It was Summer 2016. The days were long and sticky, and come August, andPlay and David Bird were ready to escape the oppressive city heat and drive up to New Hampshire for a 5-day residency at Avaloch Farm. We had no idea that we would fall for the place so immediately and so hard. Here are 5 things that we loved...
1. Time. When Hannah, David Bird, and I (Maya) arrived at Avaloch Farm last year it felt like we could finally breathe deeply. After a hectic year in NYC filled with delayed subways, stacks of notes to learn, and looming deadlines we all needed a moment of peace to re-center and begin anew. We had entire days to rehearse, compose, and sit around chatting about dreams and far-fetched plans. It was like magic, and just what these city kids needed to kickstart the new season.
2. Cicadas and stars. In the evening one could sit out on the main house porch and listen to the orchestra of cicadas chirping their little hearts out. It was music to this midwestern girl's ears and soul. The only other thing more splendid was looking up into the dark abyss and seeing more constellations than I could even pretend to name (I should have paid more attention on planetarium field trips). It was pretty fun to make some up, though!
3. Space. Hannah and I had our own beautiful wooden practice cabin all to ourselves, and it was SPLENDID! It was tucked into a forested spot away from the housing area and we got to walk/cartwheel through the prickly grass filled with adorable fungi to get to it. We were there from after breakfast until lunch, after lunch to dinner, and sometimes even an after dinner working session with David. It was the work home we wished that we had all year round, and saying goodbye was harder than could have ever imagined.
4. New and old friends. It was so wonderful to meet so many fantastic musicians all in one place. Everyone was so calm and focused on their individual projects, and it was beautiful to hear everyone rehearsing through the afternoon. There was a concert at the end of our stay, and we loved playing for everyone and getting to hear what the other groups were working on!
5. Food. I saved this for last because my mouth is already starting to water just thinking about the delicious feasts presented to us on a daily basis. The herbed butter was insane, and each meal was different and full of flavor and love. There was also a never ending supply of coffee, seltzer, and cookies throughout the day! It was as though they had picked my brain and discovered just what I would require to keep me going through the long rehearsal days!