Made it back to MS yesterday afternoon. Oxford feels like the absolute ends of the earth after Zoukfest. I know maybe two people in town, which is both nice and disconcerting. I feel away from everything, which seriously encourages work and productivity, if not sanity.
Zoukfest.....what to say about Zoukfest. Holy freaking crap? It's yet another affirmation.......THAT......I want to do THAT. The Irish trad....the songwriting....the ability to multi-task WELL.......the level of scholarship. I've only ever been to two other traditional music workshops, and they were all flute oriented. I guess flute people are the same no matter what music they play.....they tend to be really narrowly focused. And while my lens is a bit too wide for my own good, I like a variety of different things. It's awesome to see all of those people doing all of those things at an incredibly high level. It's incredibly heartening and disheartening at the same time.....on the one hand you say, "See....it's possible. That's awesome." On the other hand you say, "See....it's possible. Oh crap." Got to play the flute at the Friday night concert with my dear roomie on fiddle and voice, which rocked. Also got the opportunity to play two of my original songs, and it seemed like they had positive responses.
The Andy Irvine concert was remarkable. I realized about halfway through one spiel that he was going to play "My Heart's Tonight in Ireland," and I couldn't stop from crying. I never thought I would actually get a chance to see Andy Irvine play live....more than that....to sit two feet away from him while he was playing.
Now away from all of that music, and a deep feeling of belonging, I'm trying to do good work on this thesis and get ready for the mind-blowing experience of Ben Bagby and Norbert Rodenkirchen.
Practicing, writing (scholarly and song), and throwing myself into the fieldwork sure to dominate my life for the next three/four weeks......and hoping that eventually I'll get to the level of teaching at some place like Zoukfest one day.
Peace, Love, and Tunes,