Hello from Tier 2 London! Despite the end of lockdown, I will pretty much spend the next week isolating as much as possible to prepare to fly to Japan on Tuesday. The system there is very strict so at the moment only Japanese citizens and those with work visas can enter the country. Once landed in Tokyo, everyone undergoes a coronavirus test and waits for a few hours for the result. If positive, they are taken to a special place for 14 days of quarantine. If negative, they still cannot go on public transport and need specially booked safe transport to go to your accommodation, and again must self-isolate for 14 days. I will be going armed with an online knitting course, I’ve ordered wool to be delivered to my accommodation, and am bringing my 10-year-old copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses to read during this period.
Why am I going to Japan, at this time? I am so pleased to share that I have three concerts planned in January, which you can find on my events page: two chamber music concerts in Tokyo which will be globally live-streamed, and a concerto in Hiroshima. Both these concerts are unusual and exciting: the Tokyo concerts are with two other clarinet colleagues and a pianist, and we are doing something a bit sacrilegious(!) in that we will be rotating who plays which part in the Crusell duo, and the Brahms Sonata, swapping players each movement! What will it sound like? Will it be a coherent whole? Tune in to find out – via the ‘Dolce Classic Music Player’ app 🙂
These concerts are a month away, but with the sort of year we are having, it felt important to travel a lot in advance, and if I’m going for the start of January, I might as well go even earlier so that I can spend Christmas and New Year safely with grandparents. This will mean being in Japan for nearly two months, my longest trip to date! I am looking forward to the food, but will miss many things… including…
Spinning wool! This latest hobby has been incredibly therapeutic, but as I’ve done some research what I’ve noticed is there seems to be no history of spinning wool in Japan. There is a lot about indigo dyeing, and producing silk, but since sheep were never native to the country, wool spinning hasn’t caught on. I would LOVE to get hold of some raw fleece in Japan, and my Turkish spindle is coming with me, so if anyone has any leads please drop me a message!