Saturday, July 13, 2013

Packing for EUBO

Basel, July 14, 2013.

Packing for a three-week tour takes quite a bit of planning, especially if it's your first. This Monday will see the first assembling of The European Union Baroque Orchestra of 2013 at Echternach, a village in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Following six days of rehearsal, the orchestra will head off to Spain, Andorra, Croatia, and Belgium clocking 6 performances by the 4th of August.

Though tours are a fact of life for the large majority professional musicians in popular genres, by comparison orchestra tours are much more of a case for celebration to classical musicians. More so for the gang at EUBO as many of us will be on tour for the first time. Despite our keenness, however, I fear the honeymoon will soon be over.

This weekend I will be putting together some clothes and plenty of distractions to keep me sane during the hours we will spend in transit. What might a young musician be taking on their first long tour? Lets take a look.

The Nerdy Stuff:
1: Instrument repair kit. Includes Teflon tape to seal leaks for wind layers, small screwdrivers, grease, sticky tack (a lifesaver, anyone can pick out my instruments as they always have about of bright blue tack somewhere), sugary bubblegum (to stick a new pad on in an emergency), dental floss, and spare pads.

2: Expanded reed kit. For Double Reeds. Includes wire, sandpaper, easel, spare cane, string, and whatever I need to form new reeds that isn't in my normal case.

3: Instrument and concert gear (music, clothes, etc.)

The Boring Stuff:

4: Clothes. You know the drill.

5: Toiletries. The usual stuff plus vitamins, Cold FX, and extra toothpaste.

The Distractions:

6: From the Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra. A compelling book presenting the history and perspectives of three Eastern intellectuals who lived through the heyday of Western Imperialism.

6: Europe's Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson. A complete retelling of the 30 years war in English. This may pop up as potentially boring (which, I admit, sometimes is for me), but understanding the historical context of the music we perform is essential to what we do.

7: Homework, reading for my upcoming Masters Thesis.

8: Selected TV episodes. A guilty pleasure.

My hope is that I can somehow fit all of this into a small messenger bag and a roll-up suitcase. Maybe I'm being somewhat ambitious, but the smaller the better, I say. Hopefully some of the hotels we'll be staying at with have an iron!

Onward and Upward.

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