Trails and Euros
with JENNIFER PAULL
I have always been fascinated by the omnipresent ghosts of the past,
the myriad diversities of the present, and the hopes of artistic possibilities
to come. These three tenses permeate our world.
Living as I do in mainland Europe, every day of the past few months has
been a countdown to the Euro. The commotion has been more than a little
invasive. Never have so many people used a single currency since the days
of the Roman Empire, or so we have been reminded daily, for months.
I survived both the decimalisation of the British pound and performing
'live' in an avant garde concert series on BBC radio in
the same year, 1971. No mere mental calculation relative to a new currency
could induce anything approaching parallel panic within me, in spite of
the daily doses of media hysteria.
In the days before the telephone, web site and computer, how was it possible
for a musician at the Swedish court of the 18th century, for example, to
know that the best place to study composition was Bologna, Italy? The oldest
of Europe's universities had been drawing scholars from all over the
civilised world since the 12th century. Of course, the 'civilised world'
wasn't by any means the size it is today, but neither were transport
Musicians came to study with the greatest teacher of composition, Jean-Baptiste
Martini, on horseback. Born in Bologna in 1706, he lived to the ripe old
age of 78, a remarkable achievement at the time. Martini's influence
upon musicians of several generations was considerable.
Copyright © 11 January 2002
Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland
JENNIFER PAULL'S AMORIS INTERNATIONAL
THE VOUVRY WEBSITE
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