How did it get so late?!
Today began with the hotel breakfast (carrot jam! I wasn't sure at first but it was delicious!). The last two faculty members arrived after one of those Newark-flight-cancellation-horror stories - Patrick Clark the composer and Marc Thayer, violin et cetera, from St. Louis. Rehearsal yesterday had started thirty minutes late, today only ten, which I think is a good sign! Good energy from the students, and a few new players. Good progress.
Lunch in the mall again. Part-way through, the power cut out, taking with it the hum of giant air-conditioners and the muted escalator rumble.
First conducting class in the afternoon. It grew as we went along, and I think we finished with 15 or so students. As in orchestral rehearsals, I try to talk as little as possible, yet, you've got to talk to describe conducting. The Kurdish students will translate, then another might refine the translation. With two major Kurdish dialects here, further translation can be necessary. Then there are a few Arabic-speaking students who don't speak Kurdish, so there's further translation for them. (Kurdish is spoken in the North, Arabic in the South. Of course there's historical and cultural background, and I'm not here to write about that, but I will say everyone is getting along great: one more testament to music's great power to bring people together.)
In other words, some things I say are then translated three times!
Dinner was traditional char-grilled chicken, al fresco on the main street, sitting on plastic chairs in a joint that was swamped with locals. Delicious!
In the meantime, I got a nice reply from the presenter of the Kurdish Radio broadcasts for SBS Radio in Australia, and I'm working on a little report about what's going on over here. Who knows - we may get some more audience for our concerts next week!