It should have been so easy – a long weekend in Aix en Provence to coach some youth orchestras and lead some schools’ workshops in preparation for the Orchestra’s visit to our new residency at the Aix Festival in July. It’s only 2 hours from Gatwick to Marseille. What could possibly go wrong?
But since yesterday morning the UK has been held hostage by a big cloud of ash spewing forth from a volcano in Iceland. Every single flight in and out of the UK is grounded, largely because planes have a tendancy to drop out of the sky if they get ash in the engines. The media is reporting the worst flight chaos since the Second World War (!). No one knows how long the volcano will continue to vent, nor when the cloud might be blown elsewhere.
But LSO players are determined creatures. Ginette (violin), Tom (double bass), Joost (bassoon) and Paul (bass trombone), along with project manager Craig and animateur Mark, have got themselves a van and are on their way to Folkestone to take the Eurotunnel to France. They have 24 hours to drive the 1000km to Aix before the first workshop. Tom, who long time readers of this blog will remember writing from Daytona Beach in 2007, has promised to keep us updated about their adventures. Will they make it in time? And will they get back again in time for Monday’s recording sessions at Abbey Road? Stay tuned!
Stage 1: ‘catch the EuroTunnel’ completed. Going well so far! Soon they’ll be in the right country at least…