And I haven’t even gotten to Amsterdam yet!
I left Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon and stopped briefly in Los Angeles and Houston before arriving at Raleigh-Durham airport about noon on Wednesday. Of course I didn’t sleep a wink—what was running through my head was Olivier Messiaen’s L’Ascension suite from Steven Severin’s recital on Sunday! Even though it has been maybe 10 or 15 years since I played the entire suite, on the plane ride I could remember every single note of it. It makes me want to play Messiaen again.
I rented a car from the airport and with a little difficulty, found my hotel after passing by it three times—I just couldn’t figure out how to get to it because of the confusing network of roads! After settling in, I drove right to Duke University Chapel and found my former student, Joey Fala, practicing the organ inside.
We walked around the lovely campus for a bit where I took pictures of the tulips in the Sarah P. Duke memorial gardens. What I found so appealing were the many combinations of colors: whites with pinks, yellows with oranges, and so forth.
Here are some of the pictures I took of the Chapel—Joey has booked some time on the organs on Friday so that I will get a chance to play in a couple of days.
Joey told me that booking a wedding in the chapel is so popular that couples have to camp out for a month to book a wedding for the following year! He says he plays most of the weddings of students, alumni and faculty as part of his contract. You can see some of the tents in the picture below. Apparently, someone from the administration goes out to check at all hours that there is someone in the tent who is waiting for a booking!
Also he pointed out the empty niche where the statue of the Confederate President, Robert E. Lee, was removed.
Tonight we will attend a concert by the Tallis Scholars, conducted by Peter Phillips. I was originally scheduled to arrive tomorrow, but when I found out about the concert, I changed my ticket, even though I have heard the group at least twice before in person, and of course, I am familiar with their recordings.
And more pictures of the gardens: