Conversations at last night’s Concert

Exceptional evening yesterday … music, fine people and wine. The concert was Patricia Sands’ recital (soprano) together with Richard Saunders (piano) and Roberto Zayas (guitar). My own little concert group was me, husband Paul, Ted R and his wife, Suzanna.

Pre-concert Paul and I biked across town in rush hour traffic and had a very serviceable dinner in the Forum‘s restaurant. People came in, said hi, even (once, yum, yum, yum) I got a quick back rub, while the person behind me said she’s not been the same since the last craniosacral session I gave, and that it’s time for another. That’s always nice to hear, especially during a backrub.

The concert was breathtaking. Spanish songs, lieder, Lehar aria, Verdi aria, piano solo, Menotti’s Monica’s Waltz, 3 encores including the final — Irish Lullaby (for St. Pat’s day, today).

Intermission, Ted mentioned very wistfully that it’s really time he organized performances of his own music. I asked if he wanted to talk about it. Yep. So, then and there was a little coaching session. Within 5 minutes he’d outlined 8 concerts he could give. In 10 minutes he was aware of lots of people he could network with to make these happen, identified that it would be a 2.5 year series, and we’d consulted with a theatre professor in Taiwan (Catherine D, sitting in front of us) about the next step in locating a Chaucer expert in an academic setting in Taiwan.

I asked Paul afterward what he thought happened in that conversation. He wasn’t sure. Ted will email something and what he thinks happened is much more to the point. I didn’t introduce the idea of coaching it was all so informal. But, would I love someone like him to be my VIP coachee? You bet! Releasing brilliance into Taiwan… that’s how it feels from where I sit.

Roma introduced me to a pianist who has a concert April 14 doing a piece on Gandhi’s thought. I had a chance to talk with him but didn’t ask.

By the time we made it out of the concert hall, the reception area had cleared. I guess Taipei audiences don’t linger. There were about 5 people left, and in fact, this was a great time. In the end it was Patty, Richard, Patty’s husband Eric and our little group of 4.

What DEEPLY IMPRESSES me is the foreign community in Taiwan. Um, it’s amazing. There’s Roma – she seems to know everyone, everywhere, everything. She’s an artist in several media. She runs a printing company. She’s a delightful person with sharp, knowing vision. If I had a board of directors for my life, she’d be on it. So would Siew K. She’s a singer, a guitarist, an open-hearted enjoyer of life. She’s an organizer and enthuser. Then there’s my husband’s bunch … people who do videos, music, sound recording, experiment with digital imagery, hang out at Bongo’s (restaurant near NTU). There’s the American School community. No idea how big this is, but surely huge. It’s the core of the Taipei foreign community. Years ago when you wanted a sandwich or some salami or just an American breakfast, this was the place to go. Nowadays these things aren’t that hard to find elsewhere, but Tienmu stays as a very unique area with very high quality of life. I guess the network hub there is the Community Services Center.


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