Monday, August 16, 2004

The Nashville biosphere

I'm just now back from the NFA convention in Nashville. I thought last year's surroundings in Las Vegas were over the top but it was tame compared to this year's environment! The Gaylord Opryland Resort is a nine-acre self-contained complex under glass domes. It's all climate-controlled, so that you can walk around during the day feeling like you're outside, but you're not really, and you're protected from the hot and sticky weather outside. When the sun goes down it seems like they dial the air conditioning back a bit, maybe 15 degrees, so that it seems like nighttime, but you still don't have to wear a jacket.

There's a jungle planted in there. There are hundreds of tropical plants and lots of fountains, a river, lots of pools, and waterfalls. Everything is connected by a maze of paths and escalators and stairways. It's very easy to get lost and I did, a few times. It was SO Logan's Run.

There are restaurants and shops. Everything is hella expensive though, and there was very little I could eat. I ate a $4.00 bagel with cream cheese one morning. I didn't really buy much food, relying on the granola bars I brought from home, and using my $10.00 daily volunteer reimbursement to get a salad or equal for dinner.

Volunteering was fun. I threw myself into my duties as door monitor for several events. I shared a hotel room with three very nice women. Katie Zimmer was from Michigan, Carla Holtz was from Ohio, and Angela Heo was from Korea. She gave the Korean flute workshop which unfortunately I didn't get to go to because I had an early flight home Sunday morning.

I really enjoyed Camilla Hoitenga's concert, "Savage Aural Hotbed". I got to see Robert Dick unveil his Glissando Headjoint at the Brannen Brothers exhibitor showcase (yay!!!!). I liked Paul Edmund-Davies' rendition of the John Harbison flute concerto. Shannon Heaton's Celtic flute workshop was very very cool. So was the lecture/demonstration put on by Indian flute boy wonder Shashank.But now I'm back and it's time to readjust and get back on all the tasks that have been waiting for me to finish traveling. I've got the first set of recording sessions for Not Made of Stone set up for January 2005, and it's time to start rehearsing for those.

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