsible adults (ahem) and it's really hard to miss a group of people moving en mass, chances are that someone at some point will go walkabout. I can safely say it wasn't me (for once). Apart from that it is a bit like a travelling party but more like the bit before when you're still getting ready (but if you're anything like my sister you already have the music pumping). That air of anticipation, that any number of fun and great things can happen, that you're going to have a good time. So next time you see that huge group of people at the airport, chatting, laughing and generally looking like they're having a great time, that's because they are. You also better hope that if they are on your flight they are nowhere near you because they are bound to continue the hi-jinks and laughter on the flight (but in a slightly more moderate fashion of course).
And then, of course, is the whole reason why we are here. What we have been working towards for months. Years even. The performance itself. When you are finally sitting on that stage, looking out over a darkened auditorium, the bright lights shining in your eyes. When you can't see the audience but you can sense them, shielded by the light. That's when you pick up your instrument and play. And pray to the music gods that you don't trip over that run in bar 78. And all the practicing pays off as you fly through the bar. Yet while you're so busy congratulating yourself you fumble in the next bar, which not only have you never done but is also possibly the easiest bar in the entire history of music (well not literally but you get my point). So you concentrate and shut off that inner monologue. You concentrate on the music in front of you and the baton above you. You concentrate until there is nothing but the music. You are the music. And then the final notes ring out and you are done. It's always jarring and disorientating (a bit like pulling into your driveway with no memory of getting there but not as terrifying) but totally and completely worth it. There isn't much that can beat being completely carried away by the music.
Huh. So I guess that's three extraordinary journeys after all.