Here we find ourselves already at the start of February, with our new year's resolutions probably starting to fray at the edges and the holidays remaining only as a memory.
While everything is slowly getting back to something as normal as it will probably ever get, we work ourselves through the leftovers of yet another "season of everything". The leftover of over-eating, drinking and indulging in general. The leftover of trying, with some sort of decorum, to get rid of those unwanted presents. The leftover of the real pain of paying off the bank card purchases. The nagging leftover of unanswered Christmas cards, often from people we hardly know. The leftover of still feeling worn out for those who had to work extra hard. Truly, the season of everything.
Personally, I am hanging on to one memory only. The new year resolution. A concept I do not usually believe in. However, during the changing from 2019 to 2020 I was in the company of friends. A few moments into the new year I was asked about my resolution. I was just about to state that I had little interest in that as a project when I involuntary said: "no stress". Thus, this became my 2020 resolution. Feel free to join me. It will pay off handsome dividends all year long.
Art in Review
Our town has already had a rather wonderful cultural event this year.
As a first, the Ballarat Fine Music Festival came to Yandoit for three concerts and - as is one of the aims of this festival - they play their music, wherever they can, in a church.
Since the people of Yandoit are desperate to hang onto the one church still in community's hands, this worked out beautifully. And, not wasting an opportunity, the local women got into their kitchens and made one of those rich country feasts with scones, cakes, biscuits and cups of tea and coffee to be enjoyed after each concert. Money from both events went to the upkeep of the church.
Performing in a church has the advantage of, in the main, having a decent acoustic quality and, secondly, having an atmosphere which suits the music already in place. And atmosphere of reverence.
Having bought my ticket online, I drove to Yandoit. Although I was driving my car through the landscape, I felt as if I was travelling through it by a horse-drawn cart. The landscape has that power. The power to imagine.
I am driving from Daylesford to Yandoit, and feel as if I am in a Vincent van Gogh painting. The rich Lutea yellow across the dry fields is as prominent as that used in his paintings.
Maybe it is the promise of what is in store. The promise of a classical concert in a little country church. A church, in a wonderful bush setting surrounded, by ancient eucalypts. It feels solid, secure and very comfortable.
There were three repeat concerts on offer; 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30 - all three of them played to a full house. I attended the third and last concert where the duo of Paolo Tagliomenti and Massimo Scattoline played compositions by Sarasate, Giuliani and Paganini.
The music created on these instruments was intricate, delightful, gentle, strong and ornamented with lovely decorations and flourishes. It created an interesting contrasts to the solid building it was performed in. I kept thinking of the church as the strong base line with the duo creating the pure melody which, like some exotic bird, soared lightly in the space above. There is a delicacy about this music, from a time and in a setting when the pace of life was so much slower. The pace of calm. A beautiful experience. It was as if the musicians are playing the landscape.
The first sounds of a concert always seem to be full and rich, not unlike the first draught of a refreshing drink on a hot day. These same first notes seem to be pregnant with the promise of what is to follow. The promise of a rich journey.
A rich journey directed by the ensemble's music inspiring the audience's imagination.