We’ve arrived! After taking the ferry bright (although none of us felt particularly bright) and early on Saturday morning we arrived safely along with two other chamber groups on the Isle of Coll. We spent the day exploring the nearby area, meeting our lovely Tunnell colleagues and settling into our new home for the next 8 days.
We are already really enjoying ourselves and looking forward to some distraction free rehearsing and coaching over the next week. For repertoire we have brought some of our old favourites that we hope to bring some new energy to, some newer pieces that need some undivided attention, and we will also be testing out some of my new arrangements for the group.
Aside from rehearsals and concerts with the two ensembles here with us, our bucket list for the week includes swimming in one (or two) of Coll’s beautiful and isolated beaches, stargazing (although with the extra long days up here we might have to sacrifice a night of sleep), hopefully seeing some native species that can be found around the island, and of course a Nintendo Switch video game tournament using the four consoles the three groups have between them(!).
We will be regularly blogging during the week so watch this space for more updates! (And the eventual winner of the video game tournament – place your bets now…!)
We’re writing this from the mainland en route from Oban to Glasgow. It feels strange to notice the busyness of Oban, still far from the pace of life in London, feeling somewhat jarring on our return form the Isle of Coll. Over the course of our time on Coll we fell easily into our new routine; rehearsals, lessons, amazing food, concerts and of course, trips to the beautiful Coll Hotel bar post-performance. No moment was wasted and we’ve come away with a wealth of knowledge and an eagerness to perform.
It is hard to pin-point specific points of focus during our lessons with the amazing tutors Music Coll introduced us to. In fact, to touch on exact details would detract from the nature and depth of the teaching. Truthfully, the past ten days have left us with pockets of musical knowledge and feeling that will stay with us forever. We studied some of the greatest and most challenging repertoire for Piano Trio (Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn) during our time in Coll. It can be easy to shy away from the masterpieces within the Piano Trio canon for fear of doing the works an injustice approaching them at a younger age.
Exploring the legacy of these masterpieces alongside the important personal value they hold really was a privilege. This insight gave us a wonderful foundation to delve into the depths of the music and find confidence and assurance in our interpretation. After a year that cultivated a more insular way of life, we are so moved to have had the space to rediscover our identity as a group and as performers.
Thank you so much to our tutors and to the Tunnell Trust for inviting us to the beautiful Isle of Coll, the past ten days will stay with us for a very long time.
After a long and picturesque trip up north from London we have arrived and settled in at the stunning Isle of Coll. We have been enjoying some glorious walks after days filled to the brim with music we love, and cherishing every minute of it. We swam in the sea, hugged some horses, conversed with local sheep, and we got to explore some incredible repertoire with the course’s truly inspirational coaches, and we can’t wait to share the results with the local audience.
The past year and a half has been tough on many musicians including ourselves, so we have been grateful more than ever for the opportunity to be here as a quartet.
We are incredibly excited for our first concert in Coll tonight!