Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Sunday in Geneva

Just so you know, this is no indication of how the rest of my trip went, but I fell down the stairs getting off the train in Geneva. One minute my feet were under me, and the next they were not. I fell right on my butt and had to be helped up by a guy who was waiting to get on the train. I actually wasn't that embarrassed. I more wished that there had been someone there to laugh with me about what happened. My butt still hurts by the way.

I made it to the hostel fine. It was my first time staying in a hostel and I didn't quite know what to expect, but the facilities were really nice! I checked in and stored my stuff at the reception desk because my bed wouldn't be ready till later.

I started my exploration by making sure I knew how to get to the Batiment des Forces Mortrices ( where I would be going that night to hear a piano concert. I then went in search for the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. I got off at the bus stop, but didn't see any buildings that looked like a museum. I was at Plaine de Plainpalais and what I did see was a flea market!! Everyone knows how much I love a good flea market. So I wondered through half of the market before I decided to return to my search for the museum. I found it, but it didn't open for another 15 minutes so I wondered through the other half of the flea market, which was actually more like  farmer's market. There was produce vendors, but also food vendors. I had found where I would have lunch!! I went back to the museum and walked through all the open exhibits. They didn't have much because they were in the middle of hanging new exhibits. I got lunch from one of the vendors at the flea market and ate on a bench in Plaine de Plainpalais.

I went back to the hostel got my bed assignment. At that point I was in a room with three sets of bunk beds and there were only two other girls in the room. I took a nap and then got ready for the concert. The concert consisted of 10 pianists, with 20 hands on 4 pianos; 7 composers and 11 pieces of music. It was wonderful. As I sat there listening to these great musicians play these amazing arrangements I realized how untrained my ear is. It is so much harder for me to catch and appreciate every note and how it adds to the piece to create...what? What exactly does this music create? Music creates music. Am I supposed to let the music paint a picture in my head or is that my ridiculous need for something tangible. Am I supposed to leave the music in it's purest form and appreciate each sound for exactly what it is? Is it okay if the music doesn't evoke emotion in me? Is it still good music if it does not? These are the thoughts I had sitting there in the darkness as the music wafted over me. Aristotle believed that music and poetry were the purest art forms (no pun intended). This is because every other art form is imitative of something tangible. "But in poetry and music there are imitations of manners; and this is evident, for different harmonies differ from each other so much by nature, that those who hear them are differently affected, and are not in the same disposition of mind when one is performed as when another is; the one, for instance, occasions grief and contracts the soul...others soften the mind, and as it were dissolve the heart: others fix it in a firm and settled state...while [others] fill the soul with enthusiasm." (Aristotle, Politics-book VIII, ch. v)

Some music, however, is supposed to evoke a certain scene or theme. Like Handel's "Messiah", or Vivaldi's "Seasons". I also had a music teacher tell me one time that a famous composer (I can't remember who right now) was trying to figure out how to imitate the fires of hell and he did it by having the violins turn their bows upside down and use wood to string instead of string to string. I've found that I like pieces that are in Minor chords. I like pieces that are dark and powerful! I think alot of Russian composers tend to write dark and powerful pieces. My favorite piece that was played at the concert was Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee".

After the concert I was starving and I had noticed an English Pub situated across the street from the bus stop where I got off to go to my hostel. I was particularly excited about this pub because the sign outside read, "NFL Sunday"! So after the concert I went to the pub and ordered a pie and a Guinness and watched part of the Kansas City vs. Colts game. It was a disappointing game because all the points I saw were gained from feild goals, but still, it was AMERICAN FOOTBALL and I hadn't seen a game yet this season!

It was a great end to the day. I had been up all day so I was ready for bed. When I got back to the hostel I discovered another addition to the room. A Korean-Canadian girl was in the bunk above me and she was the first one to talk to me. More about her to come...

1 comment:

  1. Again, I believe you are incredible for traveling like you do. Can't wait to hear about your next adventure to the mountains tomorrow.