Hotel Well Located, Florence.
Yesterday's dismal failure to get online, even in a hotel that boasts Ethernet connection, is one of the small daily practical difficulties the Happy Gigster faces when touring Europe, daily. There is an Ethernet port two feet from my fingers. It is useless. The hotel engineer came up to connect me to it, began by dismantling it, then rebuilding it. All to no effect. Pat & MJK Tour Manager went downstairs to attempt to reconfigure various online options at the front desk. Eventually MJK dialed AOL in Los Angeles on a direct hotel line & was able to get e-mail. Everyday, every hotel, is different. There is no common standard. And if there is a hi-speed connection, mostly it doesn't work.
Little Luvvie called this morning - yippee! Tonight is the press night for Calamity Jane. On this tour, we are relying mainly on text messages to keep us in touch.
Wednesday Evening, 25th. June:
A constructed stage & space in a field about 20 minutes' drive from the hotel & centre of Florence. The field was empty then, suddenly, full. A very supportive & enthusiastic audience.
The first part of any performance is a negotiation of the space. My first 2.5 pieces were spent dealing with "security" characters who were standing directly in my sightline, stage right. They were, bless them, more interested in staring at the show than supporting its security aspects. They were asked to leave, but one would not until the middle of TCOL. When, eventually, he was persuaded to maintain security elsewhere, I was free to turn my fuller attention to the more musical aspects of performance.
The current negotiation with Italian performance practice seems to be: we (the audience) will (mostly) not use flashes until the end of the show. Then, following the performance proper & during the acknowledgements, there is an eruption. When I look up and see a camera, or the flashes beg in, I leave. The encores are then vulnerable. And last night they were. So, the end of my show is not a pleasant experience. That is, obviously, subjective.
The performance overall: the other Crims seemed happy, the audience enthusiastic. Why worry about the eccentric old prat on stage left?
An arising issue: my left foot continues to be mainly a numb experience, distant from the sensation of experiencing the presence of organic life within the human animal. Despite this, it is responsible for managing dual stereo volume pedals while the operator has almost no physical contact with the operation. Yow! as quadrophonic strings are asked to crescendo and diminuendo.
13.14 The Crimbus has just left our hotel, carrying us towards Venice. Bump bump.
Bump bump bump bump.
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