Sunday, July 16, 2006
Overcome by the experience
I spent this evening at the National Museum of Australia with the AP, attending a concert called Eternal Strings 2006. These annual concerts (this is the third) feature at least one instrument made by Arthur Edward Smith, a notable Australian violin maker of the 20th century. The Museum has a number of his instruments in their collection, and have made the admirable curatorial decision to let them be played occasionally, with great reverence.
Tonight's instrument was a viola very similar to the one pictured. The one I saw played was made in 1952; this is from 1999. It was a wonderful concert -- I'm not a regular concert goer, in any musical genre, but I do like to feel cultured every now and again. Sitting in the Museum's 'great hall' (or foyer, in everyday terms) was certainly a fine experience, although I find the architecture tends to interfere with both your concentration and the acoustics. Going with the AP meant I had a prime front row seat (more to do with the fact that she is very elderly and frail than from prestige), so I was lucky enough to be able to watch without craning my neck or looking at the large video screen above the stage. I like to watch the shadows of the performers more than the actual performers, so I was very happy.
Very happy indeed, except that someone sitting nearby FARTED.
I mean to say! Wafts of someone's rotten insides kept assaulting me from the left (which is why I know it wasn't the AP, bless her), about a third of the way through the second half of the programme. Totally unfair -- you can't move out of the way, you can't even cough politely. All I could do was breathe through my mouth for a while. I'm sure AP could smell it too, but she's too well bred to say a thing, even if I'd mentioned it later. No dears, I had to save this one for you. Ergh.