zaterdag 30 juli 2005

back from the tour to Los Llanos (the Venezuelan planes) and the Andes

back from the tour to Los Llanos (the Venezuelan planes) and the Andes. An unforgettable experience. I don´t have so much time to write right now, but I will give a quick impression:
a 4 day tour, first day:
We left for a rafting camp on the border of the Andes and Los Llanos (Barinas). Very long bus ride with stopping on the way. a.o. a very nice small stone church (I will try to include some pictures next time in this blog...) and of course an unforgettable view from the bus in the Andes!!
The rafting was great, I never did it before and we had great time. We spend our first night in the rafting camp and it was very relaxed. This day should havebeen the last day in the original tour but now it was the first day because of some logistic reasons. The last days were very hectic. But today was great. We walked around, saw lots of birds (The Llanos has about 1300 kinds of birds!) and had a great meal with, of course, beef, grilled very well!

Second day:
We left at 700 in the morning for the Apure river, the little village San Vicente. On the way was Petroglyphs (spelling?) , symbols and pictures made in stone from pre Columbian times, nobody knows exactly when. On the road we had a very good beef lunch (can´t see beef anymore!) in a little camp beside the road where some heavy winds appeared and blew a lot of sand in our food. For a moment I thought it was going to be a hurricane, with Dennis just having left the area. In San Vicente we did a boat trip in the late afternoon and evening and saw leguanas, snakes, lots of very exotic birds (a.o. a living fossile, a very old bird that looks very strange) and the highlight: sweet water dolphines. Grey pinkish big dolphins that swam besides the boat. Unbelievable!

Next time I´ll write about the 3rd and 4th days.

dinsdag 26 juli 2005

Today in Merida and tomorrow of to a 4 day tour to los Llanos

Today in Merida and tomorrow of to a 4 day tour to los Llanos. We´ll raft, sleep in hammocks, see all sorts of animals... very exciting, we´re a bit nervous!
Yesterday we went to an amusementpark called Sambil with Ailed´s family. They had a lot of fun. I bought pants for the trip tomorrow and in the evening we left to Merida for a twelve hour bus trip in the coldest bus of all times!!! Next time I´ll bring a hat, some sweaters, gloves, a scarve. I used Ailed´s skirt as a scarve! The outside temperature was perfect...!

Today in Merida was great. We arrived (after a minimum of sleep because of the cold) and walked to our posada and then we were off to tabay, natural hot water in the mountains. It was quite surreal. We walked in the moutains in a very nice surrounding and after half an hour we heard loud salsa music. It urned the hot springs were changed into a swimming pool with natural sauna and a little kiosk to buy drinks. It was quite busy but we had great time. We relaxed and walked back to Merida to have a briefing for the trip tomorrow.

After we had a great dinner in a new vegetarian restaurant in Merida, I think it was avenida 3 or 4, owned by Deyanira. She was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. I ate 2 and half empanadas filled with lentils and cheese served with a very tasty sauce. Recommended!

More in 4 days!

zondag 24 juli 2005

Tonight we are off to Meridad for a 4 day tour through the Venezuela w...

Tonight we are off to Meridad for a 4 day tour through the Venezuela wild! Afterwards we will stay in Meridad a bit to walk around and see the surroundings, and enjoy our holiday together.
This morning we are relaxing, reading, watching tv, enjoying Venezuelan home cooking.
Yesterday we went to the East Park and a hacienda which is a museum now. Caracas is not really a city with a great athmosphere but if you know the spots there's plenty of stuff to do.

zaterdag 23 juli 2005

Yesterday I went to a concert in the Teresa Carrenho in Caracas

Yesterday I went to a concert in the Teresa Carrenho in Caracas. The Municipal Orchestra played and they played well. They played the marvellous Daphnis and Chloe suite by Ravel, which Rodolfo Saglimbeni conducted by heart!
But... the concert turned out to have a policital part; after the first piece (Mendelsohn Concerto for violin, played by Maurice Hasson, incredible!) there were several speeches, a videoshow and a formal part to inaugurate the new stamps to celebrate the 25 years existence of the orchestra. The stamps are very nice but half of the audience left and the ones that didn't showed their disconfort with the ceremony very clearly. It was quite an experience!

Second day in Caracas

Second day in Caracas. All's well and relaxing. Just had a shave and a haircut, which was nice!
Tonight or tomorrow we might go see a concert. Tomorrow is the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, lead by Gustavo Dudamel. I played a solo concerto by Jacob ter Veldhuis with them some months with them. They are fantastic!
This morning Ailed danced one of her solos in the beautiful Teatro Municipal in the old colonial centre. A beautiful theater and a beautiful solo. It's a shame the old centre is not such a good neighbourhood.

donderdag 14 juli 2005

The pain in my shoulder has almost disppeared

The pain in my shoulder has almost disppeared! I am studying again and just had rehearsal with Wijnand for the Vondelpark Concert again. We had lots of fun putting this programme together.
Tomorrow will be a busy day, I will have to go to Kerkrade to rehearse for the premier of a saxophone concerto by Alexander Comitas. We will perform it at the WMC. The day after we will play the concert (wednesday 20 July). If you want to check it out: it's in the Rodahal in Kerkrade, during the WMC. I will be accompanied by the NJFO (National Youth Fanfare Orchestra, conducted by Danny Oosterman,
Today I called with active 24, my website will be online sometime tomorrow. I hope so!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Just had a rehearsal with my good friend Wijnand (piano). We rehearsed a new piece in our repertory: 'Burjazzque' by Louis van Dijk, in a version for soprano saxophone and piano. What a wonderful music! Louis van Dijk is not so well know as a composer but this piece shows he should be. We'll play it in the Vondelpark Open Lucht Theater in Amsterdam on July 21st at 21:00, for those who want to hear it. We will also play music by Michael Nyman, Bach, Demersseman, Wiedoeft, ter Veldhuis and Matitia. The wheather forecast is not too good though, according to the KNMI, but they have proven they can be wrong, I hope that they will be again!
Still lots of pain and eating pain killers, which work ok, but it's still there.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I think I won't be able at the soccer competition in the Amsterdamse Bos, but I will cheer!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Today I woke up with an incredible pain in my shoulder. I wanted to study sax but now I have to wait for the pain to go away... Well, a forced 'holiday', I can do some reading, listening to music. I am listening to Michel Camilo and Tomatito right now. Great album! What a shame I missed them at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
For some reason my website is offline now, and I have no idea why. The Active24 helpdesk is only available on weekdays so I'll have to wait to find out. Very strange...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Electronic Music

Yesterday I went to Paradiso to see and hear a festival with electronic music, a crossover between dance music and 'art' music. It was quite interesting, but hard to listen to. Intuitively I am not drawn towards electronic music and I have to go through some effort to listen to it but it's a challenge to get to know this music and to learn to appreciate it.