Wednesday, October 17, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Twenty-Five

Today wasn’t just a special day for me—a Birth-Day—but also for my friend and neighbor Kelly. Kelly is an experienced, talented, professional Flautist. She recently put together a new ensemble here in Berlin and had a performance tonight of new and existing music, all written by her.

I went alone to her performance, though it was shame, as I know Nicholas would have really enjoyed it. All of our bedtime babysitters were predisposed, so Nicholas kindly stayed in with our son while I had a night out. The venue was an old warehouse, part of which has been converted into an intimate room with a bar and acoustically treated playing space. One of Kelly’s ensemble members was the curator of the evening's program—The Serious Series, which included three groups, including Kelly’s.

On my way to the old warehouse, I misread the directions and headed to Curvystraße 34 instead of Curvystraße 3-4, taking me ten minutes out of the way. I had wished to arrive elegantly at a quarter 'til, but my error found me there at five 'til. I thought that maybe the flowers I brought Kelly could be my apology.

The space was rustic and still featured the spiral slides where grain travelled from the upper floors to the basement. It also had a lovely, wooden bar and many green, upholstered, midcentury occasional chairs where we sat as an audience.

The trio Glue, the last group to play, included an upright bass, trumpet, and percussion. They played the most challenging work of the night. I struggled to stay engaged and found myself drifting away in my thoughts, which may not be such an inappropriate reaction. The middle group, Fünfergruppe Gschlössl, included a trumpet, bass clarinet, upright bass—same musician seen in the final group—electric guitar, and percussion. The trumpet and bass clarinet led the group and played just a few feet in front of me. It was magic seeing experimental jazz played with so much love and so close.

The highlight of the evening happened right at its start with my friend and her ensemble, The Kelly Watson Group. Watching her play the flute was mesmerizing. Her music was soulful, ethereal, and surprising. Afterward, I got to share a laughter filled meal at a candlelit restaurant with Kelly, her husband Aaron, and several of our mutual friends.

I was so proud of Kelly. I was so proud to be her friend.

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